Juicing vs Blending: How Does It Differ and Which is Better?

Last updated on November 2nd, 2018 by Garrick Dee

Eating fruits and vegetables is good for you.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that vegetables and fruits are good for you.

 

I bet your parents told you that you need to eat fruits and veggies one time or another.

Countless studies have proven that fact. One study showed that it helped reduce stroke by 26% and another showed it can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

So the more fruits and veggies you consume the better off you are. The problem is how.

5 servings per day

Experts recommend that you consume at least 5 servings per day. And if you don’t know how this looks like have a look at this article from CookingLight.com.

In this article we’ll compared to alternative ways to consuming them aside from old fashioned cooking.

I’m talking about juicing vs blending and how both these methods differ.

More often than not, people confuse one from the other.

We’re going to clear things up in this article and break down and answer questions like

What’s the difference?

Juicing

Juicing is the process of extracting juice from produce, separating it from the pulp (or insoluble fiber).

How the machine does it would depend on the type you’ll use. Centrifugal juicers utilize a sharp blade that cut into produce and separate it from the rest of the pulp.

Slow juicers (or Masticating) use an auger to squeeze out juice. These machines will generally extract more but will take longer and more prep time.

There are a lot of nuances in selecting the right type of juicer. And I’ve written a detailed article about it and feel free to read up on it to see which one works well for you.

The body will absorb nutrients immediately because there’s no pulp.

Your digestive system does not have to work hard to separate nutrients from the pulp because a juicer does it for you.

This makes juicing suitable for people who have a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.

It’ll also work if you have a weak digestive system. Juicing will enable you to still get the nutrients your body needs.

Warning: Don’t rely on juicing as a substitute to a proper meal because it lacks the fiber to fill you up.

Avoid using lots of  fruit because of the absorption issue where sugar goes directly to the blood stream. This will cause the blood glucose level spiking leading to diabetes and excess weight.

Blending

Unlike juicing that separates the pulp and juice, blending retains everything as if you’re eating the whole fruit or vegetable. But the blending process will break down fiber into a puree like consistency.

This helps make fruit and vegetables easier to digest. The presence of fiber slows down the release of nutrients and helps avoid blood glucose spikes if you happen to make recipes with lots of fruit.

Your body will absorb all the nutrients because everything remains intact including the non-soluble fiber that helps with cleansing the gut.

Blending can also technically replace a meal because the fiber helps fill you up. This is an alternative to a breakfast just in case you’re in a hurry.

If you need a pre-workout meal, a blended drink is also a good alternative to give your body right amount of fuel it needs for something intense.

Which one is better?

It all boils down to what you want to achieve.

Juicing can be beneficial for the following scenarios

  • Going through a fast and need to rest your digestive system for a short period
  • Just had surgery, chemo or radiation therapy and need something that absorbs quickly to rebuild your immune system
  • Looking for an alternative treatment to conditions such as high blood or diabetes – you can concoct recipes that contain ingredients that help treat these conditions naturally
  • Have a health issue and you need a quick way to absorb nutrients

Remember that if you’re including fruits, only include those with low sugar levels such as blueberry or lemon.

Blending can be beneficial for these situations…

  • It provides a quicker option to consuming foods just in case you’re in a hurry
  • Helps you consume more leafy greens and improve your overall health
  • Great for concocting pre-workout drinks as you can mix in protein powder to the mix of greens and low glycemic fruits

Do I need the fiber?

There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber. And you need a balance of these two in your diet.

Here’s why…

Soluble fiber will remain inside the juice even without the pulp. It helps absorb water inside the intestine that forms a gel to slow down the transit of food inside the digestive track.

Another benefit of soluble fiber is it acts as a pro-biotic that supports healthy bacteria in the gut. It can also help lower blood cholesterol and glucose.

Insoluble fiber is the pulp that’s inside the smoothie.

This type of fiber will not be digested by the gut so it’ll take up space.

When this goes in the gut passes through it undigested and this will help move the bowel and increase stool bulk.

Helps improve gut health

A diet that contains lots of fiber helps softens the stool and prevents constipation. It’ll also help folks who may have soft watery stools by solidifying it because soluble fiber will absorb water and will add bulk [source].

Achieve a healthy weight safely

Eating a diet that’s rich in fiber is more filling compared to food that’s rich in fat and low in fiber. You’ll eat less and stay full longer.

If you aim to increase fiber intake then go for more smoothies because these have more insoluble fiber that will fill you up.

And since you’re consuming lots of vegetables and fruits these will be “energy dense” which means you’ll consume less calories for the same amount of food.

Can I use a blender for juicing?

Definitely, you can use a blender for making juices. It all depends on how much pulp you’re willing to tolerate.

If you absolutely don’t like pulp then you’ll have to use a nut bag or strainer to separate pulp and juice. I’ve written a detailed guide about this process – make sure you read that.

But if you don’t mind having a little pulp then just add more water than usual to the recipe to lighten up the consistency. Some juicers have a juice preset that chops ingredients into smaller bits that almost has a juice-like consistency. But you’ll need to add more liquid to achieve a similar consistency.

Just remember that adding more liquid will dilute flavor and won’t be as nutrient dense.

So weigh your options.

Some “best practices” tips from experts

1. Don’t combine starchy vegetables with fruit

In his book “Food Combining Made Easy”, Dr. Herbert Shelton said that you can’t mix starchy food with other food groups. That’s because the body uses a different enzyme for digesting them and another for other food types.

So when a starchy vegetable such as broccoli, beet, carrot or zucchini is combined with fruit, it may result in fermentation and gas [source].

2. Limit amount of fruit in juice or smoothie

To limit the amount of sugar intake, it’s best to limit the amount of fruit you put in your juice or smoothies. Some experts recommend that you limit this to 1 to 2 servings per drink. If you’re making green juice, I’ve created an infographic that will guide you on exactly how much fruit to add depending on the recipe.

3. Citrus juice helps mask the bitter taste from vegetables

Adding citrus fruits like lemon, lime or grapefruit will mask the bitter flavor that any vegetable may have. When by blood glucose level spiked up dangerously close to the border, I immediately spend the next week or so drinking bitter melon juice.

Drinking it undiluted makes it hard to drink so I mixed half a lemon and cumber to dilute it.

It still tasted bad but not as bad without the lemon and cucumber.

The great thing about these citrus fruits is that it’s almost has zero sugar so you don’t have to worry about spikes in your blood sugar levels.

Please avoid using orange though because it contains a relatively high amount of sugar. Stick to those three I mentioned above.

4. Drink your smoothie right away

The process of blending introduces a lot of air into the drink. Air and light will destroy all the nutrients inside and spoil.

If you’re making a smoothie, it’ll be best to drink it within 15 minutes or you’ll have to store it in a dark, airtight container to preserve nutrient content.

5. When juicing, try to ingredients like celery and cucumber

Both these vegetables are have high water content and will dramatically increase volume in any juice recipe. It’s also a trick that I use to dilute the strong flavor of leafy greens or any ingredient with strong flavor.

6. Add coconut water or regular water to smoothies to make it less pulpy

One trick that a lot of people use to lighten up the consistency of smoothies is to add coconut water or just plain water. Yes it may dilute flavor but it helps lessen the pulp. The choice between a thick or think smoothie will be up to you – it’s a personal choice.

To wrap it up

Eating more fruits and vegetables is a no-brainer way of living a healthier lifestyle. No gimmicky diet that starves you to death beats a well-balanced nutrition that contains lots of leafy greens and fruit.

With our busy lifestyle, eating a plate full of these goodies can be tough and this is where juicing or blending comes in.

Both methods are great options in speeding up the process of consuming healthy foods. Avoid buying store bought juicing because these have added sugars. And most of the time these drinks aren’t as fresh. The pasteurization process kills bacteria but also beneficial enzymes that benefit the gut.

Picking one will depend on your need

Juicing is great for individuals looking to infuse themselves with nutrients without having to work their digestive system. People who have conditions like diabetes or high blood would benefit. So as individuals who just came from surgery or radiation treatment who require a soft diet.

Juicing will definitely help in those scenarios.

Blending will benefit folks who’d like a quick way to eat their fruits and veggies without having to remove the pulp. If you work out a lot then smoothies can be a great option for a pre-workout meal. It’s pretty easy to integrate protein powder to a mixture and greens and berries to create a nutrient rich shake.

2 thoughts on “Juicing vs Blending: How Does It Differ and Which is Better?”

  1. i found this article very informative I love my juicer but now know I have been using too much fruit also the wrong type of fruit so I have learnt a lot . many thanks .delma stevens.

  2. Thank you for the tips, this is helpful, we make smoothies at home each morning and I didn’t know not to mix starch with our fruits. I have an extra tip- to make a smoothie thinner without diluting flavor through water, we have learned that certain room-temp fruits handle the thickness issue. When we make a smoothie, we mix frozen chunks (which we chop and keep a frozen stock at all times) with whatever room-temp fruit we like, and if it’s too thick after using desired flavors, we add room-temp fruits that have high water content, like grapes, kiwis, or very ripe peaches, among other options. Adding nutrition and making the smoothie drink-able without diluting. We have also included rinds when adding lemon or lime, for the sake of optimum nutrient content. They just require extra fruit with high water content, as rinds can make the smoothie too thick. We have this down to a good science now, and the NutriBullet is our blender of choice.

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