I am not going to get into the benefits of juicing or blending. I think most people know it provides incredible health benefits.I want to talk about which is better.
I am not talking about smoothies at a smoothie shop or juice you buy in a store. They are never as good as what you can make yourself. In fact some are bad for your health. Avoid smoothies from those chain smoothie shops. They can have a lot of added sugar and calories.
It’s amazing how passionate people are about this subject. You can’t go wrong with either juicing or blending. There have not been many studies done on this subject, however, there is much talk and debate regarding them. Both are really good for you, I just think one is a little better than the other. First lets define what juicing and blending are.
Juicing is a process in which a machine, either through centrifugal force, grinding or mastication extracts the liquid (juice) from the source. The juice will contain most nutrients however not all of them. Ardent juicers will claim it extracts all of the nutrients however that isn’t totally true. This process removes the insoluble fiber and part of the soluble fiber from the juice and fiber contains healthy colorful antioxidants. According to studies, juicing delivers 80% to 90% of the antioxidant potential of the veggie or fruit. Blending provides close to 100%.
Antioxidants are activated and used as soon as air and liquid hit the flesh of the food. So it is best to consume the juice and blended foods within 10 to 15 minutes after juicing or blending.
There are some juicers that claim a vacuum extraction, however that is not going to totally stop the loss of antioxidants.
There is also some discussion that juicing gives the body more energy because the digestive system uses some of the energy of the blended foods. This is partially true, however the only nutrient that is quickly available for energy is sugar. Everything else other than sugar and very very small fat molecules are sent to the liver for processing. Remember, with blended foods the sugar absorption is slower, and steadier ( a good thing). The liver will turn the nutrients into a form the cells can use easily. If the digestive system needs energy it is going to pull it from any source including juice. Even juice requires some form of digestion and manipulation by the digestive tract although a smaller amount. As I have explained, the nutrients even in juice are not just absorbed into the blood stream (except sugar) and then to the cells. They must be properly packaged first. The digestion process is very complex so I am being very general in what I am saying. I hope you get the picture.
Benefits of Juicing
- Very fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required
- Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach, pancreas and colon.
- Because of the lack of fiber, a lot of plant juice can be consumed. You can effectively drink more consuming more nutrients.
- Helpful for people sensitive to fiber since there is no insoluble fiber content. Juice does have some soluble fiber but it a small amount.
- Provide 80% to 90% of the nutritional value of the food being juiced.
- Allows very fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream.
- Removes most of the fiber from the juice.
- Not as filling and satisfying for most people.
- More time consuming and more difficult to clean up.
- Good juicers are expensive.
Blending or emulsifying
Blending is a process in which the whole foods are put in a machine with added liquid. The whole food is blended in the liquid to a smooth puree. You get everything the whole food has to offer, vitamin, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.
- Fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required
- Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach and pancreas.
- Because the food is blended it takes less space than if you were eating a meal. This allows for more nutrient intake a one time.
- The natural fiber slows the release of sugars to the blood stream compared to juicing.
- More nutrient availability due to the whole plant being consumed.
- More nutrient potential because you are getting all that the food has to offer.
- More filling due to the fiber. It is actually more like a meal.
- Very fast to make a smoothie and clean up.
- Blenders are less expensive than juicers.
- If someone is sensitive to fiber it could make a person uncomfortable and bloated and a little gassy.
- You can’t consume as much liquid as you could from juicing.
- Some blenders can create too much heat if you let them blend too long. The heat will kill the naturally occurring enzymes.
In the body, nutrients work together and support health through their interaction. Let’s look at a good example. When the pulpy white part of the orange is removed in the processing of orange juice, the flavonoids in the orange are lost in the process. This loss of flavonoids is one of the many reasons for eating the orange in its whole food form (even if you only end up eating a little bit of the white pulpy part). The skin on a apple contains other antioxidants that you are not going to get in the juice. Skins of vegetables and fruits contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients and juicing is not as efficient as the body at extracting those nutrients.
Juicers will disagree with me however, too me:
- Blending is better because of the higher nutrient potential of antioxidants and macro and micro nutrients.
- Blending is better because you are getting 100% of the plants goodness.
- Blending is better because the absorption of blood sugar is slower.
Both are great for you and some people do both. Don’t get too caught up in the fuss just pick one or both and do it.
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.