A very common question among those interested in moving toward a plant-based diet (or even those already on one) is “which is better – blending or juicing?”
It’s a very good question, with too many opinions to include here. Instead, let’s just list the facts about each, and you can choose the path that sounds best for you, including a mix-up of both techniques!
Juicing is when you use a machine to extract the juice from what you put into it – it removes all fiber. We know that fiber is very good for us, for a variety of reasons, but when juicing, it’s like you are giving yourself an infusion right into your bloodstream of all the vitamins and minerals. No digestion needed! It’s considered a very healing type of drink.
More about fiber: it slows down the absorption of nutrients your body gets, whereas without the fiber (i.e., with juicing), you are extracting up to 70% of the nutrition. Without the fiber, your body absorbs 100% of the nutrients. (1)
Juices are considered “healing drinks” because they are tremendously helpful for people who have digestive systems that are harmed or damaged – because your digestive system does not have to do any “work” to get the nutrients. This gives your system a much needed rest.
If you are looking to cleanse your body, juices are the way to go. Again, because your body doesn’t have to do any work – you can just focus on healing.
Blending is basically making a smoothie. It’s a drink made up of blended foods. So, as opposed to using a juicer, when you blend, the fiber remains. Because of this, your body will have some digestive work to do. Still, not as much work required if you sat down to eat the veggies and fruits in a bowl.
Some say that smoothies are a bit more versatile than juicing, because in addition to fruits and veggies, you can throw in nuts and seeds, protein supplements and the like.
Smoothies make fantastic meal replacements because they are not only healthy, but filling. Light enough to enjoy before a workout (unlike eating a big plate of food), they make a great meal to give you plenty of energy.
For the same reason, they are good for a post-workout meal, because they won’t leave you feeling heavy and over-full.
Drinking smoothies is also a great introduction to adding raw foods to your diet.
Both juicing and blending have benefits. Some argue that one has more value than the other, but really, let your body be your guide on that kind of decision.
Try some juicing, try some smoothies, and see how your body feels. Your body knows best!
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Image source: flic.kr