Picture of a carrots and a juiced carrot
Picture of carrots and the juice of carrot in a glass

Juices and Smoothies

Juicing and smoothies is a staple in many diets and are continuing to gain popularity. Some of the benefits include boosting energy cleansing/detoxifying, weight loss, and building a stronger immune system, to name but a few. Sounds great, however you need to know the difference of how juicing/smoothies impacts your body so you can decide which is best for you.

Juicing and smoothies with pure fruit, although it does contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, also provides a concentrated source of sugar, known as fructose, without any of the fiber you would normally get from the skin of the fruit. The problem with this is that all sugar without any fibre causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, which then requires the production and release of insulin.

Insulin helps get sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it can be used for energy. However, insulin is also know as the “fat storage hormone” and when you have a surplus of energy in the form of sugar, insulin will be sure to turn that sugar into fat.

The best way to juice and make smoothies is to mix non-starchy vegetables and low GI fruit which gives you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients and are a great source of nutrient dense, low-sugar food.Unless you are on a fiber-restricted diet, I do not recommend vegetable juice as your primary source of veggies as juicing strips vegetables of all their fiber. Fiber is crucial for a healthy gut, detoxification, cardiovascular health and balancing blood sugar.

For Candida you can make your own juices and smoothies and the best way to do this is  by trying to stick to the quarter rule on the Candida diet which is one serving of low GI fruit to 3 parts vegetables. For example, a good smoothie would be lettuce, avocado, cucumber and blueberries. These are a great way to add variety to your diet and get nutrients you need and a great way of adding fibre, if you are having smoothies. For the Candida diet, you need to avoid all fruit for the first month and use low starchy vegtables. Taste wise, this is very unpalatable, however try and add nut butters, cocunut oil and nut milks if you are having smoothies, which will add a bit of natural sweetness.

Which is healthiest?

Smoothies are healthier than juicing for a couple of reasons. Fibre was thought of as a bulking agent that helped with regular bowel movement. Its now knows that it also has a host of other benefits namely that its digested by our gut bacteria, which make short chain fatty acids out of it. Short chain fatty acids have a number of health promoting benefits such as increasing the growth of our good bacteria. They are produced when the friendly gut bacteria ferment fiber in your colon.They are also know to protective mucus layer in the gut and also have the ability to control our cell proliferation and cell cycle.The major fuel for the cells that line our colon is butyrate and if we can feed them fibre, they feed us right back. This is reason enough to stick to smoothies.  Juicing is still healthy and it easily absorbed can provide us with a variety of phytonutrients, but it can also spike our blood sugar quicker than smoothie as the fibre is taken out, which slows the absorption of any sugar content, however small it is. With smoothies, you can also add some healthy fats, nuts and seeds which further enhances the fibre you are getting.

For these reasons, smoothies are more Candida friendly. Watch out for shop bought smoothies which are usually loaded with high sugar fruits and very little vegetables. They are no better than fruit juices but marketed quite cleverly. Essentially sugar mixed in with vitamins is what they are for the most part and no better than fizzy sugar soda. You generally find they have 2 fruits (apple and grape) as they are the cheapest and sweetest. Juicing can be done, but with low GI fruit (berries) but mixed in a high ratio, that is 1 part low GI fruits to 3 parts veg (also low GI) after 4 weeks on the Candida diet.

6 Smoothie receipes

For all smoothies, all you need to do is mix and and blend add some nut milk (sugar free) to your desired texture

Just mix and blend adding some nut milk or water to your desired texture

Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup organic celery, chopped
  • half punnet of strawberries

Veggie Delight

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of almond butter

Creamy Avacdo

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • I cup of cos lettuece
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 1 Cup of almond milk
  • 2 tbs of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seeds

Coconut and Blueberry Smoothie (After a month on the Candida diet)

  • 350ml Cocunut Yoghurt
  • 80 Grams Blueberries
  • I TBS Almond Butter
  • 60 Gram Spinach
  • Quarter stick of Cucumber

Chia with Blackberries and Coconut

  • 1 Cup of unsweetened nut milk
  • 90g chia seeds
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A punnet of blackberries
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of natural Greek yoghurt

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20061245

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16943069

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7171280

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11916718

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18578663

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14968976

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23290225

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16641872

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26904628

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22906601