I recently opened a smoothie bar and some have asked me what the difference is between blending and juicing. Blended fruits are usually sold as smoothies and are made by blending the entire piece of fruit, including the skin. They contain all of the fiber of the fruit. Juicing is a process that extracts water and nutrients from the produce and discards the indigestible fiber, so you are only drinking the juice of the fruit. Both blended and juiced fruit are good for you. Below is a comparison of the two ways to add produce to your diet.
Advantage of Juicing: Fresh-pressed juice lets you consume a good amount of fruits or vegetables in one sitting. Juicing is also smart way to get your vitamins and minerals without the fiber that can be upsetting to some stomachs.
Advantages of Blending: With seeds and pulp comes fiber, nature’s appetite suppressant. People who eat more fiber have lower body weight, on average. And, because your body has to work to break down the fiber, it can make for slower digestion and a slower release of nutrients into the blood stream, which can prevent a blood sugar spike.
Disadvantages of Juicing: If you are juicing three apples, then you are also drinking the sugar and calories from three apples all at once. Without the fiber contained in the apple’s flesh, sugar can rush into the bloodstream, potentially causing a blood sugar spike followed by a crash.
Disadvantages of Blending: The fiber of an entire piece of blended fruit may slow you down from drinking as many servings of fruit as you may like if you order a smoothie. Some may also not like the consistency of pulp in their drink.
Both juicing and blending are tasty and can serve as a healthy treat for children and adults. If you have not yet tried blending or juicing and would like to try it at home, it is a good idea to buy the best equipment that you can afford for the either process. Better equipment will cost more up front but will be worth it in the end.
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.