Detox Cleanse: Juicing Versus Blending: Which one is better?

Many people who are thinking about starting their juicing or blending routine to improve their health and/or lose weight, are trying to weigh in all the pros and cons of juicing versus blending.

Both juicing and blending are very popular these days. Many people making fresh juices and smoothies at home. And thanks in part to people like Joe Cross, director of the documentary Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, juicing has become more mainstream.

So, which is better for you? Which is easier to do? Cheaper? More effective?

Fortunately, whichever option you choose, you cannot go wrong. Whether you are making vegetable juices or blending green smoothies, you are doing your body a huge favor.

Let’s look at some benefits of juicing versus blending.

Benefits of Juicing and Blending

Both methods provide an easy way to incorporate lots of vegetables into your menu. Both blended and juiced vegetables pack a mighty nutritional punch. Both are an extremely good way to get a large quantity and variety of fruits, vegetables and greens (at minimum your recommended 6 to 8 servings) that otherwise would be hard to consume regularly.

Nutrients in juices and blended drinks are easy for your body to absorb. Juicers and high-speed blenders essentially “pre-digest” the produce for you. This is beneficial for those of us who as a result of years of sub-optimal food choices have less-than-optimal digestion.

Both methods help reduce your appetite and cravings for sugar and processed foods. You will be craving less junk food, and you will be satisfied with less food, because your body will be nourished better. When you consume fresh produce in any form, are getting the real nutrition that your body craves. Blended drinks tend to make you feel fuller, since they contain all the fiber. For everyday consumption (i.e. if not doing a juice cleanse), consider having two green juices or green smoothies a day on an empty stomach approximately 30 minutes before lunch and dinner.

Cost-effective. Making juices or shakes at home is less costly than buying your juices or smoothies.

The Pros of Blending

Blending is actually consuming the whole food, including the fiber.

Quicker to do and clean up. Smoothies are faster to make and a blender is a little easier to clean up than a juicer in my opinion. There’s only one piece to rinse out or throw in the dishwasher.

Cost of produce. Blending your juice requires fewer veggies and fruits, even though they’re more filling.

Fiber helps to fill you up. Smoothies can have a high yield in terms of bang-for-your-buck fullness, since the fiber is left in.

You can mix in various ingredients. For example, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, tofu, etc. to make them even more nutritious and more like a meal.

The Pros of Juicing

The body works less to digest the nutrients. Juice, the liquid without the fiber, allows your digestive system to work less to extract the benefits. Fiber is indeed great and an important part of your regular diet. However, for people who want to really re-set their system, taking a finite break from fiber has the benefit of allowing your digestive system to have a bit of a rest.

More vegetables per glass. You can consume more vegetables and greens into a single glass of green juice than you would in a smoothie serving.

Some produce is much better for juicing, than blending. For example, root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots or parsnips, are better for juicing. Cabbage, broccoli, and other really dense veggies—are great in juices. They may be added to smoothies, but in small quantities only.

The Cons of Juicing

Longer clean up time. The main disadvantage of juicing in my opinion, is the time it takes to clean up after juicing. It helps to clean your equipment immediately after you juice to prevent any remnants from contaminating the juicer with mold.If you buy a high-quality juicer, the whole process should only take about 5 minutes.

Another con is that I feel a lot of produce is wasted.  If you wish, you can use the pulp for other recipes, in baking (such as this carrot cake), or soups, or simply composting the remains and using it in your garden.

Also, juicing sweet fruits and vegetables can result in a drink that has lots of sugar. Limit using fruits or buying juices made with mostly beets, carrot, and/or fruits, as the sugar can sneak up on you. Make sure you mix in some low sugar ingredients, such as celery, cucumbers, and leafy greens.

More tips for cleansing juices and smoothies

Use organic produce or ask where your produce is coming from and is produced without pesticides.
Use citrus to your advantage. Lemons and limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark deep leafy green vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing. If your juice is too bitter, add more lemon.
Add ginger to your advantage. I use ginger in most of my juices and smoothies, and I like to run it through the machine first and then push other things—greens, apples, etc.—behind it to maximize the flavor.
Have fun. Don’t be afraid to be playful and experiment. Throw in a handful of berries, or nuts, or some extra greens to really supercharge your recipes.

Cleansing Greens Smoothie Recipe

This is a very simple, cleansing, easy-to-drink, easy-to-digest smoothie and is especially good for beginners who are not used to the darker, more bitter greens. For a lighter, lower calorie juice, make it without the avocado.

1/2 bunch cilantro or parsley
2 celery sticks
2 leaves of romaine or 1 cup of leafy greens, such as baby spinach
1/3 cucumber, cut into 2-inch pieces (skin on)
1/2 lemon, without the skin
1/2 avocado
1-inch piece of ginger
8 to 12 ounces filtered water (adjust the amount to your taste and consistency preferences)
1/2 cup ice (optional)

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Denser items—like the lemon, cucumber, and ginger—should go in first. Blend on high until smooth.

Cleansing Lemonade Smoothie

This is my fave all-day cleansing drink based on the Master Cleanse drink.

1 peeled lemon
1 bunch of  parsley or cilantro
1 tbs (or less) pure maple syrup
A dash of cayenne
full blender of water or use less water for a more potent drink
1/2 cup ice

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Denser items—like the lemon, cucumber, and ginger—should go in first. Blend on high until smooth.

How to Do a Detox Cleanse

Going on a sixty day juice diet (as in Fat Sick & Nearly Dead) is quite extreme and it isn’t necessarily the easiest, most practical or even the healthiest way to lose weight and regain health for most people, in my opinion.

By juicing fruit and veggies you are losing virtually all of the beneficial fibers, unless of course you eat the pulp – or drink green smoothies. ;)

What I would recommend instead, is simply to add freshly made vegetable/green/fruit juices (and, of course, lots of green smoothies) to your diet.

Don’t go cold turkey; just ADD the juice and smoothies.

As the days go by, drink more and more of it, until you find yourself eating less and less of everything else.

Next start replacing your “meat and potato” type meals with more fruit, vegetables, as well as some whole grains and beans.

Taking cold turkey plunge into the juice fast is challenging to say the least, and you might just fold and abandon the fast too quickly, and never return to the wonders of juicing. That’s why it’s better to ease into this gradually.

Also, you need to be aware of the detox effect – with some unpleasant side effects – that will kick in if you go into this too quickly. As you detox you might feel mild flu-like symptoms for a few days as your body discharges the toxins.

Also, buy a good quality juicer or blender. If it’s not easy to do the cleanse, it will become the excuse to quit.

Also it’s important to remember that not everyone is a candidate for fasting or juicing. People with hypoglycemia, for instance, would do really poorly on a juice or water cleanse. So if you’re fasting and feeling really horrible, lightheaded, sweaty, nauseous, dizzy, faint, etc., you need to eat something! Be sure to consult a nutritionist before embarking on one of the more rigorous programs.

Which Juicers and Blenders are Recommended?

You don’t need to spend more than $99 for a good blender or $149 for a good juicer. But if you want, they go up to several thousands of dollars.

  • Breville Juicer:  Price: $149
  • Omega Juicer Low Stream Vert 350: If you want a machine that presses rather than grinds or cuts your fruits and veggies, this is one of your better options. Price: $380
  • NutriBullet blender: A top-notch high-powered blender on the market. Price: $99
  • VitaMix blender: This is the blending machine that I use. Price: Starts at $329

Do you want to make juice but all you have is a blender?  You can still make clear juice with a blender, by straining out the pulp from the blended drink.

benefits of juicing

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!

I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!