We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. We know that fresh produce may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer, while also helping to manage our weight. But according to the CDC, we aren’t getting enough of either. That’s why both juicing and blending have become so popular – both make it easier to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets.
With juicing, essentially all fibrous materials are removed, leaving only the liquid of the fruits and vegetables. With blending, we get it all – the pulp and fiber that bulks up the produce. The benefits and drawbacks of each are as follows:
- More concentrated amounts of vitamins and nutrients
- Easier absorption of nutrients
- Some juices contain more sugar than sodas
- Lack of fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion, controlling blood sugar, and lowering risk of heart disease
- Blended fruits and vegetables retain all their fiber for healthy digestion
- The fibrous parts of fruits and vegetables fill us up and contain antioxidants
- When we juice fruits and vegetables, we may get more concentrated, more easily absorbed nutrients. This is because the bulk of the vitamins and minerals found within a fruit are typically in the juice – not the pulp and fibrous material that we’d also get in a smoothie.
- Juices contain little to no fiber. Fiber is so important for proper digestion and good health.
- Juicing enthusiasts suggest that eating fruits and vegetables without the fiber gives our bodies a break from the hard work of digestion. They also suggest it enhances the absorption of nutrients.
- In some diseases and malabsorptive conditions, low-fiber and low-residue diets are recommended. In these cases, juicing would be appropriate.
- While research is limited, people who have completed juice fasts and cleanses, have reported a variety of health benefits.
- With juicing, fiber is under-consumed, causing harmful health effects.
- Sugar consumption is a major downside of both juicing and blending – both juices and smoothies can raise blood sugar – but the effects are more rapid and dramatic with juice.
- With blended fruits and veggies, there are only so many we can drink before we start to feel full. The pulp, skin, and fiber help increase the volume of the drink, which fills us up and limits our total calorie consumption. But with juice, we can consume the same amount of fruits and vegetables and still not feel satisfied.
Juicing has a variety of benefits, including greater concentration of nutrients per ounce, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, and enhanced absorption of nutrients. But with juicing we’re missing out on important fiber. We could also be missing out on other important compounds present in the pulp and membranes of the produce.
With blending, we’re getting everything the fruit and vegetables have to offer, but the pulpy texture may be unappetizing to some. In both cases, sugar is a drawback to all the benefits, so do either in caution of watching calories. Juices however, tend to have more sugar.
So, what’s this all mean, who’s the winner in this comparison? It appears that consuming blended foods more often than juiced foods may provide the edge in terms of health benefits. Key thought here is “more often” – why not use a combination of both techniques with a slight preference to blending throughout the week?