If you’re looking for an efficient way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you can’t go wrong with fresh juices or smoothies. Both offer lots of nutritional, yet distinct benefits you may want to consider carefully before choosing. The Vitamix, a high-speed blender, is all the rage these days. It’s been thrilling to see so many people get excited about taking control of their health as a result. However, the Vitamix is a BLENDER, not a JUICER. And yes, there is a difference.
Juicing is a process that extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the fiber. Unlike fresh juices, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable and their fiber.
Without complicating the matter, I wanted to offer a quick snapshot of the benefits of juicing and blending. With all of the misinformation circulating (and there is a lot of it!), I wanted to share this information in a concise manner so you can make an informed decision about what makes the most sense for your life as it relates to your wellness goals. There a benefits to both juicing and blending, and you don’t necessarily have to choose! But understanding the benefits of each will hopefully empower you take control of your health in an informed way.
1. Is the most efficient way to increase your intake of fresh fruits and veggies. I recently heard someone say “juicing is the ultimate fast food”. I couldn’t agree more. Most people don’t come close to meeting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Juicing allows you to add a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in larger quantities to your diet. You can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie.
It’s worth noting here that Jay Kordich, a juicing pioneer, believes you should juice vegetables and eat fruits. Vegetables are better juiced and fruits are though to be better eaten whole; this is directly related to the presence or absence of fiber. With the exception of apples, which are low in sugar, fruits need their fiber to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. If you make fresh fruit juices, I highly recommend adding greens like kale or collards to avoid blood sugar spikes. When creating Om Point Juice Cleanses for clients, I recommend they consume fruit-based juices during the day when they can benefit from the energy boost provided by the natural sugars. Vegetables contain less sugar and don’t need as much fiber to slow down the absorption. They help to rejuvenate the body and are good to consume in the evenings.
2. Provides a nutrient injection. Juicing eliminates the fiber in food, making nutrients more readily available to the body because it doesn’t have to work as hard to break it down. It allows for easier assimilation of live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
3. Is ideal for cleansing and healing. Freshly squeezed vegetable juices are part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient rich and nourish and restore the body at a cellular level. With the absence of fiber, which the body doesn’t have to work to break down, you also give your digestive system an opportunity to rest. Whether you are healing from chronic disease or hoping to adopt a more healthful lifestyle, juicing is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and offers a host of health benefits.
4. Helps boost immunity and restores balance to the body. Vegetable juices in particular are highly alkalizing and help fight free radical and oxidative stress in the body, which are directly linked to chronic disease and illness.
5. Provides a natural energy boost. This has been one of the most profound effects of juicing for me, particularly when fasting. My family and I became so addicted to the feeling of limitless energy while juicing that we make a concerted effort to juice daily. When we don’t there is a marked difference in how we feel. In addition to enhanced energy, juicing improves digestion, mental clarity, skin complexion, and your overall sense of wellbeing.
With regard to which type of juicer is best, fresh press juicers are considered superior to centrifugal juicers because they break up the cell walls more effectively and make available more vitamins and minerals to be pressed out into the juice. However, they are also more expensive. Regardless of what type of juicer you use, the most important thing is that you drink fresh juice daily, if possible.
Blending + Smoothies:
1. Provide healthy on-the-go meals and snacks. By combining fruits, veggies, heart-healthy fats like flax seeds or avocados, and protein like hemp seeds or powder, you can create perfectly crafted, blended meals. Check out my Perfectly Simple, Simply Perfect Smoothie recipe. You can also easily add supplements and super foods to your smoothies.
2. Keep you satisfied longer. Smoothies tend to be more filling because they keep the fiber. However, they are more gentle on your system than consuming whole foods because they break the fiber apart, making fruits and veggies easier to digest.
3. Have a powerful cleansing effect on the colon. If you struggle from constipation or irregularity, the fiber from fruits and vegetables in smoothies acts as an internal brush to help sweep the colon clean.
4. Sugar from smoothies is absorbed more slowly into your system. The fiber in smoothies, once again, allows for a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream which guards against blood sugar spikes and dips.
5. Blending is faster and easier. The general consensus seems to be blending is faster than juicing and offers easier clean up. If you’re in a hurry, you may prefer to toss everything into a blender and go. And as blenders do tend to have fewer parts, some people find they take less time to clean up. I do both and as with most things, speed and efficiency in the kitchen comes with practice!
Was this post helpful to you? Are you now feeling more enlightened about the juicing vs blending process, and which is best for you? Leave me comment and feel free to share any juicing and/or smoothie tips with me below.