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The Debate: Juicing vs Blending

  |   Food & Nutrition, Guest Blog, Healthy Hand Blog   |   10 Comments

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Juicing is the latest in a series of trends taking over New York City, following hot on the heels of the gluten-free phenomena. While some of us consider the terms synonymous, there is a difference when it comes to juicing vs blending! Juicing extracts the juice of the fruit or vegetable, while blending uses the whole fruit or vegetable, along with some liquid, to form a puree. I personally prefer blending to juicing based on my dwindling lack of energy only a few hours after I drink a juice. But before you choose a camp, here’s the nutritional breakdown of each method:

Juicing Pros: 

  • Although scientifically unproven, experts believe that this concentrated form of nutrition makes vitamins, minerals and enzymes easier for the body to absorb and lowers the risk of certain chronic diseases.
  • Juicing requires minimal digestion, therefore giving the digestive system a break.
  • It’s a helpful way to increase intake of fruits and vegetables for people who do not consume the recommended amount on a daily basis, i.e. most Americans.
  • Juicing is beneficial for people sensitive to fiber, as most fiber is removed in the juicing process

Juicing Cons:

  • It removes most of the fiber and 10-20 percent of the antioxidants.
  • Juicing isn’t advisable for diabetics, as it allows fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream, thus drastically affecting blood sugar levels.
  • Sadly, it’s not typically a satisfying meal or snack.
  • Juicers are expensive, ranging from $200 to $500 dollars. Readymade juices can cost anywhere from $6 to $12 for a 16 ounce juice. Ouch!
  • They are time consuming to prepare and typically involve extensive cleanup time.

Blending Pros:

  • Fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream without significantly spiking blood sugars because of the high fiber content. Note that most people consume less than 50 percent of their recommended fiber needs. The higher intake not only improves total and LDL cholesterol, blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, but has also shown to reduce the risk of chronic disorders, such as constipation.
  • Only a small amount of digestion is required, giving the digestive system a break.
  • There is more nutrient availability due to the whole plant being consumed.
  • Blenders cost between $20-$120, including new machines like NutriBullet.
  • It involves faster preparation and easier cleanup.

Blending Cons:

  • Can cause bloating and gas, especially if sensitive to fiber or not accustomed to a fiber-rich diet.
  • Some blenders create too much heat, and if left to blend for too long, can decrease enzymes.
  • Taste and texture can be difficult to manipulate.

Bottom line: Juicing or blending can be a part of a healthy diet if followed in moderation. Whether you decide to try juicing or blending, a liquid diet should not be your sole source of nutrition; strictly liquid diets should not be followed for more than 2-3 days maximum. Indulge in a juice or smoothie when you have a sweet craving or as a mid-morning snack. Even better, replace your sweetened beverage (coffee, energy drink, soda) with a small juice or smoothie.

The Rev-Up Smoothie has all three main food groups (protein, fat and carbs) and is replete with revitalizing nutrients. Enjoy as a delicious, balanced meal!

  • A handful of leafy greens (such as kale, baby chard, spinach or arugula), washed and tough stem removed
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (I like raspberries, mango and bananas)
  • 2 TBS of low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp, flax and/or chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water for desired consistency. Tip: Make life easier by cleaning your blender immediately after each use. Trust me, you will save yourself time in the long run!

Want to meet all of your body’s nutritional needs? Here’s how.

References found at Bushwick Nutrition

10 Comments
  • Benam Badshah

    BLENDING!

  • cheryl

    I tried juicing first and felt bad about all the fiber I was missing out on so I tried blending and have been hooked for the past 6 months. I feel so much better and you should see my fingernails!

    • Alanna Cabrero

      Hi Cheryl, Great observation on the importance of fiber intake :) Would you mind sharing your favorite smoothie recipe?

  • Ashley

    I have been blending for years! Long before the juicing trend. I rarely ever get sick (knock on wood) and always seem to be pretty energetic throughout my day. My fav smoothie is
    1/2 frozen banana
    1 frozen strawberry or a couple Frz blueberries
    1/4 c OJ
    2 T non-fat vanilla yogurt
    1-1 1/2 large handfuls of spinach and kale
    1-2 ice cubes
    1 tsp flax seed oil
    I use a magic bullet to blend it up :)

    (I like my smoothies nice and thick!)

  • Ann Lewis

    I’ve been blending on and off for a couple of months. I found the juicer I had gotten just before finding out I was diabetic years ago. I pulled it out and made a glass of veggie juice. Blending definitely wins out. So much easier, no waste, is a meal replacement, tastes better, texture is better. Juicer is on its way to a thrift store. Also I now have a Vitamix blender. I think it could liquefy a rock. Amazing machine.

    • Alanna Cabrero

      Hi Ann, I completely agree with you. Blending is so much easier. I have a regular 2-step blender that I love, but I will keep in mind the Vitamix blender for the future :)

  • Lori Rich

    I like blending better just because it is quicker to make and easier to clean up after! However, I have in the past juiced some greens (kale or spinach) and other veggies and then added this juice to my blender with frozen fruit, yogurt, banana etc. Now, that is a HUGE clean-up so I don’t do it much anymore. However, do you think that is a good idea and allows for the benefits of juicing?

  • SuMom

    Juicing is great on an empty stomach. I usually make big batches of juice (especially when I have extra fruit or veggies) and freeze the juice in the ice cube containers. Then I use them when I blend. Best of both worlds.

  • Healthy Notions, LLC

    I prefer blending because it is easier, but we do juice on occasion ~

  • Kina

    I just bought the ninja Altima does everything the vitamix does but with no heat so it doesn’t break down enzymes. I love blending or purée my veggies and fruits feel full for hours.

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