Juicing Vs Blending
What is the difference between juicing and blending? This is a very common question given both these methods are popular for creating health drinks, with each having its own strengths. So first things first lets take a closer look at the difference between the equipment itself – juicers Vs blenders.
Juicer Vs Blender
Blenders are machines that take fruits, vegetables, and a whole variety of foods such as nuts, seeds, milk, ice cubes and protein powders to create a smoothie. The reason things are ‘smooth’ is that a blender liquefies whole fruits and vegetables. Nothing is discarded, so the blended fruits and vegetables will have a smooth texture.
A juicer machine (also referred to as a juice extractor) is different because it extracts the juice out of fruits and vegetables and discards the pulp (fiber). So a juice is not a whole food, whereas a blended drink (smoothie) is.
Blenders are easily distinguished from juicer machines since they are almost always made with upright glass containers that slot into a base that contains a motor. At the bottom of this glass container is a set of blades that rotate rapidly to blend whatever ingredients are placed inside. The glass container is then removed from the base so that you can pour the drinks. Check out the vid below.
Juice extractors come in two main types, centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are more upright in shape, such as the Breville BJE200XL, and the masticating juicers, such as the Omega 8006 tend to be more ‘horizontal’. Take a look at the vids below to see the difference between these two juice extractors. You can also visit our our other post best juicers to learn more detailed information about juice extractors.
Juicing Versus Blending
So, we know now the difference between the machines – blender Vs juicer, but is drinking a juice better than drinking a smoothie or vise versa? Well, the major upside of both methods is that you are getting more fruits and veggies, but they both have their pros and cons. It is not really about which one is “best”.
The major advantage of blending is that you are consuming whole fruits and vegetables, this means you get the whole benefit, including the fiber that is essential for digestive health. This is also better for blood sugar since fiber slows down the rate at which fruits and vegetables are digested.
The main disadvantage of blending is volume. In other words smoothies are filling and you therefore consume less fruits and vegetables than drinking juice.
This brings us to the key advantage of juicing – sheer volume of nutrients in an extremely easily digested form. Since the fiber is removed and all that is left is a juice the body digests it rapidly and efficiently. The nutrients have been freed from the pulp and the body has to do very little in terms of digestion, that means we absorb and assimilate more nutrition fruit for fruit (or vegetable for vegetable), compared to a smoothie. Of course the one big exception is fiber! In addition to the higher assimilation of nutrients, is the fact we get more of them overall. In an average smoothie we can only consume a few pieces of fruits or veggies, but in one juice we can consume 3 to 10 fruits or vegetables.
The compromise with all this extra nutrition in juice is the lack of fiber. This is more of an issue with fruit juices, since vegetables are much less sugary than fruits. A fruit juice can cause a sharp spike in blood sugar, and should be avoided by diabetics. Also when drinking fruit juices it is better not to juice too many fruits just because we can drink a lot of them in one juice. It is better to just juice 1 or 2 pieces, or better still stick mostly with vegetable juice. Besides, vegetable juice is the healthiest thing you can drink, absolutely brimming in antioxidants!
Personally, we like to drink both juices and smoothies. We like to drink vegetable juice in the morning on an empty stomach about 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast. The benefit of an empty stomach is that there is no other food for the juice to “compete” with for digestion. This improves bio-digestibility further. Smoothies we like to drink as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon as a hearty snack using fruits, nuts and protein powder.