Many people are unsure of what the difference is between juicing and blending. In fact, many people think that they are juicing, when in fact they are blending, and vice versa. Since this website is all about blenders, I believe it is important to help you understand the difference between the two appliances and the potential health benefits of each.
Of course, there are many uses for a blender besides creating smoothies. For example, a blender a can be used to create hummus, salad dressing, salsa, pasta sauces, baby foods, and apple sauce. This article will focus on smoothies and differentiating smoothies and juices. If you are looking to gain health benefits from juicing, drinking smoothies, or both, this information can be quite valuable to you.
I would like to premise this entire article by stating that both juicing and blending have their own unique health benefits. I will not be arguing for one or the other. I believe that both can be quite beneficial to your goals of healthy living. Still, it is important to know what benefits you can achieve from each type of appliance (juicer or blender) so that you can make an educated decision about which to purchase, or if it is better for you to purchase both.
How Juicers and Blenders Work
Juicers and blenders work in two very different ways, which explains why we end up with two very different drinks. A juicer extracts juices from fruits and vegetables either by bleeding it from the food through a slice and dice process, or by squeezing the juices out of the food.
You may notice that you must use a lot more fruits and vegetables to fill a glass with juice from a juicer than with blended foods from a blender. That is because a juicer leaves all of the pulp and fiber behind as it does its work, whereas a blender uses every single piece of whatever food you throw into it – it does not separate parts of the food from the juice.
Nutrients Versus Fiber
Whether you choose to extract juices from your foods or blend your foods, both will contain nutrients. The difference is that extracted juices contain much more nutrients than blended foods. By nutrients I mean vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The nutrients in much of our food come from their juices. Therefore, the more juice we consume the more nutrients we take in.
A glass of juice contains more juice than a glass of blended fruit and vegetables. Although it looks like the same amount because both fill the glass, the blended food contains both juice and fiber. The space taken up by fiber in a blended drink is replaced with more juice (and, thus, more nutrients) in a glass of pure juice. Therefore, although both juices and smoothies contain nutrients, more nutrients exist in a glass of pure juice than in a smoothie.
Sounds like juice is the best way to go, then, right? That is not necessarily true. Although smoothies contain less nutrients, they contain much more fiber. In fact, juices contain little to no fiber at all, depending upon how well your juicer actually separates juice from pulp. Why is fiber important? Fiber is important because it greatly aids our digestive systems. Eating a diet with no fiber at all can lead to intestinal problems and difficulty breaking food down. Constipation is a major problem for people with low-fiber diets.
Are You Full Yet?
Due to the large amount of fiber contained in a smoothie, it will keep you feeling full for longer. If you are looking to replace a meal with a quick, on-the-go drink, a smoothie may be your best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking to infuse nutrients into a meal, you may want to choose a juice. Eating food with your drink will also make you feel full. You may find yourself feeling over-stuffed and a little bit sluggish if you mix food with a fiber-rich drink.
Juices are much easier to digest than smoothies. Don’t get confused here. I realize that I just said smoothies are good for digestion and the truth is that they are. Our bodies do not have a difficult time digesting smoothies, it just takes longer because the fiber must be broken down and pushed through our systems, whereas juices are absorbed much quicker.
The quick absorption of juices means that we take in their nutrients faster. Think about this: juices contain more nutrients and those nutrients are absorbed much quicker. What do you think happens? Much like a sugar rush, you will find yourself with a big surge of energy. Unlike a sugar rush, however, there will be no ‘hangover’ effects when that energy runs out. Since that energy is derived from nutrients and natural sugars you will find that, although it may be short-lived, you will come down from this rush by slowly and elegantly drifting back to your regular state of being.
Smoothies take more time to be broken down, which means that their nutrients are absorbed and released into our bodies at a slower, more even pace. Drinking a smoothie will increase your energy levels, but not as drastically. Instead, a smoothie will bring you a slight boost in energy and that energy boost will last for much longer than will the energy boost you receive from drinking a pure juice.
As you can see, in terms of nutrition both juices and smoothies have their place. If you are very low on nutrients or are looking for a pick-me-up, juices can be quite helpful. If you are in need of increasing both nutrients and fiber in your diet, smoothies may be the way to go.
Personally, I like to work in a mixture of the two. If I need a quick pick-me-up I will turn to my juicer. This is especially helpful first thing in the morning or during that afternoon slump when all I really want to do is curl up and watch television.
I find that smoothies are great as a mid-morning or mid-evening snack. They help me maintain the boost of energy I received from my juice and previous meal. They also prevent me from snacking on sugary and salty foods between breakfast and lunch or between dinner and bedtime.