Juicing Vs. Blending: Which is Better?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

When it comes to weight loss, juices and smoothies are all the rage nowadays. Although they are both essentially just fruits and vegetables in liquid form, they are fundamentally different in the way that they are prepared and have very different benefits. Let’s look at the differences between juicing and blending, and see which one is better for your weight loss efforts.

What Is Juicing?

Juicing is the process of extracting the water and nutrients from fruits and veggies while discarding the pulp. Since pulp contains fiber that is hard for the body to digest, the body finds it much easier to digest juice as it has been rid of all that fiber. This allows the body to release the nutrients into the bloodstream much faster. So in a single glass of juice, you are getting a big dose of nutrients very quickly. Juicing is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system, as a fruit juice can be processed much easier than if you ate the fruit whole.

While the rapid release of the nutrients of the juice into your bloodstream is a big advantage of juicing, it’s also its biggest disadvantage. It can cause big sugar highs and lows, causing you to crave more of high-calorie juice. Without the fiber that comes from the pulp, juices will leave you feeling full for a much lesser time than consuming the fruit whole, which isn’t really great if you are intending to lose weight.

What is Blending?

Blending is the process of completely pulverizing fruits and vegetables without discarding the fiber-rich pulp. Smoothies made from blending fruits and veggies are much thicker and denser than juices, and they leave you feeling full for much longer. Nutrients from smoothies are released into your bloodstream at a much steadier rate than nutrients from juices. Smoothies are also much easier to make, which means you can have them at any time of the day without much hassle.

So smoothies are the perfect supplement for your weight loss efforts. But can they really replace eating fruits and vegetables whole? Well, the short answer is no. While blending doesn’t discard the fiber-rich pulp, it still breaks apart the fiber, making it easier to digest. So it certainly doesn’t leave you feeling as full as if you eat an actual fruit in its raw form.

Which is Better for Weight Loss?

If you’re really trying to lose weight, then blending smoothies is obviously the better option because it preserves all the fiber. But if you have a sensitive digestive system or you are just looking for a comparatively healthy sugar boost, by all means you can have a glass of juice once in a while.

But, as healthy as smoothies may be, they aren’t your magic weight loss bullet. You should definitely be focusing on more effective weight loss strategies such as eating whole fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise. Smoothies are merely a supplement that you can use to aid the weight loss process.

Here are two good tips to get the maximum benefit from your juices and smoothies:

1. Don’t combine fruits and vegetables: It’s best not to combine fruits and starchy vegetables like broccoli and zucchini in your juice or smoothie. Your body doesn’t take this combination very well, as it affects how your digestive enzymes function. This can cause fermentation and gas, and can leave you feeling pretty bloated. However, green leafy vegetables and apples can combine with just about anything, so you should be just fine making green smoothies using these.

2. Drink your juice or smoothie within fifteen minutes of making it: When your juice or smoothie gets exposed to air, it begins losing its nutrients. This is why you should always try to drink it within fifteen minutes of making it, so that it doesn’t lose too much of its nutrients. If you have to store it however, put it in an airtight container and make sure you drink it within 24 hours.

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