Most people come nowhere close to the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables they should be eating each day. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should each consume five cups of fruits and vegetables a day. But how much is that? It is the equivalent of eating a huge sweet potato, a banana, 10 pieces of broccoli, 12 baby carrots and 8 large strawberries. So do you measure up? Are you eating this many fruits and veggies? I know I’m not.

However, blending your daily dose of fruits and veggies down into juice or a smoothie is a great way to get the required number that you need quickly and easily. According to Tuffts University, consuming your fruits and vegetables in liquid form is a viable way to include them food group in your diet. While eating them whole is ideal, liquid as an alternative works as well.

However, with juicing you have to be careful to get a good balance. When you eat the actual fruits and vegetables the fibers of the physical fruit fill you up giving you a check and balance on how many fruits and veggies you can actually stomach. However, when they are consumed in liquid form you can consume a lot more of them.

Fruits contain a lot of sugars and a lot of calories, so you have to be careful not to include too many fruits in your juicing and smoothie recipes. An excess of sugars can result in a rise in your blood sugar, increasing the risk of diabetes and increasing your likelihood of gaining weight.

On top of that when you consume fruits and vegetables in liquid form sometimes it removes a chance for your body to get the roughage that normally comes with eating whole fruits and veggies. Roughage is the indigestible material in vegetables that moves through your gut and in fact aids in the passage of food through your body and the passage of waste out of your body. Some juicers actually remove roughage from your juices in order to make them purely liquid rather than having food bits and fibers in your juice. While you are still getting the vitamins and nutrients that the ingredients have to offer, you are missing out on the opportunity to have a healthier more efficient digestive system.

On the other hand, blending fruits and veggies down to a liquid allows you to add other healthy supplemental ingredients that would not have necessarily worked in solid form. For instance, you can add Greek yogurt, leafy greens, omega 3, chia, flax, calcium, protein and other vitamins. Whether you make juice or make a smoothie, make sure that you count all of the ingredients that you use toward your calorie count for the day and also make sure that you drink these juices or smoothies as a replacement to these food groups so that you don’t eat a heavy meal full of the calories on top of the calories in the drink. Juicing and smoothies should replace other foods that are high in refined carbohydrates.

We all need fruits and veggies in our diet. So, whichever way works best for you and your lifestyle is the way that you should go. Have them any way that you can whether it be whole, through juicing or through a smoothie, but whatever you do, make sure that you consume the amount that you need.