What’s The Difference?
There are a lot of people today who are digging in on their health journey. One of the things that seem to go hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle is juices and smoothies. The trend can easily be seen with the popularity of juice & smoothie bars, restaurants adding acai bowls on their menus, and health companies galore selling protein powders to put in both juices and smoothies. This popularity can also be evidenced by the dizzying array of juicers and blenders that are available to us for purchase. But which is best, Juicing vs. Blending?
But are juices and smoothies the same? They’re both liquids, right? Not exactly. One common question that comes up with people new to juicing is the difference between juicing and blending. Most households have a blender or food processor, but it is not as common to have a juicer. So it’s understandable to think “Hey! I can use my blender for the juice cleanse!” That isn’t the case, unfortunately. In this guide, we’ll break down why juicing is better than blending for certain applications and why blending might be just as good in other situations. We’ll cover what each process is and the benefits of each.
Let’s break down the difference between the two.
What Is Blending?
While juicing and blending sound similar, they are very different. Blenders are used to take fruits, vegetables, herbs, greens, and even soaked nuts and seeds into a more liquid state. My favorite blender for making smoothies is the Tribest Dynapro. Those looking to boost the power of the smoothie might also put protein powders or superfoods into the mix. Blenders have super fast-spinning blades that chew up the produce into a liquefied state. It’s amazing! But it’s not technically juice due to one subtle difference, the fiber isn’t removed from the drink. So while it may be in a more liquid state, it still has all the fiber still contained in the smoothie.
What Is Juicing?
Juicing on the other hand, uses a process to chew up the produce then press or spin it to extract the liquid juice and separate it from the fiber. In essence, produce is fed into the juicer and the juicer separates it into two different products, juice and juice pulp. So the main difference from blending is that the majority of the fiber is completely separated from the juice. The juice is consumed and the pulp is either composted or can be made into delicious juice pulp crackers! If you’re interested in a deep dive into juicing, check out this post: Why Juice? – A Beginner’s Guide To Juicing.
But Isn’t Fiber Good For Us?
You bet it is! Fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system, no doubt. So blending definitely has a great place in a healthy lifestyle. However, while blending fruits and veggies in the blender to make smoothies is a great way to get wholesome nutrition into your diet, there are some reasons why removing the majority of fiber with juicing is a great idea.
Fiber slows down the digestion and metabolism of the fruits and veggies that you are consuming. It requires more metabolic energy to digest. In the western world, we have a habit of eating more food than we should. Consequently, our digestive systems never get a break from processing solid food. Oftentimes our entire digestive tract is completely full of undigested, backed-up waste products.
Thus, by eliminating the majority of fiber by juicing, the liquid is easily absorbed into the system rapidly. Without any solids, the body then has time and energy to begin moving these waste products out of the digestive tract. Once the digestive tract is open, the real magic can begin. The body will then have the time, energy, and SPACE to begin dumping cellular waste that has been backed up in the system and move it out of the body through its organs of elimination. This is where true healing can and will happen. Give the body time and it will begin to heal itself.
Both juicing and blending are incredible ways to get in more fruits, veggies, greens, and herbs into your healthy lifestyle. The advantage of juicing is that you can concentrate and consume the level of nutrition from an amount of produce that you normally wouldn’t be able to eat in a day. For example, you wouldn’t be able to consume a bag of carrots, a bundle of kale, 6 apples, a whole head of celery, a bundle of parsley, a bundle of cilantro, a thumb of ginger, and a thumb of turmeric. However, if you juice all of that, you can easily consume that in a day. And it will be very easily absorbed into the system and digested with much, much less metabolic stress. And don’t worry, there is still enough fiber present in a juice to keep your GI (gastrointestinal) tract beneficial bacteria healthy!
Which Is Best For Health & Nutrition?
This is a tough question to answer as it really depends on what your health goals are. Are you looking to bulk up by adding in extra healthy protein from nuts and seeds? Are you trying to clean out your system and give it a rest? Are you trying to gain weight or are you trying to lose it? Are you trying to maximize nutrition or just trying to get some extra fruits and veggies in your daily eating lifestyle? Answer these questions and you’ll likely find the answer to the question of which is better for your health.
Personally, I am a fan of juicing because of the benefits that I have received by implementing a daily juicing habit as well as periodic juice feasts where I consume juice only for extended periods of time. I love the feeling of lightness and levity that comes with juice. Also, I love the energy that I get from juicing. Pure, calm, electric energy!
But the choice is up to you!
Choose Juicing When:
- You want to give your digestive system a break.
- You want to concentrate nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into an easily absorbable format.
- You want to empty out the digestive system to facilitate fast weight loss & healing.
- You want to flood your system with super hydrating, antioxidant-rich liquids.
Choose Blending When:
- You want to continue to get All the fiber.
- You want to add in nuts or seeds or protein powders to bulk up protein content.
- You desire the fullness and bulk that comes with a smoothie.
Perhaps a combination of the two will suit your lifestyle best? Maybe starting off with a fresh liter of juice in the early part of the day, having a smoothie for lunch, and then a normal meal or big, raw living salad in the late afternoon / early evening is the best option for you? It all comes down to what your ultimate goals are.
Is It Possible To Make Juice With A Blender?
What if you’re in a tight spot, really want to juice, but don’t have the cash to plop down on a juicer, but you do have a blender? Well, there is one option. It’s not the easiest, but it can work in the short term until you have some spare cash to invest in your juicer. You can blend your fruits and veggies in the blender, then pour all the blended goodness into a nut milk bag, then squeeze the juice out manually. Here is the perfect nut milk bag for the job: Nut Milk Bag
If you want to realize the benefits of juicing, do whatever it takes to make the juice. Buy a used juicer on Facebook Marketplace. Borrow your Aunt Betty’s juicer that she never uses. Steal one. Okay, don’t steal one. Blend it and squeeze it using a nut milk bag. Give up that daily coffee shop Frappa-Whappa-Lattever habit and you’ll save up enough money for a juicer sooner than you think. Whatever it takes, you can make it happen!
What’s Your Decision?
There you have it! All you need to know about the differences between juicing and blending. We also hit the benefits that both juicing and blending can have for your health. What do you feel is best for you?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section. I’d love to know if you’re making a smoothie or juice for breakfast tomorrow morning!