Fruits and vegetables are essential foods for a healthy, balanced diet. The recommended intake of fruits and vegetables for adults is generally at least three to four servings each every day.1 You can have them either raw or cooked.
However, although nutritious, some of us either find it difficult to stick to the recommended intake or don’t prefer having them as whole fruits and vegetables all the time. That is okay because you have an option of juicing or blending your fruits and veggies to keep up with the intake. Juices and smoothies are not the same in terms of consistency, texture, and even nutritional value.
Let’s examine the difference between juicing and blending in detail.
Differences Between Juicing And Blending
Juicing and blending are two different techniques that allow you to have your whole fruits and vegetables in a glass. Apart from the fact that these use different equipment – juicer and blender – there are other differences that make them very different from each other. That said, juices and smoothies are good for you but in different ways.
Juicing is when you separate a vegetable or a fruit from its pulp leaving a very thin, concentrated nutritious liquid. On the other hand, blending is putting in the whole vegetable or fruit along with the skin and pulp resulting in a thick liquid. In fact, fruits like bananas and avocados that cannot be juiced can easily be blended and made into a smoothie. Usually, the volume of a smoothie is much more than a juice made from the same vegetable or fruit.
Juices and smoothies not only differ in consistency, there are other differences as well.
Nutrient Availability: The nutrients like vitamins and minerals in juices easily enter the bloodstream and get absorbed when you drink them. This is because you get more concentrated nutrients in juices when compared with smoothies. Smoothies are also nutrient-rich but not as concentrated as in juices.
However, juicing may be depriving you of certain nutrients that are essential for the body. For instance, results of a study have reported that juicing may decline the availability of antioxidants that are required by the body to fight free radicals and protect the immune system.2 3Blending does not block the access to these essential nutrients required by the body.
Fiber Content: When you juice a vegetables or fruit, not only do you separate the juice from its pulp, you also separate it from its fiber content. This may be regarded as a disadvantage of juice because juices have almost negligible fiber content. However, on the other hand, smoothies are rich in all the nutrients including their fiber content. Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, are important for the body. It promotes better digestion and also maintains regular bowel movements. This also makes you feel full for a longer period of time.
Digestibility: Both fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies can be digested easily. However, because of the lack of fiber in juices, many may find it easier to digest them than smoothies. This is especially true for those with a sensitive stomach and who are not used to a lot of fiber content in their diet. Smoothies, on the other hand, may take a longer time to digest but that does not mean they can cause digestive issues in the stomach.
Sugar Content: Both juices and smoothies contain a considerable amount of natural sugars and this can raise the blood sugars as well. However, some studies have found that the sugar content in juices may be more than the content in smoothies.4 This means juicing may not be a healthy option if you are diabetic or are at a risk of developing diabetes. In addition, if you are aiming at losing some excess weight, it is always better to avoid both juices and smoothies. Instead, have the whole fruits and vegetables as is.
Some Tips You Can Use While Juicing Or Blending
Here are some tips that you can use in the kitchen if you are new to juicing and blending.
- Whether you choose to have a juice or a smoothie, it is important to wash all the vegetables and fruits you use before juicing or blending them.
- It is better to use organic, fresh produce so you can be sure of zero chemicals in your juices and smoothies.
- If you want to keep your sugar levels at bay, you may want to add more vegetables to balance the sugar present in fruits. For instance, stick to two or three vegetables and one fruit when you blend your smoothies.
- When juicing, vegetables like cucumbers and celery may be used to increase the volume and nutrients because of their high water content.
- If you smoothies are too thick for your taste, you can add some regular water or coconut water to loosen them up a bit.
- Invest in a good quality juicer or blender so you get the product that you desire and don’t have to look for a replacement immediately.
Therefore, juicing and blending are different and have their own pros and cons. It would be a healthy choice to combine both these techniques to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are just looking for something to quench your thirst and get that boost of vitamin C, you can go for an orange juice. If you are hungry and don’t want to have whole fruits or vegetables, opt for a smoothie which can keep you full and provide you with the essential nutrients.
|↑1||Suggested Servings from Each Food Group. American Heart Association.|
|↑2||Uckoo, Ram M., Guddadarangavvanahally K. Jayaprakasha, V. M. Balasubramaniam, and Bhimanagouda S. Patil. “Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad) phytochemicals composition is modulated by household processing techniques.” Journal of food science 77, no. 9 (2012).|
|↑3||Pyo, Young-Hee, Yoo-Jeong Jin, and Ji-Young Hwang. “Comparison of the effects of blending and juicing on the phytochemicals contents and antioxidant capacity of typical korean kernel fruit juices.” Preventive nutrition and food science 19, no. 2 (2014): 108.|
|↑4||Walker, Ryan W., Kelly A. Dumke, and Michael I. Goran. “Fructose content in popular beverages made with and without high-fructose corn syrup.” Nutrition 30, no. 7 (2014): 928-935.|