Question: Is Green Juice Really Better for You Than Greens Powder?
It's January, dear reader, and I don't have to tell you what that means. Not only is Christmas all but a distant memory (can you believe Easter eggs are already in the shops?), gym membership enrollments are peaking faster than you can say, "I renounce my former life as a couch potato." Whether you've decided to swear off sugar, or have vowed to hit the gym every day, it's safe to say you’re probably keen to improve in at least one wellness-related area this year. (According to Finder.com.au, who interviewed just over a thousand Australians on their NY’s resolutions last year, 54 per cent set health and fitness goals.)
If you’re like me (eating chocolate-coated macadamias as I type this) you could have your sights set on another worthy wellness goal—boosting your green vegetable intake. We all know veggies are good for us in myriad ways, and many of us would do well to increase our intake. Case in point: A report released last year found that more than 90 per cent of Australians don't get the recommended five servings a day. Shockingly, the study, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, also found that the Federal Government could save $100 million a year on health costs if we did. Of course, life often gets in the way of even the best-laid plans, and when there's no time to whip up a veggie-heavy meal we think we're doing a good thing by opting for a green juice or greens powder instead. But are either of these “healthy” options really doing what we think they are? According to Well + Good, not really.
It turns out that while both have benefits, neither offers the full (low-sugar) package of fibre and absorbable nutrients whole veggies do. But which is best? Naturopathic doctor Brooke Kalanick says green smoothies come out on top, but only when made with whole, organic greens. Because juice has the fibre stripped out, it can play havoc with your blood sugar when consumed alone. Registered dietitian Amy Shapiro explains: “An eight ounce [240 ml] serving of fruit and green juice contains 22 grams of sugar—equivalent to about four and a half teaspoons of added sugar.” That's almost TWO Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That said, green juice makes a respectable runner up in a bind—just have it with a protein-based meal to keep your blood sugar even. Totally free from fibre, a quality greens powder (like Amazonia's Raw Prebiotic Greens, $35) is best kept for days you can’t access fresh produce.
My advice? If you too are aiming to boost your green vegetables in 2017, stick with a homemade green veggie-based smoothie recipe (like this one from The Healthy Chef) and add in your greens powder for additional benefits.