Diet trends come and go, but ways to optimize our well-being never seems to dissipate. People are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep their bodies healthy and strong and to improve their energy and vitality. Juicing and blending are two techniques that have gone from trend to staples in our society, with smoothie shops and juice bars popping up around every corner. But, when it comes to which one is better than the other, is it juicing or blending? It’s a popular question in the wellness community, but the answer doesn’t exactly seem so direct. The short answer to this question is that one doesn’t necessarily trump the other. They can both be beneficial, it just depends on what your goals are. So perhaps the better question is: Which one is right for you?
We know that fruits and vegetables are necessary for our well-being, but many of us are simply not getting enough of them into our diets. This is why juice and smoothies are great, fun, innovative ways to pack a plant food punch without you really even knowing it. You may find that most superfoods, like kale, turmeric or berries simply don’t work well in your day-to-day meals on their own—whether it’s the taste, the consistency or the simple fact that you can only chew so much of it until you feel like a bunny. But juiced together or blended up, many of these foods go down easily.
When You Should Blend
Smoothies are great for anyone looking to refuel, especially pre- or post-workout. Unlike juices, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, and the insoluble fiber isn’t being removed, so a smoothie will slow down your digestion and keep you fuller longer. This is also why smoothies may be great for supplementing your weight loss goals, as they work to ward off unnecessary snacking in between meals. Additionally, you can load up your smoothies with a variety of ingredients, making them great meal replacers. You can toss in spices, coconut oil, almond milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds, berries, bananas, a variety of nuts, oats, yogurt, tofu, spinach and so much more. In one smoothie, you can hit all the food groups.
When You Should Juice
If you simply want to provide yourself with nutrients, juicing may be for you. The process of juicing includes extracting water and nutrients from the produce being used and discarding the indigestible fiber. The lack of fiber makes it easier for your digestive system to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. Unlike smoothies, juice gives you more nutrients because the plant fiber is broken down into a dense liquid, which intensifies the nutritional value of the ingredients. Furthermore, juices absorb faster into your system, giving you the ability to fit many more fruits and vegetables into a juice than a smoothie. Juicing is better for incorporating alongside a meal or snack as opposed to using as a meal replacement, however. There’s a common misconception that juicing is ideal for weight loss, but what’s important to remember is that, while a juice fast may be a quick way to lose weight, it’s not the best way to go if your goal is long-term success.
Additionally, while juicing is great for boosting your overall health, you have to be mindful about what you put in your drink, or you’ll find yourself ingesting extra calories and carbohydrates. For instance, while fruits may taste better, they do have more calories and carbs than vegetables. Fruits are also much higher in sugar than vegetables, and when you juice fruits, the fibrous portion that slows down the release of sugar is extracted. This causes a spike in insulin levels. A general rule of thumb is to juice 90 percent vegetables and 10 percent fruits for this reason.