Blending, juicing, peeling, chopping. Is it just us, or are fruits and veggies slightly high maintenance? These days, it seems like most health enthusiasts are walking versions of either juices or smoothies. You know the phrase: you are what you eat.
Intrigued, we sorted through the conflicting reports our fellow health nuts have shared on the virtues and pitfalls of juicing and blending.
Enough of this war, already. We all want the same thing: quick supplies of energy and immunity boosting macro and micro-nutrients.
Here, we’ll give you the down-low on the pros and cons of juicing and blending.
Juicing: Fast Vitamin Boost or Sugary Fake?
Definition= the process of extracting the water from the fruit or vegetable.
Credible, unbiased information about juicing can be hard to find. We’ll do our best to give it to you straight.
Most citrus fruits can be juiced using a manual juicer, including oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits. Nearly everything else requires a custom juicer in order to extract the water.
There are 2 types of juicers:
- Centrifugal juicers: operate at high speeds. They spin the juice away from the pulp and into a glass or bowl. The pulp, skins, and seeds are launched into a separate waste container.
- Masticating juicers: grind and squeeze the juice from the fruits and vegetables and are much more efficient than centrifugal juicers.
Benefits of Juicing
1. Provides a high quantity of vitamins and minerals without being high calorie.
- Calorie Comparison: 1 medium orange contains 62 calories. Juicing that same orange reduces the calorie content by 23 calories.
- Advocates claim they’ve had success with juicing for weight loss.
2. Smooth Digestion:
- If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, or another type of stomach or intestinal ailment that affects the way you absorb nutrients, juicing will allow you to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs without aggravating your digestive system.
- How does this work? Juicing eliminates the fiber from the fruits and vegetables. High fiber foods can be harder for your stomach to digest.
Drawbacks of Juicing
1. It actually depletes most of the fruit and veggie nutrients you seek.
- The majority of vital nutrients in fruits and vegetables reside in the skin and pulp (both eliminated when juiced).
- By juicing them, you are only extracting vitamins and minerals that are water soluble (and losing the rest).
2. Juices are extremely high in sugar.
- Critics of juicing point out that people are essentially drinking sugar water, because these beverages can reach the sugar content of candy bars!
- Juicing significantly decreases the amount of fiber in fruit, so you increase your risk of hunger and a blood sugar crash later in the day.
3. You miss out on the healthy fruits and veggies that cannot be juiced:
- Avocados, bananas, and eggplants, to name a few.
- These have very little juice content, so attempting to juice them would clog your juicer.
Blending: Convenient Meal or High Calorie Ordeal?
Definition = putting fruits and vegetables into a blender and grating or chopping them until they are smooth and creamy.
Blenders are significantly less expensive than juicers. Smoothies make excellent meal replacements for breakfast and lunch.
Benefits of Blending
1. Increases your fiber intake and allows you to consume ALL available vitamins and minerals.
- Fiber helps slow digestion, which means less hunger throughout the day (often leading to fewer calories consumed later on. Hello, weight loss!).
2. Blending offers more variety.
- Bananas, avocados, and eggplant can all be put into a blender.
- Blending leafy green vegetables provides more nutrients than juicing.
3. You can add protein powders, milk, and wheat germ.
- An increase in protein means more energy.
Drawbacks of Blending
1. Calorie Comparison:
- If not done carefully, blending can create very high calories drinks.
- Example = a smoothie that includes 1 banana, 16 ounces of strawberries, 8 ounces of blueberries and 2 large carrots is 437 calories (or roughly the same amount of calories as two pieces of dry toast and two scrambled eggs cooked in a tablespoon of butter).
2. Getting the right consistency is a tricky business.
- Too much water or ice can turn the smoothie into something that resembles a pulpy juice.
- Too little water can result in blending difficulties and a drink that resembles a chunky paste.
Helpful Blending tips:
- cut back on calories in smoothies by using coconut water instead of milk.
- Finding the right consistency can be a matter of trial and error, but once you have it done, you’re set for life!
- Try looking up smoothie recipes on Pinterest or the Whole Foods website for inspiration.
Looking for the perfect juicer or blender?
- Reasonably priced, high functioning juicers: available at Walmart and Amazon.
- Affordable, popular brands of blenders: at Target and Kmart.
Gold Medal Winner?
We tend to lean toward blending over juicing, because smoothies are richer in fiber, protein, and nutrients. They make a safer daily meal.
Still, people who are juicing and blending all strive for the same positive goal: cleaner, healthier bodies. A vitamin packed juice may bring you the quick energy kick you need.
IN THE END: your decision depends on your personal goals. If you seek a healthy meal replacement, blending is ideal. If you want a low-calorie, easily digestible drink, juicing may be for you.