Good nutrition is all about variety! Browse through our list of unusual fruits and veggies and give yourself a chance to try something new.
National Green Juice Day is practically here, and we’ve got some green ingredients that would be perfect for your juicer or blender. Speaking of which, what’s the difference between juicing and blending and is there a best method?
Juicing vs Blending
Depending on what you want to get out of your beverage, or rather, what you want to leave in, you will have to make a choice between juicing and blending.
Juicing extracts the liquid from the fruits or veggies and leaves the skin, the pulp, and pretty much everything else behind. According to our registered dietitian, Debbie James, juicing allows you to reap the benefits of drinking up more vitamins and antioxidants, but because it’s a less filling beverage, you’ll also likely consume more (which means more calories).1 She also notes that juicers work best with produce that contain water. For example, you’ll have quite a hard time juicing an avocado or sweet potato which you’re more likely to see in blended drinks.
Blending essentially pulverizes the whole fruit or vegetable. This means that you have the benefit of consuming nutrients and fiber that are often stripped away when you’re juicing. James explains that blending can create a more satisfying beverage which may lead you to consume fewer total calories. When using a blender, you’ll also be able to add ingredients like “ice, yogurt, protein powder, [and] peanut butter.”1 These types of ingredients can help mask flavors of veggies you wouldn’t normally enjoy. If you’re planning on substituting a meal with your beverage, this approach is probably better suited for you.1
Creating the Perfect Recipe
The perfect recipe is in the preferences of your taste buds. However, there are some tricks to making a more nutritious drink no matter which method you choose. Whether you’re juicing or blending, James recommends incorporating a ratio of 3 vegetables to 1 fruit. This is one way to lower the sugar content and increase the nutrient content.2
Ready for some ideas? We’ve got a number of green and nutritious ingredients that you can add to your beverage:
- Cucumber – Cucumbers contain fiber and are a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin C and Vitamin K
- Minerals: especially Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese
2. Mint – Mint contains fiber and is a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin A and Folate
- Minerals: especially Iron and Manganese
3. Lime – Limes contain fiber and are a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin C, B6, and Thiamine
- Minerals: especially Iron, Calcium, and Potassium
4. Green Apple – Green apples are a good source of:
- Vitamins A and C
5. Avocado – Avocados are full of healthy fats and are a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin K, C, E, B5, B6, and Folate
- Minerals: especially Potassium
6. Pear – Pears are packed with soluble and insoluble fiber and are a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin C and Vitamin K
- Minerals: especially Potassium and Copper
7. Celery – Celery is a great source of fiber and water and contains small amounts of:
- Vitamins: like Vitamin C, K, A, and Folate
- Minerals: like Potassium
8. Kale – Kale is highly nutritious as it is a great source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin A, K, C, B6, and smaller amounts of B1, B2, and B3
- Minerals: especially Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, and smaller amounts of Iron and Phosphorous
9. Watercress – Watercress is a great source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin K and to a lesser (but still significant) extent, Vitamins A and C
- Minerals: especially Calcium and Manganese
10. Spinach – Spinach is high in insoluble fiber and is a good source of:
- Vitamins: especially Vitamin A, C, K1, and Folate
- Minerals: especially Iron and Calcium
*Nutrition information is from various sources. Click the link for each item to view the source and to read additional details.
For more information on fresh juice, read our registered dietitian’s answer to the question: How Long Does Fresh Juice Hold Its Nutritional Value? Or, read up on what you need to know if you plan to Substitute Meals with Your Juice or a Smoothie. To stay in-the-loop about our fitness and nutrition articles, subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly highlights from the LA Fitness blog!
- James, Debbie. “How To Get The Most From Juicing: Q+A.” Living Healthy, 31 Mar. 2017, http://bloglafitness.azurewebsites.net/2017/03/30/get-the-most-out-of-juicing/.
- James, Debbie. “Is It Safe to Substitute Two Meals a Day with Juice or a Smoothie?” Living Healthy, 16 Jan. 2014, http://bloglafitness.azurewebsites.net/2014/01/16/is-it-safe-to-substitute-two-meals-a-day-with-juice-or-a-smoothie/.