Everyone knows the secret to giving your wellness a boost is by adding in some liquid nutrients, but there are so many different ways to go about doing that … how do you choose? Two of my favorite methods are juicing and blending; both are great ways to get multiple servings of fruit and vegetables. So, which one is better? They both have very similar benefits, but they are completely different methods of preparation.
Juicing allows you to consume a larger variety of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with nutrients. Because the fruits and vegetables are in liquid form, the body will absorb them faster and you will get a highly concentrated amount of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes; thus, making a really efficient way to absorb nutrients. To get the most from your juice, it is best to drink it on an empty stomach.
Because you’re getting a boost of liquid nutrients, all of those vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will be easier on your digestion. Plus, the more vegetable nutrients you incorporate into your diet, the happier your gut bacteria will be. Juicing can also help with cravings because cravings usually arise from the body lacking some sort of nutrients. With juicing, you’re getting such a concentration that your cravings will be minimal.
Phytonutrients play a big part in keeping your immune system in check. Juicing will supply your body with a steady concentration of them. Plus, the typical juice contains a stockpile of vitamin C and E, both of which are very beneficial to your immune system.
When you juice a vegetable or a fruit, you are removing the fiber, allowing that food to be more easily absorbed into the body. This means minimal work for your digestive system and maximum nutrients. Using foods like lemons, limes, grapefruits, and cranberries can help the body remove toxins and detox.
Other benefits of juicing include cancer and other disease prevention. Your skin will improve because of the elimination of chemicals and because of the boost of nutrients. Also, juicing has been shown to lower blood pressure because of the extra intake of vegetables.
Buying a good quality speedy blender is expensive; on average you’ll spend about $150 to get a good one. Now, if you want to go cold pressed, the price just goes up from there. Typically, a juicer is an investment and you shouldn’t be afraid to spend a little extra for a nicer one. Usually, the nicer, name brand juicers last longer and you don’t have to replace the blades as often. If you are on a budget, try finding a refurbished one that is certified; they work just as well and you can get them for almost 40% off.
It is highly recommended that you only juice with organic produce. It minimizes the amount of chemicals and pesticides to which you’ll be exposing yourself. Usually, when you juice, it takes you more vegetables and fruits to make one glass then you would be eating that day. So, while you’re getting an abundance of nutrients, you’re exposing your body to more chemicals and pesticides if you don’t go organic. Organic produce can be more costly if bought out of season, and you’re also buying more. Try buying things in bulk to make it cheaper, pick out a few juice recipes for the week that have similar ingredient or stick to the same one.
The minute vegetables and fruits are juiced they begin to oxidize and lose nutrients so the longer you wait to consume them the fewer nutrients they will have. Always buy juices that have been juiced that day or make your juice right before you’re about to consume it. This way you’ll get the most from your juice and it won’t just be all sugar.
Fruit is full of sugar and without the fiber to slow down digestion; it can raise your blood sugar level sky high if you’re not careful. It is best only to use one or two pieces of fruit in your juice, the remainder should be vegetables. This will help keep things on the healthy side.
It is sad to say but a lot of juicing equipment is “hand wash only,” sometimes you can put some pieces in the dishwasher, but usually the blades have to be hand washed. Also, a lot of juicers require you to cut up the fruit and vegetables you want to juice because the juicer can only handle a certain amount at a time. That usually means clean up, and there is the fruit fiber you have to dispose of when the juicing is completed.
Like juicing, smoothies are a great way to boost your nutrients and get all the servings of fruit and vegetables that you need. You can use a wide variety of ingredients when you’re making smoothies, which will give your body all kinds of nutrients.
Smoothies don’t have to be limited to just fruit and vegetables you can add a wide variety of things to them; like nuts, seeds, supplement powder and protein. The sky’s the limit. Smoothies are like pre-chewing your food so, in theory, anything you put into a blender can almost be considered a smoothie.
They are full of nutrients, fiber and they are almost liquid which means your digestion will love them. Smoothies are also acceptable meals because you can put more than just fruit and vegetables in them. You can add pre and probiotics to your smoothies to make them even more digestive friendly.
They are really quick and easy to make; you just dump and blend. Very little preparation and cleanup is involved because you can just throw most blenders right into the dishwasher. Blenders also are easy travel companions.
They hold all the health boosts of a juice plus they have fiber and can be boosted with supplements. Because smoothies have more texture and density, you don’t have to worry about puttings supplements in them because the texture will remain the same. Smoothies are really more a delicious vessel that you put protein powder or supplements into. That’s how most of us eat our kale: under 3 frozen bananas.
A blender is usually a household staple that most people already have. If you don’t have one, the cost of getting one can be as little as $15. If you’re going to become a regular juicer, probably a good idea to invest in a nice quality one; but, if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to spend much. You can save money on most of the ingredients by buying them frozen or buying when they are in season and freezing them for later. You also don’t need as many ingredients because you’re blending the whole thing not just extracting the juice.
If you use too much fruit in your smoothie, it can be just a sugary drink. Yes, it will still have a bunch of vitamins in it, but at the end of the day, you don’t need to be exposing yourself to so much sugar. As with juicing, try to limit the amount of fruit and supplements that contain sugar in your smoothies and add as much green as you can. Sugary drinks can cause weight gain and afternoon crashes, which is the last thing we want.
Smoothies can be high in calories. Because you can put whatever you want in them, you have to be careful not to overdo it with the calories. You are also eating the fruit whole, so that is all the calories. It is important to really think about the kind of calories you’re putting in your smoothie. If they are post-workout and you’re trying to bulk, keep that in mind when mixing supplements; if they are not high quality, the chances are you are consuming more than you need. At that point, you’re just wasting your money.
Unless you have had someone test a recipe before, the odds of getting a smoothie right on the first try are slim. We are pretty lucky these days to have access to thousands of recipes that are already tastebud approved. If you get it wrong, there can be a lot of food waste and it will cost you a decent chunk of change. For the most part, it can be hard to screw up a smoothie; the biggest mistake is making too much liquid and it is more of a sugary drink than a smoothie. Some advice on that one: start with small amounts of liquid until you get to your desired consistency and try to keep the amount of food you have in your blender to the 2-3 cup mark. This will help you avoid making too much or just making juice.
If you’re someone who is sensitive to fiber and seeds, smoothies can be tough on your digestion. The chances that your blender will crush those tiny seed pods from blackberries or raspberries are slim to none. So, when you’re making smoothies, keep in mind your stomach’s sensitivity to pieces of seeds. My guess is that you have no desire to chew your smoothie before you swallow it, so you’re eliminating a big component of digestion; make sure your smoothie is blended well. Another thing to watch out for is fiber; smoothies contain a ton of fiber and if you’re someone who has any problems in that area, I would also urge caution.
There are major benefits to both juicing and blending your food. Freshly pressed vegetable juice is like liquid gold. You just have to watch out for the sugar. Smoothies are amazing if you need to pack in the extra nutrients and supplements; they are also excellent if you need a quick meal. So, I think it comes down to personal preference and the individual. If you’re someone whose body does better on juice, then that is a great choice. Smoothies are amazing and you can really put in whatever you want, so if that is more what you need then that, too, is a great choice. Personally, I like to take the choice out of it and have both; but it is really, at the end of the day, about personal preference.
3 Healthful Tips:
1. More vegetables than fruit to cut down on the sugar.
2. Read what’s in your supplements so you know you’re getting what you need.
3. Use organic produce to minimize chemical and pesticide exposure.