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Juicing vs Blending: Understanding the Food Fads and Benefits of Each

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Fruits and vegetables hold the key to a healthy and disease-free life. As per the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans, it's recommended that you eat 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups vegetables daily. But, the truth is that very few among us meet this important dietary guideline. This is where juicing and blending can help. What exactly is the difference between juicing vs blending? We're here to tell you more about both of these fabulous ways to add more fruits and veggies to your diet.

The Struggle Is Real

If you struggle to eat fruits and veggies, you're not doing your health any good. A diet rich in plant-based foods is the key to preventing the onset of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's. While juicing and blending process raw ingredients in a similar fashion, there are subtle variations which make them significantly different.


Both juicing and blending are great ways to add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants from veggies and fruits into your diet. We'll tell you more about the benefits and key differences between juicing vs blending to help you decide on which one is best for your needs.

What Is Juicing?

Juicing is a process of extracting liquid from veggies and fruits while leaving their fiber intact. Juices have a thin, free-flowing consistency, making them delicious to sip on. We recommend you juice a variety of different fruits and veggies to derive optimum nutrition from them.

Benefits to Juicing

Improved Nutrient Absorption

Drawbacks of Juicing

Lacks Fiber

Expensive

What Is Blending?

Blending is essentially grinding up whole veggies and fruits without removing their fibrous content. With blending, you get a thick mix of pulp, fiber, and all nutrients, popularly known as a smoothie. This is the key differentiating factor of juicing vs blending – the final product.


Blending requires a high-quality processor that's able to break down fruits and vegetables into a fine mix.

Benefits of Blending

Retains Dietary Fiber

Anti-Oxidant Rich

Aids Weight Loss

Boosts Protein Intake

Drawbacks of Blending

Thick Texture

Not Easily Digestible

Top Tips on Making Juices and Smoothies Healthier

Add More Veggies

To prevent consumption of excess sugars, dieticians recommend limiting the amount of fruit in smoothies and juices to ½ cup per drink.
Add more veggies like kale, spinach, parsley, etc. when juicing or blending. This will bump up their nutrition profile of your drink while cutting down on sugar consent.


Leafy greens also taste pleasant in smoothies and juices. Try adding in citrus like fresh lime or lemon to cut the bitterness of veggies while giving your drink a fresh and zesty flavor.

Use Coconut Water

Add coconut water while juicing or blending for an added punch of electrolytes and minerals

Key Differences: Juicing vs Blending

Final Product

a jar full of blended strawberry

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Juicing gives you thin, clear liquid extract without residue or fiber. Blending makes smoothies, keeping the pulp and fiber of the fruits and veggies. Fruit juices are appetizing and easy to drink, while some people can't stomach the grainy texture of smoothies. Fruit juices are often the go-to choice for atheletes in the middle of performance or people recovering from a bout of upset stomach, where smoothies are preferred for everyday drinking. 

Nutrient Content

Blend fruits

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Both blending and juicing extract vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fruits and veggies. Both juices and smoothies are nutrient dense, full of potent nutrients good for you.


The key difference in juicing vs blending lies in the digestibility and absorption of nutrients. Juice lacks fiber and has a more concentrated dose of vitamins and nutrients, making it easy for the body digest and absorb nutrients quickly and efficiently. However, it also makes it easy for your body to absorb sugar. Blending has its benefits too. Blending gives you dietary fiber, which often contains potent antioxidants and phytonutrients and cushions the blow of all that sugar to your blood stream.

Fiber

illed clear drinking glass on top of white table

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Juice contains little to no fiber, while with blended smoothies you get all the fiber and pulp. Fiber keeps you full for longer, prevents blood sugar spikes, and aids efficient digestion. If you're looking to cut calories and lose weight, fiber-rich smoothies are your best bet.

Calories and Sugar

strawberry juice on white surface

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Sugar is the downside of both blending and juicing. With blended smoothies, you also consume all the fiber and pulp, which fills you up quickly, meaning you don't end up drinking too much of it at one go. This can help control the amount of sugar and calories you're consuming. The fiber in smoothies will keep you full for longer, while juices can make you feel ravenous an hour after you've had them.


With clear liquid juices, it's easy to down a lot of it without realizing the amount of sugar and calories that you're taking in. Commercially available fruit juices are very high in sugar and are best avoided.

Ease of Digestion

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The lack of fiber in juices makes it easier for your digestive system to process them, resulting in better absorption of nutrients. Low-fiber and low-residue diets are prescribed for individuals with digestive disorders like IBS-D or IBD. In such cases, juices are a better option compared to smoothies.


With blending, fiber remains intact, yet the tough cell walls of raw fruits and veggies are broken down that facilitates better digestion and effective nutrient absorption. In fact, consuming blended foods is easier on your digestive system than eating raw salads.

Conclusion

Now that you know all about juicing vs blending, it's no surprise that both juicing and blending are effective ways to consume more fruits and veggies. Juicing gives you concentrated nutrition per ounce, and has a pleasant taste. Drinking vegetable juice is a great alternative for people who find it hard to eat their veggies.

The downside of juicing is that with juicing you're missing out on important dietary fiber, which is also a vital source of antioxidants. With blending, you're getting all the good stuff that fruits and vegetables offer, but the pulpy texture may seem unappetizing to some.

Though blending and juicing are great ways to boost your intake of fruits and veggies, the high sugar content in both juices and smoothies is a common drawback. As with any form of diet, it's advisable to consume smoothies and juices in moderation.


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Can You Mow Wet Grass? 6 Things to Know Before Giving the Lawn a Clip

Mowning a wet grass

You may have heard from several different people that mowing your lawn when the grass is wet is a bad idea. You may have even listened to this advice but wondered why it’s so. If you find yourself in a position where your grass hasn’t been mowed in a long time, you may need to get it mowed. If it’s just recently rained, you may be wondering: can you mow wet grass?

Can You Mow Wet Grass?

wet grass

image source: pixabay.com

The answer to this question isn’t exactly cut and dry. While it is physically possible to mow wet grass, it’s not always advisable. There are many reasons for this, including how the yard will look after you mow it and whether or not it’s safe. If you have to have your grass mowed and there’s no chance it will be dry in time, then yes, you can mow your wet grass. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Why Mowing Your Wet Grass Isn’t a Good Idea

mowing wet grass using a lawn mower

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Just because the answer to can you mow wet grass is a yes doesn’t mean there’s nothing more to it. It really should only be done in desperation. If you can wait until it is dry, that’s the best way to deal with tall grass. Below are some of the reasons why mowing your wet grass isn’t a good idea.

grass

Your Lawn Might Not Look Great

When water hits your grass, it adds weight to the blades. This means that wet grass is heavier than dry grass and it is often bent over. Thus, when you run the lawnmower over the wet lawn, you won’t be getting those blades that are laying closer to the ground.

As the grass dries, it will become lighter and those blades that had been bent over will stand up. You will have patches in your grass that are taller than others. This can make your lawn look uneven and unkempt.

mould

Increased Chance of Mold and Fungus Growth

In addition to having uneven patches of grass, when you try to mow wet grass you actually end up tearing the blades instead of cutting them. When this happens, it increases the chances of fungal growth in your grass. The water from your sprinklers or from rain provides ideal conditions for fungal growth. When you mow the grass, you provide the surface for this element to cling to.

Not only do torn grass blades contribute to the growth of fungus, but the lawn clippings can also contribute to this growth. When you cut wet grass, it has a tendency to form large clumps that will sit on top of the healthy blades. When this happens, it restricts the airflow of the grass beneath it and invites fungus to grow.

When you ask can you mow wet grass and decide to do it, even if you bag your grass clippings (which isn’t a great idea), some of them can still get stuck on the bottom of your mower. When this happens, it can lead to the growth of mold. The next time you use your mower, you can spread the mold all over your lawn, which can cause a host of problems.

soil

Damage to the Ground

Mowing your grass when it is wet is the damage that might be caused directly to the ground. Since wet soil is more giving than dry soil, as you push the mower over your grass, you could create ruts. This will cause direct damage to the grass. You may also compact the soil. You may not see this damage right away, but it will cause damage over time.

lawn mower

It Can Hurt Your Mower

There are many moving parts to your mower, and it is probably constructed out of metal. Thus, if you get moisture on the metal parts, this could increase the chance of rust forming. This can cause a lot of damage to your mower. If water gets into the engine, this can lead to corrosion and potentially the engine seizing.

mower

Mowing Wet Grass Is Unsafe

Any work you do in your yard poses a safety risk, but that risk increases when your grass is wet. There are two contributing factors to this, including what type of mower you use and if your yard has slopes or hills.

If you have an electric mower, then you definitely need to rethink your idea about mowing wet grass. Electricity and water don’t mix. If the cord travels through any puddles that have collected in your yard or gets wet from the grass blades, this could lead to an electric shock.

Wet grass also has a tendency to be incredibly slick. If you have slopes or hills in your yard, your chances of slipping increases. You’ll also need to consider that your lawnmower can also slide on the wet surface. Since these machines can be heavy and cumbersome, if you can’t control them or stop them from sliding on a slick surface, this could lead to serious injury.

effort

It Causes Extra Work

Remember, wet grass is heavy and has a tendency to clump. Thus, when you try to push the mower through it, it will be challenging. You will have to work extra hard to move the mower, and the grass might get stuck in the blade and cause your mower to overheat. When this happens, you’ll have to stop and wait until it cools down before you can start cutting again.

Wet grass also stains, making it impossible to get it out of your clothes and shoes. If you walk across carpeting or other floor types with your stained shoes, the grass might also stain those surfaces. Therefore, the cleanup process that occurs after mowing wet grass can be a lot more work than you are willing to take on.

What to Do If You Have to Mow a Wet Lawn

Wet green grass

Image by smellypumpy from Pixabay

If you are asking, can you mow wet grass, there is probably a reason for this. Perhaps it has been raining for a while and the grass is getting super tall. There may be more rain on the way, but you have a short window to take care of the lawn. Maybe you are putting your house on the market and you need your lawn to look its best. These may lead to you needing to mow a wet lawn.

In general, it’s advised that you wait until your grass is dry before you attempt to mow it. However, if you have to get it done, there are some things you’ll need to do so make the process less complicated. These are as follows:

1

Add a Stabilizer to Your Gas

Adding a stabilizer will keep your gas from causing engine issues if water gets into the fuel tank. If the mower engine seizes, this can be an incredibly expensive issue to fix.

2

Make Sure Your Mower Blades Are Sharp

You’ll need an incredibly sharp blade to cut wet grass, so sharpen your blades safely to take care of this task. Read the owner’s manual to find the best way to get your blades sharp so you don’t hurt yourself or damage the mower.

3

Don’t Mulch or Bag the Grass

Trying to do either of these when your grass is wet will create a huge mess. You’ll get large clumps of grass in your lawn and your bag will get incredibly dirty. It’s best to let the grass shoot the side of the mower and collect on the surface.

4

Raise the Mower Wheels

You’ll need to raise the mower wheels taller than normal to ensure that the mower engine doesn’t get stressed.

5

Make Your Swaths Smaller

In addition to raising the mower wheels, you’ll also need to make each pass of your mower smaller than normal. Again, this will ensure that you don’t burn out your engine or make it work too hard to cut the grass.

6

Clean the Underside of the Mower

After you have cut your wet grass, you’ll then need to safely clean the underside of the mower. This will ensure that mold or rust doesn’t have the chance to grown on your machine.

7

Rake Up the Clippings

In the process of asking can you mow wet grass and then going through with the act, you will have clumps of grass clippings all over your yard. To prevent this from reducing airflow and suffocating your grass, you’ll want to rake them out of the way. You can then place them on a compost pile or dispose of them as normal.

Conclusion

Lawn mower mowing a green wet grass

​​​​Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

There are many reasons why you might ask, can you mow wet grass. The answer to the question is that it’s best to wait for the grass to dry, as the process can damage your lawn and your mower. However, there are some circumstances when you have to get your grass cut, wet or not. As long as you take some precautions and there isn’t standing water in your yard, you can mow wet grass. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably have to mow it again once it’s dry.

Featured Image: Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

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How Long Do Solar Panels Last? The Life Span of Your Power Panels

solar paneled roof

If you're considering installing solar panels on your rooftop or on your property, you have to calculate all the costs involved. At first glance, the deal seems almost too good to be true: free energy and higher home value, all for a modest investment. But how long do solar panels last? Will your investment hold up or cost you dearly?

solar panel icon

How Long do Solar Panels Last?

Modern solar panels will last over 25 years, with most manufacturer warranties ranging between 25 and 30 years. This is plenty of time for you to recoup your investment in a solar roof array. But even when those 25 or 30 years are up, your solar panels still have plenty of life in them.

We're used to thinking of devices as either working, or broken. Light bulbs are the perfect example. One day they work; the next day they're burnt out. But solar panels don't really operate this way. To understand more about solar panel life expectancy, we have to understand what they are made of and how they can fail over time. The question isn't really how long do solar panels last, but how long do their individual parts last.

solar panel icon

Do Solar Panels Fail?

house with solar panel

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Unless some major accident occurs, like a meteorite crashing into your roof and knocking out a panel or two, solar panels won't just die overnight. A solar panel is actually made up of dozens of smaller solar cells. When their power is combined, they produce enough energy to power the devices in your home.

These individual solar cells can fail due toa number of factors. The most common is thermal cycling, which is when something changes from hot to cold or vice-versaover and over again.

Thermal cycling can cause tiny cracks and separate solder joints inside the cell.

The second leading cause is humidity or moisture getting trapped inside the cell, followed by a temperature change. Frozen moisture can separate the cell from the rest of the panel, or cause physical trauma. It's the same reason the roads tend to deteriorate in winter. So while your entire panel shouldn't fail all at once, over time several of those tiny cells inside it could die out. That process is called solar panel degradation.

solar panel icon

What Causes Solar Panels to Degrade?

sky and solar panels up close

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Beyond the aforementioned processes of thermal cycling and humidity, there are other risks to solar panels over time. For example, UV radiation, an unavoidable part of dealing with the sun's energy, breaks down the chemicals inside a solar panel.

Physical damage is also one of the leading factors limiting solar panel lifespans. Obviously you should never walk or place objects on your solar panels. Installation should be done by professionals who know how to handle these delicate objects with care.

But even with a perfect installation and good maintenance, your solar panels can still end up getting bumped and bruised. The panel is surrounded by a metal frame, and manufacturers have sometimes taken to using lighter materials for this frame. Under heavy snow, the frame can bend if it's not rigid enough, and that can crack some of the cells inside the panel.

What Happens When a Solar Panel Degrades?

illustration of solar energy process

Image via Freepik

Instead of simply malfunctioning, the solar panel is able to capture whatever energy trickles out of it. If you lose 10% of the cells inside the panel, it would still produce 90% of its original energy output. A degrading solar panel simply produces less power than it did when you first installed it.

Solar panels used to degrade much more rapidly than they do now. In the 70s and 80s, they would lose up to 3 or 4% of their performance each year! Today, those numbers are much lower. Modern solar panels degrade at less than 1% per year.

This is why we see life expectancies of 25-30 years, it takes about that long to reach 80% of the original performance. 80% is the industry standard limit, and panels below that should be marked for replacement.

solar panel icon

Can You Extend the Life of Solar Panels?

house with solar panels on roof

Image via Pexels

How long do solar panels last if you take good care of them? Can you extend their lifespan? While you can't avoid some of the degradation, you can certainly do your best not to harm your panels any further. If you live in an area that gets heavy snowfalls in winter, consider taking the time to remove the snow from your panels. That added snow weight can do damage over time.

If you live on a dirt road which gets significant traffic, you should schedule regular cleanings of your solar panels as well. Ditto for rooftops that seem destined to get hit by flocks of birds passing overhead.

Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot more you can do. Unlike your phone, you can't just put a protector over the top of the panel, since that would cut down the available sunlight and defeat the purpose of using the panel in the first place. The best thing you can do is follow the manufacturer's advice and take care of your panels.

solar panel icon

How Long Does It Take for Solar Panels to Become Profitable?

solar panel on roof of house

Image via Unsplash

How long do solar panels last? Long enough for you to make a profit! Everyone wants to know how long it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves. The answer depends entirely on your energy consumption, the type of panels you buy, where you live, and even whether you can sell excess power back to the utility company or to the grid.

The Average

Let's take a look at the average American home, which uses about 860 kilowatt hours per month. A typical roof can accommodate a 5kWh array of solar panels. Assuming you get about 6 hours of quality sunlight per day, that's enough for 30kWh a day, or 900kWh per year. That would completely replace your electricity costs! Using the national average of 11 cents per kWh, you could save up to $95 a month. That's $1140 a year.

Installation costs for a 5kWh system range between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on your location. Let's take the middle number and assume it'll cost $15,000. At that price, it'll take you around 13 years to pay off the cost of your solar panel installation. 13 years seems like an awful long time. But when you consider that adding solar panels also increases the value of your house, then it's not such a bad proposition after all.

Caveats

The main caveat here is that most homes aren't actually average. If you live in a place with long, heavy snow seasons (like Maine or Wisconsin) or where you're subject to hurricanes and strong storms, your solar panel will take a lot longer to become profitable; if that's even possible before it needs to be replaces. The same is true if you live in a place where you just don't get enough sunny days to create the energy you need. 

solar panel icon

Should You Replace Old Solar Panels?

sky above solar panels

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Whether you should replace your old solar panels or not depends on a few factors. First, how old are the panels? If they were installed before 2000, chances are they weren't the most efficient panels to begin with. You might benefit from a fresh installation.

But if your panels are newer than that, you're safe until you reach the 25 to 30 year mark. Analyze how much energy you are using and if it's worth installing new panels.

Even at 80% of their original efficiency, your existing installation could still be good enough to keep the lights on in your home.

You may be able to get more utility out of your solar panels by installing a battery system for your home. This will let you use solar energy captured during the day when you come home at night. If you're at work all day and the kids are at school, this option can make the most sense; and, it will add to the value of your home.

Before you decide to replace an older array of solar panels, do some research and see what new technologies are on the horizon. The cost and efficiency of solar panels has steadily improved over the last decade. You can expect that trend to continue, and in some cases it might be worth holding off another few years before replacing your existing panels.

solar panel icon

Conclusion

solar panels lined up

Image via Pexels

The answer to the question “How long do solar panels last” may change in just a few years. A few decades ago, the answer was 10 years; but now it's over 25! Any investment in solar power today is likely going to last you 30 years, and even after that it'll still keep producing power.

Modern setups are capable of producing more power at 80% of their original strength. As solar technology matures and more breakthroughs occur, you can expect better products to hit the market at even better prices.

In addition to the savings on your monthly electric bill, adding solar panels to your home adds value that lasts even beyond the manufacturer's warranty. So go ahead, put those panels up and let them shine. Your wallet and your planet will thank you for making such a bright choice.

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What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer? 10 Foods Your Friends and Family Will Love

hamburger on plate and Corona bottle

Fried foods are often associated with fun and going out to eat. They can be enjoyed at restaurants and at carnivals and fairs. When the home fryer became available, no longer did people have to venture out to get their favorite fried foods. They had the opportunity to make them at home. While fried foods can be delicious and comforting, they aren't exactly healthy. Thus, the air fryer was created, leading people to ask: what can you cook in an air fryer?

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

There is almost no limit to what you can make! These include beef, chicken, frozen foods, vegetables, and fish, as well as sweet treats such as cookies, breads, and donuts. Since this device uses less than one tablespoon of oil or just a few sprays of nonstick cooking spray, the foods you get from your air fryer are delicious and good for you.

How Does an Air Fryer Work

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

How Do You Clean an Air Fryer?

​10 Foods to Cook in Your Air Fryer that Your Family and Friends Will Love

There are a variety of different foods that you can cook in your air fryer. Finding the recipes and dishes that your family will love shouldn't be a challenge. However, to get you started with some ideas, here is a list of 10 foods you can try when asking: what can you cook in an air fryer?

1. Chicken Strips

2. Regular French Fries

3. Avocado Fries

4. Homemade Chips

5. Ravioli

6. Egg Rolls

7. Meatballs

8. Certain Cookies

9. Donuts

10. Pumpkin Seeds

​Conclusion

Fried foods are an item that are incredibly delicious and indulgent. When it comes making these foods, the question of whether or not this is a healthy decision will crop up. Air fryers have the ability to make fried foods healthier, which means you can indulge more often. The only thing you have to ask is what can you cook in an air fryer, and the answer is almost anything your heart desires!

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