Juicing and blending are all the rage nowadays among healthy eating enthusiasts. But, a lot of people are wondering, which is better — juicing or blending? Or, is it fair to even compare the two?
It’s really no surprise that I’m a huge fan of smoothies and blending, and having recently finished a three day juice cleanse, I can say for sure which one I prefer. But first, let’s take a look at a few of the fundamental differences between the two.
What’s the difference between juicing and blending?
Juicing is the process of extracting the water and dissolved nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables while removing and discarding the indigestible fiber. The fiber is separated by the juicer into a separate bin, so it’s pretty easy to see what you’re getting rid of when juicing.
Blending, on the other hand, involves mechanically breaking apart the whole fruit or vegetable — often with skin and all — to give an almost homogeneous whole food mixture called a smoothie. The fruit and vegetable fibers are mixed into the drink, so there is nothing wasted.
While both are great ways of getting more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, but it’s important to understand the differences.
What are the advantages of juicing over blending?
Juicing is an easy way to consumer more fruits and vegetables.
If you have a tough time remembering to eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, drinking them can be one way to get headed in the right direction and the first step to eating healthier. Eating two servings of fruit and three to four servings of vegetables is tough and juicing can definitely make it easier.
It helps increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables supply the body with much needed vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthier. Most Americans don’t get enough whole fruits and vegetables in their diet and juicing is one way to help increase that. When you drink juice made with raw fruits and vegetables, you’re getting a highly concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals.
Juicing can provide ready nutrients for those who have a weakened digestive system.
Juicing is also said to be more beneficial to those who have digestive system ailments that render their stomach unfit or less-able to break down fibrous material. Juice provides an instant dose of nutrients for these people who have trouble breaking down fiber in whole food.
What are advantages of blending over juicing?
Blending gives you food that is more filling.
While juicing may indeed give a quick supply of nutrients, the lack of fiber means you’ll likely get hungry much more quickly. Blending, in contrast, includes the whole produce, providing a smoothie that is fiber-rich and therefore more filling.
Blended smoothies stabilize blood sugar levels.
Juicing may serve as a disadvantage for those who prefer fruits to vegetables as fruits are high in sugar and fresh fruit juice minus the fiber component can cause an instant spike in blood sugar levels. And because sugar from juice gets quickly added in to the blood stream, the sudden rise in blood sugar levels is followed quickly by a sudden dip of it. Erratic spikes and dips in blood sugar can cause mood swings, memory problems and energy loss.
Blending your fruits and vegetables to make smoothies offers the advantage of evening out blood sugar levels. Even though the fiber component has been broken apart somewhat by blending, this fiber is still enough to create a slow, stable and sustained release of nutrients and sugars over time. A stable blood sugar profile is good for health.
Blending gives you all the goodness of whole food.
While juices and smoothies might contain nearly the same amount of nutrients, juice contains almost zero fiber. Blended smoothies on the other hand has all the fiber of the whole fruits and vegetables intact. Fibers — both soluble and insoluble — even though they can’t be considered nutrients, are found to play a very important role in the maintenance of colon health and intestinal flora, blood sugar control, weight management and detoxification.
Blending produces higher yield and zero waste.
While juicing discards the skin and pulp along with the fiber, blended fruits and vegetables allow you to get all the healthy goodness of the produce from the skin to the pulp. As a result, you end up with more volume and can enjoy the peace of mind of leaving nothing wasted.
Blending is a lot easier than juicing.
With juicing, you’ll likely have to cut up your fruits and vegetables into small pieces and feed each one through the feed chute. This isn’t so much the case when using a powerful blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec. With one of these blenders as you can simply halve or quarter fruits and vegetables and dump them into the blender container. Clean-up is also much easier with blending since juicers usually have to be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly.
Both the Vitamix and Blendtec blenders clean up very easily. Simply fill the container half-full of warm water, add a drop of soap, run on high speed for 30-60 seconds, then empty and rinse clean.
While juicing may be an easy way to kickstart your diet and get more fruits and vegetables into your life, blending can be more beneficial in the longer run. After struggling to exist on a strict juice-only diet for several days, I can say that I personally find blended smoothies more satisfying to both my stomach and my wallet.