What is the difference between juicing and blending and which is better (juicing or blending)? I am asked these questions all the time and it is a topic on which there seems to be lots of confusion.
When I first launched Natural Juice Junkie I immediately started to receive lots of questions from readers along the lines of “can I use my blender?” or “is a Nutribullet / Vitamix a good juicer?” and I still regularly get them.
With these questions in mind I thought it might be good to explain what I believe to be the key difference between juicing and blending. I should make it clear at this point that I regularly do both and in fact if you want to follow my Budget Juice Reboot programme you will need both a juicer and a blender in order to follow some of the recipes.
What does a blender do?
When we eat digestion starts in our mouths. The first thing we will typically do is to chew our food. This chewing process breaks down the food into a soft mushy substance that is easy to swallow and ready for the rest of our digestive system to process.
When you use a blender you are basically outsourcing your chewing to the machine and letting it do that part of the digestive process for you. The blender will chew your food, but that is as far as it’s processing goes. No matter how good the blender you use is, you will also need to liquid (such as water) in order to bend the produce to a drinkable consistency.
The blender will chew everything you put in the jug and when you drink your blended smoothie you will be consuming the whole plant.
When we digest food our bodies separate the liquid nutrients from the insoluble fibre. The liquid feeds our cells and the insoluble fibre gets pooped out!
A blender does not remove anything from the vegetables, fruits, etc that you put into it and so when you drink a smoothie your digestive system still needs to extract the liquid nutrients from the fibre in order to feed your cells.
“It’s the Juice of the Fibre that feeds you”
One of the father’s of modern juicing, Jay Kordich, is famous for saying it is “the juice of the fibre that feeds you”. Put another way, it is not strictly true that we are what we eat, rather we are what our cells manage to absorb from what we eat. 98% of the atoms in your body change in less than a year and the nutrients we absorb are used to build those new cells.
What does a juicer do?
When you use a juicer it does much more than simply pre-chew your food. The process of juice extraction separates the juice from the insoluble fibre. Unlike the blender where we outsource our chewing to the machine, with a juicer we essentially outsource our digestion.
The liquid that comes out of a juicer is a highly bio-available, easily digested, stream of nutrients that is typically delivered to our cells in around 15 minutes. Research has shown that juicers typically extract 70% of the nutrition from the produce and we are then able to absorb 100% of this.
When you eat solid food it typically takes around 50 hours for your body to complete digestion.
Oh, and the fibre that goes in to the juicers waste bin? That is the same fibre you would typically flush down the toilet when your body has finished with it.
(Note: just like the pulp in the juice water bin, our poop also contains nutrients that our bodies have been unable to extract from whole foods)
Juicing vs Blending
I believe one of the key differences is the concentration of nutrients in the liquid. Think about it. When you blend produce you need to add water (or another liquid) in order to make the smoothie into a drinkable consistency. This means that the produce you would use to make 500ml of juice ends up being 1500 – 2000ml of smoothie, yet the amount of nutrition is the same in both. Juicing gives more concentrated nutrition.
Don’t get me wrong, we need dietary fibre (this is one of reasons I always blend avocados into at least one juice each day when doing a juice cleanse) but a short period on juice only is great for giving our digestives systems a break and juicing provides concentrate nutrients that support our body’s natural ability to heal.
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