Blending vs Juicing 101

by Angela Stanford

Image As a nutritionist people are always asking me, “Angela, which is better, blending smoothies or juicing?”   And I answer, “Well that depends on why you want to blend/juice and what you blend/juice.”

Both smoothies and raw, fresh juices are very easy and delicious ways to infuse your body with lots of healthy nutrients, and to ingest those 5 servings of veggies and 3 servings of fruits we’re recommended to eat daily.

Whether you choose to blend or juice, you are gifting your body improved health by using these nutrient packed drinks to get more health giving, healing veggies and fruits into your body.  Regularly drinking smoothies or fresh, veggie-based juice will

  • increase your veggie intake dramatically
  • make it easier and quicker for your body to absorb nutrients because the blending and juicing allows the foods to become somewhat “pre-digested”
  • curb appetite and reduce cravings for sugar and processed foods because you are nourishing your cells with what they are asking for – micronutrients.  You body no longer craves the “carbs” (macronutrient)

BLENDING

Pros:

  • You can blend more than just veggies  – along with your veggies, you can add fruits, milks, ice, nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butters, oils, protein powders and crushed up supplements
  • Fiber helps fill you up – Since you are blending the whole veggie and fruit, the added fiber from the peels and flesh help fill up space in your stomach giving you a comforting feeling of fullness
  • Cost of the blender is minimal – most people already have a blender in their kitchen
  • Kids are more inclined to drink/eat smoothies – In my experience, kids love smoothies more than veggie-based juice because you can thicken them up to look and taste like a frozen dessert.  Just add a little frozen fruit, banana, ice or ground chia seeds to your veggies to help thicken up the drink.

Cons:

  • Less quantity of nutrients per serving than juicing – Because the fiber remains in the drink, you need to drink more smoothies than juice to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals and phytotnutrients per glass
  • Some produce is not good for blending. Root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets are packed full of nutrition, but don’t taste so good in smoothies.  They come off chalky and bitter. They are more suitable for juicing.

JUICING

Pros:

  • More veggies per serving – Since the fiber is removed, more veggie juice fits in the glass versus a smoothie
  • Easier to digest nutrients – Unlike blending, juicing extracts nutrients and most of the water from veggies and fruits leaving behind plant fibers in skins, peels and seed hulls.  This allows your body to absorb the nutrients quicker without having to expend energy to digest all the bulk of the fiber too.
  • Quicker energy boost – Juice has a higher concentration of veggies (and therefore nutrients) per glass versus a smoothie, and is in an even more pre-digested format than smoothies for quicker nutrient absorption.
  • Less heat damage.  Blades run at high speed on blenders that can slightly heat the smoothie which could kill off some of the beneficial enzymes.  To counteract this, add ice to your smoothie to cool it down.

Cons: 

  • Juicing machines sometimes more difficult to clean –  Juicers usually have more parts to clean and take a little longer to clean than blenders
  • More refrigerator space required –  Juicing requires more veggies and fruits per serving than blending, so you need to have more refrigerator space to store them
  • Veggie costs are more than blending – because you are using more veggies per serving, you need to buy more

Along with SimpleGreenSmoothies.com, I’m fond of a book called The Juicing Bible by Pat Crocker.   It is a great resource for to blending and juicing for both newbies and veterans.  It offers dozens of recipes for raw, fresh juices, blended drinks and homemade frozen treats made from these nutritious beverages.

So now that you know the pros and cons of blending and juicing, you make the choice….or do you have to?  Why not do both!

Angela offers nutrition counseling, teaches workshops combining yoga and mindful eating, and helps people start edible backyard and patio gardens.  To learn more about Angela, book a FREE 15 minute consult or learn about her upcoming classes and workshops, visit www.vitalandwell.com.

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