Sunday, 2 November 2014

Juicing vs. Blending vs. Nutribullet

No-one can debate the health benefits of incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Personally, if I go a few days without eating any fruit or veg I can definitely see the effect is has on my skin and health, so the health and nutritional benefits from our five-a-day are hard to dispute.

blender-green-smoothieAs well as vitamins and minerals, fruit is also a good source of fibre (providing the fruit is ripe) which is where it gets a bit complicated. But understanding the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre (more detail about that later) is crucial when deciding which fruits and veggies to consume, especially if you decide to vary it up by blitzing up your fruits and veggies.

With our busy lifestyles, it’s hard to prepare and eat fruits and veggies all the time. Plus, certain fruits are high in acid and sugars, which is a pain if you have sensitive teeth. Not to mention, eating the same bits of fruit and veg everyday can be boring and uninspiring.

As such, juicing and blending has become popular – you’re not only able to mix up a bunch of fruits or vegetables to give you variation, but they can be consumed quickly and on the go too. All the prep is done beforehand, so no peeling or chopping is required if you’re consuming a piece of fruit or veg that’s quite messy.

When taking a more modern approach to consuming your fruit and veg, you have various options:


Basically, extracting the juice from a particular piece of fresh fruit or veg. Most people, including myself, often crave fresh, sour juices and I actually prefer them to fizzy drinks where all I can taste is sugar. A nice glass of fruit juice can be so refreshing.

The problem with juicing is, while you may be getting some of the fruit’s nutrients from the juice, the best part of the fruit - the pulp - is being left behind; it’s the body and the skin of the fruit and vegetables that contains the FIBRE.

You see, there are two types of dietary fibre: soluble (which when combined with water, creates a gel that makes food softer when passing through the digestive tract), and insoluble (which your body doesn’t digest so it aids regularity). Either way, any type of fibre is only found in the WHOLE fruit or vegetable, not the juice.


So, why not use the whole fruit/veg if you want to liquidise your five-a-day by using a blender? The result is a smoothie – a thicker beverage than your juice, not as refreshing but delicious nonetheless. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to detox and want to add some strong tasting yet healthy ingredients to your smoothies (such as leafy vegetables, garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, beetroots, live yoghurts, seeds etc). Adding them to the blender, to be blitzed together with your tastier fruits and veggies, makes them more palatable.

I’ve started to make a variety of smoothies, which allows me to try out some herbal remedies and add them to my diet. Because I do it every day, the chopping and preparing of the fruit, throwing it in the blender, cleaning up after routine honestly doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes. There are a tonne of recipes online to try out and I’m now eating more fruit and veg than I did before.

It can’t be this easy, I thought. There’s gotta be a catch.

So I looked up online if blending fruits and vegetables into smoothies somehow makes them lose their nutritional value. All I could find was while this can occur with juicing, it doesn’t with blending.

Thinking about it, I don’t see how it could. You’re eating the ingredients raw, so it’s not losing its nutritional value through heating. All the blender is essentially doing is breaking the ingredients down – it’s saving you the job of chewing. It’s probably a lot friendlier on your digestion as we’re advised to chew food thoroughly. Also, you swallow a lot of air when chewing or eating quickly, so it eliminates that problem too.


So where does the NutriBullet come into it? Sold as a high-end blender, the smooth liquid that you end up with by using the NurtiBullet is a sort of smoothie+juice combination. The product claims to have additional benefits over a traditional blender because of its ability to pulverise your fruits and veggies in a way that your blender simple can’t.

I don’t own one, so I can’t tell you first hand if it lives up to its claims. I’m not doubting its ability to create a smoother beverage due to the power behind the unit. Plus, it’s good that the motorised blending blades are part of the power unit, instead of the container which holds the fruits/veg, which makes cleaning up after a lot simpler as you just end up washing the smooth container, which can also double as your portable drinking flask.

But, when you can get a blender for 20 quid, are these additional benefits really worth the extra cost? I’m also sceptical about the claims that you can gain more nutritional value through using the NutriBullet – maybe compared to juicing sure, because the latter leaves the best parts of the fruit behind. But compared to blending? Hmm, I doubt it, because you’re ingesting exactly the same thing. I’m sure our digestive system is still sophisticated enough to digest/process food, nutrients and all, even if it’s not entirely a liquid. Plus, I’m seeing more and more blenders on the market, that separate the blades to the container that don’t set you back nearly £100!

But hey, I guess that’s why my smartphone’s an Android not an iPhone – expensive gadgets, cheaper alternatives and all.

Either way, out of all three methods, creating fruit smoothies with a blender has my vote.

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