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Blending vs Juicing

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Blending vs Juicing
Written by Kim McLaughlin

In a previous post, Vegetables Are Death Defying Super Foods, we discussed the importance of consuming a huge amount of vegetables on a daily basis. Knowing how important this is, it’s good to get a little creative with how we consume veggies. Eating salads for every meal is not practical nor is it advised.

One way to get some of those veggies in for that day is by juicing or blending. There’s a lot of hype around the health benefits of the “green juice” you get from liquefying vegetables. It’s at farmer’s markets, juice bars, grocery stores, restaurants and several health food boutiques. Green juice is promoted as a great way to get in several of your daily servings of vegetables in one sitting. But what is this stuff? That’s hard to say. It depends on the method and the ingredients.

There are literally thousands of “green juice” or “green smoothie” recipes out there. Many of them are made with a juicer where the pulp and fiber are separated from the fruit and vegetable. Others are blended to include the entire vegetable or fruit in the drink. So, which one is better for you and which ones should you be drinking or making on your own?

Both juicing and blending have their benefits and their drawbacks. Juicing is a great way to get quick access to the nutrients that vegetables can provide. With the fiber removed, your digestive system doesn’t need to work as hard to absorb all of the good stuff you get from the vegetables. The nutrients are absorbed very quickly into your bloodstream so there is a very rapid uptake of the “good stuff” [2]. The down side to juicing is that without the fiber, juices are not very filling. While you can pack more servings into a glass and you are absorbing the nutrients quickly, it’s likely that you will be hungry again not long after consuming it. Also – if the juice you are consuming consists of mostly fruit (a form of sugar), this can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. Unstable blood sugar can cause moodiness, low energy levels, and other non-desirable things [1].

Sticking vegetables in a blender to make green juice is another option. Blending is different than juicing because it incorporates the fiber from the vegetables rather than removes it. The fiber slows down digestion and keeps you full longer [1]. It also makes for a more even, slow absorption of the nutrients so there isn’t the rapid spike in blood sugar that you can get with juicing. The down side to blending, however, is that there is a smaller serving size of vegetables in each glass. In addition, since the break down of the blended juice is more difficult for the digestive system, often times less nutrients are actually absorbed than would be in a juicing situation [3].

In short, juicing will get your body a quick burst of nutrients but can leave you wanting more soon after. Blending smoothies can maximize your vegetable intake and leave you feeling full longer, but you might not get in the same amount of fast nutrients that you would juicing. Regardless of which way you choose to add your vegetables to your meals, make sure you are eating a LOT of them. Consuming veggies in all of their various forms (raw, cooked, juiced, or blended) can keep things tasty and can allow for more opportunities for each of us to get in the recommended daily serving amounts.

Do you have a favorite juicing or blending recipe?  Post it below and share it with others.

Juicing Recipe:

3 large handfuls of spinach

2 carrots

half a bunch of Kale

2 celery sticks

1 apple (cored with the seeds removed)

half a lemon

half a lime

**Serve over ice

 

Blending Recipe:

2 handfuls of spinach

half a bunch of Kale

1/2 cup of Water

1/2 cup of mixed frozen berries

1/2 banana (optional)

1 scoop of protein powder

1/4 c of almonds

1 tbsp of bee pollen

ice

References

[1] Anderson JW, et al. Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber, Nurtrition Reviews. 2009:67-188.

[2] Keane, Maureen. Juicing for life. Penguin, 1992.

[3] Meyerowitz, Steve. Food Combining & Digestion. Sprout House, 1996.

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | Post a comment

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