I’m sold on juicing – Part 2
by Christine Hunt
When I tell my personal story of how juicing helped to heal my chronic illness sometimes the person I am speaking with will say how they also juice their vegetables in their Bullet or their Vitamix. I then have to gently explain to them that they are blending, not juicing – which is usually met with a questioning look and a cock of the head similar to the RCA Victor dog (for those of you old enough to remember him). You see, blenders are blenders and juicers are juicers. They do different things.
A blender pulverizes everything that you put into it and essentially creates a smoothie. A combination of many things can be added to a blender such as water, milk, juice, fruit, vegetables, raw egg, protein powders, nuts, seeds and so on. When you create a smoothie you are getting not only the juice from these items but you are also getting the fiber or pulp from them – a very essential part of what is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system – to, um, move things along.
A juicer extracts only the juice from the fruits and vegetables and discards the fiber/pulp. You are getting only juice from the vegetables or fruits that you put into it. The fibrous waste can be used on your compost pile, mixed in with ingredients to make veggie burgers or other casserole type meals or just thrown away. With juicers you only use vegetables, fruits and possibly wheat grass. No nuts, seeds or powders.
Besides these differences there is another to consider when deciding to juice or blend and that is the amount of nutritional value you get from the amount of ingredients that you use for each. With blending you are eating the whole food and most of us have limits as to how much our stomachs can hold. So, a cup of liquid with a banana, apple, orange or cup of berries might be all we can consume at one time. On the other hand when you juice, you are not adding any liquid and you may be able to extract the juice of several vegetables and several pieces of fruit at once to create a 1 to 2 cup serving. Eating all of the vegetables and fruits you use for the juice would be difficult to eat at one sitting.
So the amount of nutritional value you derive from a cup of juice is far more than if you created a cup of a smoothie. In short, juicing gives you more nutrition in a concentrated form. I call it mainlining nutrition. And essentially that is what you are doing. Fiber allow the food’s nutrients to enter the bloodstream at a slower, more controlled pace and it keeps you fuller longer. Juices are absorbed rapidly since they don’t have any fiber to slow down the process and you may get hungrier sooner.
I make a carrot/orange juice most mornings for my husband and myself. In order to get two, one-cup servings I juice, depending on the size, 2-3 whole oranges and 4-8 carrots. A 5 pound bag of carrots lasts us four to five days. Plus we eat something for breakfast.
So imagine two people eating or blending 2-3 oranges and 4-8 carrots into a smoothie plus eat something else for breakfast. It is a huge amount of food even for two people.
I hope that this better clarifies the difference between smoothies and juices and blenders and juicers. Essentially we still drink the end product but there are vast differences in the amount of nutrition, and the amount of produce it takes to create a serving of each. Either of them are healthy ways to consume fruits and vegetables and add valuable nutrients to your diet.
To your health!