While some people love nothing more than a tall glass of juice to make them feel hale and hearty, others adore the thicker consistency of a blended beverage like a smoothie.
Both methods of preparing and enjoying fruits and vegetables have proven health benefits and a few downfalls as well. So, which one is better for you and why?
In this juicing versus blending guide, we go over the differences between the two methods, describe how they work, and outline the pros and cons of each.
What Is The Difference Between Juicing And Blending?
Juicing is the process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables – the fastest and simplest method of doing so is by using a juicer. The result is a pure, smooth product, and usually little to no pulp.
Juicing with a blender is the process of breaking up the whole fruit or vegetable into a pulp and taking it as is – without separating the juice from the final product.
SEE ALSO: Juicing For Beginners
Is juicing better than blending? Well, it all boils down to your preferences and unique health requirements.
How Does Juicing Work?
When using a juicer, the machine does the hard work for you, extracting the water and healthy vitamins and minerals from your fruit and vegetables while discarding the tougher fiber.
Not all juicers are created equal. A centrifugal juicer may be cheaper but will heat up your fruits and veggies during the juicing process as it chops and spins the produce rapidly. This destroys some of those essential nutrients that you’re hoping to benefit from.
Cold-pressed juicers are slower and more expensive. They simply press your produce to extract the juice, so are better at preserving those essential enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
A juicer will generally have a chute to feed your produce into, and two separate outlets – one for the juice and one for the dry pulp which has been removed.
For those on a tight budget or prefer to go a bit old-school, there are other methods of juicing that don’t involve an appliance. These can be time-consuming but will deliver similar results as a cold-press juicer.
Pros And Cons Of Juicing
- Nutrients are easily digested.
- Higher nutrient concentrations in the juice.
- Easier to hide fruits and vegetables within the juice.
- A good option for those with a sensitive digestive system that has difficulty processing fiber.
- Clean-up time can be a nightmare since there are so many things to be cleaned – from the juicer parts to the knives and chopping board.
- There is direct absorption of concentrated fruit sugars into the bloodstream which can result in rapid blood sugar spikes.
- A lot of insoluble fiber is lost.
- Juices cannot be stored for long if oxidation of nutrients is to be avoided.
- High yield juicers may cost significantly more than a blender. See our Juicer Reviews to get an idea of best-rated juicers.
- Juicing may be more expensive than blending as you need to purchase more produce to get smaller amounts of liquid.
How Does Blending Work?
A blender is far more aggressive than your average juicer. It simply pulverizes whatever you throw in until it turns into a thick liquid.
Most blenders consist of a housing – which contains the motor and electronics to run the blender – and a plastic or glass jug that sits on top of the housing and blade.
Super easy to use, you simply drop in your produce, put the lid on (an essential step that you’ll only forget once!) and turn the machine on.
The blade or blades rotate rapidly in a circular motion, chopping whatever you throw in there into tiny little particles.
You can also purchase immersion blenders, handheld devices that you lower into a container to mix your ingredients. However, countertop blenders are much more suited for blending fruit and vegetables to create a smoothie-type beverage.
Pros And Cons Of Blending
- Easy to blend and clean up.
- Typically, blenders don’t cost as much as juicers.
- Slower absorption may reduce blood sugar spikes.
- Insoluble fiber means you will feel fuller for longer with blended products or smoothies.
- You won’t go through as much fresh produce, as the blending process results in larger volumes of liquid.
- Takes longer to consume than a thin juice because of the pulp.
- You may dislike pulp which will require straining via a mesh or cheesecloth. See Also: Juicing Without A Juicer
- Your body may consume fewer nutrients per serving when compared to juicing.
- Some fruits and vegetables produce a great tasting juice, but the pulp can be bitter and ruin the overall blend.
Does Blending Destroy Nutrients?
Most modern research tells us that blending fruits or vegetables does not significantly destroy any important nutrients; in fact, the process may help make them more readily available for the body to use.
One thing that will have an impact on the nutritional value of our blended produce is how long it is stored for. We recommend drinking your blended concoction immediately – or as soon as possible – to get the optimal goodness from it. The longer you store it, the more those nutrients will degrade.
Heat can also be a factor that destroys certain nutrients, but most blenders do the job in around 30 seconds – not long enough to do considerable damage.
Does Juicing Remove Fiber?
The juicing process does indeed remove most of the insoluble fiber from your fruit and vegetables; however, the soluble fiber is still present.
Insoluble fiber is useful for healthy bowel habits and to help you feel full.
Soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar, slow down the process of the digestive tract, and promotes good digestive health.
The short answer is that yes, juicing can remove some of the essential dietary fiber that your body needs to stay healthy; however, as part of a balanced diet and plenty of whole foods, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Final Thoughts: Juice Or Blend?
Juicing produces a drink that can be easily absorbed by your body. This means that it tends to reach vital parts of your body faster. With easier access to a concentration of nutrients in your juice, blood sugar spikes tend to be more rapid.
As a result, you may experience mood swings, memory problems or energy loss. This may not be the case with blending since a lot of nutrients are still locked in the pulp – including both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Do you prefer juicing or blending?