Not a fan of eating your fruits and vegetables? Perhaps drinking them might be more palatable. That’s one potential benefit of the whole juicing and blending craze. But before you run out and purchase a fancy juicer or a more expensive blender, read on to find out how each method stacks up.

Cost

Cost for produce can vary depending on what’s in season. Organic produce traditionally will cost you more at the market than conventional fruits and vegetables.

Taste

The sky’s the limit when it comes to possible combinations. And here’s a tip: Juicing removes bitter parts of fruits and vegetables, which helps stronger-flavored nutrient powerhouses such as kale taste milder, so don’t be afraid to add them to the mix. If you’ll be adding any spices, make sure to do so after blending so you don’t alter their taste.

Nutritional Value

When considering nutritional value, you have to look at the difference between the two methods. Juicing removes the pulp, skin, seeds and stems, leaving behind 100 percent juice. The downside to this is that when pulp is discarded, so too is healthful fiber – and its ability to keep you feeling fuller longer. Blending uses all of the fruit or vegetable, leaving fiber content intact.

From a nutritional standpoint, juicing may be an option if you’re looking to supplement your diet with additional fruits and vegetables, while blending may work for you if you’re looking for something more substantial – say, a quick breakfast on a busy morning. It’s worth noting, despite claims by juicing and blending enthusiasts, no research has found that liquefying your juice and veggies is any more nutritious than eating them whole.

Laurie Ross, a Carolinas HealthCare System dietitian, said that while both methods can be healthy, always be aware of added sugars.

“If watching calories or blood sugar, be careful with either method when adding fruit,” she said. “The more fruit added, the higher the calories and blood sugar.” 

Natural Value

A wide range of produce is available, grown both conventionally and organically. Research has not found organic to be more nutritious, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not endorse one over the other. However, if you’re looking to reduce your exposure to pesticide residue or are just aiming to purchase food that’s more environmentally friendly, organic products may fit the bill.

We Have a Winner

Based on nutritional value alone, smoothies seem to have an edge. But which method is best for you depends on your needs. Looking to get more fruits and vegetables to supplement your diet? Juicing is a fun way to explore the wide range of produce options and maybe sneak in some that you’re not fond of eating on their own. Trying to find a meal replacement? A more nutrient-dense smoothie may be right up your alley.

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