As we grow older and wiser, our health becomes more important to us. And just as there are trends in fashion and beauty, there are trends in food as well. Within the past couple of years, smoothies and juicing have risen in popularity. Although these two have long existed before their quick rise to fame, it wasn’t until recently that a large proportion of people picked up on the hype. I used to buy my smoothies from Booster Juice at the mall, but now I own a Magic Bullet. My friends used to buy their juices from their local organic supermarket, but now they own a Vitamix and other kitchen appliances to make their own liquid fruit and vegetable concoctions.
So if you’re an avid smoothie and juice consumer, it may make more sense to purchase an appliance so that you can make them at home. Not only do you save time and money, but you can customize exactly what you want to go into your drink. But before you go out and pick up a machine, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each option. These machines will set you back a pretty penny so we want to help educate you before you make an impulsive decision to buy that shiny new stainless steel and glass machine.
Blending Your Drinks into a Smoothie
Let’s begin with the most easily accessible. You can literally buy a food processor and make your own smoothies at home. But what is so great about blending? When you blend, most people throw in the entire fruit or vegetable that they want to use. Yes, that means, skin, core, seeds and all. The whole point behind blending is to consume as much of the product as possible. Many people blend their fruits and vegetables up as a means of creating an easier method of consumption. So say I absolutely detest apples, but I know I should be eating them. I’ll blend it together with some pineapples and bananas since I like those fruits so that I don’t have to taste just the apple. The same goes with vegetables as well. I don’t like spinach, so I’ll blend it together with some lettuce, and celery to create a drink that I’ll like without having to eat spinach alone.
So with blending, you’re going to be consuming all of the fibre that the vegetable and fruit has to offer. Why is that good for you? Because it keeps you feeling full longer. This creates a slower release of nutrients so that your blood sugar levels don’t spike after you drink one cup. Blending is also a faster process than juicing since everything gets turned into a pulp and no straining is required. The only downside is that because you include the fibre, the volume of your drink is increased and you can’t pack as much food in as if you were juicing.
Juicing…to Make Juice?
Juicing has always been around but only recently did it gain its any fame. With the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow touting its nutritional facts, almost everyone to their grandmother now wants to juice. But what’s so good about it? When you juice, you completely remove all of the fibre from the final product. But wait, isn’t fibre good for you? Yes and no, if you keep the fibre, you get a slower release of nutrients and you remain full for longer. But if you take out the fibre, the volume content of the drink is cut down, allowing more fruits and vegetables to fit into one glass as opposed to a smoothie. Okay cool, so you can drink more food in one cup of juice, but what’s good about that? More food = more nutrients. A single glass of juice contains much more nutrients than you could find in the same glass containing a smoothie. The absence of fibre also allows your digestive system to absorb these nutrients much faster allowing your body to utilize these components without having to further break them down. This helps your body to repair itself faster at a cellular level.
But juice at a precaution, the increased uptake of nutrients also causes blood sugar levels to spike immediately after consuming a glass. This can throw off the balance of hormones, emotions, cause energy loss and other various side effects. Make sure to do the right research behind the ingredients that are being put into the juicer before you start juicing.
Juicing is also beneficial to individuals whose bodies are sensitive to fibres or may have illnesses that do not allow their digestive system to appropriately break down fibre.
The Cardinal Rule of Blending and Juicing
Make sure to drink whatever you make as soon as possible. Within 15-30 minutes after preparing your drink, if it isn’t consumed, the nutritional properties will begin to break down and will no longer be beneficial to you. If you can’t drink it immediately, transfer your drink into an airtight sealed container and keep it in the dark until you are ready to drink it. Why dark? Because sometimes light can cause enzymes in your drink to react and change the nutrients so that they are no longer of use to you.
[quote_center]Do you have a favorite smoothie or juice that you make? Share us your recipe in the comments below![/quote_center]
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