Announcing a Freemium version! Get your FREE subscription to Organic Insider today!

Green Juice or Green Smoothies. Which is Better? Or, Which is Worse?

Green Juice or Green Smoothies. Which is Better? Or, Which is Worse?

When I put up my post the other day about the juicing that I have been doing, I got back a good number of responses from people via email and Twitter that they are doing green smoothies as well. Just to clarify, a green smoothie is made by a blender instead of a juicer. An […]

Health Juice/Smoothies Pressed Juice Smoothie Recipes

When I put up my post the other day about the juicing that I have been doing, I got back a good number of responses from people via email and Twitter that they are doing green smoothies as well.

Just to clarify, a green smoothie is made by a blender instead of a juicer. An example would be blending kale, spinach, avocados, celery and water, and then drinking it all.

The main reason why people prefer a green smoothie over a green juice is that they want the fiber. A green smoothie retains all of the fiber, and fiber is very important for elimination.

Victoria Boutenko, a household name in the raw food world, is a huge advocate of green smoothies. She has written books about green smoothies and documents how they have transformed lives. Victoria Boutenko also believes that all fruits and vegetables can be combined.

Dr. Brian Clement, another household name in the raw food world and Co-Director of Hippocrates Health Institute, thinks that green smoothies are very unhealthy.

As someone who has treated tens of thousands of cancer patients, Dr. Brian Clement believes that smoothies bypass the chewing process, an essential component of digestion. He also thinks that fruits and vegetables should never be combined.

Food combining is something that I subscribe to and will get into at another time.

I saw Dr. Brian Clement speak recently here in NYC at an event at Organic Avenue and was very impressed with what he had to say. A disciple of Ann Wigmore, the founder of the wheatgrass movement, Dr. Brian Clement believes in juicing – wheatgrass, sprouts and green vegetables.

My Take: While I disagree with some things she writes in her book, Victoria Boutenko did open my eyes to many elements of health.

Nevertheless, I no longer make green smoothies for myself anymore. I strictly do juicing.

I believe the key to health is to never stop learning and improving. At the end of the day, people need to do their own research and make the decision about what is best for them — whether this has to do with juicing vs. smoothies or anything else.

The video of Dr. Brian Clement is just one perspective that I thought was worth sharing.


Want to stay up-to-date on the most important news and products in the organic food world?

If so, make sure you Like my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram and join my email list.

To join my newsletter list, please enter your email below and I’ll send you my Top 5 Inexpensive Ways to Shop Organic.

Signature: Have a great day!


  • Mic says:

    I stopped reading this article when I read the statement where it says: “Brian Clement says that blending juices is very un healthy” That was all I needed to read to know this article is being dishonest. He never said that and he says you can drink blended juices every now and then that doesn’t sound like he thinks they are junk food.

  • Douglas Gray says:

    The famous cancer pioneer, Dr. Max Gerson, thought that when blenders came out, the blended drinks would be even better than juices, but he found, to his surprise, that they did not give the results that he got with Norwalk juice. He also made an exception with one fruit, stating that blending green apple juice with carrot juice made the carrot juice easier to assimilate.

  • Kylie says:

    Hi Max,

    You just reposted this article on your Facebook, four years after you originally posted it. When I Google searched Dr. Brian Clement, this is the first article I see:

    Are you sure we should be taking advice from this guy?? This is concerning.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Kylie,

      That article doesn’t impact my view on him one iota, especially when it comes to this green juice vs. green smoothie opinion. I believe that he does really important work that helps a tremendous amount of people.

      Live well,

  • Sherry says:

    I forgot to say that I do “chew” my smoothies as well for the digestive benefits, but also because they are never really completely smooth anyway. One benefit of “smoothies”.

  • Sherry says:

    Unless you buy a very expensive one, juicers also oxidize what is being broken down. In addition, it is not the health miracle everyone thinks it is. I had to give it up because my body couldn’t handle pure juice without the fiber. My blood sugar was all over the place. I switched to green smoothies which alleviated that issues; however, I have also been concerned about combining vegetables and fruit. At this point I don’t know of another way to get enough vegetables in my diet. It is a conundrum for us folks who want to eat as healthy as possible but cannot, for various reasons, eat or prepare the recommended amount of vegetables.

  • Pam Spague says:

    I am a diabetic and thought I should start juicing to help me get more veggies in my diet. I have been reading and now am confused. Juice or smoothies? Do I buy a juicer, then alternate. I have a nice blender I suppose I could experiment. Just don’t know where to start. Any advice

  • Petr says:

    I contacted Dr. Clement to back his claims up with at least ONE citation to any academic publication. His answer is below. Seems to me that this scientist does not even know what a “peer-reviewed source” means.


    Dear Peter,

    Peer reviews do not address blending or juicing, legitimate studies done by legitimate organizations are how you must discover such important information.

    Be well!

    Drs. Anna Maria and Brian Clement, Ph.D.,L.N.

    Hippocrates Health Institute

  • douglas Gray says:

    Ann Wigmore got a lot of sick people well by using raw, blended smoothies. However, Dr. Gerson said that when blenders came out, he tried blended foods, and didn’t get the results that he got with pressed juices. So, there is something to what Brian Clement says. By separating out the roughage with juicing, you get nutrients delivered in huge quantities without the process of digestion.

    But, if you are careful to chew your smoothie rather than gulp it down, that might help.

  • Leanne says:

    I teach nutrition and work with people who need to eat healthier. I teach that whole foods that can be found naturally in nature are far superior to manufactured foods. These same people are getting very confused over what is healthy and not healthy and reading this I can see why. Max, can we say that for the average person trying to eat healthier, a green smoothie or combining foods would have no ill effect? I would take from reading this that Dr. Gerson’s protocol benefits those who are very ill with cancer as it gives the body the megadoses of nutrients needed to heal quickly into the body – but that for the average person, the protocols he is against would probably have little negative effect? I have not seen any scientific data supporting food combining or oxidation of blended smoothies. Can you refer me to any?

  • Green smoothies has long been part of my diet because of the benefits I experience like extra energy throughout the day, not to mention the feeling of “fullness” especially if I take it in the morning- i noticed that my “hunger pangs” / cravings for food in between meals have subsided. After reading this post though, I am compelled to think twice and perhaps do more readings on this. For the meantime I may have to get myself a juicer. 🙂 Thank you for this very informative article.

  • Robyn says:

    Ugh. Even healthy stuff is bad according to someone. The more I read and learn, the more it all seems hopeless. Everything I read contradicts some other self-proclaimed health expert. I’m at the point where, according to all that I’ve read over the past year, I can only safely eat raw green vegetables. Now I can’t even do that if it’s blended instead of juiced?!?! It’s getting ridiculous. No wheat, or no dairy, or no animal proteins, or no fruit, or fruit is OK, but only at certain times of the day and on an empty stomach, or vegetables are great, but only raw, or, no, it’s too hard to digest raw veggies, or drink water with lemon before you eat breakfast, but work out before you eat breakfast, too, then eat breakfast, but keep it really light. Maybe just a green smoothie, even though that has nothing to really hold you over after a workout. Oh, wait. SMOOTHIES ARE BAD. Shoot. I’m going to stop reading so much about everyone’s nutritional nitpicking and just try to be healthy and not food-obsessed.

  • Like the other random dude above, I would like to know the answer to the original question: “which is better? green juice or green smoothie?” Max seems to prefer the juice but doesn’t state why.

    I am willing to buy a norwalk if someone can clearly articulate or justify WHY one wouldn’t “do” green smoothies yet be a fan of green juices.

  • Dilly says:

    I have had poor nutritional habits most of my life. I want to make improvement. When I google ideas to improve my habits and see all these conflicting opinions, it is overwhelming and there is a tendency to just say forget it. That isn’t good either. So instead of just grabbing a bag of cheetos, I say doing ANYTHING with fruits and veggies is preferable, even if it is oxidized or heated or whatever. 😉

  • Leah Renee says:

    I had the same thought, Max! Great article. I wrote one a while back on the same topic:
    I have issues with smoothies because, like you touched on, the food combining factor. I do stay away from milk products with fruit, but I do tend to mix fruits and veggies in smoothies! Like you said, that’s a whole other topic! Cheers!

  • Rosemary says:

    Victoria, or more her son states in his video that leafy greens are not vegetables. So the combining as you state is incorrect. Make sure you restate that. Leafy green are not vegetables, so therefore can be combined with fruits.

  • Nelson says:

    Dr. Clement is not the person who originated the notion that certain fruits and vegetables should be consumed separately. This idea has been around for more than 30 years. I have a book on juicing from the 80’s that made the same claim. It also said melons alone or not at all or something to that effect. But it was okay to combine certain fruits and veggies. The best argument I’ve heard against smoothies is from Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. His beef with them is that they break the fiber down too much making it ineffective for use by the body, also the sugar issue. This I believe more than Dr. Clement’s claims. I find them still useful after a workout to inject sugar to replenish glycogen stores and minerals and electrolytes. Otherwise, it is far better to eat your veggies and fruits. I still make almond milk and combine with flax meal and nutritional yeast in the mornings, though.

  • Patrick Fears says:

    If Dr. Max Gerson had a Vitamix, he would have used it.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Patrick,

      You are completely incorrect.

      If you look at the Gerson Therapy website, which is run by his daughter Charlotte, they talk about how a blender (Vitamix) does not efficiently or adequately extract all of the nutrients from fruits/vegetables vs. a Norwalk.

      I use a blender myself but it is for a different purpose – to make smoothies, not juices.

      Live well,

  • Brad says:

    Over analyzation can be a peace-of-mind draining exercise; which leads to stress; which, in turn, has a tendency to negate many of the positive effects gained through good nutrition — regardless of what method: Juicing. Smoothies. Enemas… 😉
    I make smoothies with a regular ‘ol blender and the following ingredients: chlorella, swiss chard, red chard, beet tops, red mustard greens, lola rosa lettuce, spinach, radishes, radicchio, tatsoi, arugula, flaxseed, hemp seed, walnuts, almonds, blueberries, apples, bananas, plain yogurt, avacodo oil, olive oil, some form of protein powder, rice milk, and a cube of frozen lemon juice.
    Now, if I started to over-think stuff like mixing fruits with veggies, juice vs. smoothie, oxidation, et cetera… I’d just get stressed out.
    I blend everything together, “chew” it, swallow it… and I feel better! That’s all I need to know.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Brad,

      Your comment about over-analysis rings very true. Driving ourselves crazy will certainly cause stress and will negate the positive things we are doing for our bodies.

      Thanks for your input.

      Live well,

  • Random Dude says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this post has no relevant or new data whatsoever or any resolution on which is better – juice or smoothie? as stated in the title.

    First of all, Victoria does not advocate general mixing of food, her opinion is that greens can be mixed with any fruit. Combinations like 2 different fruits 1 green or 2 different greens 1 fruit were not mentioned in discussion. (only in recipes)

    Second of all, writer shows he’s making choices simply by listening what other people think, without any good in-depth study by himself?

  • Janelle says:

    .Hi Max,

    An avid Naked Juice drinker I came across your
    website when reading about a recent lawsuit against Naked. Because of your website I went to Organic Avenue and purchased several fresh pressed juices
    to drink this week. I could buy a juicer but at this point grab & go works for my

    I do have a question, I am trying to elminate dairy from my diet except for pizza once a month. Are eggs even the “better” version’s still considered dairy? If so, do you know of an alternative?

    Thank you for all your information that helps me make better healthier choices daily.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Janelle,

      That is great to hear you bought organic pressed juice! You should notice a real difference. If you’re looking for an alternative to eggs, you may want to look at organic tofu – you can make a tofu scramble with it, similar to scrambled eggs.

      Hope this helps!

      Live well,

  • Janelle says:

    Hi Max,

    I was an avid Naked Juice drinker until I stumpled upon your article. I signed up for your website and I have a couple of questions. Now that I am going to stop drinking naked, I am going to attempt to start juicing, what brands are best. Also are their certain fruits I should be juicing vs others I shouldn’t. Are smoothies no good? I am so confused.

  • K says:

    Hi Max, I am trying to getstarted with juicing, although now after reading this blog and all of the comments I feel more confused than before about blending vs. juicing. I am considering the Hurom slow juicer. Are you familiar with it and what are your thoughts about it compared to the Green Star. Thanks!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Kerbie,

      It is my personal opinion (and that of Hippocrates Institute and the Gerson Institute, two places that treat people with cancer) that juicing is superior to blending.

      Hurom: I have heard good things about it but my friends who have tried both the Hurom and the Green Star prefer the Green Star.

      Live well,

  • Hedley Lamarr says:

    Hi Max,

    I do apologize, as I did not realize the post was awaiting moderation. D’oh! I stumbled upon your Blog via a Google search and really appreciate all the wonderful information. Your readers have added a lot of great comments, too.

    Best wishes,

  • Hedley Lamarr says:


    Last night, I posted some comments about juicing, blending, eating meats, Weston A. Price, etc. Today, the comments do not appear. Any idea what happened?


    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Hedley,

      They just got approved. It is simply a matter of time for me. Sometimes I can get to it quickly, sometimes I can’t.

      Live well,

  • Douglas Gray says:

    Hi Max:

    Here is a reference:

    From the Gerson Institute: “Dr. Gerson said in his address to a group assembled in Escondido, California in 1956 (Appendix II, p. 406, A Cancer Therapy): ‘At first I thought that liquefiers would be the most wonderful thing. All the material was there, nothing was lost. But it didn’t work.’ The rotating blade gives rise to a ‘dynamo effect’, causing electricity to be generated, thus killing enzymes. The same is true of centrifugal juicers. Juices must be made by grinding the vegetables first, mixing them, and then pressing them in a press. We have come across cancer patients who tried to heal themselves on the Gerson Therapy using a centrifugal juicer, but they experienced no improvement [but compare Anecdotal Case History: exclusive Gerson diet/therapy using centrifugal juicer leading to full recovery from terminal pancreatic cancer]. When they tried the Therapy with a Champion juicer, they did well. More seriously ill patients still need the grinding plus pressing type of juicer to properly heal. In response to a question from a patient about the two-step juicing process, Dr. Gerson wrote that ‘the malic acid (contained in the apples) mixed with the ground carrots helps to release the minerals from the carrots.’ In other words, it is necessary to first grind the apples and carrots together into a bowl, using a grinder. Norwalk, K&K or Champion juicers can all be used as grinders, but the Champion cannot be used as a press. The ground materials are mixed and then the mixture is placed in a press cloth and put under pressure in the Norwalk or K&K press. This process produces the best extraction, that is richest in minerals, and best in taste. Juice produced by the Champion juicer alone separates into a transparent liquid at the bottom and mush on top after a very short time. This juice is also harder for the patient to drink because of the particles, and is not as rich and homogeneous in nutrients. More recently the Green Power juicer was introduced. It does a better job of extraction than the Champion when used as a juicer, but it offers no way (as the Champion does) to block the juicing action. It is impossible to use the Green Power juicer solely as a grinder, as it does the grinding and juicing in one operation. While it extracts juice quite efficiently, it does not fulfill Dr. Gerson’s requirement of mixing the ground apples and carrots thoroughly before pressing.” (The Gerson Institute also maintains a list of individuals with used juicers for sale.)

    Side note re liquifiers (blenders)

    In addition to Dr. Gerson’s caveat concerning the use of liquefiers, here is another advice to consider: if you’re trying to detoxify or heal from cancer or another serious disease, simple liquifiers (blenders) may be totally inadequate because (1) by discarding the pulp and drinking only the liquid (which only a real juicer does), your stomach has room for much more juice, and (2) the nutrients are more concentrated in the juice (enabling you to ingest enormously more detoxifying and cancer-fighting enzymes and nutrients).



  • Hedley Lamarr says:

    p.s. Thanks to Max for the original post and the video. Additional thanks to Max and everyone else for their viewpoints.

  • Hedley Lamarr says:

    I’d say our species did pretty well for the last 2+ million years — and without a juicer or a blender. We ate meat, organs, eggs, fat, cholesterol, plants, nuts, berries, etc. The introduction of agriculture, in my opinion, was when things started to go off the rails.

    I agree with Tom’s comment about the danger of ingesting all the fructose from juicing. I also believe the works of Dr. Robert Lustig and Gary Taubes deserve consideration.

    Each time a person takes a glass of juice, blood sugar rises, and, in response, the pancreas secretes Insulin to lower blood sugar. I think we should be concerned with the up-and-down effect of blood sugar/Insulin, lest a person drift toward Insulin resistance, and, possibly, Diabetes. In fact, juicing would likely be a very bad idea for Diabetics, no?

    I’m not making a blanket statement that juicing is categorically bad. I’m merely suggesting that we shouldn’t make a blanket statement that it’s harmless. It depends on the health of the individual and the goal.

    As for blending, the fiber in the smoothie would likely help blunt the spike in blood sugar/Insulin. Beyond that, I have no additional opinion on smoothies.

    I believe that eating foods in their natural state is likely the best idea. Personally, I avoid all legumes and anything made from grains (cereal, bread, pasta, rice, etc.). This is due to enzyme inhibitors such as Phytic Acid. A person could go the route of the Weston A. Price Foundation and sprout/soak said items, but it seems a big investment of time and effort for such little benefit in return.

    In closing, I think we should put more trust in nature and less in AgriBusiness, Big Pharma, the FDA, and the AMA. Consider eating only things that we would recognize in the wild. If it has an Ingredient List, it’s probably not food.

  • Douglas Gray says:

    When blenders first came out, Dr. Gerson was looking forward to using them, feeling that the smoothies would be even better than the juices. But upon actually experimenting with patients, he found that the blended concoctions did not work as the 13 glasses a day of Norwalk Juice did.

    Having said that, for the average healthy person, smoothies are fine. The principle is that the juicer expends energy to separate the nutrients from the fibre; if a person is an advanced cancer patient, he needs the assistance; plus I don’t know about the oxidation issue, if that is an additional problem.

    Dr. Gerson had patients eat whole foods with fibre separately, but not in place of the juice.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Douglas,

      Where did you read that about Dr. Gerson and his looking forward to using the blenders when they first came out?


      Live well,

  • Jat says:


    I completely cosign with your post. I have both juiced and made smoothie and have benefited accordingly over the years. In all due respect, I think if you compared the benefits of the two, the results would be minimum at best.


  • Amy says:

    What is a starchy fruit, other than bananas? Also, can you mix whey protein with your fruit smoothies?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Amy,

      There is a fruit that they use in Florida called mamey. Another possibility is coconut meat.

      Yes, I mix my whey protein with fruit in my smoothies.

      Live well,

  • samuel says:

    I have had hundred if not thousands of fruit smoothies and juices. I find it humorous that people like to deem one damnable and the other Christ come again. They both have their places, they are both healthy in their own ways. Each should have a place in an individual’s diet (though diabetics should blend as opposed to juicing because of absorption -something that, for other individuals, is one of its redeeming qualities). One thing that is blatantly untrue, though, is that somehow blended drinks oxidize faster by virtue of being blended and having oxygen “pushed” into them with “tremendous” heat. That is the scientific equivalent of malaria’s latin meaning: that malaria was derived from mal aria (bad air) that wafted into people’s homes when the sun went down. It sounds good, and it may seem to make sense if no scientific rigor is applied, but the moment that it is applied, it is seen to be quite mistaken.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Samuel,

      See my comment above about oxidation, in regards to the stance of Hippocrates and The Gerson Institute about juicers. They feel very strongly that oxidation is a significant issue. And my sense is that the oxidation problem with blended juice is very similar to a centrifugal juicer.

      Live well,

  • Lea Ann says:


    I also wanted to add that I respect you for not censoring viewpoints different from yours, and for conducting a civil “discussion”.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lea Ann,

      As long as it is relevant, I approve it.

      I don’t want or need everyone to agree with me. Having a constructive dialogue where people share different viewpoints is what is important.

      Clearly, when I see Brian Clement next, I’ll be doing an interview with him about this very subject. It seems to have generated quite a response.

      Live well,

  • Lea Ann says:

    I’m glad that you have a thick skin Max, because I hate to “debate”, but at the same time, I feel this it is very important that health claims are based on good science and not urban myths.

    There seems to be some confusion between what Salty is calling “broken down” (meaning cell-wall rupture) and what you are talking about Max (the process of digestion).

    Whether a person is ingesting the juice with or without the fiber is irrelevant to the topic of digesting the juice. The plant enzymes are present in both a smoothie and a juice. Then you have the digestive enzymes produced by a person’s body – these are different from the enzymes in the plant and it is the enzymes produced by our body that “digests” the food.

    Only a very small amount of digestion takes place in the mouth. The biggest benefit of keeping a juice or smoothie in your mouth (swishing it around to mix with our saliva) is that it sends a signal from our brain to our stomach telling it WHAT is coming (carb, fat, protein, content etc.) so the stomach can respond with the appropriate digestive secretions. Our mouths do produce amylase (digests carbs) and a very small amount of lipase (digests fats), but no proteolytic enzymes are produced in our mouths (protein digesting enzymes). Very little “digestion” of food takes place in the mouth. Up to 90% of digestion occurs in the small intestines. There is a VERY good tutorial on the process of digestion here:

    I’ve only seen one YouTube video of Brian Clement’s and it was loaded with error ( To say that 85 to 92% of the nutrients are destroyed by blending is simply insane and cannot be supported by science. What on earth is he thinking making that statement? When he made a claim as specific as 85-92% of the nutrients are destroyed (and it is not possible that he has proof to back this claim up), his credibility is shot with me. This statement is patently false, and egregiously in error.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lea Ann,

      What I do know is this. Brian Clement (Hippocrates Institute) and The Gerson Institute (Max Gerson MD was treating cancer patients in the 1940s through juicing and other things) both insist on having the correct juicer (Norwalk, Green Star, etc – but not a centrifugal) juicer because of oxidation. These are people/places who successfully treat thousands of cancer patients, so do they have some idea what they are talking about.

      And oxidation of a green smoothie is a real issue for Brian.

      Is Brian extreme on his views? Possibly. But these are his views, and he has a serious track record for healing very, very sick people. That means a lot in my book.

      Live well,

  • Salty Saltmarsh says:

    He says in his video that all these smoothie people are heavy set. I know thousands of people that are not heavy set. He says “don’t look at it as a healthy food”. I need to talk with this guy. I know my background in nutrition. I wonder how much nutrition education he actually has. I would be curious to know. I know he is smart, but I think obviously misinformed. So, so much evidence and testimonies. I don’t know who these advocates he is talking about that are fat. Is he kidding? He must be. Unless these advocates are some info commercial person trying to sell a blender. lol

  • Salty Saltmarsh says:

    Oh and I was gonna say that drinking green smoothies by themselves is just fine because it’s broken down and still easily digested; especially with all the live enzymes. HOWEVER, if you chew your smoothie (yes, chew it…..I can chew air), it’s even better for you because the enzymes from your saliva begin the break down process of the smoothie. This is not a required step, but certain beneficial step that I do 50% of the time. Because of this I am pill free, sick free and strong as an ape. 🙂 My friend Tim made a funny green smoothie video you might enjoy. I will post the link for you. Let me know what you think. Again, sorry if I came across harshly. Here is the link:

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Salty,

      Brian Clement would argue that it is not broken down because you need the enzymes to break it down. And, he would also say chewing and enzymes are an essential step of breaking down food.

      Yes, you need to go to one of his lectures and have a conversation with him.

      No need to apologize. I have developed a thick skin here.

      Live well,

  • Salty Saltmarsh says:

    I said most Doctor’s in America know very little about nutrition. He doesn’t understand the nutrients loaded in a green smoothie. He is obviously unaware of people who have reversed heart disease, cancer, diabetes by trying green smoothie fasts. And yes, I know people who have done the same thing with juice fasts as well and they are great. I am not saying he knows nothing about nutrition, I’m just saying he doesn’t know appear to know anything about the benefits of green smoothies….especially when done correctly. I didn’t mean my post to come across so harsh. I just get fired up at so called Doctor’s across America who don’t have a full understanding. My apologies. Cheers to Green Smoothies AND Fresh Juice! Veggies, Fruits, nuts and seeds rock!

    • Max Goldberg says:


      He is very, very aware of the nutritional contents of green smoothies. He believes there are better ways to get those nutrients – through green juice.

      His is just one person’s opinion, that’s all.

      Live well,

  • Salty Saltmarsh says:

    The Doctor is sadly mistaken as most Doctor’s in America who know hardly anything about nutrition. People have reversed heart disease and cancers by going on a green smoothie fast for 6 months or 1 year. I am living proof of the health benefits from green smoothies. My Vital-Mix has a creamy smoothie ready in 8 seconds. The Doctor is referring to blenders that blend for several minutes that begin to heat up the beverage. There are juicers that spin so fast that the friction they have cause heat too. Bottom line, I have done both and love both. Juice has no fiber and it’s great to get some nutrients straight into the blood stream. Green Smoothies are fantastic because they are EASILY digestible since they are close to a liquid form and easily assiliated into the body. You can go a step further and “chew” your smoothie into an even more liquid form and swallow allowing important enzymes from your saliva to help begin the digesting process with the alive enzymes already in the smoothie. That Doctor is WAY off base and dead wrong. Green Smoothies are incredible for your health. It’s about balance. Smoothies and Juice combined are amazing.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Salty,

      Clearly, it is just one person’s opinion (his) but for you to say he knows nothing about nutrition is just ignorant. He has successfully treated tens of thousands of cancer patients through his protocol of wheatgrass, juicing, raw foods, etc and if you ever heard him speak in person, you’d know that this is a very bright individual.

      If something works for you, you should continue doing it. Every body is different and unique to them. Listening to your body is something that I subscribe to wholeheartedly.

      Live well,

  • Lea Ann says:

    Hello Max,

    It is very common in the field of health for “urban myths” to be passed along from mentor to pupil with little scientific understanding. Oxidation is one of the commonly misunderstood concepts. Oxidation is a chemical, and not a mechanical event and it does not happen instantaneously at the point of blending. Specifically, oxidation is any chemical reaction that causes an atom (or ion) to lose an electron. The browning of an apple is a very good illustration of oxidation, and the idea that significant oxidation occurs at the point of cell-wall rupture is a commonly claimed “fact” but is wrong.

    I am curious as to how you would define the parameters of a scientific experiment that could verify or refute any portion of your claim that there is a “TREMENDOUS amount of heat, friction and air being pushed into the cell of the vegetable”?

    Your statement defines events taking place at the cellular level – how do you measure or quantify “heat”, “friction” or “oxygenation” at the micro (cellular) level?

    At the macro level of a smoothie it is very easy to measure the temperature of the metal blades both before and after the smoothie is made, as well as the temperature of the ingredients going in, and the smoothie coming out. With the addition of ice or frozen produce there is no build up of heat. When they encounter the blades of a blender, the cell walls rupture (just as they do when squeezed between metal gears). There is actually more heat created at the point of metal to metal friction than is created at the surface area of blades spinning in ice-cold liquid. This is easy to measure simply by feeling (or taking the temperature of) the metal gears after juicing vs. the blades of a blender after making a still-cold smoothie.

    Regarding the amount of oxygen that the juice is exposed to, a simple experiment like this one will illustrate the effects and levels of oxygen in the juice. Interestingly, as the fiber floats to the top, it appears to form a protective barrier to help seal the juice below from the damaging effects of oxygen!

    But regardless of how the nutrients are released from the cell walls (either via crushing or smashing) nutrients DO begin to oxidize right away, and with either method, consumption should be right after production! 🙂 Vitamin C, and the fat soluble vitamins E and A can drop quite quickly

    But again, rather than “strain at gnats” the whole point of this discussion is about improving health. Health is a combination of our physical, mental, and spiritual state.

    What is more likely to improve physical (and perhaps mental 😉 health – the daily consumption of Green Smoothies, or sporadic (or perhaps for a season the dedicated) use of a juicer? The reality is that the majority of the population will not make and consume fresh juice using any juicer on a daily basis for life, for a season perhaps, but VERY few people do it daily, on a long term basis.

    And for people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic (insulin and leptin imbalances) the effects of removing the fiber from any of the higher sugar veggies are significant.

  • Lea Ann says:

    IMO – it is important to consider that most information about juicers comes from people who are selling them, and struggling to gain market advantage.

    It is straining at gnats to say that the juice in a green smoothie is “oxidized”. Oxidation happens over time (think of a slice of apple turning brown). Consuming a Green Smoothie right after making it makes the issue of oxidation a moot point.

    There will likely never be a well designed scientific study to quantify the amount of oxidation that occurs in the process of making a Green Smoothie vs. that which occurs in the process of making juice, but my guess is that the difference is miniscule. What is most important is whether or not a person will maintain the DAILY habit of consuming a significantly increased volume of dark green leafy veggies. Significantly increasing the amount of dark green leafy veggies is a person’s diet will greatly increase the amount of phytonutrients, and highly bioavailable micro and macro minerals – regardless of whether it is juiced or blended. In an effort to quantify the “perfect” juice, people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Which is better, a daily habit of consuming a Green Smoothie vs Juicing (a habit that you have to admit, 75% of the population will not will not maintain on a daily basis)?

    Additionally, for people who have leptin and insulin imbalances, sugars (even the natural sugars in beet and carrots) have an especially deleterious effect on insulin regulation. Removing the fiber significantly increases the speed at which natural sugars are made available to the blood stream. Leaving the fiber in does not prevent the absorption of natural sugars – it just slows down the rate of absorption. The only form of juice that would not adversely affect the large population of Americans who are most likely diabetic or pre-diabetic, is a pure green juice and again, most people won’t maintain that habit due to taste.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lea Ann,

      Your oxidation argument is incredibly flawed.

      1) The oxidation of an apple is very, very different from oxidation that takes place in a blender. With the blender, there is a TREMENDOUS amount of heat, friction and air being pushed into the cell of the vegetable. It is absolutely not the same.

      2) The difference of oxidation in a green smoothie vs. green juicer (a correct juicer) cannot be miniscule. No chance. With a Norwalk or Green Star, the vegetable is pressed or masticated. The heat/friction/air being pushed into the cell is almost none to very little.

      With a high speed blender, it is very, very different. With the correct juicers, you are getting fiber as well. The amount of pulp that gets spit out is much less than a centrifugal juicer.

      Live well,
      And I hardly think the difference between

      The one thing that you did not address that Brian talks about is the need to

  • Ron says:

    I have a berry smoothie in the morning,I have a vitamix and I blend steel cut oats ,mixed berries,bannana, apple and almond milk.My green smoothie consist of kale,spinich,apple,spirulina flax seed oil and water.I make my smoothies thick so I can chew it before swallowing.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Ron,

      I often say that every person must be the judge of what works for them. Listen to your own body – you’ll know if the food you are eating is working or not.

      It sounds like these combinations are working for you.

      Live well,

  • JV says:

    Fiber helps in digestion, period. Taking fruits and vegetables is not to just get digested but to get most nutrients out of them. Enzymes present in the fruits and vegetables play a vital role in our health just like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Juicing extracts most of the nutrients along with enzymes. When juices are taken in empty stomach, it avoids the digestion. Acid secretion and the digestive enzymes of stomach are stimulated once chewing is started. Juices when taken in empty stomach reach the small intestine quickly and most of the nutrients are absorbed readily without much degradation of the enzymes. This is not the case with smoothies or chewing the raw fruits and vegetables. So if you are aiming for nutrients go for juices in empty stomach.

  • lorenzo says:

    one thing to keep in mind is that juicing (pressed only) is coming to popularity not because eating raw whole foods is bad but because it would not be possible to eat the amount of vegetables you get from 16 oz of properly prepared juice.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lorenzo,

      It is partially that but people are becoming much more aware of the health benefits of a Norwalk and how the juice will last for a few days.

      Live well,

  • HO says:

    I do green smoothies and juice. I have owned a Vitamix for about 30 yeas. I am 73, take no drugs prescription or non-prescription. I do not get sick, I have not had even a cold in years and years, don;t remember the last time.
    I find that when you juice or make green smoothie or other smoothies all the rules about food combining go out the window.
    The test that have been done show that a high speed blender versus juicing the enqymes that survive are actually slightly higher in the blender.
    Most fruits and vegetable can be blended or juiced together if they are consumed right away. The only time you have to be careful is when you store the juices or smoothies. Some of the enzymes are more acitive and will alter the the orther protiens and or enzymes.
    The problem with most of the raw foodis is all the rules they come up with. I eat about 85 to 90 percent raw. Most of that is juices and smoothies. My rule. Don’t have any. Try it, juice it blend it it is healthy and is very digestagle. It’s a myth about heat and oxygen destrying the nutrients in blending. Some truth in juicing for the oxygen not the heat, but the best juicer is one that you will use. All other information is useless

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi HO,

      While what you say seems to go against what a lot of other people say, it seems to be working for you. It sounds like you are a very healthy individual.

      Thanks so much for sharing your views and outlook.

      Live well,

  • Maddie says:

    “Victoria Boutenko also believes that all fruits and vegetables can be combined.” That is incorrect. She only believes dark-green, leafy, non-starchy vegetables can be combined with fruits. It is one of the main themes on her website. She says the other starchy vegetables cannot be combined with fruit.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Maddie,

      Yes, I disagree with her food combining philosophies yet found other parts of her book interesting, especially about the dietary habits of chimpanzees.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Live well,

  • Mira says:

    There are so many different sides in the nutrition world and this hits on two of them.

    I personally find that eating whole foods is best and I do not have a problem with food combining. I go on a juice fast twice a year and find my body responds well to it. I have other friends who do it as a detox every time they travel. In my practice what I encourage people to do the most is to get in touch with their body. We are all bio-individual and learning to listen to your body and what it needs is one of the most important steps you can take toward being your own best health advocate.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Mira,

      Your comment about listening to what your body needs is something that I agree with 100%. It is what I say all of the time!!

      I, too, eat whole foods but do pay attention to food combining. I believe that food combining is very important and gets ignored by too many people. It impacts digestion in a meaningful way.

      Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated!!

      Live well,

  • karen says:

    I am planning on starting my day either juicing or smoothing vs coffee. It sounds
    like I should juice most of the time with combinations of fruits and vegetables and
    periodically have a fruit smoothy? Will this give me more energy? I am feeling
    very tired which I know is due to the enormous stress in my life and I am researching
    ways to feel better in this stressful time. Any detailed advice would be helpful.
    Can you suggest a daily diet for energy , good mood, and stress reduction?

    I love following you!
    Fellow Columbia Business School Grad

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much for your kind words and great to hear from a fellow CBS alum!!

      If I were in your shoes, I would be starting off my day with a green juice. The green juice is the absolute first thing that I would put into my body in the morning. No breakfast and then a green juice. Green juice first and alone – let the body absorb the nutrients without interference.

      I hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to send me an email via the Contact Page on the site.

      Live well,

  • Tala says:

    Hi Max,
    Does this mean all smoothies are bad? I’ve been making fruit smoothies for breakfast lately…Or only veggie smoothies? In some of the other comments you talked about the blender oxidizing food – could you provide more info on that?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Tala,

      An excellent question and something that I have been thinking about a lot lately as well. I, too, make smoothies with nut milk and bananas.

      I think what Brian Clement would say is “fine once in a while but not all of the time.” My guess is that it is much worse to do green smoothies than smoothies with fruit. Think about how easy it is to chew a banana and how much chewing is required to chew kale.

      With all smoothies, we are not doing any chewing and are not getting contact with enzymes (saliva).

      With a very slow juicer (Green Star, Norwalk) , the vegetables do not oxidize from the lack of heat or speed of the equipment. Air is pushed into the food. Take a look at the video I did on pressed juice.

      So, what I am going to do? I am going to keep making smoothies, but less frequently, and I am going to “chew” the smoothies so it gets contact with the saliva.

      Just do the best you can do.

      I hope this helps.

      Live well,

  • Loi Laing says:

    Thanks for posting Max! This is so timely, as I was pondering this exact issue yesterday 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    I do the same thing with my green smoothie – “chew” it & blend it with my saliva. So then the only problem would be that he doesn’t like the combination of the fruits & veggies, is that it?

    • Max Goldberg says:


      I believe that it is more than that. The power of the blades is blowing air into the cells of the plant and oxidizing it. So, it goes into the stomach oxidized.

      He believes that fruits and vegetables should be eaten separately, not together. This is especially the case with melons.

      Live well,

  • Eliza says:

    I’m confused – if blending is bad because it removes the need to chew then why is juicing better? There is no chewing with juice either.


    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Eliza,

      I believe what he is referring to here is that the correct juicer does not oxidize the food, whereas the high powered blender does.

      Also, what he does not mention here is that you should always “eat” your juice. Keep the juice in your mouth (before it goes down your throat) for a bit so you can “eat” it or so it can interact with your saliva (enzymes).

      Live well,

  • Luanne says:

    is he saying that all blended smoothies are bad? or blended foods in general? Then why do we make baby food? apple sauce? Curious, seems like the same thing to me…

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Luanne,

      I don’t know for sure but my sense is that is that he is talking about all blended foods. He says that the chewing process is essential for digestion.

      Since babies don’t have teeth, I don’t think he would have a problem with it for them.

      If you want an answer for sure, you could always call his assistant at Hippocrates and she’ll give you a better answer than I can.

      Live well,

  • Tom says:

    I believe that both juicing and blending are bad as they kick out the fiber.

    My understanding of fiber is that it’s the inedible parts in fruits/vegetables that hold the shape. Break it down, and you have broken down fiber.

    Here’s the kicker, what’s juice without fiber? Sugar: in the form of fructose. I have been convinced by Dr Robert Lustig that fructose is poison.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your feedback and I appreciate your opinion.

      I rarely, if ever, hear that juicing is bad. Some people might not like certain combinations of juices (all fruit, all green, etc.) but you believe juicing is bad because juicing breaks down the fiber. Is that right?

      Live well,

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.