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
Juicing extracts all key nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and makes them available in an easily digestible and absorbable form. By removing the insoluble fiber from fruits and veggies, juicing gives a more concentrated mix of vitamins and minerals.
The lack of fiber makes it easy for juices to be digested, allowing for efficient absorption of nutrients within the bloodstream. Juicing is ideal for those with digestive issues and those recovering from illnesses, since it's easily digestible and filled with nutrients that can help you bounce back to health.
Drawbacks of Juicing
Juicing essentially gets rid of all the fiber content of the fruits and veggies, so if you're looking to add more fiber diet, juicing may not be the ideal option for you. Because fruit juice doesn't contain fiber, it will not fill you up, meaning it won't curb hunger pangs.
For those looking to lose weight, fiber is an important constituent that can keep you satisfied for longer; drinking fruit juice that's stripped of all the fiber may not help your weight loss goals.
Juicing is also more expensive compared to blending. Because juicing extracts only the liquid from the fruits and veggies, you'll need to buy more produce to make a substantial amount of juice.
Also, keep in mind that if you're primarily juicing only fruits, the rapid absorption of nutrients and sugar into the blood stream may cause blood sugar spikes – something diabetics must definitely watch out for.
Fruit juices also tend to be higher in sugar and calorie content than blended smoothies.
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
Blending keeps the fiber content of fruits and vegetables intact, making it valuable for anyone looking to add more fiber to their diet. Dietary fiber has a host of health benefits, including improved digestive health, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, weight loss, and more.
Blending is a great way to incorporate this essential dietary component that the Western diet lacks. The fiber in smoothies takes time to digest, preventing insulin spikes, commonly observed with drinking fruit juices.
Smoothies are brimming with phytonutrients and antioxidants that ensure optimal functioning of your body, and also guard against diseases. The fiber in smoothies keeps you full for longer, preventing hunger pangs and snacking in between meals.
Aids Weight Loss
Smoothies are a blessing if you're looking to lose weight and cut calories. Replace any of your meals with a nutrient-dense smoothie made with fresh fruits, veggies; add in Greek yoghurt, plant-based milk, nuts, and seeds for a protein-packed option that's delicious and satisfying.
Boosts Protein Intake
Blending also gives you the option of adding other beneficial ingredients in addition to fruits and veggies. Blending is a fantastic way of adding more protein to your smoothies in form of Greek Yoghurt, chia seeds, nuts like almonds or walnuts, etc. Adding protein sources to your smoothies makes it an optimal meal replacement option.
Drawbacks of Blending
Blending creates smoothies that are thick in texture and are not quick and easy to drink. If you're new to blending, you may find the thick and grainy texture of smoothies distasteful at first. Adding too many veggies may sometimes cause the smoothie to taste bitter, hampering its taste.
Not Easily Digestible
The nutrients in smoothies are not as quickly and easily absorbable as juices. For convalescing patients, blended smoothies may not be the best option, since an already compromised body function will have to work harder to break down the insoluble fiber.
If you suffer from digestive issues like bloating or diarrhea, a sudden overload of digestive fiber may lead to increased discomfort. It's best to gradually introduce smoothies to your diet to minimize digestive discomfort.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.