Juicing vs. Blending | Which is best?

by Natalie on April 19, 2011

Both juicing and blending have become very popular over the past several years. I think the excitement over these two methods has stemmed from increasing knowledge of how fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic disease.

There are some health experts out there that tout juicing over blending and vice versa. These conflicting messages leave many of us feeling confused over which is best.

Lets take a closer look at both methods before reaching a conclusion.

Juicing

Both fruits and vegetables can be juiced, with a few exceptions. For example, bananas and avocados do not work well for juicing because they just aren’t very juicy!

When you juice, you extract all the liquid from a fruit and/or vegetable and leave tough stuff behind. The tough stuff is all the fiber. This is one negative side effect of juicing.

Fiber is important for many reasons, one of them being to help regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber helps slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Without the fiber, the juice is going to hit your blood stream quickly and cause a spike in your insulin levels. Fruits have more natural sugar than vegetables, so if you are making a 100% fruit juice, the effect will be greater than if you were making a vegetable drink. Drinking your juice with a meal can help negate this effect.

The up-side of juicing is the ability to extract and consume juice from a large quantity of fruits and vegetables. How else would you be able to consume the juice from an entire head of lettuce at one time? Many people find it difficult to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and juicing can help with this. However, it is important to keep in mind that the juice isn’t the only healthy part of the plant. Each part of the plant plays an important role and with juicing you are only reading half of the story.

Blending

Blending is the process of tossing the whole fruit and/or vegetable into a blender or food processor and tearing it into little tiny pieces.

In most cases you are consuming the entire part of the plant. Exceptions would be the peels, cores and seeds of some fruits and vegetables. With mostly all parts of the plant intact, you use less quantity of plants than you would in juicing.

Another major benefit of blending is the ability to add many different items to your drink such as nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and flax. Depending on what you add, your smoothie could end up being a meal in a cup.  This is a huge benefit for people trying to create a healthy breakfast on the go or for people with a diminished appetite. When you are ill, sometimes it’s easier to drink your calories.

Blending can be very frustrating if you don’t have the right equiptment. A high speed blender is extremely helpful because it will give you more flexibility with what you can add. I use and recommend Vitamix blenders. Before I had my Vitamix, smoothies would turn out grainy and I would have to use a lot of liquid to make it blend. With my Vitamix, smoothies turn out as smooth as silk!

The Verdict

There are obvious benefits for both blending and juicing. Both methods help people reap the benefits of fruits and vegetables more easily, and who’s to argue with that!

The ultimate situation would be to have both appliances! However, I realize that is not possible for most people. If someone without either a juicer or blender asked me which one they should buy, I would definitely say a high speed blender. To me, the benefits of eating the whole plant outweighs consuming only the juice. Also the versatility of blending is amazing!

I think the take home message here is to consume fruits and vegetables in many forms, that way you are covering all of your bases.

Question: Do you juice or blend? Tell me why, Leave a comment in the comments section.

~Natalie

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photo by: hepp

 

 

 

Marilyn April 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

I love blending and juicing. I think it is a great way to get more vitamins in between meals. I like that I can use all my fresh fruits and veges with no waste. I never throw out anything anymore, it goes in my smoothies or I juice it. I use a food processor and juicer. Couldn’t live without it! You can really get creative too.

Natalie April 21, 2011 at 7:41 am

You bring up a great point. Smoothies and juicing do help use up any straying produce. Thanks for the comment.

maureen blackburn May 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hi, I am wondering what is the best blender/food processor to buy?

Thanks

Natalie May 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

Maureen, great question! I absolutely love the Vitamix brand blender. It is one of the best investments I have ever made. I went through a ton of really bad blenders before I bought the Vitamix. I have owned the Vitamix for 4 years now, and it still works great. Highly recommend.

jane June 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

I too use my Vitamix and blend both vegtables and fruit and it does come out like silk!!

Natalie June 11, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I know, isn’t it great?! I couldn’t live without my Vitamix!

Cam March 10, 2014 at 11:02 am

I purchased a Nutribullet 1 week ago and I’ve been blending my veggies and fruits ever since. This device is a knock off version of the Vitamix bc it’s small and quick, no bulk, not a lot of clean up. I just started blending to up my fiber and lose weight. I notice the clarity and energy I have since day 1. I will probably up my takes to 2 shakes a day bc I still have lots of kale and spinach left. You cant go wrong with the Nutribullet.

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