SMOOTHIES, JUICES AND WHOLE FRUIT
What's the Scoop? By Mary-Ann Evans
Juice bars and smoothie stands are popping up at every street corner while commercial juicers and blenders are offering more variety and features. All of these are encouraging signs of consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness. We’ve been told for ages that fruitbased vitamins are missing from our diets. So what’s really the best way to consume these nutrients — in liquid form or solid form? While commercially-farmed produce are less nutritious than heirloom or organic produce, we can’t just make up for the deficiency with pills. This is why multivitamin use is not correlated with better health or longer
lifespans. In fact, our bodies best absorb nutrition from food in its natural state, not when it is liquified. The natural way is still the best way to get our vitamins and minerals. While smoothies and juices are much healthier than ice cream and soda, they are not as healthy as people think. Blending up your produce bursts the cell wall, releasing the sugars all at once and too early in the digestion process. This unnaturally fast absorption in sugar results in insulin spikes and contributes to weight gain and diabetes. Juicers go even further by removing all the dietary fiber, which is needed to slow the absorption of sugars. In the same way way you can’t make up for lost sleep, you can’t make up for lost nutrition because the body can’t absorb it all at once. So you end up again with too much sugar and a modest dose of nutrition. By far, the best way to consume fruits and vegetables is in their raw state. An orange and a glass of water are better for you than a glass of OJ. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy a smoothie or juice blend now and then, especially when choosing the energy spike of a juice or smoothie over that of an energy drink before an intense workout. Just consider these types of drinks to be a treat rather than a meal replacement.