Juicing vs. Blending: Which is Better for Nutrition and Weight Loss?
There is a lot of debate on buying a juicer vs blender and if juicing or blending is better. Who is right?
We own a blender and a juicer and we spent many hours researching the different products before deciding, so we hope to provide an honest overview to help you make a better decision.
We have read the real studies about juicing and blending so we can provide an honest comparison.
To be honest, juicing and blending are both great but are just different and provide different benefits. In this article, we will cover the main advantages and disadvantages between the two.
Juicing vs Blending
What’s the difference?
Juicing is the process of extracting water and nutrients from fruits or vegetables while disregarding the indigestible fiber.
Blending is transforming the entire fruit or vegetable, including the skin and fiber, into liquid form which results in a thicker consistency.
Pros and Cons
What are the pros and cons of juicing vs blending?
In juicing a fruit or a vegetable you can extract higher level of nutrients and the digestive system is not required to work as hard in digesting the nutrients without the fiber. This makes the nutrients readily available for the body’s absorption.
Juicing can be very beneficial for people who have sensitive digestive systems that inhibit them from processing fiber. Also, if you need to really boost your intake of micronutrients from fruits and vegetables then juicing is great for that. In a review of 22 studies, a researcher found that drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice (or blended powder concentrate improved important vitamin and mineral levels. (source)
For some juicing diets, advocates use juicing as a form of low-calorie meal replacement so you are getting the essential nutrition without the full fiber. In addition to this, the exclusion of fiber will make the juice less filling and you will feel hungry sooner.
While the blending process includes the fiber of the fruit or vegetable, powerful blenders help break them apart and make them easier to drink. The strength of the blender will affect the consistency so a higher speed blender will blend faster and smoother than a weaker blender.
There are claims that the inclusion of the fiber in your drink makes for a slower, steady release of nutrients into the blood stream and more steady glucose absorption but we have not found an actual research study confirming that. Actually, one study found that you get better nutritional benefits from eating the whole fruit rather than drinking the juice from it.
Including the whole fruit and vegetable in your drink will make it more filling. For example, blending is the perfect choice for your breakfast because not only will it keep you energized with readily absorbed vitamins and minerals but it will also keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Also, breakfast smoothies taste amazing.
As you can see, it really depends on your goal and what else you are eating during the day. Essentially you should look at juicing vs. blending as a part or your overall health plan.
Different Types of Juicers and Blenders
Before comparing Juicers vs. Blenders you should understand that there are different types of each.
Blenders work by pulverizing the foods. The differences between models vary by motor types, speeds, and other features. Essentially though all blenders perform a similar function which is to pulverize and blend but not extract like juicers. Blenders make Smoothies.
Juicers have different types:
- Centrifugal which have a cutting blade that spins and cuts the food at high speeds to extract the juice. Works well with most fruits/vegetables but less efficient with leafy greens.
- Masticating Juicers(Vertical or Horizontal) which work at a lower speed and have an Auger type blade that slowly pulverizes the juice from the food. Works well with leafy greens.
Masticating Juicers (“Slow Juicers”) generally are viewed as being able to extract juice better and leave less water in the juice vs Centrifugal juicers.
Centrifugal juicers (“Fast Juicers”) tend to be easy to clean and use and are usually lower cost. We own a centrifugal juicer.
There is a lot of confusing claims about fast juicers vs slow juicers and if fast juicers provide less nutrition from the foods than slow juicers due to heat and air. We found NO EVIDENCE to support those claims.
Actually, the big juicer manufacturer, Breville, had an independent government study done and found no real difference in nutritional yield between fast vs slow juicer.
Slow Juicer Vs. Fast Juicer Nutrition Comparison
They provide some more charts comparing the results from the studies but the conclusion for fast (centrifugal) vs. slow (matiscating) juicers was:
Simple Overview of the Pro’s and Con’s
Advantages of Juicing:
- Makes vitamins and minerals easier to absorb.
- Can get more nutrients per fluid ounce than blending.
- Can consume larger qualities of fruits and vegetables per drink than with blending.
- Digestive system has an easier time digesting.
- Great way to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
Disadvantage of Juicing:
- Excludes fiber and some of the antioxidant content.
- Can’t juice certain important fruits/vegetables like bananas & avocados.
- Some Juicers don’t extract juice well from leafy greens and wheatgrass.
- Can take longer to make juice and clean up.
- Can be more expensive.
- Not as filling.
Advantages of Blending:
- More fiber and full fruit/vegetable.
- Ability to add more types of ingredients for more balanced nutrition.
- Preparation and clean-up is easy and fast.
- Steady and even absorption of nutrients.
- More filling and whole nutrition of entire food.
Disadvantages of Blending:
- Some low-quality blenders can cause a decrease in nutrient yield from longer blend times.
- Not as much nutrient yield as juicing on some fruit and vegetables.
Juicer vs Blender Nutrition
What are the advantages of juicing vs blending for nutrition?
There was an actual experiment back in 2012 conducted by food scientists from Texas A&M University that evaluated both types of food processing.
In this experiment, they made grapefruit juice using a blender and a juicer. These were the results:
The blended grapefruit juice had more beneficial phytonutrients compared to the juiced version.
In particular, the blended grapefruit juice had seven times higher content of a compound called naringin which is a flavonoid that has been known to have anti-cancer properties as well as being an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Naringin has also shown to be very beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.
To be fair, the types of blenders you use can affect the study results. Overall, juicing is believed to increase the process of nutrient absorption faster and can yield higher nutrient levels than blending for some foods. Whereas, blending allows you have more fiber and more ingredients(like fats and complex carbs) for a more balanced nutrition to your smoothie.
Juicing vs. Blending Nutrition Comparison
In the above table, it showed the results using a Breville Juice Fountain Centrifugal Juicer vs. Vitamix 5200 Blender. You can see that the nutrition yields were higher for the juicer using the same ingredients and the blender has higher for certain vitamins like Calcium. The above study also found that the longer you blend (over 1 minute) the more chance there is of nutrient loss.
Overall, as mentioned in the beginning of this article if you are looking to increase your micronutrients then Juicing can provide a good source but you will need to supplement your juice with a balanced diet as you can’t live off of juice.
Blending can offer the health benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable as well as excellent nutrition. The biggest difference with blending is that you have a lot more variety in the types of ingredients you can use with blenders and recipes. Also, there are many studies that identify the benefits of consuming more soluble fiber (See studies 1,2,3)
What are the advantages of juicing vs blending for weight loss ?
A blended smoothie will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time than a juiced fruit could. Although if you are juicing as part of an overall diet plan then you might want the lower calories that result by removing the fruit/plant fiber. Many people have experienced rapid weight loss just juicing for a short period as it cleanses the body and you are consuming fewer calories.
Remember, the result of blending the whole fruit and vegetable into a smoothie can take longer to process in the body than juice. This will provide you with energy for a longer period of time as well as keep you full. This will postpone your food craving towards the later part of the day. (source)
A juice will only provide you with instant energy but will leave you hungry after a short period of time. This premature food craving will make it harder for you to stay on a diet.
Secondly, blending will include the fiber of the fruit and vegetable. While there are some people who will be sensitive to fiber, most will benefit from them and help flush out toxins from their body.
Retention of toxins in the body has been known to create disruptions on cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Having the advantage of more fiber will provide for a cleaner and healthier internal system.
For weight loss, juicing and blending will both add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. If you are looking purely for just raw nutrients then Juicing will offer more per glass. If you are looking for a meal replacement and longer-term diet change then we suggest smoothies.
WHAT DO YOU NEED ?
For us, we like blending as a meal replacement in the morning since we can add bananas, avocados, nuts, nuts butter, or protein powder for healthy fats and proteins. Also, a smoothie works great post workout vs. a juice.
When we talk about smoothies we are talking about green smoothies which are loaded with nutrients and not a typical fruit and milk only smoothie.
We also use a juicer to get more vegetables and we store the juice in small glass jars to take on the go during the day(You don’t want to store Juice longer than 48hours because it oxidizes). We use our green juice like a daily super multivitamin since the typical multivitamin supplement doesn’t even work. Unless doing a short-term juice detox, we don’t use juice as a meal replacement like we do with smoothies.
You can get most of the benefits from juicing that you can with blending but we feel blending offers are more sustainable dietary habits. Yes, you can do a juice detox for a short period but its not really a long term solution because it’s only providing you fruits and vegetables. Anyone who has tried a juice only diet will know and they will tell you its not fun.
Blending can be a complete lifestyle change for the rest of your life with the diversity in ingredients you can use and ability to provide a balanced, nutrient rich diet with them.
For a simple personal blender, we like Nutribullet due to ease of use and good value. The downside of the Nutribullet is that it is a single-serve blender.
If you want a larger blender that can also make other foods besides smoothies(like nut butters, hot soups, ice cream) then we suggest paying up for the Vitamix or Ninja. Read our Vitamix buyers guide and Ninja Blender Guide which list our top blender choices for each brand and budget.
For juicers, Breville Juice fountain is a good choice because it is easy to use and clean up compared to other juicers). That Breville juicer model was similar to the one used in the popular juicing documentary Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead.
Final verdict on Juicing vs. Blending?
We prefer blending for meal replacement to get the entire fruit and vegetable. With a smoothie, you can get more balanced nutrition and can offer a real long-term solution for better health and lasting weight loss. Also, blenders are just easier to use and clean up.
Now, just because we prefer blending doesn’t mean we don’t see the benefits of Juicing. Juicing can provide more nutrients per glass since you are removing the fiber from the whole food but we found blending to be more versatile for our needs and recommended if starting out.
Juicing is popular for people that want to do a juicing detox or start a low-calorie fast for weight loss, but for long-term results, you will need to eat a proper diet besides just green juice. Note – we couldn’t find any specific studies about juice cleanses detoxifying the body but a lot of people do feel better drinking green juice.
If you are looking for the easiest way to get started with drinking green smoothies, then we would go with personal blender. If you find that you like blending then you can purchase a larger blender later on or add a juicer. A juicer can provide higher doses of vegetable nutrients per glass and can be a great addition to your daily diet.