As part of my dalliance with raw foods, I have been incorporating all kinds of green juices and green smoothies into my morning routine. They’re delicious, nutritious, and I have a lot of fun concocting them. However, with all of the knowledge I have amassed about green drinks, confusion regarding the benefits and drawbacks to juicing produce verses blending produce begs a somewhat overwhelming question: To juice, or not to juice? To blend, or not to blend?
One of my internship duties offered me a pertinent opportunity to explore this question and clarify the juicing/blending debate. After many entertaining hours of journeying into the world of green drinks, I have distilled all of my findings to a satisfying answer, an answer that satisfies me, at least.
Blending greens v. Juicing greens:
While drinking both green smoothies (blending) and green juice (juicing) supplies us with plant protein, balances our blood sugar, and helps achieve optimal wellness, blending and juicing greens benefit us in different ways. For example, drinking green juice, liquid that contains no pulp from ingredients, requires no digestion. Therefore, green juice rests our digestive tract, instantly energizes our bodies, and immediately assimilates vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into our blood. On the other hand, green smoothies contain the pulp from the ingredients we use, requiring some effort from our digestive system, so the nutrients take a bit longer to assimilate into our system. However, the pulp contains an abundance of fiber, which sponges up toxins in our bodies and cleanses our intestines and colon.
Also, the fiber in green smoothies satiates us for hours, as they fill up our stomachs more slowly than green juice, which satiates us for a shorter amount of time. Therefore, we can consume more juiced greens than blended ones, allowing us to incorporate a wider variety and higher volume of greens into our juice, rather than smoothies. However, Blending allows us to include beneficial such as protein powders, seeds, and other supplements to our smoothies, whereas a juicer could not process those nutrients.
Finally, blending greens requires a much simpler and quicker preparation and cleanup process than juicing greens. Green juice requires us to feed our produce individually through the juicer, then take apart and clean the entire machine, a potentially complex appliance with many parts. More conveniently, green smoothies only call for a blender, in which we mix all of our ingredients together with a few pulses, then clean its pitcher, top, blade, and base.
While the benefits and consequences of juicing and blending greens might seem confusing, rest assured that both processes significantly improve our inner and outer health. Just remember that juicing, rather than blending, requires no digestive work and assimilates nutrients directly and immediately into our blood, but does not contain the fiber that smoothies provide. You can plan your solid food, as well as your juices and smoothies around this over-arching difference and enjoy a vital, healthy life.