We hear this all the time… should I blend or juice? Is there a difference in the resulting nutrients or in the way the body absorbs and processes them? Is one preferable to the other?
I’ll cut to the punchline: You can’t really go wrong either way. But yes, there are some differences. So let’s break it down…
Juicing separates the fiber and “pulp” from fruits and vegetables via either mastication (a spinning filter traps the pulp and lets the juice through) or cold pressing (juice is literally “pressed” out through a fine mesh). There are some differences in the end product between these two methods, but for the purposes of our debate, I want to consider fresh juice as a single entire category.
At the top of the “pro” column for juice, is its ease of absorption. Juicing offers a dense shot of nutrients —vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll — almost directly into the bloodstream where they fuel and feed cells.Because these nutrients have been “pre-extracted,” the digestive system has far less work to do, so you get the benefits almost instantly. Some people even feel an instant “juice high” — a burst of energy not unlike one you might get from refined sugar or caffeine. Of course, that’s part of the potential downside of juicing, too. When you absorb nutrients all at once, you can experience a blood sugar spike, especially if your juice is high in fruit. The other downsides of juicing take place less “internally.” The prep work and cleanup involved in juicing can be time consuming, and leaving the pulp unconsumed means you have to use more product, making it more expensive than blending. You’ll also need some specialized equipment, which can range in price pretty dramatically.
Blending, on the other hand, simply purees fruits and vegetables in a smoothie. Smoothies are basically juices with the fiber left in. Fiber takes the body some more work to process, but that fiber has some significant benefits. First of all, it cleans out the colon, sweeping out toxins and buildup in the digestive system. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. Lastly, the pulp in a smoothie makes the drink a more substantial “meal,” generally leaving you less hungry for longer. Blending also tends to be quick and easy: the five-minute investment makes it very attractive to the person on the go.
So who wins? Juicing or blending?
Well…as I gave away at the onset, both! Like so much of what we discuss in the Conscious Cleanse, much of it is a matter of personal taste. The tastes and textures of smoothies and juices can be as different as the way your body responds to them. So, give it a go, and see how you feel! You’ll start to notice that blending gives you certain benefits for your body while juicing gives you others. As always, you are your best health coach.
Which do you prefer? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them – along with your favorite smoothie or juice recipe!
With love to both of our beloved smoothies and juices,