This is a question I get asked all the time. What is better: juicing or blending? To which I always say; why does it have to be one or the other? Juices and smoothies both serve two different, yet equally important, roles in our wellness regime.
Being a product of the Gerson Therapy, I am fiercely loyal to my juicer. Having drunk 13 juices each day for the past 17 months, and between six and 11 for the two years prior to that, the thing has practically saved my life. While there hasn’t really been any room in my diet to drink smoothies as well, when my juicing schedule slows down a bit, I will definitely be introducing some daily blended greens.
What’s the difference?
When we juice our veggies, we are removing the indigestible fibre and making the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole. When you drink fresh veggie juices, your body is soaked in nutrients, without having to use up any of its precious energy. It’s like injecting goodness straight into your blood stream. Sitting down to eat five large carrots and one large apple would take a heck of a lot longer to do than if you were to juice those suckers. I can’t imagine it would be as fun or tasty either.
Unlike juices, smoothies still contain all of the fibre from the vegetables – however, the blending process breaks the fibre apart and makes it easier to digest. They are more filling and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day.
Juicing and blending rules!
• It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s apple). This messes with your digestive enzymes. This doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit due to their high starch content. In his book Food Combining Made Easy, Dr. Herbert Shelton explains that starchy foods have to be eaten alone because starches are digested with enzymes different from those used for any other food group. Combining starchy foods with fruit may cause fermentation and gas. However, Dr. Shelton found that green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything.
• Try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away. After 15 minutes, light and air will destroy much of the nutrients. If you can’t drink it straight away, transfer to a dark airtight container until you’re ready.
• Clean your equipment after each use. Otherwise, pulp will get caught in the machine and oxidize making your next juice all gross.
The right equipment
To get the most benefit out of your juices and smoothies, it’s important to use the right equipment. Invest in a good-quality juicer. Cheaper, centrifugal juicers introduce heat and oxygen and destroy the much-needed nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. They are also generally rubbish at juicing greens. While it may cost you a bit more initially, a premium cold-press juicer will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term. The machines themselves will also generally last longer. In contrast to the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out their juice.
The same goes for a blender. You want a blender that is gentle on your produce and doesn’t heat up the enzymes as it’s pulling apart the fibres. We spend m
oney on gadgets, clothes, restaurants and other luxuries so, if you can afford it, investing in your health by buying a quality juicer or blender is totally worth it.