Let’s talk about fresh fruits and vegetables in the form of liquid nutrition today! Have you ever heard or asked the question:
Which is healthier, to juice or to blend?
If you are the least bit interested in health (or surround yourself with health nuts) I am almost positive you probably have. The juicer and blender are two entirely different creatures. We are going to look at each one a little bit closer today.
Juicing is all the rage these days with juice bars popping up as fast as new coffee shops. I personally fell in love with juicing two summers ago when I considered trying a weekend juice fast for the first time. Now juice fasting is another story, which we can get into another time, but the experience of juicing was one I really enjoyed because I felt both energized and nourished. Juicing is defined as extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables through an appliance called a juicer. Juicing removes the plant fiber from the fruits and vegetables. This simply means the nutrients take very little time to be absorbed into the blood stream because there is hardly any digestive work needed to process the food.
How to Juice
First, you will need to choose a juicer. There are a lot of juicers on the market with a wide price range to choose from. I would recommend doing your research on the different types of juicers and choosing what will suit you best for both ease and price. I personally believe in choosing quality, especially when it comes to something that you want to last and work well. Once you have your juicer get yourself to the produce section. Most experts say that a good rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruits when juicing.
Here are some great recipe sites to get your started.Vegetable Juice Recipes Juice Recipes
Experts and studies show that juicing offers many health benefits. Dr. Mercola gives three reasons to juice: 1) increased absorption of nutrients, 2) increased amount of fruits and vegetables eaten, 3) adds a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to the diet. Other health benefits include:
- reverses the aging process (high concentration of antioxidants)
- reduces inflammation
- cleanses the body (detoxification)
- regulates the bowels
- aids in weight loss
- boosts immune system
- gives a general sense of well-being
Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Diet says:
“Guzzling green goodness balances your pH and gives you a direct shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, and oxygen. Juicing helps you rebuild using the best raw materials on the planet.”
Let me tell you the story of how I became introduced to blending (or making green smoothies). After my husband and I received Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards at our wedding James discussed using our gift cards to purchase a Vitamix . I of course was hesitant because of the price, but I was also clueless as to what that machine could do. It was a good thing James was into food and knew his stuff. Anyways, so we got it and I made my first green smoothie. I fell in love! Blending is different from juicing in that it emulsifies the produce to simply mash up the ingredients, without rejecting any part of it, to create a thick beverage.
How to Blend
First, find a good blender. It does not have to be a Vitamix. As mentioned with picking out a juicer, find one that works best for you and your price range, but do not skip on doing the research on the different types and quality. Making smoothies (green smoothies rock!) are easy to make and take little prep and cleanup time. Smoothies contain all of the wonderful fiber from the ingredients as well. This being the main difference between blending and juicing. By blending the ingredients the tough cellulose structure gets broken down into tiny pieces, which helps with digestion. Sticking to the same 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit is a good rule for making smoothies as well.
In regards to blending, Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Diet says:
“Think of it as a pre-chewed blast of optimum nutrition. Smoothies balance pH and blood sugar while the fiber assists in sponging up the toxins. Smoothies are more filling and provide more energy.”
As mentioned above smoothies still contain the fiber of the ingredients used. Smoothies are great at filling you up, and can even be used as meal replacers if protein ingredients are added to the smoothie (nut butters, protein powders). Smoothies are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also promote regularity because of the fiber. The same great health benefits you get from juicing you can also get from blending.
So which is Healthier?
Both are healthy! The research clearly points to both juicing and blending as being an important part of any healthy diet. Real fruits and vegetables are delicious and both of these techniques can enhance the enjoyment of eating them. Honestly, are you really going to eat 5 large carrots, 2 beets, 6 celery sticks daily? That is just an example, but you could eat that much through juicing or blending. Increasing your fruits and vegetables really doesn’t seem as challenging does it? When it comes to juicing or blending the truth of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with either one of them. They are simply different options. There are no rules or regulations for making your own drinks. My only advice would be go for more GREEN than anything. Let the majority of your ingredients come from vegetables instead of fruits. Whichever method you choose, make sure you go organic. Drinking pesticides is just gross. In the end, getting increased fruits and vegetables is what matters. Just get them!
What do you all think? Do you juice or blend? Are you willing to try adding these to your lifestyle?