The first misconception to get out of the way is that these are competing products. One isn’t better or worse than the other. Both are absolutely essential to health.
Is Juice Good For You?
Absolutely. It's a brilliant way to expose your body to fruits and vegetables.
Anyone that wants to see the power of juicing needs to see Joe Cross' Fat Fick & Nearly Dead. It's impossible to be anything but blown away by a diet that involves juicing.
However, in our negative society there are always people trying to make a name for themselves at the expense of positivity. When it comes to juicing there is a queue of nutritionists who love the opportunity to condone juicing. They love to populate the lack of insoluble fibre. Yes, fibre is absolutely critical to health (strive for 25-30grams/day). However, it's labour intensive for the digestive track to break down. And it uses up energy (i.e the very nutrients you consumed). It takes effort for your body to turn a spinach leaf into something your body can transport. Juice, on the other hand, has already been broken down. Your body can turn spinach juice into vital nutrients that are transported by your bloodstream in minutes, rather than hours.
Not only is it efficient but it's also an outstanding way to eat more fruit and vegetables. Something that the gross majority of the population aren't doing enough of. For me, juicing introduced me to raw spinach and kale. Green juices with fruit was the gateway to my diet changing. Without that nutritional bridge it would have taken me years to start eating salad and craving greens. Juicing will evolve your palate and expose you to ingredients you know you need but avoid.
But, Is A Smoothie Better Than A Juice?
Smoothies are similar in that they'll expose you to vegetables that you can't taste. My morning smoothie every day is jam packed with unnoticeable spinach.
In comparison with juicing, a smoothie will satiate you much longer and offers much greater value as a meal replacement. It’s the ideal quick breakfast or post workout meal and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. A delicious green smoothie can carry me through until lunch.
In comparison, a vegetable dense green juice won’t help you achieve 25/30 grams of fibre, but it will help you with your daily vegetable quota (forget the outdated government campaign, strive for 10+ servings/day, not five). A juice is also much more palatable when nutrient dense. Cold press one kilo of vegetables into a juice with ginger and then put the same volume of ingredients in a blender (with a little water). I guarantee you'll only be drinking the juice.
Which One's Better?
Let’s sum this up. Juice equals more veggies and an instant impact on your cellular health and energy level. Smoothies equal fibre, protein and a more satisfied stomach. Both of them are exceptional ways to get more plants into your diet and they should never be looked at as competing beverages. Drink them both.