Juicing or blending: What's the difference?

Making healthy fruit and vegetables juices at home is easy - provided you use the right device.

By April Jones (Kitchen-Blender-Reviews.com)

Cucumber, celery & apple juice

Juices like this cucumber, celery and apple juice can be made in either a juicer or a blender
Photo by Michelle Reaves

Juicing vs. blending? Should you put a juicer on your wish list or a new blender instead? Vegetarians and plant-based healthy eaters have debated this issue for some time. The answer is...well, it all depends on what you want.

There are pros and cons to both blenders and juicers, depending on the goals you are trying to achieve. Both devices can make healthy fruit and vegetable juices with relatively little effort, but they each work in a different way.

When you use a juicer, the pulp (or fiber) of the vegetable or fruit is separated out from the juice and usually discarded. By contrast, a blender breaks up the entire fruit or vegetable, all of which is retained in the final product. So a blender will create a drink with more substance (depending on the amount of liquid you add) while juicing provides a thinner drink that's free of pulp.

Juicers have a reputation for being messy and difficult to clean. Blenders, on the other hand, are easy to clean and, for the most part, not quite as messy (as long as the lid is secure before turning the appliance on). On the other hand, they can be quite noisy.

What are the benefits of juicing?

Juicing is a great way to ingest the full goodness of fruit and vegetables in less time than it would take to eat them.

Because vegetables contain less sugars than fruit, separating the juice from the fiber does not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar that juicing fruit does. Juicing concentrates the nutrients found in the vegetable (or fruit) and increases the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals into your body. This process is easy on the digestive system, requiring it to do less work. This is good news for those with bowel problems or other digestive issues.

Fruits are higher in sugar than vegetables. Our bodies absorb and use the sugars at a slower pace when the fiber and the juice are taken together. With juicing, the sugars are concentrated and the fiber is removed, which could cause blood sugar to spike.

Reasons to use a juicer:

What are the benefits of blending?

Electric blender

A typical kitchen blender
Photo from Wikimedia

Blending breaks down the fruit and vegetables while retaining the fiber. The entire food item is used and nothing is thrown away. So you get to take in all those unseen but much-needed phytonutrients and micronutrients that you would lose if you used a juicer.

Fiber plays an important role in helping things to run smoothly throughout the body. It is fiber that regulates the absorption of natural sugars in the system and helps slow down their digestion. Studies have shown that a lack of fiber could lead to an increased risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, some cancers, obesity, coronary heart disease and others. Less severe conditions of a low fiber diet include hemorrhoids, constipation and diarrhea.

In some cases, it might be necessary to add more liquid (such as water or pure fruit juice) to make the pulpy liquid thinner and easier to drink. Depending on your desired outcome, it may be worth doing this to choke down a "pulpy" drink and keep the fiber with the juice.

Another great thing about blenders is that they are multifunctional. I've talked here about making juices, but the same appliance can be a terrific help in making soups, ice creams, salad dressings and desserts, in grinding coffee and grains, and much more. Given a good blender, the possibilities are endless, which just tends to make blending more fun.

Reasons to use a blender:

When deciding whether to juice or blend, think about what particular goal you are seeking. If you are a busy parent wanting to make quick healthy shakes for your kids (or yourself) with the minimum of mess, then a blender would be better for you. If you have digestive issues and need lots of nutrition with less digestion, or just need a quick pick-me-up between meals, then juicing may be a better bet.

To help you determine which kitchen blender to buy to meet your needs, come by and visit Kitchen-Blender-Reviews.com, where you can also discover great vegan and vegetarian meals and smoothie recipes using a blender.

References:
http://dietary-fiber.com/dietary-fiber/Dietary+Fiber+Deficiency+and+Toxicity
http://alpha-health-plus.com/BLENDING_VS_JUICING.html

Publisher April Jones, has chosen blending over juicing. April loves to share her recipes and teach others about the benefits of healthy eating while making it fun and lasting. Healthy living begins in the kitchen.

January 2011

Please note: Neither Veg World nor its contributors are qualified to give medical or nutritional advice. If in doubt, always consult a suitably-qualified professional.

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