BLENDING, JUICING & COLD PRESSING: THE WONDROUS WORLD OF LIQUID FOODS
‘You are what you eat’, you’ve probably heard it before. Nutrition Expert and Health Coach Stefanie Klaver shares her monthly advice on how nutrition affects your body, workout goals, and well-being. This month she explains the impact of nutrition on your workouts.
Blending, juicing, cold pressing, centrifuging, mixing, slow juicing – all techniques to make a juice or a smoothie. But what’s the holy grail in the wondrous world of liquid foods? In my opinion, there is no good or bad. But there is a substantial difference between one method and another. Let’s take a closer look…
A smoothie is made using a blender. A blender contains knives that chop up all ingredients into tiny pieces. So tiny that by adding some liquid the whole thing becomes a smoothie. The main advantage of blending is that the fibres of your ingredients remain intact. This helps your blood sugar levels remain stable due to the slow release of energy – giving you a saturated feeling and a healthy gut flora. A disadvantage of this process is that the heat generated in the blender means that the smoothie is exposed to relatively high amounts of oxygen, leading to a loss of nutrients and enzymes.
A juicer separates the juice from the (fruit) fibres. This type of juice requires only a little bit of energy for your body to process, which can be good. Juices made with a juicer are therefore very light to digest. However, due to the absence of fibre, this can result in a high peak of your blood sugar levels. Especially when your juice only contains fruit. You can compensate for this by adding a source of protein or fat, which will keep your blood sugar levels more balanced. For example, you can add a dash of olive oil or a spoonful of chia or hemp seeds. Like a blender, a juicer also produces heat, meaning there will still be some loss of nutrients and enzymes.
Cold pressed juices
With this technique, the juice is basically squeezed out of the ingredients and separated from the fibres. It’s a slow process that does not produce heat and also doesn’t release any oxygen – perfect for keeping all those nutrients and enzymes inside. The fibres are still separated from the juice, which makes it super easy to digest. A blood sugar peak can be avoided by adding some protein or fat. And when you only use vegetables in your juices, you can avoid the sugar peak while still taking in all the healthy nutrients.
Take it slow
Smoothies and juices are not meant to be gulped in one go. Keep the juice in your mouth for a moment, or give it a little chew if it’s a smoothie. This may sound a bit weird, but doing so gives the enzymes in your saliva time to support the digestion process, which can avoid that bloated feeling.
Juices and smoothies are an excellent way to provide your body with a high dose of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. However, don’t consider these as a substitute for a regular meal, but as a supplement to your current nutrition plan.