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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.