Which is better juicing or green smoothies?

Juicing and green smoothies have both become very popular ways to increase vegetable and fruit intake. But is one better than the other? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare juicing vs blending and help you decide which is right for you.

What is Juicing?

Juicing refers to extracting the liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables. A juicer separates the fiber from the nutrients, resulting in a concentrated juice containing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. There are two main types of juicers:

  • Centrifugal juicers: These are the most common and affordable juicers. They use a fast spinning metal blade to grind ingredients and pull the juice through a strainer.
  • Masticating juicers: Also known as slow or cold-press juicers. They crush and press fruits and veggies to “squeeze” out the juice.

Juicing is an easy way to consume a large amount of nutrients quickly. Because the fiber has been removed, the nutrients and sugars in the juice can be absorbed rapidly. This makes juicing popular for cleanses and detoxes when quick nutrient delivery is desired.

What are Green Smoothies?

Green smoothies blend together leafy greens and fruits into drinkable shakes. Most green smoothie recipes call for 60% greens and 40% fruits, but proportions can vary based on preferences. Unlike juicing, the entire fruit or vegetable is used when making a smoothie – including the fiber-rich pulp.

Blending is gentler and slower than juicing, helping retain more nutrients. The fiber content also slows down the absorption of natural sugars. By blending greens like spinach and kale with fruits like bananas and berries, green smoothies provide an easy way to increase veggie intake and reduce cravings for sweets.

Nutrition Comparison

Both juicing and green smoothies pack in a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, there are some key nutrition differences between the two:


Juicing removes most of the beneficial fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables. This fiber helps promote gut health and gives you a feeling of fullness. While juice contains minimal fiber, smoothies retain all the fiber from the included ingredients.

Sugar Content

With the fiber removed, juice concentrates all the natural sugars from produce into an easily absorbed form. This can cause spikes in blood sugar. Smoothies still contain the sugars from fruit, but blending in greens dilutes the sweetness. The fiber also helps slow absorption of the sugars.


Juicing may provide higher concentrations of some nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K. Blending creates some oxidation, which can lower nutrient levels minimally. However, smoothies still provide high amounts of nutrients – without removing healthy fiber.


Both juices and smoothies can range in calorie content depending on ingredients. On average green smoothies contain more calories per ounce due to retaining fiber. Lower calorie juice cleanses are popular, but work best for only short term use.

Juicing Green Smoothies
Fiber Removes most fiber Retains all fiber
Sugar Content High glycemic due to lack of fiber Lower glycemic impact
Nutrients May be slightly higher in some nutrients Provides high amount of nutrients
Calories Typically lower in calories Tends to be higher in calories

Health Benefits

Drinking nutrient dense juices or smoothies on a regular basis can provide great health benefits, including:

Weight Loss

Replacing higher calorie beverages like soda or coffee drinks with low sugar green juices or smoothies can help with losing weight. Smoothies tend to be more filling due to fiber content.


Juicing is great for detoxing and giving your digestive system a break. The nutrients flood in without fiber and can help remove toxins. Juice cleanses usually last 1-3 days.

Increase Vegetable Intake

Blending greens into smoothies makes it easy to get more servings of veggies each day. Over time this can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Energy Boost

Getting a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals from juices and smoothies provides sustained energy. They also hydrate better than water or coffee.

Immune Support

The nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in produce boost immunity. Juices may get more nutrients absorbed quickly, while smoothies provide long-term support.

Skin and Hair

The vitamins and minerals in both juices and smoothies enhance skin and hair health. The collagen and biotin support healthy skin, nails and hair.

Disease Prevention

The nutrients and plant compounds in juices and smoothies help prevent disease. They lower inflammation, oxidative stress, and may reduce cancer risk.

Juicing vs Blending: Key Differences

When deciding between juicing and smoothies, here are some key factors to consider:


Smoothies are generally quicker and easier to make. Just toss ingredients in a blender and mix. Juicing takes more time to prepare, process, and clean up.


Juices have a lighter, crisper flavor. Smoothies tend to be thicker and sweeter due to using whole fruits. Adding veggies can sometimes create grassy flavors.


Blenders are typically more affordable than most juicers. High-end masticating juicers can cost over $400. You may also need to buy more produce for juicing since the fiber is removed.


Due to oxidation, fresh juice only lasts up to 3 days refrigerated. Smoothies retain more nutrients when stored and can last 4-5 days.


Blenders can be used to make smoothies, soups, nut butters, batters, and more. Juicers only produce juice and some models can extrude pasta.


Juices may be higher in some nutrients, but smoothies retain helpful fiber. Consider combining both for a balance.

Should You Juice, Blend, or Do Both?

Juicing and green smoothies both have their own sets of pros and cons. Here are some tips on determining which may be better for you:

  • If you want to maximize specific nutrients, quick delivery, and don’t mind less fiber – try juicing a few times a week.
  • If you need something easy, portable, and nutritious that keeps you full – green smoothies are a great daily habit.
  • For the best of both worlds, consider alternating between juices a couple days a week and smoothies on other days.
  • Always make vegetable-based juices and smoothies. Fruits should accent savory greens.
  • Don’t rely only on juices or smoothies. Eat a balanced whole foods diet with plenty of fiber.

Best Practices

Follow these tips to get optimal nutrition and flavor from juices and smoothies:

Juicing Tips

  • Use organic produce when possible.
  • Mix up ingredients. Combine fruits with veggies like spinach or kale.
  • Drink juice right after making – don’t let it sit.
  • Store juice in airtight container in the fridge up to 72 hours.
  • Add fresh ginger or lemon to help preserve juice.
  • Use cucumber or celery as the juice base then add other produce.
  • Remove hard pits, skins, and stems which can damage juicer blades.
  • Drink juice slowly. Don’t gulp it down.
  • Add ice to juices to enjoy chilled.

Green Smoothie Tips

  • Use leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or romaine lettuce as the base.
  • Combine greens with fruits like bananas, berries, mango, peach, pineapple, or avocado.
  • Include healthy fats from nut butter, chia seeds, flaxseed, or avocado.
  • Rotate your ingredients to get a variety of nutrients.
  • Use ripe produce for sweeter flavor.
  • Add spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, or vanilla.
  • Use milk, yogurt, or ice to reach desired consistency.
  • Store in airtight container in fridge up to 5 days.
  • Freeze smoothies into popsicles for a cool treat.


Get started with these delicious and nutritious juice and smoothie recipes:

Green Juice Recipe

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger

Run all ingredients through a juicer. Stir or shake juice before drinking to combine flavors.

Anti-Inflammatory Juice

  • 1 beet
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 inch turmeric
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Juice ingredients. Pour over ice and drink.

Green Detox Smoothie

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid if needed.

Berry Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • Toppings: granola, coconut, berries

Blend first 5 ingredients until thick and creamy. Top with toppings of choice.

The Bottom Line

Both fresh juices and green smoothies can be amazing sources of nutrients that energize your body and help you feel great. Juicing packs in tons of produce providing an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in each serving. Smoothies also supply key nutrients from blended whole fruits and veggies, along with satisfying protein and healthy fats.

The ideal approach may be to combine both juicing and smoothies as part of an overall healthy diet. Use juicing a couple times a week when you want a mega-dose of produce. Enjoy smoothies daily for fiber and sustained energy. While both can support health, green smoothies tend to be a bit more balanced and sustainable long-term.

Focus on vegetable-dominant juices and smoothies accented by fruits. Don’t rely solely on either, but use them as nutritious complements to a varied whole foods diet. Both juicing and blending make it simple to drink your fruits and veggies for improved health and wellbeing.

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