We’ve all grown up aware of the importance of eating our fruits and veggies. For me, it was an unattainable quest that never tasted good, so I skipped over the part about truly understanding that what I fueled up with, actually mattered. Decades later, I get it now, and thankfully I’ve found some trusty delivery systems that feed my appetite for yummy flavor and nourishment.
A fresh squeezed juice or a blended smoothie packs taste and nutrients all together and helps us reach the daily recommended intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at which popular option might work best for you and your lifestyle.
Juicing: A quick and efficient way to consume fruits and vegetables in liquid form, making it easy for the body to absorb nutrients because there is nothing for your digestive system to break down. If you’re fighting off illness, juicing can even give your immune system a boost of healing properties. (Juicer needed to separate the pulp/fiber)
Blending: Smoothies use the whole fruit/veggies, keeping the fiber and nutrients, sometimes including the skin. (Blender needed; also works well with frozen fruits/veggies)
Either way, by juicing or blending, you’re getting a healthy heaping of nutrients that can help fight against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. And, because you are making conscious decisions that impact your well-being, you’ll find yourself smiling when least expected!
Pros of Juicing: It’s quick and easy and you get the biggest benefits of essential vitamins and minerals in smaller servings. Because you’re removing the fiber and not consuming the entire fruit or veggie, juices are usually lower in calories and a good option for people who have digestive issues. Vegetable juices are great for detoxification and restoring your body’s cells. A great way to supplement your diet with healthy snacks/drinks that go directly into your bloodstream.
Cons of Juicing: Juice cleanses have become a popular way to lose weight quickly, but if you drink juice as a meal replacement, you’re actually depriving your body of the calories and protein that is needs. You may lose weight quickly, but you also lose water and muscle mass, which is not sustainable long-term. Also, drinking too much juice without the fiber may cause your blood sugar to spike. Fiber is responsible for keeping us full, so you may also become hungry more frequently.
Pros of Blending: Smoothies can be offered up as a healthy snack or meal and you can add other ingredients like nuts, seeds, or yogurt to keep you full and satisfied. Since whole ingredients are used in smoothies they are high in flavonoids, phytonutrients that help prevent certain diseases. And blending allows you to add leafy greens like kale and spinach to your diet, without sacrificing taste.
Cons of Blending: Unlike juicing, blending smoothies won’t cause your blood sugar to spike as much, but you still have to be mindful of your blood sugar levels by limiting your fruit intake to no more than two servings per smoothie. Since they usually taste so yummy you might consume too much without realizing it, and the fiber can sometimes cause gas and indigestion.
You be the Verdict: Whether you’re juicing or blending it’s important to invest in capable equipment so you can maximize your efforts with each approach. The effects, texture, and taste vary between the two, but both offer up a super beneficial “go to” healthy alternative.
While penning this article I had a good laugh recalling when we were newlyweds sorting through storage in my husband’s garage. We came upon his official Champion Juicing Machine which was the size of a doghouse, clearly used just once. Needless to say, it didn’t make the move to our new home, but to this day whenever we’re going on a long trip my husband jokingly asks if I remembered to pack it.