It’s common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are important to consume for optimal health and getting your vitamins and minerals. However, there is some debate about whether it’s more beneficial to drink your fruits and vegetables versus eating the fruits and vegetables whole.
We’ll take an in-depth look at both options in this article, and hopefully, you’ll walk away able to make an informed decision on which choice is the right one for you.
There are three main ways to drink your fruits and vegetables.
The first is by making a smoothie, where you mix your desired ingredients together along with water and ice in a blender. The second method is by juicing, using a juice extractor. This method turns the skin and outer parts of your fruits and vegetables into pulp while leaving you with a freshly made juice extract. The third main option is to make detox water by infusing a glass of water with slices of your desired fruit or vegetable option, such as lemon or cucumber.
5 Reasons to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
1. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
Most people, unfortunately, don’t get enough fiber in their diets in this day and age. (1) Getting enough daily dietary fiber is essential to maintaining optimal health. (2) Not only does fiber help regulate bowel movements, but it also helps with weight control and warding off diabetes and heart disease.
Fiber helps to lower the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL) and balance your blood sugar levels. (3) One of the best sources of dietary fiber is indeed fruits and vegetables, making them a vital part of your daily food intake.
2. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Fruits and vegetables are absolutely packed with essential vitamins and minerals. (4)Many fruits have an extremely high vitamin C content, including apples and oranges.
For healthy skin and eyes, look no further than carrots, watermelon, spinach, and many other tasty and nutritious choices with their high vitamin A content.
Eating fruits and vegetables daily is also a great way to get potassium, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and sodium from incredibly healthy sources. You’ll feel better and have more energy when consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Many people find that when they increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, they notice a huge difference in their energy levels and overall sense of wellbeing.
A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found a definite link between healthy food choices and boosted mood and energy. In their study, 281 young people tracked their daily food consumption for three weeks and kept a journal logging how they felt. A high fruit and vegetable intake was linked with higher energy levels and better moods. (5)
To get the most benefit for energy and mood, aim for seven to eight servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Unfortunately, most people do not consume nearly enough for optimum health and wellness.
3. Fruits and vegetables help to reduce risk of developing diseases.
A recent study found that eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day will help to fend off disease and could potentially keep you alive longer. (6) The study found that increasing your daily intake to this amount can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and early death.
Fruits and vegetables are proven to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure while providing support for our immune systems. This is due to their high vitamin and mineral content, as discussed above, along with their potent antioxidants that help to fight harmful free radicals in your body.
Researchers estimated that as many as 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented each year if people ate 10 servings per day. (7)
4. Fruits and vegetables can help with weight management.
As fruits and vegetables are low in calories while still being quite satiating, they are perfect for anyone trying to get their weight under control. (8)
Many people find that one easy way to lose weight is to eliminate most simple carbs from their diets, such as flour and sugar.
If you follow a diet that contains adequate protein and healthy fats while getting most of your carbohydrates from leafy green vegetables and tasty fruits, you can watch the pounds melt away.
Think it would be too hard to give up sweet treats? Make sure you check out our thoughts on how sugar detox relates to weight loss.
Even those who don’t want to commit to a low carb diet can still make dramatic changes to their body composition by focusing on complex carbs and healthy starches, such as potatoes. The main point is to cut the junk carbs and get your fuel from healthier sources.
Which Is The Best One for You?
Now that we’ve established why you should be eating more fruits and vegetables every day, let’s take a closer look at the options for juicing, making detox smoothies and drinking detox water. A lot of people think they should go all in on one—when they complement each other quite nicely.
You don’t have to pick just one. There are tons of great recipes out there for all of these methods, so everyone should be able to find several they enjoy on a daily basis.
As stated at the beginning of this article, juicing is the process of extracting the juice out of fruits and vegetables through a variety of methods.
Some people still prefer to hand squeeze the juice out of their food, while others opt for the more modern approach of using a dedicated juicer.
These juicing machines come in a few different options: masticating, centrifugal, and triturating. These three types differ in how they extract the juice.
3 Types of Juicers
1. Masticating Juicer
A masticating juicer uses a single gear driven by a motor; it is slower to operate than the others. You place your fruits and vegetables into an attached chute and they are kneaded and ground to produce the juice.
2. Triturating Juicer
A triturating juicer is quite similar except that it utilizes twin gears. Finally, a centrifugal juicer uses a spinning blade to quickly grind ingredients and discard the pulp into a receptacle.
3. Centrifugal Juicer
Centrifugal juicers are the most popular option available in stores. They work by spinning pulp around the center and allowing the juice from the fruits and vegetables to drain down and into the center into a container.
Moving on from freshly pressed juice, you also have the option turning your fruits and vegetables into delicious smoothies.
Smoothies are a thick beverage prepared by blending fruits and vegetables with other ingredients, such as water, ice, milk, yogurt or some type of sweetener. They are thicker than juice because they still contain all of the fiber content, which juicing removes.
Smoothies are also slightly more convenient than juicing if only for the easier clean-up process. Many juicers require quite the dedicated cleaning effort.
Finally, we have detox water. This beverage is made by taking water and combining it with solid pieces of fruits or vegetables, letting them infuse with the water. Common ingredients used are lemons, strawberries, kiwi, cucumber, and apple slices, however, there are hundreds of recipes that you can try depending on what your goals are.
It’s a tasty, convenient way to increase your water intake, helping you stay hydrated while also getting many of the benefits of each individual fruit and vegetable you use to make the drink. We’ve written extensively about how detox water can help you jumpstart weight loss.
Which is Best?
Both fresh pressed juices and smoothies have exploded in popularity within the past decade. Several franchise stores have popped up selling both. This is a good sign: more people are becoming serious about their health and having a higher daily fruit and vegetable intake.
Additionally, more people are becoming aware of the great benefits of drinking detox water. Infusion water bottles can be found in more and more stores with each passing month.
Next, we will take a look at a few of the advantages that come with liquifying your food. Then, we’ll examine a few benefits of eating them in solid form.
2 Advantages of Liquifying Fruits and Vegetables
Liquid fruits and vegetables make it easier to hit your daily recommended servings.
As mentioned above, it’s recommended you get anywhere between 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. (9) Higher is obviously better, with 10 servings being the absolute ideal. The only problem? It’s a lot of food to eat every day before even factoring in protein and fat requirements.
By liquifying produce, it’s much easier to hit the recommended daily amount without spending your whole day munching vegetables.
1. Smoothies, juices and detox water are convenient to prepare in advance.
No matter which method you use to prepare your liquid choice, it’s easy to prepare more than one serving at a time, making later on-the-go moments a breeze.
While it’s recommended you drink fresh pressed juice as soon as it’s made, with the proper precautions you can store it in the fridge for up to 72 hours. (10)
Detox water stays good before spoiling for about the same amount of time. Smoothies have a bit of a shorter lifespan in the fridge, but they are still good for between 24-48 hours, depending on ingredients used. Whatever your preferred method of liquifying is, it’s easy to make a few servings at once and just grab them as you need them over the next couple of days.
2. Smoothies, juices and detox water are convenient for those who don’t like to eat fruits or vegetables.
Knowing that fruits and vegetables are good for you doesn’t change the fact that some people still just don’t like eating them.
We all know at least one person who absolutely hates eating vegetables for whatever reason. Many children are still told at the dinner table, “Eat your broccoli or no dessert.” But if you make a drink out of those same fruits and vegetables? That’s another story entirely.
It’s easy to gulp down a beverage compared to forcing yourself to eat food you don’t enjoy. Liquifying is a great method to help picky eaters load up on the healthy foods they are missing.
3 Advantages of Eating Fruits and Vegetables in Solid Form
1. Some vegetables, when cooked, are easier for the body to absorb nutrients from.
There are many great benefits that come from enjoying raw fruits and vegetables, and certain foods can lose enzymes and vitamin content when cooked. However, for some vegetables, they are actually healthier to eat when cooked properly. (11)
This is why it’s important to understand the implications of maximizing nutrient absorption when it comes to your nutrition and cooking methods.
Carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and asparagus are just a few vegetables that end up being healthier when cooked than raw. Cooking helps break down thick cell walls in asparagus, making it easier for your body to absorb its nutrients and even help you absorb more beta-carotene from carrots.
2. Preparing cooked vegetables in big batches is less time-consuming.
While liquifying your food is convenient, there’s no way around the fact that it takes time to prepare a fresh pressed juice, smoothie or detox water. Then, you also have to clean up—and in the case of some juicers, that can be quite a hassle indeed.
On the other hand, when you eat your fruits and vegetables in solid form, it’s completely straightforward. Sure, there might be some prep time and cooking time involved, but after that, it’s a simple matter of washing the dishes.
Other times, you simply grab the raw fruit or vegetable you want to eat and go—simple as that.
3. Cooking your vegetables guarantees that you’ll get all of the fiber content.
There’s a reason we listed fiber as the first reason to increase your fruit and vegetable intake in the beginning of this article: it’s crucially important for our diets.
While not so much of an issue with smoothies or detox water, those who prefer to juice their food lose a lot of the fiber content when the pulp is discarded. (12) However, if you eat your fruits and vegetables in solid form, you’re guaranteed to get all of the available nutrients. This is important to keep in mind if you are concerned about getting adequate fiber.
The Final Word
In the end, it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to liquify your fruits and vegetables or eat them solid. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Even among the three main options for liquifying, there are pros and cons.
The most important thing to do is just make sure that you are getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how you do it; what matters is hitting the recommended daily serving amounts.
At the very least, you should get at least six servings per day, but you’re better off aiming for 8-10.
It’s actually recommended that you combine all of the methods we discussed in this article. There’s nothing stopping you from making a healthy breakfast smoothie one day and then preparing some fresh pressed juice along with steamed vegetables for dinner the next. Detox water is easy enough to prepare that you could always take a bottle with you when on the go (and we can help you find just the right bottle).
So, there you have it. It doesn’t matter how you decide to consume your fruits and vegetables in the grand scheme of things. It all really comes down to personal preference and choosing whichever method fits your own unique lifestyle better.
Again, the most important thing is to just make sure you include both fruits and vegetables in your diet. Your body will thank you for it.
P.S. Have you signed up for my free 24 Hour Detox Challenge yet? If not, you can download the free meal plan and sign up here (includes my favorite raspberry and peach morning detox water, avocado and blueberry salad in a jar, ginger lemon tea and 4 other detox recipes for weight loss).