Juicing vs Blending – Which Is Better For Health Overall?

 

 

Hello again my lovely.

 

This may not be a question you’ve ever asked…but I did, because until a couple of years ago, I really didn’t fully understand the difference. Now, both juicing and blending have had a huge impact on my health and energy…and it can for you too!

 

There’s been a debate raging for a few years over this. Which is better for you? Which benefits your overall wellbeing the fastest? What machine should you use?

 

So far all those of us who either don’t make the effort to eat enough, or a big variety of fruit and vegetables, this is for you.

 

In this post, I want to explore the differences. To identify the pros and cons of each, and whether our health really benefits from juicing and blending our fruits and vegetables. 

 

 

Why Do We Struggle To Eat Enough Fresh Vegetables?

 

We know that we need to eat a certain amount of fruit and vegetable every day for optimum health. But, we also know that very few of us actually do, right?

 

Life’s busy, we don’t have as much time to cook as our mothers did. Not to mention that there some veggies we don’t want to eat because they don’t taste nice to us.

 

Beetroot Juice in glass with paper straw

 

For example, I HATE beetroot with a passion…but, it’s incredibly good for me. Particularly now I’m older. I’m sure you can relate to this with your own ‘pet hates’.

 

There are many, vegetables and fruits, that people don’t like, but we need the vitamins and minerals contained within them for our health. If I blend the beet juice with something else like an apple and fresh mint, it makes it so much more palatable for me.

 

Lifting Your Energy Levels As We Get Older

 

As I’ve slowed down a little with age, I started noticing that I don’t always digest some foods well. One way to make sure I still get enough nutrients is to drink them.

 

Since I started juicing and blending a couple of years ago, I’ve noticed a huge lift in my energy levels and I’m now able to enjoy the benefits of drinking beetroot juice without dreading it! 

 

We know that processed vegetables (we can barely recognize them) may retain some nutrients, but they’re totally overshadowed by all the other crap that’s also added during the processing.

 

Supposedly this is to make it more palatable. That’s a worry in itself. Shouldn’t the food still taste normal? So why does all the other stuff need to be added?

 

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now from reading other posts that processed foods are my all-time ‘anti-hero subject’, so I won’t go there in this post.

 

Suffice it to say that we really need to be eating the Real Deal if we’re ever to regain control of our health in many countries.

 

So, if you really can’t stomach some vegetables and fruits, but you know they’re nutritious and healthy…let’s find a way that you can consume them without holding your nose while you swallow! 

 

That’s where juicing comes in.

 

 

What Is Juicing and Why Is It Considered So Good For You?

 

Juicing is the extraction of the juice from the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. The vitamins and minerals are then concentrated into an easily drinkable form and the body absorbs these nutrients at a fast rate.

 

This gives you an almost instant pick-me-up which is a brilliant way to start your day.

 

Attractive midlife woman drinking morning juice giving it a thumbs up sign

 

 

Imagine if you could get the same or better energy boost each morning without downing several cups of caffeine-loaded coffee.

 

I know…really hard to give up caffeine. BUT, it’s important for our overall health that we make a conscious effort to cut down on anything that raises our stress hormone Cortisol…and sadly, caffeine does that.

 

Here’s the reason why juicing gives you such an energy boost.

 

The reason it’s so important to get enough fruits and vegetables into your daily diet is that without them, you’re unable to detoxify your body and help it heal. But it’s true that the natural digestive process from eating them in their whole state will take much longer.

 

When you consume them in a juice they are metabolized by the body so much quicker. In fact, it only takes about 15 minutes for your body to absorb the vitamins that come with a glass of fresh fruit juice.

 

This is why having a regular glass of fresh juice every morning gives you such an energy boost, with the added benefit of detoxifying and healing your body much better than coffee ever can. Alas, caffeine does quite the opposite.

Fresh vegetable juices. Tomato, cucumber, carrot

 

There are some other real benefits to juicing. The natural sugar that is absorbed can help stave off cravings for processed sugar throughout the day.

 

However, There Is One Large Drawback To Juicing

 

Drinking too many fresh fruit juices, which contain as much sugar as the original fruit, but in a more concentrated form can have an effect because you’re metabolizing it so much quicker.

 

This large dose of sugar can give you sugar spikes. Therefore it’s recommended that you use vegetables mixed with your juices, and limit yourself to one pure fruit juice each day for breakfast…particularly if you’re thinking about weight loss.

 

Too many fruit juices, however natural, will still contain A LOT of sugar.

 

So, Why Not Keep Juicing Rather Than Blending?

 

This is a valid question and part of the on-going debate about the differences between juicing and blending. If you can get so many vitamins and minerals and amazing benefits from juicing, why not just live on juices and have optimum health?

 

Well, the main issue with this, is that so much of the soluble fiber is not used during the juicing process so there aren’t enough nutrients in the longterm to sustain a healthy diet.

 

You may become nutrient-deficient over time. We really need the juice AND the fiber for optimum health.

 

Added to that is that we need fat (yes, the right kinds of fat are important) and protein in our diet every day and you wouldn’t usually add this to your juice.

 

Plus, apart from the fact that it would get boring after a while, we need to ‘masticate’. Our human bodies are built to chew, and many more nutrients are extracted from the food by chewing.

 

Pretty blond Middle Aged Woman Eating Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Digestion actually starts in our mouth and is triggered by the action of chewing. Our saliva contains enzymes that start the breaking down process before we swallow the food.

 

This is crucial for proper digestion, but more than this we need the fiber that whole food contains. You don’t get the fiber from juicing.

 

If you’ve ever used a juicer, you’ll be aware that there’s quite a bit of cleaning up the machine afterward, as all the fibrous part of the fruit and vegetables is left behind for you to dispose of.

 

This is because juicing only removes the insoluble fiber.

 

Reasons Why Blending Is So Beneficial

 

Unlike juicing where the machine extracts the juice but leaves behind the pulp, blending keeps all the fiber in the drink, turning it into a smoothy of natural goodness.

 

Plus, you can easily add protein powder and fat sources like almond/coconut milk, nuts, or avocado to a smoothie to make it a better all-around nutrient option.

 

Part of what’s so healthy about blending the whole fruits and vegetables is the amount of goodness locked in the skins and pulp.

 

Most of the plants’ antioxidants are naturally bound to the fibers. This is mainly lost during a juicing process

 

The colored pigments in the skins of the foods are full of flavonoids and carotenoids which help to protect our health and overall nourishment.

 

Soluble fiber absorbs water and acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of ‘good’ bacteria that we need for effective digestion.

 

A Huge Benefit Is That Soluble Fiber Lowers Blood Cholesterol

 

It also regulates blood sugar (a key component to preventing Diabetes) and, slows the progress of the food through our digestive tract, helping you feel full for longer and aiding in healthy bowel movements.

 

Woman pours green smoothie into glass with vegetables on the table

 

Also, unlike juicing where you can drink the juice down like any other liquid, a blended drink contains so much more of the vegetables and fruit and should be drunk slowly and savored.

 

This is because your digestive system needs to work harder to digest it just as if you had eaten the food whole.

 

So a major benefit of blending is that you can add some dark green vegetables, (and in my case beets…yuk), or other things that you normally don’t like to eat, blend them with something that you do like the taste of.

 

I like to add some fresh herbs, spices, and VOILA!  You’re getting those essential vitamins, minerals, AND fiber in a palatable form. No more forcing yourself to swallow.

 

 

So Which Is Better, Juicing Or Blending?

 

Well, there’s no right or wrong answer. Understanding the importance of these types of fiber is crucial to truly understand the difference between whole fruits and fruit juice.

 

The main negative of juicing is the lack of fibrous material and the inability to add protein or fats when we need it to aid the digestive process and a better source of nutrition.

 

Personally, I think there is a place in every kitchen for both machines. I like the thicker smoothie texture of a blended drink. It’s like a meal in a glass and really fills me up for hours.

 

But I also love the fast burst of energy and vitamins from fresh juice as a fantastic way to start your day.

 

Blended smoothies can be a meal replacement if you’re stuck for time, but it’s not recommended to replace standard meals with either smoothies OR juices on a permanent basis.

 

We are designed to chew, digest, and process whole food…not live on liquids.

 

Some people are advocates for using a week of consuming nothing but juices for detoxing and losing weight. I have tried this and while it is effective for weight loss, be careful as there can be some unexpected side effects, particularly when you’re older.

 

Here’s an interesting article that’s worth reading before you decide to embark on a detox.

 

Also, you may have underlying issues with sugar digestion such as insulin intolerance or thyroid problems that you are not aware of. Particularly now you’re older.

 

This will be exacerbated by juicing fruit and the huge, fast-acting sugar hit you will receive. I recommend doing some research or having your GP run some tests before deciding to go all-in on regular juicing.

 

Now For Some Great Recipes

 

Various glasses of different juices and vegetables

 

6 Energy Juices:

Green Juice1 large cucumber, 8 celery stalks, 1 handful kale, 1 handful of spinach, 1 handful of parsley, a small piece of ginger, and 1/4 of a lemon.

Beetroot2 beetroots and 1 apple. (potent antioxidant)

Carrot – juice 5-10 depending on the size (Eye health)

Pomegranate – juice 1 whole pomegranate (avoid adding sugar) the tartness is better for you. (good for heart & bone health)

Blueberry – 1 large cup of blueberries (improves blood flow to the brain)

Red Grapes – juice 1 hand-sized bunch of grapes, including the seeds & skins

 

 

2 Immune-boosting Juices:

1 ginger root, 1/2 a lemon, 1 turmeric root, plenty of spinach

Carrot juice 5-10  depending on the size

 

 

3 Detox Juices:

1 bunch of parsley, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1/2 root of ginger, 1/2 bunch of celery, 1-2 cups of chopped fresh pineapple.

1 green apple, 1/2 root of ginger, 1 large cucumber

1 large beetroot, 1 large green apple, 4 carrots

 

6 Great Smoothies To Try (add protein powder if you like)

 

 1. Banana, Pineapple & Spinach

 

Banana, Pineapple and Spinach Smoothie

 

1 banana

1/2 an avocado

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/2 cup spinach

2 teaspoons of flaxseed meal

 

 

2. Pomegranate, Beetroot & Pink Grapefruit

 

Pomegranate and pink grapefruit smoothie

 

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup of whole milk Greek yogurt

2 small cooked beets

2 small pink grapefruits seeded, peeled, and sectioned

2 tablespoons of honey

1 cup of crushed ice.

 

 

3. Almond, Pumpkin & Cinnamon

 

Almond, Pumpkin and Cinnamon Smoothie

 

1 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

1/2 frozen banana

2/3 cup of pumpkin puree

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 cup crushed ice

 

 

4. Celery, Cucumber & Pineapple

 

Celery Cucumber and Pineapple Smoothie

 

2 cups of frozen pineapple chunks

2 cups of cucumber chunks

1 cup of celery chunks

1 tablespoon of fresh basil

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 cup of water, a pinch of salt

1/2 cup of ice

 

 

5. Green Smoothie for Weight Loss

 

Avocado and Spinach Smoothie

 

1 scoop of good quality protein powder

1 cup of fresh spinach 1/2 sliced avocado

1 cup of unsweetened almond or cashew milk

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed.

 

 

6. Blueberry Blastoff

 

Tasty blueberry smoothie in glass

 

1 cup of frozen blueberries

1 cup of plain unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Add ice if you want to.

 

 

Conclusion 

 

I can imagine that there are people who prefer one or the other, juicing vs blending. But really they’re both fantastic for helping us get a good range of vitamins and minerals.

 

Especially for those days where we’re on the go and just want a quick blast of energy without cooking.

 

As with anything, there are pros and cons. My advice is to be aware of possible sugar-related issues with having too many pure fruit juices.

 

Blending gives you the opportunity to increase the nutritional value by keeping the fiber in and adding those all-important fat and protein sources our bodies need.

 

A word of caution. Please don’t be tempted to get lazy and start replacing all your meals this way. Remember, our bodies are designed to eat whole food for optimum health…particularly as we’re not teenagers anymore!

 

Which do you prefer and why? As always, I’d love to read your comments.

To your continuing Midlife health and wellness.