As juicing and blending have gained popularity, a common question seems to be popping up more and more: what are the differences and which one is better? Here is a short comparison highlighting the differences between the two as well as a few specific benefits of each.
The main characteristic of juicing fruits and vegetables is the separation of the pulp (fiber) and the juice.
Removing the fiber allows your digestive system to break down and absorb the nutrients without all of the extra work. This means readily available nutrients almost immediately, and in larger concentrated quantities. This expedited nutrient delivery straight to the bloodstream, aids in nourishing and reviving the body at a cellular level!
Juicing is a fantastic way to add variety to your diet, which is especially helpful for those whose taste buds don’t necessarily agree with those raw earthy veggies. Most people struggle to meet the recommended 5 servings a day rule and as a result are majorly lacking in vital vitamins, minerals, & phytonutrients. Juicing provides the ability to consume an enormous amount of veggies in just one glass. Despite the many claims, it’s not so much that juicing is necessarily healthier than eating the food whole but that you get healthier from your new ability to drastically multiply your produce intake, which we could all benefit from.
Contrary to juicing, smoothies contain the whole fruit & vegetable, fiber and all.
Keeping your drink fiber packed has plenty of benefits of its own. Fiber does wonders for your digestive tract and slows down the absorption of sugars and nutrients. This slowing down process not only helps prevent a sugar spike but it also keeps you fuller for longer. The trade off, you can’t put nearly as many veggies into a single glass and the texture that some of the fiber can create deters a lot of people from putting in the healthy stuff.
The Bottom Line
Both juicing and blending are an incredibly healthy addition to your lifestyle. Your goals and intentions for either will dictate which one suits you best but I say why choose?! I like to incorporate both juicing and blending into my diet so I can reap the full spectrum of benefits that they offer.
Important Do’s and Don’ts
Juice more than one fruit per glass. If your juice is mainly composed of fruits, you will easily take in way too much sugar. Additionally, a large intake of sugar with no fiber to slow it down from entering your blood stream can result in a major spike in blood sugar levels and nasty headaches.
Only put fruits in your smoothies. For the same reason as juicing, a smoothie should not be made up of only or even mostly fruits. Yes, sugar from fruits is better than a candy bar but it is still sugar and too much of anything can be a bad thing.
Let your blender or juicer sit unwashed! Keeping your equipment clean is extremely important when trying to avoid contamination by mold growth. The left over pulp from juicing and blending immediately begins to oxidize (rot) and can cause bacteria and mold to build up. After each use, paying close attention to the grooves and nooks, use a cleaning brush with soap and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
If you’re new to juicing and blending and need to give your palate some time to adjust, try using an apple with pear for juicing and over time try to reduce to just one fruit. Also, keep in mind that veggies like carrots, beets and even sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of sugar than other vegetables and can add great sweet flavor to your juice.
For blending, apples and pears are a great choice as well, however, if you’re looking for variety, try going with berries instead of bananas. Either way, gradually reduce the amounts you start with until you’re down to a small serving of fruit and your taste buds give you a thumbs up.
Use the fiber left over from juicing instead of tossing it! Look out for some great ideas for how to use that colorful heap of health and even some recipes in my next recipe post!
Chew your smoothie. The very first step in the digestion process begins when what you put in your mouth meets your saliva! This is a very important first step, as the enzymes in saliva begin to break down the carbohydrates immediately and prepare the food for the rest of the digestive journey. This ensures that your body is getting the proper information in order to be equipped for absorbing all of the nutrients your juice has to offer. Think of it as passing a baton with instructions for the next step. Your saliva coats the food with instructions on which enzymes to produce in order to properly digest the bite. So “chew” or swish your juice around before tossing it back and you will ensure the maximum benefits!
Your research before juicing! There are many combinations of fruits and veggies that can cause stomach aches, headaches and even unwanted bathroom visits if you aren’t careful with your food combinations.
Try and drink your juice or smoothie directly after making it. Freshly made juice is much more susceptible to potentially harmful bacteria, so try to make only as much as you are going to drink right then and there. If you do make some to save, make sure it is sealed tight and consumed at least within a couple of hours. Another alternative if you have some leftover is to pour the juice into an ice cube tray for some delicious, naturally flavored water later!
Get creative and have fun! Adding healthy smoothies and juices to your lifestyle is an exciting and fantastic choice to make! There are tons of amazing recipes with combinations for all kinds of specific benefits, many of which will be featured on MBSF soon 😉 .