Juicing vs. Blending: Which Method Is Best?
While the differences between juicing vs. blending may seem apparent to some, it can be tricky to navigate through all the information out there surrounding both methods. Some people tout blending as the holy grail of health and wellness, while others swear by the cold pressed juice (or even centrifugal juicing) method. The good news is, there are benefits to both juicing and blending! The key here is to choose the option that’s right for your body at the right time. Many of us can benefit from smoothies and juices, but depending on our symptoms, lifestyle and goals, we may benefit much more from one method over the other. Are you pregnant, training for a marathon, or suffering from skin issues and fatigue? We have a solution for you. Here, we break down the difference between juicing and blending, the common types of juicing methods, and the benefits and pitfalls of blending your produce and juicing it.
First, Let’s Talk Juice
Let’s start with juicing. Did you know that there are various methods of juicing fruits and veggies, and the method you choose can have a big impact on the nutrient density of your juice? It’s true — centrifugal juicers do not retain nearly as many essential nutrients as cold pressed juicers. If you’re not a juice fanatic like we are at Pure Green, you may be wondering what all of this means. A juicer is a juicer, right? Wrong.
A centrifugal juice extractor is the most common type of juicer, and it’s the one most people own at home because of its price point. A centrifugal juice extractor contains a very fast-spinning metal blade that propels against a filter to extract the juice from the pulp and flesh of a fruit or vegetable. The process seems innocent enough, but what many juice enthusiasts don’t realize is that a centrifugal juicer’s fast-spinning blade actually generates heat, which breaks down enzymes in the fruit or veggie being juices. What’s more, this heat also oxidizes the fruit or veggie’s nutrients, rendering your juice far less nutrient dense than if you had eaten the produce whole. Suddenly that low-priced centrifugal juicer isn’t sounding so great, is it?
The second method, and the method that our experts at Pure Green prefer, is cold pressed juicers, also known as masticating juicers. While the price tag on these juicers is not inexpensive, the juice yield and nutrient-density is much higher compared to that of a centrifugal juicer. How? Well, this type of juicer works by crushing and then pressing the produce to extract juice, without applying any heat whatsoever. Therefore, 100% of the essential vitamins, enzymes and nutrients remain intact, while the fibrous pulp does not. Needless to say it’s our method of choice.
Some of you may be wondering, however, why we want to get rid of pulp and leave only the nutrient dense juice intact. This leads us to our next point.
Why Cold Pressed Juice Is So Good For You
People turn to juice for a variety of reasons, from weight loss to skin conditions and more. So, why do we prefer the cold pressed juicing method above all else? Consider this — our bodies are constantly working to rid themselves of toxins, from air pollutants to food and beverages, to stress hormones. Our liver, kidneys and skin are three vital organs for detoxification, and for those of us who like to overindulge, even every once in awhile, these organs can become overloaded. So, our bodies have to work in overdrive to keep up the pace. How can we tell when our bodies are working in overdrive to keep us toxin-free? Symptoms like acne, eczema, headaches, bloating and fatigue are all indicators that these organs are not functioning at their best. This is where cold pressed juice comes in.
Because cold pressed juice does not contain any of the fibrous pulp from the fruit or vegetable, the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in the juice do not have to be broken down in our digestive system to be used. Our bodies are immediately flooded with all of these nutrients, which are essential for detoxification. Think of it like washing your hands with soap, but instead, we are “washing” our organs with juice.
The key takeaway here is that, while many of us can benefit from cold pressed juice, we recommend juice over smoothies for those of us who need to allow our digestive system to rest so that the energy normally required for digestion can be diverted to detoxification. If you’re experiencing symptoms like tiredness, irritability, skin issues, bloating or weight gain, you may benefit from cold pressed juice.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to cold pressed juice over centrifugal juice, but what about blending? Isn’t that good for you, too? Let’s dive in.
The Benefits of Blending Your Fruits and Veggies
Blended fruit and vegetable smoothies are, indeed, extremely good for you. However, we feel there is a time and place for each, determined both by science and by preference.
Let’s say you’re a marathon runner prepping for a big race. You want to be sure that you’re fueling your body with all the essential nutrients it needs, and you’re not sure whether to turn to juice or smoothies. This is a question that comes up a lot at Pure Green. In this situation, we definitely recommend sticking to smoothies. This is because blending your fruits and vegetables retains all of the fiber of the produce, an essential aspect of proper digestion. In general, smoothies are also more calorically dense, and for someone who is exercising heavily or looking to maintain their body weight, calories are vital to proper bodily functions.
As we mentioned above, for someone who is experiencing extreme symptoms of an overly toxic body, such as acne, fatigue, headaches, and weight gain, cold pressed juicing may be a much better option compared to blended smoothies. That’s because, while both juice and smoothies are nutrient dense, smoothies do not provide readily-available nutrients like juices do.
Blended smoothies are, however, an excellent choice for post-workout recovery, meal replacements, nutrient-dense and fibrous breakfasts on the go, and weight management. They’re also a great option for pregnant women, as they provide plenty of calories and fiber, as well as vital nutrients to keep your system running optimally. We especially love adding leafy greens to our fruit smoothies to add even more nutrients to it.
Juicing vs. Blending: What’s Better For Cleansing?
There is a lot of misconception around juicing vs. blending when it comes to cleansing. Many people embark on a “cleanse” in which they consume only blended smoothies for a period of time. We don’t recommend this method of cleansing. Remember when we mentioned juicing as a great way to allow your digestive system to rest, so that your vital detoxification organs can clean up? This is key to properly cleansing, and because smoothies contains plenty of healthy, filling fiber, they do not allow for the same readily-available nutrient-absorption as cold pressed juice.
While a blended smoothie “cleanse” may be a good way to maintain caloric intake while increasing your nutrient intake, it does not cleanse your system in the same way a juice cleanse would. Your digestive system must still utilize energy to break down the fibrous smoothie, albeit not as much as it would a whole fruit or vegetable. This means that the energy required to break down the smoothie cannot be utilized for cleansing.
The Ultimate Verdict on Juicing vs. Blending
As you can see, it’s a toss-up when it comes to juicing and blending. The truth is, both of these options have benefits, and you can enjoy both, as long as you utilize them at the right time for your body, and you juice in the right way. Keep in mind, you know your body best. While a pro at Pure Green can guide you along in your choice based on your lifestyle, goals, and symptoms, only you can really know which option will do your body best. Do your research, and keep these tips in mind next time you break out your juicer or blender. While you can benefit from both, sometimes a smoothie over a juice or vice versa may be much more beneficial for your body, goals and lifestyle. If you’re training for a marathon or need to maintain your caloric intake, stick to smoothies. If you are suffering from toxic symptoms and you know your body and your digestive system could use a rest, opt for a cold pressed juice or even a cold pressed juice cleanse, to get your system running optimally again. And remember, the experts at Pure Green are always here to guide you along, no matter which choice you opt for. We will help you achieve your goals and look and feel your very best.