Hiya Sweet Pea,
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, “What’s the difference between juicing and blending?” I could open an animal sanctuary and pay for you all to come and visit!
I began incorporating both juices and smoothies into my diet over a decade ago, when my cancer diagnosis had me searching for ways to give my body the support and nutrition it needed. Juicing and blending became—and have remained—staples in my feel-great plan. And while these practices have become so popular in the last few years, some of you may still be confused about their differences and benefits. Each method has its unique perks, but rest assured they’re both fabulous ways to incorporate nutrition-packed produce into your diet.
The Facts on Juicing
Juicing extracts the liquid from the fruits and vegetables, leaving the fiber behind. By removing the fiber, all of the nutrients in the plant’s juice—vitamins, minerals, enzymes—instantly flood our bodies with goodness. Just think of the added volume of veggies you can pack in your belly, sweet unicorns! Even those of us with the heartiest of appetites would find it challenging to consume the same amount of raw vegetables and fruits with a fork.
Juicing also gives your digestive system a little rest, and since your body works hard on your behalf 24-7, it’s nice to give it some R&R. “But I thought fiber was good for you?” Yes, beautiful, you’re right. And if you’re upgrading your overall diet to include whole foods, you’ll be getting plenty of it—especially if you include smoothies and healthy, home-cooked chow. My books Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Diet are great primers if you need more of a plan (and mouthwatering recipes).
Got digestive ouchies? Juicing is a great option for folks who love to eat plant-rich diets but whose digestive systems are too sensitive to handle lots of fiber. If that’s you, juicing ensures you can enjoy the benefits of boatloads of awesome produce without suffering any tummy troubles for your efforts. For people focused on healing or repair in general, juices offer maximum health benefits in a gentle, easy-to-digest, easy-to-assimilate form. I’ve also heard that some folks get turned off by the texture of smoothies. If that’s you, then juicing is a fantastic option!
A Breakdown of Blending
Blending on the other hand… blends! The ingredients are whirled and pureed into scrumptious smoothies, fiber and all, providing the benefits of fruits and veggies along with their heart-healthy, gut-friendly fiber.
Folks who are watching their blood sugar sometimes prefer blending to juicing because the fiber ensures a slow and steady absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. It’s definitely possible to create juice blends that are lower in sugar, but if you feel that smoothies are a more appropriate option for you, that’s fine. The important thing is to get green drinks in your diet. Take your time and experiment with both juices and smoothies to discover which one or what combination of the two is right for you and your health needs. In a typical week, my morning concoctions are usually split about 50/50 between juicing and blending. But it’s not a hard and fast rule; I go with my “gut” so to speak.
Besides all the great fiber, smoothies allow you to use fantastic foods that would piss your juicer off. Take sprouts, for instance, those tiny powerhouses of plant nutrition. Sprouts will shoot right through a centrifugal juicer without getting juiced, but they blend up perfectly in smoothies. Nut butters and superfood powders can give you (and your energy levels) a powerful boost, but they can’t be juiced. Blend them up, though, and you’re on your way to all sorts of unusual, flavorful and even medicinal drinks.
Smoothies have another important advantage, which is that they can help you feel fuller longer. Protein, healthy fats and carbs create sustainable energy. If you fill up your smoothies with lots of nutrient-packed ingredients, they can even serve as well-rounded, convenient and delectable meals.