I’m a huge fan of the Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS). It’s my own recipe of course, but I do really love it. I drink it daily, and have all my clients drink it daily. It’s packed with so many nutrients, enzymes, and fiber. That’s why it’s the cornerstone of my Beauty Detox System, as well as my signature drink.

One question people often ask, however, is how the GGS compares to juice and juicing. After all, when you juice fresh fruits and vegetables, the nutrition and enzymes are still there easily made with a vitamix blender. The secret to the GGS, however, and why I feel it is nutritionally superior to juice can be summed up in one word: fiber. 32 ounces of the GGS has around 12 g of fiber. That’s around the amount (or less!) that the average American gets in a whole day.

When you juice fruits or vegetables, what you are left with is NOT a whole food anymore. Nature grows fruits and veggie with its juice and fiber intact. So while fresh juices are still beneficial, it is important to note that when you consume a juice you are not eating a whole food anymore; the produce has been processed. If you only drink green juice and never the GGS, you are sorely missing out on removing the fiber, which is incredibly important. Sure you can get some fiber from other plant foods you eat later in the day, but why remove it it in the first place? I want as much as I can get! Fiber is 0 calories, and adds roughage to cleanse digestive tract and also helps you feel more full. Most all of us would benefit from increasing our fiber consumption.

Let’s look at all of the reasons fiber is so important in the diet.

Protects against Disease

Numerous studies exist showing fiber’s protective nature.

Fiber intake has been linked to protection against many diseases, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticular disease

Likewise, fiber scrubs intestines and helps promote healthy bowel movements.

Works with the Liver for Detoxification

Fiber has no calories, and it helps remove circulating fats and toxins, and escorts them out of your body. Detox is an important part of maintaining health and beauty, and fiber plays a key role in this process.

The liver is the major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways. It can also pump excess fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines. If the diet is high in fiber, this unwanted fat will be carried out of the body via the bowel actions. Thus the liver is a remarkable machine for keeping weight under control, being both a fat burning organ and a fat pumping organ.

If the diet is low in fiber, some of the fats (especially cholesterol) and toxins that have been pumped by the liver into the gut through the bile will recirculate back to the liver. This occurs via enterohepatic circulation. The term enterohepatic circulation describes the recirculation of fluids (consisting mainly of bile acids) from the gut back to the liver. The enterohepatic circulation is very large, with approximately 95% of the bile acids being reabsorbed from the last section of the small intestine (ileum), into the portal vein to be carried back to the liver. The liver re-circulates these bile acids back into the small intestines.

liver detox

The entire bile pool recycles through the enterohepatic circulation six to eight times a day. If this recirculated fluid is high in fat and/or toxins, it contributes to excessive weight.  A high fiber diet will reduce the recirculation of fat and toxins from the gut back to the liver. A juice has no fiber to help push the toxins and fat out of the body. 

This is vitally important for those with excessive weight, toxicity problems and high cholesterol. The inclusion of plenty of whole, fibrous raw fruits and vegetables as well as ground-up raw flaxseeds, as well as chia seeds will increase both soluble and insoluble fiber in the gut, reducing recirculation of unwanted fat and toxins. Some people find that rice or wheat bran, psyllium husks, and unprocessed homemade muesli can boost fiber efficiently. 

If toxins damage the liver filter, or it is clogged up (blocked) with excessive waste material, then it will be less able to remove small fat globules (chylomicrons) circulating in the bloodstream. This causes excessive fat to build up in the blood vessel walls. This fat may then gradually build up in many other parts of the body, including other organs, as well as in fatty deposits under the skin. Thus, you may develop cellulite in the buttocks, thighs, arms and abdominal wall. Not fun!  If the liver is dysfunctional, it will not manufacture adequate amounts of the good cholesterol (HDL), which travels out of the liver to scavenge the unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessel walls.

If the liver filter is healthy, it allows dietary cholesterol to be shunted into the liver for metabolism or excretion through the bile. A healthy liver filter is essential to properly regulate blood cholesterol levels. Poor liver function may increase your chances of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. 

Fights Fatty Liver

If the liver does not regulate fat metabolism efficiently, weight gain tends to occur around the abdominal area and a protuberant abdomen (pot belly) will develop. This is not good for the waistline! Likewise, belly fat has been linked specifically to a host of health problems including heart disease, stroke, and insulin resistance.

fatty liverAnother sign can be a roll of fat around the upper abdomen, which I not-so-affectionately call the “liver roll.” This is often a sign of a fatty liver. It can be almost impossible to lose this abdominal fat until the liver function is improved. Once this is done, the liver will start burning fat efficiently again and the weight comes off gradually and without too much effort from you. It is not necessary to make yourself miserable by following a low fat, low calorie diet. What is effective in the long term is to eat the correct foods and nutrients for the liver to improve its fat burning function.

Many middle-aged people with excess fat in the abdominal area have a “fatty liver.” In this condition, the liver has stopped burning fat and has turned into a fat storing organ. It becomes enlarged and swollen with greasy deposits of fatty tissue. Those with a fatty liver will not be able to lose weight unless they first improve liver function, with a liver cleansing diet and a good liver tonic.

If you have a fatty liver it is vital to be patient, as it can take between 3 and 12 months, depending upon the amount of fat deposited in the liver, to remove the excess fat from the liver. After this accumulated liver fat has been removed, weight loss will occur easily. If you have a very severe case of fatty liver it can take several years to lose all of the excessive weight.  However, this is very successful in the long term and provides the best chance of restoring your figure and your health.

Fatty liver is common and doctors often tell their patients with this problem not to worry too much because it is not serious. I disagree with this, because if you have a fatty liver, your chances of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are significantly higher. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find a fatty liver in adolescents who consume a diet high in processed foods and soda pop.

So, as you can see, while juice provides many nutrients and benefits, it lacks a very important ingredient that can make a huge difference in your overall health. By having a GGS, you’re not only getting essential vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes for good health, but you’re getting loads of fiber, which can protect you from disease, help detoxify your body, contribute to easier and sustained weight loss, and help you look and feel your best.

Don’t remove the fiber- you need it. Enjoy your GGS!

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New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist