If you follow me on Facebook at all (Like my page here) you know that I have gone one hundred percent into juicing. I bought a Breville Jr after Christmas and have been juicing almost daily, posting my favorite recipes on my page. Its a total pain to chop everything up, clean the juicer and the counter, wash the juicer, clean up all the veggies and do it all over again the next day but that fifteen minute process pays off nicely when I think about all the fabulous nutrients I have consumed each week.
As if I’d sit and eat a bowl of parsley, kale, cucumbers, green apples and lemons? No. So by juicing these and drinking up about twenty ounces of pure green juice, I feel like I’m getting important nutrients added to my pretty healthy way of eating. On the days I juice AND have a big green salad, I feel like SuperWoman. Not literally. Just, in a health sense.
I feel bad about all the waste that goes along with juicing- there’s always so much pulp to throw away. I began toying with the idea of blending my juices, using my trusty Ninja blender. I made a really good strawberry-papaya smoothie and added coconut water but I know that fruits are a little lower on the nutritional scale than green vegetables thanks to sugar (although its natural sugar so…its not so bad). I starting thinking that maybe I should just blend everything and call it a day. But there are so many great things about juicing. I started reading up on the topic of blending vs. juicing. Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
According to health advocate Kris Carr: “… by removing the fiber through the process of squeezing the pulp, we instantly lighten the load on our digestion. Nutrients pass directly into the bloodstream, and within minutes our bodies receive optimum fuel to feed our cells and help restore our immune systems.”
This expert on Reddit says: “Juicing breaks far more cell walls and allows the nutrients to be absorbed without the insulation or dilution of the fiber pulp. Although fiber is needed for pushing waste through, it has no nutritional value.
The theory is you get more nutrition from your food in juice form than blended form and that by giving your gut a rest from working with the pulp and fiber it actually (like other muscles) get’s stronger from rest, and allows some time for compacted material to decompress (thus it can be picked up or pushed by fiber now instead of crushed further into your gut lining).”
Dr Sears compares the two which have their own benefits. Here’s what he has to say about juicing: “Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards all the fiber. Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients.
This is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system or illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber. The fiber in produce helps slow down the digestive process and provides a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream. When you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream all at once causing a spike in blood sugar. Unstable blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more! Fiber is also filling, and without fiber in the juice, you will be hungry again quickly.”
Here’s another good article to look over on the topic!
When I wrap my head around these thoughts and interpret them, I come away with thinking juicing is less taxing on the digestive system. The plants or greens have been broken down through the process of juicing and the nutrients are ready to be absorbed. You also get more vegetables per glass of juice. When you blend everything, your body still has to break down the nutrients and fibers and then the body can begin to absorb the delicious vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
I think of smoothies as a fruity treat since the softer fruits blend nicely and taste good with coconut water (which I love because its has potassium) and maybe a drop of natural honey, while my green juices are more like taking a daily vitamin. Trying to blend my kale in the blender doesn’t work as nicely as tossing it in my Breville and squishing it down. I typically add lots of parsley, cilantro, a lemon, two green apples, some spinach and if I have it, a hunk of ginger.
Whether you blend or juice is really personal taste. The good thing is that you are doing something to become healthier and consume more plant based foods and with that, you can’t go wrong.