We are excited to introduce Leah Renee, a health food enthusiast and a member of the Irwin Naturals team. Every month Leah Renee will answer a question from our Irwin Life community, and you can check out her blog here.
Dear Leah Renee,
Could you please explain the difference between a juicer and a blender? Thanks for all the great information you provide! –Lee E., Sun City, CA
Funny enough, just yesterday I was at Trader Joe’s where the upbeat young man helping me informed me he will be going on a juice fast in 5 days time, for 10 days. He was excited, and I got excited for him and asked him what kind of juicer he had. He told me he had a great high speed blender that “really mashes everything well and makes it real smooth”. I sadly informed him that was not in fact a juice fast, that he’d actually be eating all the vegetables.
That is the difference in a nutshell: A juicer extracts the juice from the items you put in it, rejecting the rind, or pulp (basically the fibrous part of the fruit or vegetable) making the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants readily available to the body. A blender blends and emulsifies the ingredients, rejecting nothing but simply mashing it all up creating a thick, voluminous beverage. Both are largely beneficial and equally good to have for different reasons.
Juicing and blending are not interchangeable and shouldn’t be chosen one over the other; they are simply two completely different forms of reaping beneficial nutrients from food. It’s like spinning vs. yoga. They are comparable in the sense that they are both effective ways to challenge your body and good for you, but two very different forms of exercise that are really nothing alike. You can choose to do them both, even in the same day! Here are all the great reasons you should juice, and blend, and what you’ll get from both:
- Immediate nutrient absorption
- No digestion needed (to break down fibers)
- A fast, healthy way to drink your daily vitamins
- Boosts your immune system
- Can reduce acidity and toxicity in the body
- Can act as a natural detoxifier and aid in weight loss
- The ability to consume the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in as many as 5 carrots, an entire stalk of kale, a whole apple, 5 stalks of celery, half a bunch of parsley, and an entire cucumber–all at once. To eat that would take awhile!
- Juices need to be consumed right away for the maximum benefit. If you have some leftover, and simply wanted to make a larger batch, store in an air tight, dark container so the juice will not have any exposure to air or light, and refrigerate immediately. Light and air destroys much of the antioxidants and enzymes which is the reason juicing is so beneficial to us.
- Certain combinations of fruits and vegetables do not go well together because of how they’re processed in the digestive system. The easiest to remember is the one fruit that combines the best with any vegetable is an apple. Other fruit/vegetable combinations can be disruptive. The sweetest veggies to juice are carrots and beets. Add some to all the green goodness to make it more palatable if you don’t like green juices and other veggies alone.
- Juices are not to be mistaken for a meal. These are not meal replacements, so unless you are going on a proper juice fast cleared by your doctor, make sure to only keep in mind the additional benefits its bringing to you health-wise with some additional calories and, depending on the type of juice, some sugar too (natural from the fruits/veggies).
- If you are doing a straight carrot, apple, or juicing any other item that is higher in sugar, keep in mind this will elevate blood sugar levels and prepare accordingly (like eating something with it).
- Blending helps with digestion because it has been converted to liquid form. It is still different to juicing because the fruit or vegetable has simply been liquefied, all remaining parts there.
- Depending on what is being blended, the option is there to make a nutrient dense drink chock full of nourishing vitamins and minerals.
- Blending can be used for smoothies and soups, both plentiful and used as a meal replacement. Unlike juicing, blending is in fact filling and good to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Blending is an easy way to increase the amount of vegetables, especially those greens, into your diet without having to make of meal of it or tasting it either (for those who do not enjoy them so much!).
- Many options are available and combinations are endless. Here is a chart I made for a recent post on “Scrumptious Smoothies–Every Time“:
- Combine one, none, or more than one from each category for a great tasting, nutritious drinkable meal!
It’s good to know the difference between the two, because both have their unique advantages everyone can benefit from. It’s not a matter of choosing one over the other, but incorporating them both into your life as much as you choose!
What is your favorite way to drink your fruits and vegetables?