New Year. New Year’s resolutions. Chances are that at some point in your life you’ve made a resolution such as taking betting care of yourself and to get healthy.
Some of you might result to juicing or opting for a liquid diet to get rid of some extra holiday pounds. But what does a juice cleanse do to your body? And what is the difference between juicing and blending?
Juicing is a process that extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the indigestible fiber. Unlike juices, smoothies (blending) consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all, and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables.
There is no real evidence that juicing can cleanse your body of its toxins by “detoxification” or “purification.” According to Dr. John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “I don’t know why someone would do a juice cleanse. There’s very little evidence that it does anything good for you.” That really is what your liver (and your kidneys and intestines) is for.
- You can blend more than just vegetables. You can blend fruits, milks, ice, nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butters, oils, protein powders and crushed up supplements.
- Because you are blending the whole vegetable and fruit, the added fiber from the peels and flesh help fill up space in your stomach giving you a comforting feeling of fullness.
- You end up with a smaller quantity of nutrients per serving than juicing because the fiber remains in the drink. You need to drink more smoothies than juice to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients per glass.
- Some produce is not good for blending. Root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets are packed full of nutrition, but don’t taste so good in smoothies. They come off chalky and bitter and are more suitable for juicing.
- You get more vegetables per serving with juice. Because the fiber is removed, more vegetable juice fits in the glass than can fit in a smoothie
- Juices are easier to digest. Unlike blending, juicing extracts nutrients and most of the water from vegetables and fruits, leaving behind plant fibers in skins, peels and seed hulls. This allows your body to absorb the nutrients quicker without having to expend energy to digest all the bulk of the fiber too.
- Juice offers a quicker energy boost. Juice has a higher concentration of vegetables (and therefore nutrients) per glass than a smoothie and is in an even more pre-digested format than smoothies for quicker nutrient absorption.
- Juicing machines are sometimes more difficult to clean. Juicers usually have more parts to clean and take a little longer to clean than blenders.
- Vegetables often costs more than blending because vegetables are expensive and you need to use more of them to juice.
Whether you choose to blend or juice, your body will benefit from these nutrient-packed drinks. Regularly drinking smoothies or fresh, vegetable-based juice will increase your vegetable intake dramatically and make it easier and quicker for your body to absorb nutrients. The blending and juicing allows the foods to become somewhat “pre-digested,” and curb appetite and reduce cravings for sugar and processed foods because you are nourishing your cells with what they are asking for—micronutrients. Your body no longer craves the “carbs” (macronutrient).
So now that you know the pros and cons of blending and juicing, you make the choice…or why not try both and let us know what you think. Below is a Berry Smoothie recipe that’s less than 500 calories to get you started.
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
- 1/2 cup (120g) vanilla low-fat yogurt (or low-fat cottage cheese)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk (regular, almond, rice)
- 1/4 tsp Fiber powder or Flax seeds (or Chia seeds)
- 1 cup (150g) frozen unsweetened strawberries
- 1 cup (160g) frozen blackberries
- 1 cup (200g) frozen raspberries
Combine all ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.