Smoothie Project Day 4: Benefits of Juicing vs. Blending

Health Center

Today with the Nooksack Smoothie Project: The more fruits and vegetables, the greater the benefits! But it can be difficult to get the recommended five servings in one day. Juicing or blending fruits and vegetables can be one easy way to get your daily servings in. Join us today with Barb Himes, Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist with the Nooksack Smoothie Project, where we learn about the benefits of juicing vs. blending.

Juicing is a process where the liquid part of the fruit or vegetable is separated from the pulp, or fiber. You get a thin and concentrated liquid product that contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with health benefits. You need a juicer to do this. With blending, the whole fruit or vegetable is used: what you put in the blender is what you consume. The volume of the drink will be greater than that of a juice made from the same amount of fruits or vegetables. You can use anything from a standard blender to higher end products like a Vitamix.

Juicing: Pros and Cons

  • More concentrated vitamins and nutrients in a smaller amount of liquid. For those who need a low fiber diet, juicing may be a better option.
  • Easier absorption of nutrients.
  • The portion size of juice should be smaller than a blended beverage otherwise you get many calories from sugar in that cup of juice. Some juices contain more sugar than sodas.
  •  Juicing can be expensive as you have to use a greater volume of produce (for example, about 2 oranges, 1 stem of kale, ½ red pepper, 1 cup berries and 1 stalk of broccoli will make about 1 cup of juice but about 3 cups of smoothie).

Blending: Pros and Cons

  • With smoothies you retain the fiber which can help you feel fuller and improve your digestive health.  Soluble fiber like that found apples, carrots, peas green beans and citrus fruits slows down digestion which helps manage blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber which is in vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and dark leafy vegetables adds bulk to your stool and stimulates your intestines into action.
  • You can also add other types of foods to smoothies like nuts, seeds and yogurts to increase your intake of healthy protein and fats. 
  • Fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants with potential anti-cancer properties.

Either process can help you to increase your fruit and vegetable intake and create less waste in the kitchen. How many of us have seen our produce go bad because we didn’t have time to cook a meal or prepare the salad we were planning?

Happy blending and juicing!

Learn more about Juicing vs Blending with UW’s WholeU.

The Nooksack Smoothie Project is giving away blenders, recipes, and smoothie ingredients to help you stay healthy this summer! In order to receive a kit you need to be an active registered patient at the Clinic.