While both have their merits, nutritional science holds the answers to the debate: “Which is better: blending or juicing?”
Adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet is a surefire way to eat healthier. The more you consume, the more beneficial nutrients and antioxidants you ingest. Blending or juicing fruits and vegetables is an easy, convenient way to increase your intake. Blending creates a smoothie out of whole foods and ingredients. Juicing squeezes the liquid out of fruits and vegetables, separating it from the fleshy fibers. You ingest everything you put into a blender, while you drink the concentrated liquid that emerges from a juicer.
Scientific research tends to favor blending over juicing if the aim is to consume more nutrients. A 2012 Texas A&M University study on grapefruit, published in the Journal of Food Science, found that both blending and juicing yielded higher amounts of ascorbic and citric acid. Blending provided significantly more beneficial phytochemicals like narirutin, poncirin, and cancer-fighting naringin. Juicing also led to lower levels of limonin, bergamottin, and other nutrients.
A 2013 study by the Harvard School of Public Health, published in The BMJ, suggested that greater consumption of whole fruits is significantly associated with less risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that drinking more fruit juice had the opposite effect and is associated with greater risk.
Another study from 2013, published in the European Journal of Nutrition examined apples. Its conclusion found that the juicing process stripped apples of its fiber component, which is necessary for the fruit’s cholesterol-lowering effects. The researchers went on to say, “Clear apple juice may not be a suitable surrogate for the whole fruit in nutritional recommendations.”
We all know that dietary fiber is utilized by our “good” bacteria to maintain optimal digestive function. When fiber is processed by our body, the byproducts promote health in many other ways and facilitate the absorption of important minerals. Juicing removes the advantages of fiber from the picture.
Some cases are more complicated. Take oranges for example. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that juicing an orange unlocks more carotenoids and flavonoids than the amounts which would appear in the whole fruit.
Another report from 2014 in Preventing Nutrition and Food Science further confirmed that organic acid content is “significantly affected by the juice extraction method.” Blending persimmon gives you the highest concentration of ascorbic, citric, and malic acids. On the other hand, juicing grapefruit offers more ascorbic acid but less citric acid. The researchers also found variation in apples and pears. Their conclusion supports how blended fruit contains higher levels of total polyphenols and flavonoids, with blended persimmon exhibiting strong antioxidant capacity.
The act of drinking concentrated juice is much quicker than slowly gulping down a smoothie or eating whole foods. Due to its relative ease and convenience, you may not be completely aware of the sugar levels you’re ingesting that would otherwise be balanced out by the fruit’s more substantial components. With juicing, you are missing out on more than you may realize.
Blending and juicing have pros and cons. To prevent excess sugar intake, limit how much sweet fruit you add into a juicer. Variety is also key. Add green veggies, nuts, as well as herbs and spices to boost the health benefits of smoothie recipes. Drink your fresh concoctions as soon as you can.
Equipping your kitchen with both a blender and juicer can help promote a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. However, you may be on the market for just one product and can’t decide which to invest in first. Luckily, there are some brands of kitchen appliances that combine both functions into one device. If you already incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your meals, you probably already meet the recommended amount.
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