To Juice or To Blend?86
It seems almost every day I get asked whether it’s better to juice or blend foods. Let’s look at the pros and con’s of each so you can decide which is better for you. I think we all know both processes provide incredible health benefits. Certainly, the NutriBullet takes blending to a whole new level, enhancing the absorption of nutrients.
Don’t buy smoothies at a smoothie shop or in a store. They are never as good as what you can make yourself. In fact, some are actually bad for your health. Avoid smoothies from smoothie chain stores; they can have a lot of added sugar and calories.
Let’s start by defining juicing versus blending. It’s amazing how passionate people get about the topic. There haven’t been many studies done on either, but the debate rages on.
Juicing is a process in which a machine, either through centrifugal force, grinding or mastication (chewing), extracts juice from its source. The juice will contain most of the nutrients, but not all of them, despite what ardent juicers claim. This process removes the insoluble fiber and some of the soluble fiber from the juice, which contains healthy colorful antioxidants. According to studies, juicing delivers 80% to 90% of the antioxidant potential of a veggie or fruit. Blending provides close to 100%.
Antioxidants are activated and used as soon as air and liquid hit the flesh of the food. So it is best to consume the juice and blended foods within 10 to 15 minutes after juicing or blending.
There are some juicers that claim a vacuum extraction, however that doesn’t totally stop the loss of antioxidants.
Some also say juicing gives the body more energy. This is partially true; the only nutrient that is quickly available for energy is sugar. Remember, with blended foods the sugar absorption is slower and steadier (a good thing), but even juice requires some form of digestion.
Benefits of Juicing
- Very fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required.
- Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach, pancreas and colon.
- Because of the lack of fiber, a lot of plant juice can be consumed. You can effectively drink more, consuming more nutrients.
- Helpful for people sensitive to fiber since there is no insoluble fiber content. Juice does have some soluble fiber, but only a small amount.
- Provides 80% to 90% of the nutritional value of the food being juiced.
- Allows very fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream.
- Removes most of the fiber and some antioxidants from the juice.
- Not as filling or satisfying for most people.
- More time consuming and more difficult to clean.
- Good juicers are expensive.
Blending or emulsifying (NutriBlasting is state of the art!)
Blending is a process in which the whole foods, along with some liquid, are put in a machine and blended to form a puree. You get everything the whole food has to offer: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.
- Fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required.
- Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach and pancreas.
- Because the food is blended, it takes up less space than a full meal would. This allows for more nutrient intake at one time.
- The natural fiber slows the release of sugars into the blood stream.
- More nutrient availability due to the whole plant being consumed.
- More filling due to the fiber.
- Very fast to make a smoothie (or Blast) and clean up.
- Blenders are less expensive than juicers.
- If someone is sensitive to fiber, it could make a person bloated and a little gassy.
- You can’t consume as much liquid as you could juicing.
- Some blenders can create too much heat if you let them blend too long. The heat will kill the naturally occurring enzymes. (This is not the case with NutriBullet, as it doesn’t heat to the point of destroying enzymes.)
In the body, nutrients work together and support health through their interaction. For example, when the pulpy white part of the orange is removed in the processing of orange juice, the flavonoids in the orange are lost. This loss of flavonoids is one of the many reasons for eating the orange in its whole food form (even if you only end up eating a little bit of the white, pulpy part). The skin on a apple contains other antioxidants that you are not going to get in the juice. Skins of vegetables and fruits contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients and juicing is not as efficient as the body at extracting those nutrients.
Juicers will disagree with me, but in my opinion:
- Blending is better because of the higher nutrient potential of antioxidants and macro and micronutrients.
- Blending is better because you are getting 100% of the plants’ goodness.
- Blending is better because the blood sugar absorption is slower.
Both are still great for your health and some people do both.
If you want optimal absorption, NutriBullet is the answer!
Wally Bishop, C.N.C.