Juicing vs. Blending: Which is Better?
March 15, 2019
By Registered Dietitian, Carla Yaldezian-Estrada, MS, RD – CareerSmart® Learning Contributor
We all have heard that eating fruits and vegetables are essential for optimizing our health. So, it’s no surprise that juicing and blending fruits and vegetables have become a popular way of fitting in those extra servings. But is one method superior to the other? Let’s compare the pros and cons of both.
Juicing is the process of removing the skin and fiber from the fruit or vegetable, leaving behind the liquid component or the juice; whereas, blending is the process of keeping the fruit or vegetable whole but liquefied. The biggest pro to both methods is if you’re someone who struggles with eating fruits and vegetables, then this is a good way to fit them in. Although, that’s not to say you shouldn’t focus on eating whole fruits and vegetables at all, as there are bodies of research that show eating whole fruits and vegetables is superior compared to juicing and blending. Because fiber is stripped during juicing, the absorption of the vitamin and mineral content into the bloodstream is much faster than when blending and eating them whole – which is a pro to juicing and the primary reason to juice instead of blending. However, the fiber content is one of the most significant health benefits of fruits and vegetables, so the absence of it is a con to juicing. And, if you solely rely on juices as your meals, satiety and constipation will likely become an issue. This is not the case with blending, as you keep that fiber content intact 100%, so you stay full longer and help pack fiber into your diet. The more fiber you eat, the less risk of developing high cholesterol, obesity, and gut diseases, to name a few. A con to both methods is that they can be calorie and carbohydrate dense since you can squeeze in several servings of fruit and/or vegetables into one serving. For example, you can easily drink juice that contains two green apples, a handful of spinach and kale but not so easily eat all that at once. Or, you can also make a smoothie that has over 500 calories.
When you do decide to juice or blend, keep in mind these helpful tips. Use more vegetables then fruit to help keep the calorie and sugar content low – yes, the sugar is in it’s most natural form, but its still sugar and will increase the calorie content. Using more green vegetables can help the body become more alkaline by leaching out acidic waste products. Drinking juice on an empty stomach (one hour before a meal or two to three hours after) better cleanses the bloodstream, as you don’t have your meal blocking the absorption of all the live enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Drink your juice or smoothie as soon as you make it. Many of the vitamins and minerals undergo a reaction in just thirty minutes of being exposed to oxygen in the air. This can compromise the integrity of the live enzymes, vitamins and minerals. And lastly, when picking the contents of your juice or smoothie, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting an array of vitamins and minerals. If you juice or blend the same foods, you will be missing out on boosting up your nutrient intake. So if you’re going to juice or blend, make it predominately vegetables and do more blending than juicing, to keep all that wonderful fiber in your diet.