Juicing vs. Blending: What’s the Difference?

Image courtesy of Prudence Sinclair

Juicing and blending are both great ways to up your fruit and vegetable intake. Both methods bring you liquified goodness that will please your taste buds just as much as your body. There are many similarities with these two methods and they bring about some similar results, but there are a few major differences that make these methods stand apart. 

It is recommended that we get about 2 servings of fruit per day and about 3 servings of vegetables, but overall, not many people are succeeding at fulfilling those goals. That’s why juices and smoothies have become so popular in recent years. People are finding new and innovative ways to take in the amount of fruits and vegetables that their bodies need. Each of these methods provide their own unique benefits. 

Do you want to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but are not sure how to go about it? Both juicing and blending can be great options for you! You might even find that you have a favorite based on the benefits that each provides. Here is a description of the differences so that you can decide for yourself! 

What is Juicing?

Juicing brings about a product that is packed with nutrients and easy to drink. 

Oranges being juiced by a juice machine.
This drink is packed with vitamin C and completely free of any pulp. Image courtesy of YOGA Magazine

Juicing is done by placing fruits and vegetables into a juicer. The juicer then squeezes all the juice out of the fruits and vegetables. It separates the pulp from the juice and leaves a thin and smooth product that is easy to digest. Most of the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables are found within the juice, so the finished product ends up being concentrated with nutrients. 

Juicing creates a beverage that is low in calories and also low in fiber. Fiber is found in the pulp of fruits and vegetables, and those parts are removed in the juicing process. Since juices are thin in texture, they won’t keep you full for very long. Drinking fruit and vegetable juices are mainly a way to take in a good amount of nutrients outside of regular meals. 

Drinking juice gets nutrients into your system really quickly because of the lack of fiber. There is a risk of your blood sugar spiking when you drink fruit juice because the sugar will go straight to your bloodstream due to the ease of digestion. That can cause a spike and then a loss of energy. The way to prevent that is to balance your fruit juice with enough vegetable juice to balance out the sugar content. 

What is Blending?

Blending produces a product that is thick with fiber. 

Spinach being put into a smoothie.
This end product will be packed with tons of nutrients and fiber. Image courtesy of 30 seconds

Blending is done by using a blender. Placing fruits and vegetables straight into a blender pulverizes the ingredients. It creates a thick drink that is full of pulp and filling enough to drink in place of a meal. The pulp of fruits and vegetables pack a lot of benefits that the juices don’t on their own. While the juice provides a lot of vitamins and minerals, the pulp packs a lot of fiber, which helps with digestion. 

Blending creates thick smoothies that can be very filling. Blending keeps the integrity of many parts of fruits and vegetables even while turning them into a drink. Along with fiber, you’ll find that smoothies are also packed with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Phytonutrients can also help to prevent certain diseases and prevent cell damage that is caused by free radicals. 

When you blend smoothies, the potential sugar spikes don’t really exist. Since the fiber in a smoothie leads to slower digestion, there isn’t a chance for your blood sugar to quickly spike. You can also add a lot more nutrients to a smoothie. You can put just about anything in a blender. It is easy to make your juice into a full meal with additives other than fruits and vegetables. You can add nuts for protein and flax and chia seeds for omega-3 fatty acids. Additives can serve to make your smoothie even more nutritious than it already is. 

Which Method is Best?

Blending and juicing each provide different benefits. 

A green juice in a side by side comparison with a green smoothie.
These methods produce slightly different products, but pack a similar amount of nutrients. Image courtesy of India Kitchen

Whether you choose a juice or a smoothie depends on your goals at the moment. Since smoothies are thick and filling, they are often used as meal replacements. They can be used as a breakfast or a lunch because of all the fiber and nutrients that the pulp and juice combined contain. Drinking a smoothie is a quick way to take in some nutrients without using up too much time. It is easy to blend a drink and take it with you when you’re on the go. You can remain satisfied for quite a while after having a smoothie. It is a very convenient meal replacement. 

Juicing is great for those who want a quick intake of nutrients without doing the work of digestion. A glass of juice can be enjoyed before or after a meal because it won’t be nearly as filling as a smoothie. It will pass through your system and give your body a boost very quickly since there won’t be any pulp for your body to digest. Juice is often enjoyed by people who are on a juice cleanse. During a cleanse, the goal is usually to fast, and so juicing keeps a person’s body filled with the nutrients they need even while they avoid food that needs to be digested. 

Whether you have a juice or a smoothie all depends on your preferences at the moment. If you want a replacement meal, a smoothie is the way to go. If you want a quick dose of nutrition that is not actually filling, then you should have a juice. Each comes with its own list of benefits.