This is quite a topical debate concerning juicers vs. blending and which method offers the greatest health benefits. The main difference between the two methods is essentially what is left out of the process. Juicing extracts the water and nutrients from the produce discarding the fibrous component, whereas with the blending technique nothing is left out: the entire fruit is used, including the fibre components of fruit and vegetables, albeit broken down.
When you juice your fruits and vegetables, the nutrient content is more concentrated. This is because the majority of vitamins and minerals are typically found in the juice, rather than the pulp and fibrous material. Proponents of juicing will claim that nutrients will be more readily available, as your digestive system is not expending energy digesting the fibre. However, there is no hard science to confirm this assertion. On the contrary, when the fibre is removed it will result in a rapid sugar spike as the juice is quickly absorbed into the blood stream.
On the contrary, the retention of fibre in the blending process helps to create a slow, even release of nutrients into the bloodstream. As such, this exerts a better control on blood sugar levels. Fibre is important for optimal digestive health and helps you to fill fuller for longer keeping hunger pangs at bay. Furthermore, the research shows that blended juices may deliver an increased level of antioxidants as they are normally contained in the fibrous membranes.
Juicing vs. blending: Fibre delivers a plethora of health effects, and its relationship with health should not be underestimated. As such, if you are struggling to decide between a juicer and blender, blending is probably the most natural technique as it retains the core composition of the fruit or vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables (f + v) form an important component of a balanced diet and are also essential for keeping us healthy. This is why it is paramount that we meet the fruit and vegetable recommendations.
Origins of 5 A Day:
The recommendation to aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day emerged when robust scientific research showed that those who consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables had significantly lower rates of disease e.g. lowers the risk of health issues including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and some cancers.
What do fruit and vegetables contain that make them so invaluable to health?
They are an important source of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, dietary fibre, which may help lower blood cholesterol and phytochemicals.
What are the Recommendations: The World Health Organisation recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day, which equates to five 80g portions per day (five portions of fruit and vegetables altogether, not five portions of each!) As a guide, many health professionals have translated a portion as what would fit into the palm of your hand
What form counts?
How to incorporate them into your day
Sophie Bruno is a Registered Dietitian living and working in Brussels (Belgium). Read Sophie's foodie blog which will enable you to learn, increase your knowledge & cultivate yourself in the field of nutrition & health directly from Brussels