To Juice or Blend? That is the question....
Along with the question of “Which blender or juicer do you recommend?” I am often asked which is better, juicing or blending? This is a great question! My answer is BOTH! They really can’t be compared. It would be like comparing weight training to ballet.
Juicing removes the pulp and leaves you with the nutrients and water. When juicing you are able to maximize the nutrient content with a very quick and efficient delivery system. Nutrients are absorbed directly into the body without having to be broken down as with smoothies or whole food.
With juicing, you're concentrating a lot of plant material into one glass, so it’s important to understand the balance of vegetable to fruit ratio. Some common fruit and veggies in juices pack a powerful sugar punch that have the potential to raise blood sugar. Carrots, beets, oranges are big sugar additions. When juicing, focus on green veggies such as celery, cucumber, kale, chard, bok choy or parsley for example as your base. Then add a little apple, pear, carrot etc.
There are several kinds of juicers on the market. The two most common are the centrifugal juicers like the Breville used in the recent documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and single auger juicers like the Green Star.
I have two juicers for juicing different purposes. I personally use a Breville and love it. I don’t however, find it effective for greens like kale and spinach. It has a wide mouth so there is a bit less chopping required and it has an easy clean up.
Then there is the single auger juicers that grind the veggies or fruit slowly to press the juice out. I use a Samson and find this is the more effective style of juicer for greens.
Juicing is an ideal thing to do while fasting or during illness or health challenges as you don’t need to use any energy to digest and assimilate the nutrients. Juices will oxidize rather quickly so they need to be consumed very soon after juicing.
With blending smoothies you are retaining the fiber. Our bodies love fiber! With the fiber in tact, you will feel full longer. They are also helpful in reducing cravings. When using fruit, blending is a better option due to the retaining of the fiber which slows the sugar absorption.
Green Smoothies have really taken off. You can also make blended soups, which is essentially a savory smoothie thats slightly warmed.
I personally use a Vitamix. There are other high speed blenders on the market such at the Blendtec which is a great option as well.
I blend much more often than I juice, mostly due to convenience. I love making raw warm, blended soups. I often add some fat like avocado to the smoothies or soups to keep me feeling full longer. Fats also help maximize nutrient absorption.
Don’t gulp your juice or smoothies down, swish it around your mouth and “chew” it. Blend it with saliva so it breaks down more efficiently this will also help to prevent gas and bloating.
Here are a few recipes to play with.
Mighty Green Juice
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1/2 bunch kale
- 1/2 bunch chard
- 1 bunch cilantro or parsley
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- 1/2 bunch celery
- 1-2 cucumbers
- 1-2 green apples
Process through juicer. Enjoy!
Sweet Power Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1/2 hawaiian papaya/mango/ peach, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 bunch spinach or other green
- 1-2 celery stalks
- 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 tbls hemp or chia seeds, opt
- Enough water to get to the consistency you desire.
So tell me, what do YOU prefer juicing or blending and why?
Turn in tomorrow for the Featured Friday Person!
In Love and Health,
Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC