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Is a blender as good as a juicer?

Juicing has become an increasingly popular way for health-conscious people to get more fruits and vegetables into their diets. Freshly extracted juices are nutrient-dense and easy for the body to absorb. Some people even do juice cleanses, where they consume only fresh juices for a period of time. With the rise of juicing, blenders have started being marketed as juicers. But is using a blender to make juice really just as good as using an actual juicer? There are some important differences between the two appliances.

How Juicers Work

Juicers extract the liquid contents of fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the fiber. There are a few different types of juicers:

  • Centrifugal juicers grind up produce using sharp blades spinning at high speeds. The juice gets separated from the pulp through centrifugal force.
  • Masticating juicers (also called cold press or slow juicers) crush fruits and vegetables into a pulp using augers. The pulp gets pressed against a screen to extract the juice.
  • Triturating juicers have twin augers that allow for even better juice extraction.

All types of juicers separate the fiber from the liquid to produce a smooth, pulp-free juice. The main differences have to do with the mechanisms used, the speed, and the resulting juice quality.

How Blenders Work

Blenders chop and purée whole fruits and vegetables using fast-moving blades. This breaks open the produce’s cell walls to release the juices and pulp. The blender mixes everything together into a thick, smooth drink.

Unlike with juicers, none of the solids get separated out when using a blender. The fiber remains in the final blended juice.

Nutrition Comparison

Since juicers remove the fiber and blenders leave it in, there are some nutritional differences between juices and blended produce drinks:

Juiced with a Juicer Blended in a Blender
Contains only the liquid extracted from fruits/vegetables Contains all parts of the whole produce, including fiber
Lower in fiber since solubles fiber gets lost in juicing process Higher in fiber from keeping the pulp
Nutrients get absorbed rapidly Fiber slows down nutrient absorption
Lower calories since fiber is removed Higher calories with fiber included
Lower glycemic impact from rapid absorption Higher glycemic impact from fiber’s effect

As you can see, juicing removes the insoluble fiber content while blending leaves it in. This impacts the nutrition you get. Juices may be lower in calories but higher in some vitamins and minerals. Blended drinks retain more fiber for gut health but are higher in sugar and calories.

Juicing Pros

There are some advantages unique to juicing with a juicer appliance:

  • More nutrients – Juices extract a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients from produce. You can take in a large amount of nutrients quickly and easily.
  • Increased energy – The natural sugars and nutrients in juice get rapidly absorbed by the body. This can give you an energizing boost.
  • Easy digestion – With no fiber to digest, the nutrients in juices can be quickly utilized by the body with minimal effort required by the digestive system.
  • Low fiber options – For those with digestive issues who need to limit fiber, juicing makes it possible to reduce fiber while still getting produce-powered nutrition.
  • Variety – Any fruits or veggies, including leafy greens which are hard to eat a lot of, can be juiced to consume large quantities.

Blending Pros

Blending the whole fruits/veggies also has some advantages over juicing:

  • More filling – The fiber in blended drinks helps you feel full. Juices tend go through your system faster since they lack fiber.
  • Blood sugar stabilization – Fiber slows the absorption of sugars in blended produce for more steady energy levels.
  • Gut health – The insoluble fiber left in supports a healthy microbiome and aids digestion.
  • Full nutrition – Blends retain important fiber and other nutrients lost when juicing.
  • Uses more produce – Blending minimizes waste since you incorporate skins and seeds rather than removing pulp.

Downsides of Juicing

There are also some downsides to juicing that are important to consider:

  • Produce waste – A lot of fiber pulp gets discarded in the juicing process. This wastes nutrients.
  • Time consuming – Juicers generally have small feed tubes requiring prep time to chop produce and feed it gradually.
  • Sugar crashes – The fruit sugars absorbed rapidly may lead to energy crashes later.
  • Hunger – Juices don’t satisfy you the same way blended drinks with fiber or whole foods do.
  • Lower satiation – The lack of fiber results in juices being less filling.

Downsides of Blending

Blending has some drawbacks as well:

  • Texture – Blended drinks end up thick and pulpy rather than light and crisp like juices.
  • Fiber – While fiber is healthy, too much insoluble fiber can irritate digestion issues for some people.
  • Oxidation – Blending can degrade nutrients by introducing oxygen.
  • Heat – Friction from blending can damage heat-sensitive vitamins.
  • Difficulty – Blenders may struggle blending up tougher produce like roots, stems or seeds.

Juicer vs Blender: What’s Better for Weight Loss?

Both juicing and blending can help support weight loss due to providing concentrated sources of nutrients from fruits/veggies without excess calories, fat or added sugars. However, there are some factors that make juicers better than blenders when it comes to losing weight:

  • Juices are extremely low in calories. A large volume of juice can be consumed for minimal calories.
  • The lack of fiber means juices aren’t very filling. This allows calorie restriction for weight loss.
  • Nutrients get absorbed rapidly to efficiently feed the body while cutting calories.
  • Juices made primarily from non-starchy veggies have a low glycemic load.

Juicing essentially allows you to flood your body with beneficial nutrients and phytonutrients while slashing overall calories. Blending is healthier overall, but juicing may be more helpful for weight management in the short term.

Juicing vs Blending: Which Is More Expensive?

Juicing Blending
Appliance Cost Juicers are more expensive, typically $100+ Blenders are cheaper, usually under $100
Produce Needed Takes 2-3x the amount of produce to yield 1 cup of juice versus blending Requires less produce since you use the whole fruit/veggie
Shelf Life Juices only last 24-48 hours at most Blended drinks keep 3-5 days in the fridge
Time Juicing takes more prep time Blending is faster for most produce
Cleanup More parts to clean in a juicer Easy cleanup of blenders

As you can see, juicers require a bigger upfront investment and juicing on a daily basis can get expensive due to produce needs. Blenders have lower costs for equipment, ingredients, and time requirements overall.

Should You Buy a Juicer or a Blender?

So should you buy a juicer or just make blended drinks in your regular blender? Here are some things to consider when deciding:

  • Your goals – If you’re doing a juice cleanse for quick weight loss, a juicer is needed. For fiber and longer satiation, blended drinks are better.
  • Your diet – People restricting carbs or sugar may prefer juicing. Those looking to boost fiber intake are better with blending.
  • Your budget – Blenders are more affordable. Juicers require a higher cost investment.
  • Your produce preference – Juicers extract more liquid from greens, whereas blenders can better handle roots, seeds and stems.
  • Time considerations – Blended drinks are quick and simple to whip up each day. Juicing takes more planning.

In general, a blender can make juice-like beverages with the addition of liquid. But a juicer is needed to separate fiber and extract the high volumes of liquid you get with true juicing. Having both appliances can give you the most flexibility in your healthy drink making.

FAQs

Is it better to juice or blend vegetables and fruits?

Juicing is better for floodinging your body quickly with nutrients and antioxidants. Blending is healthier overall for including all parts of the produce, especially fiber. Blending makes it easier to consume greens and vegetables.

What are the disadvantages of using a blender versus a juicer?

Blenders can’t separate pulp from juice, so you miss out on the very liquid, fiber-free juices produced by juicers. Blended drinks also retain more calories and sugar from keeping all the produce fiber. Juicers extract more nutrients.

Do you get more nutrients from blending or juicing?

Juicing yields a more nutrient-dense and concentrated juice since it removes fiber. However, the total nutrient loss from discarded fiber may be higher than blending. For overall full nutritional value, blending is preferable.

Can you use a blender instead of a juicer to lose weight?

Yes, you can make low-calorie blended drinks in a blender to support weight loss. But juicers may be more advantageous for quick drops in weight since juices are extremely low in calories and not filling.

Is juicing or blending better for detoxing?

Juicing may be more beneficial for detoxing to flood the body with nutrients without extra fiber. The easier absorption can help clear toxins. Blends provide fiber for colon detoxing though.

The Bottom Line

While using a blender allows you to make delicious and nutritious fruit/veggie drinks at home, there are some key differences from the juices produced by true juicing appliances. Juicers separate out insoluble fiber, resulting in faster nutrient absorption. But blending leaves in the fiber for gut health and satiation. There are pros and cons to both methods.

For maximum nutrition and flexibility, consider investing in both a quality blender and juicer. Use your blender when you want fibre-filled drinks for meal replacement or snacking. And break out the juicer when you want light, refreshing juices for a nutrient boost or pre-workout energy.

Having both blender and juicer options available can help you maximize the nutritional value, convenience and variety of your homemade healthy drinks.