Eating, Juicing or Blending?

May 15, 2013 Nutrition

juicing or blendingQuestions about nutrition are never simple and always get more than one answer. Whatever the question, we often find passionate opponents and supporters of the same idea. One of these controversial questions is which is best: eating, juicing or blending fruits and veggies? Although eating seems to score best, with practically no cons, let’s take one at a time. The analysis of pros and cons only refers to homemade juices and smoothies, because bottled juices might contain preservatives or other not so natural ingredients.

Juicing – Pros

Nutrients in juice are better and faster absorbed – although often mentioned, it seems that there is no clear evidence to assert this or the contrary. However, as juicing removes the fiber in fruits and vegetables, there is almost no need to process the food, proponents claim. Thus, the body will enjoy a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Juice allows us to eat a more varied range of vegetables than we would normally eat. This covers better our nutritional needs.

Juice is considered able to fight degenerative illnesses because the combination of water, vitamins and minerals charges our body with essential phytonutrients.

Juice could have a detoxifying effect over the liver – of course, provided we give up unhealthy food habits.

Extracting the juice out of fruits and vegetables is considered an easier way to intake more servings than we would normally eat. But this can lead to a negative effect: ingesting too many calories from fruits. To prevent this, it would be best to add more vegetables than fruits.

Juice is an energy booster because it is very quickly absorbed by the body. The best option to avoid fluctuations in blood glucose levels is vegetable juice.

It is recommended to “chew” your juice – This way, the brain will send the signal to start peristalsis (bowel movements) and cleanse the body.

Cons

Fiber are destroyed – the lack of fiber makes the sugar in the fruits to be more quickly absorbed by the stomach. The rapid growth of blood-glucose level could be dangerous for people with diabetes. Those fluctuations in glucose could be prevented by adding almond or flaxseeds which contain fiber and proteinor simply by juicing only vegetables instead of fruits.

Juice, as well as smoothies should be drank immediately after making. That’s because processed fruits and vegetables exposed to oxygen are more susceptible to bacterias. If you can’t drink the fresh juice store it in the fridge, but no more than a day.

Eating – Pros

Chewing the food allows us to enjoy the taste and has an important contribution to getting satisfaction and satiation on less food.

Eating fruits and vegetables allows us to enjoy all their nutrients, without the risk of losing fiber or vitamins.

Con

One con would be the hypothesis that too much fiber could interfere with absorption of vitamins, and minerals. This potential negative effect of eating too many fruits and vegetables still leaves one question unanswered: how much would be too much?

Blending – Pros

Smoothies keep more fiber than juice. Nevertheless, there are also voices who claim that smoothies disrupt the fiber in fruit an vegetables, just like juicing.

Smoothies are nutritious – they contain the vitamins, minerals, fiber and andioxidants associated with the fruits and/or vegetables they are made of. Moreover, you can add supplements into smoothies, like spirulina, to boost its nutritional content.

Smoothies cleans the bowels and maintain the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

Smoothies can make you feel full thanks to its fiber content, although you don’t actually eat and chew the fruits and veggies.

Con

There are voices lecturing that dark greens should be consumed mostly steamed and accompanied by good fat for a better nutrient absorption. Consequently, in their opinion green smoothies are not the best option.

Except for health conditions concerning blood sugar, insulin levels or weight problems, when juices are less recommended than smoothies or eating fruit and vegetables, you don’t have to choose from eating, juicing or blending. They all can be part of a healthy diet – smoothies and eating whole fruits and vegetables more frequently than juice. In the end, it’s all a matter of keeping the balance.