Some blender manufacturers refer to their product as ‘nutrient extractor’ or ‘vitamin extractor’ and this is where the confusion arise. Without the term ‘blender’ in the product name, it’s really difficult to know which is which when you’re new to juicing.
If you happen to be in this situation just remember that juicing is pulp-free and blending is pulp-filled. A juicer separates juice from the pulp, while with blending everything goes into the smoothie, nothing goes to waste.
A picture is worth a thousand words so let’s take it from this infographic.
Juicing vs. Blending Infographic
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Which is better then?
I asked myself the same thing before and decided to do both in the end. I include juice in my meals, and I prepare smoothies for my snacks because it creates a sense of fullness. Juicing and blending can both complement your healthy lifestyle, therefore none of it is better than the other. Both are great ways to incorporate huge amounts of produce in our diet that we may otherwise eat. There are recipes that are only doable with juicing and there is also a huge list of recipes that’s only possible with smoothies especially those which include soft fruits like banana, avocado, mango etc. Combining the two will certainly add variety and options to our healthy eating habits.
What are the Differences?
It is a well-known fact that increasing your intake of a wide range of fruits and vegetables has a positive impact on your health with high levels of healing and detoxifying properties. Not only are vegetables low in calories and fat, but they benefit your health by decreasing your risk for multiple chronic illnesses. Let’s make some comparisons between juicing and blending.
Juicing is an efficient way to infuse your body with tons of nutrients, like phytochemicals, enzymes, and vitamins, from the fruits and vegetables that you may or may not normally consume on a daily basis. Juice extractors, also known as juicers, create fresh, delicious juice by removing the liquid from the fibrous portion of the produce. The pulp is then expelled out of a tube into a separate container.
Since the juice is virtually pulp-free, upon consumption, your digestive system quickly absorbs the nutrients because it does not have to work as hard to break it down. By drinking fresh juice, you are giving your digestive system a much-needed break. Additionally, there is a greater quantity of nutrients made available to the body in higher amounts than if you were to consume the fruits and vegetables whole.
After the juice has been extracted, it is recommended that you drink it as soon as possible, or at least within 24 to 72 hours depending on the type of juicer you use. The reason behind this recommendation is because as soon as the juice comes into contact with the air, the delicate nutrients in it begin to break down in a process known as oxidation. As time passes, more nutrients are broken down and lost. If you drink it sooner versus later, then you will be able to absorb a higher quantity of pertinent enzymes and vitamins that you need to nourish and restore the body at a cellular level. Additionally, the taste of the juice will be much bolder and flavorful.
There are many advantages and disadvantages that need to be kept in mind when you consider juicing. For example, if you opt to drink fresh juice extracted solely from fruits will result in a sharp and rapid spike in your blood sugar levels because of the absence of fiber in the juice. Also, since the juice lacks fiber and is quickly digested, you may find yourself hungry again sooner than expected. Check out the following list of pros and cons for more information.
- Even though it is not backed by scientific research, nutrition experts strongly advocate that freshly extracted juice from raw vegetables and fruits aid the body in preventing and alleviating many afflictions such as skin diseases and chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.
- Certain individuals cannot digest fiber as efficiently as others. By incorporating juicing with a wide range of produce, juicing gets the nutrients into their system.
- Not everyone enjoys eating fruits and vegetables, while others struggle to meet their daily nutritional needs. It you’re one of these individuals, you should give juicing a try to ensure you’re meeting (and exceeding!) your daily requirements. Experiment with various juicing recipes to find the combinations that you enjoy.
- It is not recommended that you replace your meals entirely with juicing, then you lack the protein, fat, and fiber you need for a balanced diet—especially for pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions. Be certain to include foods containing these in your diet, otherwise you may inadvertently lower your metabolism, causing you to gain weight.
- Soluble and insoluble fibers aid the body by slowing absorption, lowering cholesterol, and moving waste from the body. These fibers are lost through the juicing process.
- As soon as the juice has been extracted and exposed to air—the nutrients and antioxidants begin to degrade.
- A quality juicer is not cheap. The initial investment will cost approximately $200 and up. Likewise, every time you visit your local juice bar, you’re going to spend at least $8 for fresh juice. If you purchase one a few times a week, it begins to add up.
- Juices made at home are not pasteurized. Therefore if not washed properly, raw food might harbor bacteria that can make you sick.
- Juicing takes some time to get used to. Learning the process of selecting and purchasing optimal produce. Then, you have to learn to assemble and properly use your juicer. Next, you need to prepare your ingredients and juice them. Finally, you have to store your surplus of juice and clean up your juicing machine.
- A juice is a little more expensive than a smoothie. Since it’s purely fruits and vegetables, you’ll actually need to process more produce to extract a 16oz juice than a 16oz smoothie.
Blending is the process of pulverizing the whole fruit and vegetable producing smoothies or shakes, retaining all of the fiber since you’re using the entire product. By blending your produce, you’re ripping and tearing the fiber apart, making the fruits and vegetables easier to digest—without losing the fiber. Smoothies are generally faster to make than fresh juice. The higher content of fiber makes them more filling. The fiber slows down the digestive process in which the sugars are released into the blood stream, therefore keeping you full for a longer time period.
When consuming a smoothie, it is almost the same as “eating” your smoothie. When you consume fresh juice, you are simply drinking it. The digestive process completed by the body is slightly different as a result of the different enzymes responsible for breaking down your food to make it digestible, For example, it is recommended that you chew (keep it in your mouth for a few seconds) your smoothie since the digestive process begins in the mouth and a smoothie is not a true drink. Why should you chew it? Ptyalin, an enzyme found in your saliva assists in breaking down your food. If you do not observe this practice, this enzyme is not going to be produced.
Impaired digestive systems also struggle with processing and absorbing an optimal level of nutrients. Therefore, even though there are a greater number of nutrients available to our body in green smoothies created with a blender, they are not absorbed as efficiently as they are with fresh juice, which is already almost entirely broken down.
Here are some more pros and cons of blending.
- The biggest advantage of blending is your smoothie retains the fiber, which prevents a sugar spike. Plus, the soluble and insoluble fiber assists in maintaining bowel health and cholesterol levels.
- Soft fruits, like bananas, mangoes, or avocados, are perfect to use in smoothie recipes, but are not suitable for juicing.
- Smoothies can serve as a meal replacement and are a good way to give your digestive system a break.
- Blenders come with a lower price tag than juicers, but a smoothie at the store will cost about $11 USD.
- Prep time might be slightly less than juicing, but not by much. However, cleanup is definitely a lot faster.
- If you’re blending your own smoothie at home, a glass of smoothie is more economical than a glass of juice. With the pulp and added ice, you’ll surely be needing lesser amount of fruits and vegetables.
- Air gets mixed in and trapped, which may possibly leave you feeling bloated.
- There are more nutrients available to our system, but as a result of an inefficient digestion, we absorb approximately 1/3 of the available nutrients. The rest is passed back out of our system as waste.
- Some individuals cannot properly digest a diet high in fiber, especially those suffering from intestinal related diseases.
- Just like with juicing, the raw food in smoothies predisposes you to certain food borne bacteria if you do not carefully wash your produce.
- Blending your smoothie exposes the produce to a lot of air and the longer you blend it, the more heat is generated. The heat and air speed up the rate of oxidation, which breaks down the enzymes, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- As with juicing, it is not advisable for those with certain health issues and pregnant women to participate in smoothie fasts.
Who is the winner?
Comparing juicing and blending is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are completely different discipline but equally important in providing added nutrition into our system. Even though I am a proponent of juicing and this site is all about juicing, I believe that both can complement our healthy lifestyle. Why not do both? There have not been any scientific studies completed that proves one is a healthier supplement to your life than the other. However, it has been proven that increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits is far healthier than a diet comprised of mainly processed foods. There aren’t any reasons why you shouldn’t include a healthy, fresh glass of juice or smoothie in your daily diet.