Frequently Asked Questions
All material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and may not be interpreted or construed as personal medical advice.
1. What’s the difference between a juice and a smoothie? Is one better than the other?
The first question is simple to answer: smoothies contain fiber, juices do not. (Smoothies are blended, so you are ingesting the whole food – juices are made through an extraction process, leaving the fiber behind.)
The second question is a bit harder to answer, and actually occasionally controversial. (We think juices and smoothies are both great, and each have varied benefits depending on what you’re looking for.)
When juicing, the mineral and nutritional elements of the fruits and vegetables are separated from the plant fibers. Thus, the resulting juice requires very little time and energy to be absorbed into the bloodstream and can be digested in a matter of minutes. When we eat a solid fruit or vegetable, it takes a lot of digestive energy to separate the mineral elements from the fibers. Therefore, a portion of the whole food eaten is used as fuel to generate energy for digestion, which redirects some of the nutritional impact into digestive processes.
However, fiber is extremely important to the digestive and elimination process, so we could not live on juice alone. Humans require fiber to keep our colons clean and for optimal, whole-body health. Think of fiber as a broom that sweeps out the intestines, taking with it the toxins that have been building up in the colon. When toxins are released from the body, our ability to absorb nutrients is increased. Since smoothies are blended instead of extracted, we are ingesting the fiber from the fruits and veggies instead of leaving it behind.
Benefits of juicing:
- Faster absorption of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Removing the fiber from the liquid juice means there’s hardly any digestive work needed to process the food. Some believe that most people have impaired digestion and that our bodies are limited in absorbing all the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. In this case, juicing helps pre-digest the food for you (a good juicer is meant to act just like our teeth), so you’ll be able to absorb the micronutrients more quickly. (Just remember that fiber is also extremely important for our bodies, so you still need to get enough through other sources if you’re juicing).
- More fruit and veggies in your day. Because it takes a lot of veggies or fruit to make an ounce of juice, you get a lot more fruit and vegetables into your diet through juicing than if you were just eating raw fruit or veggies whole.
- More varied intake of fruit and vegetables. Along with the point above, juicing may also help you get a wider variety of fruits and veggies than you might normally consume, meaning a potentially more complete nutrient intake.
- Nutrient dense. A good amount of what you eat when you eat fruit and vegetables is water, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. However, when you remove the fiber, all you get is the water, vitamins, and minerals. This concentration is said to supercharge the system with phytonutrients, which are important in warding off disease, cancer, and other degenerative illnesses.
- Liver cleansing and depression defense. Juicing supporters claim that juice helps to detoxify and de-sludge our liver. And as a result of the high concentration of minerals contained in juice, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and folic acid, there’s also reason to believe that juicing can help fight symptoms of depression.
- Anti-aging. There is a high concentration of antioxidants in juice, and proponents believe that consuming juice can help combat the damaging effects that free radicals have on skin, muscles, and our internal organs. Antioxidants also help to ward off wrinkles and keep muscles toned.
- Smoothies can be a meal. Often protein ingredients are added to smoothies such as almond butter, nut milks, hemp etc., making them a more balanced, nutritious meal.
- Stabilize blood sugar and energy levels. Because smoothies contain fiber, the sugar and calories from smoothies are more slowly absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, your blood sugar levels remain stable and so does your energy. (On the other hand, juices can give you a jolt of energy and vitality if that’s what you’re looking for.) This also means that if you’re looking to keep yourself satiated longer, a smoothie might be the way to go.
- Smoothies are nutritious. The fruits and vegetables you use for a smoothie all contain the same vitamins and minerals you get when you juice them. You still get all of the antioxidants and age-fighting benefits, even if they’re not as high-potency as juices.
- They promote regularity. Because of the fiber, smoothies help keep your digestive tract moving and provide the good bacteria needed for good digestion.
There are certainly many health benefits to both smoothies and juices, and each take a load off of your digestive system due to their liquid form, allowing the nutrients from the food to be absorbed into the bloodstream immediately (for juices) or fairly quickly (for smoothies). Food in liquid form may be especially helpful for those who suffer from severe nutritional deficiencies or have a highly irritable digestive system.
Thanks go out to the work of Dr. Norman Walker, Ann Wigmore, Victoria Boutenko (RawFamily.com), and Brendan Brazier (vegan triathlete) for some of the information contained here.
2. Why Our Juicers?
Roost House of Juice uses the Norwalk Hydraulic Juice Press and Omega Nutrition Center Masticating Juicer exclusively. We have mindfully chosen to use a juice press and masticating juicer as opposed to centrifugal juicers, but what does that mean exactly?
Masticating means to chew, grind, or knead into a pulp. Our teeth are an excellent example of mastication in action. Our teeth chew and grind food: after we swallow, the food goes to our digestive system where the juice is extracted from the food we’ve eaten.
Much the same, a masticating juicer grinds vegetables and then literally squishes out the juice. Since a masticating juicer works at low speeds and with no spinning action, it juices many vegetables quickly and efficiently, leaving the pulp behind. The Norwalk Juice Press works by exerting hydraulic pressure in order to quickly and completely extract the natural fruit sugars, vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and other vital elements from fruits and vegetables.
Centrifugal juicers are the most common type of juicers found in stores and on TV. A centrifugal juicer grinds fruits and vegetables and then spins at very high speeds to separate the juice form the pulp. This process creates an excess amount of heat that may damage the natural enzymes in the juice as well as mix in air, leading to oxidization. These types of juicers work at higher speeds and tend to be noisy and less efficient than masticating juicers.
3. Can Roost customers design their own juice combinations?
Our menu at Roost has been carefully designed over a long period of trial and error. We’ve created juices that are nutritious and that we believe are delectable. We liken our offerings to that of a restaurant kitchen, where chefs intentionally combine foods with specific tastes that complement one another. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant with a recipe and ask the chef to prepare it for you – you go in knowing that what they have prepared was designed with intention and trusting that it will be amazing. (That said, of course if you have a known allergy or intense dislike for a particular ingredient, by all means we will make accommodations.)
Also, since we are sourcing a majority of our produce locally based on seasonal availability, often we will have just enough of the ingredients we need to make the juices on our menu.
These two factors are the reasons behind our decision not to offer custom-made juices at this point in Roost’s operation. Although we’ll always be welcoming feedback, comments, suggestions and recommendations about our offerings!
4. Why Wine?
Kathleen, one of Roost’s co-owners, has years of service industry experience from her time living in Manhattan. Starting with her first New York restaurant job, she had to go to “wine college” where she discovered a true passion for the wines of the world and the fascination of learning to distinguish individual flavors and characteristics of different grape varietals.
On the health side, which is an important part of our mission at Roost, wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers as well as slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. It’s been well documented that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood, thought to be one of the primary cardiovascular benefits from wine (red and white). Additionally, non-alcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as flavanoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.
And all that said, sometimes we just like to sit around and enjoy a few glasses of wine with our friends, and at Roost, we believe that can absolutely be a part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. (In moderation of course.) We are thrilled to work with the local women at Crush Distributors, a local wine company whose mission is to facilitate the growth of New England’s high-end wine market by providing rare, artisan wines in combination with education and unmatched levels of service.