As smoothies have become our new staple food, we can not help but wonder whether turning whole fruits into a mush has any negative impact or not. There is a huge debate on this topic with really good arguments from both sides.
But first, we need to understand what nutrients really are.
What are Nutrients and Why Do We Need Them?
Nutrients are molecules in food that we need to make energy, grow, develop, and reproduce. Essential nutrients are those that the body can not make which is why we need to collect them from other sources like food or supplements.
There are six different types of nutrients that we need in order to survive and sustain:
These nutrients are often divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients, which are both essential to us.
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. A diet high in fruits and veggies can help you protect against cancer, blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Why Blend Fruits and Veggies Anyway?
Smoothies have become an integral part of our lifestyle due to the numerous health benefits it carries. Plus it’s so delicious! Seems like this smoothie trend is not going anywhere anytime soon and for good reasons.
There are so many positive reasons to have smoothies with breakfast:
- It helps to lose excess body weight without going on a harsh diet. The enzymes in smoothies help to dissolve fat and clears up your circulatory system.
- Green smoothies are filled with essential vitamins and minerals that help your digestive system. The fiber stops bloating and stomach issues.
- Smoothies are a great source of antioxidants. It also enhances immunity by fighting against pathogens.
- If you have acne and sensitive skin, smoothies can be your new best friend.
- Smoothies are popular for their detoxifying abilities.
How Blending Works
The process of blending is similar to chewing. When we blend something, the food is cut into small pieces similar to what happens when we chew food.
Chewing also helps to break down the fibers to bring out the nutrients. So you can understand, the more you chew the more nutrients are brought out for our body to absorb.
Blending changes the food texture by making them more fluid and easy to digest. One thing that is inevitable in the process is heat damage.
Blender generates heat when the blades start to break the food into tiny pieces. This heat, even though lasts for only 30-40 seconds, can cause certain nutrients to lose its strength.
This nutrient depletion can be easily avoided if you add some ice to the mixture before blending!
Busting the Myth!
Okay, it’s time to clear up some widely popular misconceptions. The idea of blending destroys nutrients comes from the theory of oxidation.
Oxidation occurs when fruits and vegetables are cut into pieces and exposed to the air. When we cut into fruits, the cells are broken and this releases the enzymes.
When enzymes get exposed to oxygen, it causes discoloration to the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, resulting in a dark brownish effect.
However, there is no evidence that oxidation is bad for you. It might lose some important nutrients in the process.
Fruits and vegetables containing vitamins C, A, and E are more prone to oxidation than others. But the loss of nutrients is no way 90% or more.
You lose a small portion that can easily be avoided if you drink your smoothies fresh and quick. If you let it sit in the air for hours, you might lose some valuable elements that made you drink smoothies in the first place.
Blending does not destroy nutrients, oxidation does! Just make fresh batches and drink them within 20 minutes!
Does Blending Destroy Fibers?
Short answer, no, it does not.
Blending just cuts the fruit or veggie into tiny pieces making the fiber less noticeable. That does not mean it’s not there!
Juicing, on the other hand, significantly reduces fiber as it totally removes insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are still there in the juice.
Without insoluble fiber, digestion won’t slow down, so you rapidly absorb the sugar from fruit. This drives up your blood sugar level rapidly.
Therefore, juicing is not recommended.
If you want all the good benefits of fiber, do not juice your fruits! Make some healthy smoothies instead.
There are so many great recipes online. Instead of having fruit juice, make a habit of having a smoothie with your regular breakfast!
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