Juicing Vs. Blending: Which Is Better For Your Bones? Get The Evidence-Based Facts

I often get asked about the bone health benefits of juicing as compared to blending. While both are nutritious and good for your bones, there are some advantages of one over the other.

So today we’re going to take a closer look at what the science-based facts are on the bone health benefits of juicing vs. blending.

Fresh Juice vs. Smoothie: Which Is Best For Your Bones?

After careful review of the available research and considering the nutritional needs of mature bones, the data shows that smoothies are best for building bones.

Please don’t misunderstand – juicing is also highly nutritious, and can be just the thing for someone struggling with digestive problems or undergoing a cleanse. But as to the specific question of which one is best for building, nourishing, and rejuvenating your bones, smoothies win.

Now let’s take a look at the evidence-backed reasons why.

1. Less Sugar

Juicing concentrates the sugars in fruits and vegetables, whereas smoothies – as long as they consist of whole foods and no additional sugar – contain all the fiber, pith, and other components of the fruits and vegetables used. This is important where bone health is concerned, because too much sugar is harmful to your bone health (and your health in general).

In addition, smoothies may contain foods without sugar at all, such as seeds, nuts, and plain yogurt. You can even include foods that help stave off sugar cravings in your smoothie. And that brings us to the next point…

2. Additional Nutrients Like Fats And Protein

When you’re making your smoothie, you can toss in all kinds of whole foods that would never work in a juicer. Whey protein powder, almond butter, dried or frozen berries, bananas, avocados, herbs, spices, all work beautifully in a smoothie. This way, you can get as many of the Program’s Foundation Supplements as possible in one glass.

While it’s true that blending may affect the vitamin content by introducing oxygen and even some heat, the potential effects are very slight. The only vitamins that might be affected by oxygen and heat are Vitamin C and certain B vitamins.

Many Foundation Foods are rich in Vitamin C, and because it’s a Foundation Supplement, Savers should supplement with at least 500 mg per day. And the same can be said about B-complex vitamin supplementation, with different daily minimum requirements for each.

3. Less Expensive Equipment

If you’ve ever shopped around for a juicer, then you know they can be very expensive. Some blenders can also be pricey, but you don’t need a fancy, high-priced blender to make delicious, bone-healthy smoothies. All in all, blenders are less expensive than juicers and more often than not, easier to clean.

4. Improved Digestion

Incidence of digestive disorders is, unfortunately, very high in Western society. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs for issues like indigestion, reflux, and constipation are among the most widely prescribed and used drugs in the United States. This points to a widespread dietary problem.

Smoothies contain lots of fiber, one of the keys to digestive regularity. They also are tyically made from raw ingredients with digestive enzymes intact. And finally, the foods are blended into such small bits that digestion is made much easier.

5. Build Your Immunity

Research reveals more and more the immune-boosting properties of various foods. Unlike juicing, with smoothies you can add in foods to enhance your immunity, like plain yogurt, kefir, and citrus fruits. You can even whirl vitamin and mineral supplements into your smoothie, especially if you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules.

6. Healthy Weight

The fiber and liquid content of smoothies really help fill you up, and contribute to feeling full longer. If you add healthful protein and fat to your smoothie, the effect lasts even longer. In this way, smoothies can contribute to healthy weight control without sacrificing nutrients.

Additionally, if you have trouble keeping weight on, smoothies are an excellent way to get extra calories in a healthful, bone-nourishing way. You can change up the ingredients to include higher-calorie, bone-smart foods like nut butters, avocado, full-fat plain yogurt, or fatty nuts like walnuts.

7. Balance Your Body’s pH

There are few more effective ways to ingest a variety of alkalizing Foundation Foods than in smoothies. You can pack all kinds of bone-building foods into one glass, boosting your body’s alkalinity. You can easily make a pH-balanced smoothie, too, by mixing in a small amount of acidifying but nutritious foods, like pecans, plums, blueberries, or even chocolate.

8. More Phytonutrients

Smoothies were shown to retain more phytonutrients – nutritious plant chemicals like antioxidants – than juice. Many nutrients are “bound” into the fiber of plants and vegetables (including the peel), and blending has a homogenizing effect, releasing the nutrients from the fiber.

In fact, the way in which various household processing methods affect the phytonutrient content of foods was analyzed in a 2012 study. Specifically, grapefruits were studied because they have various phytonutrients that are known for their healthful properties.

The fruits were subjected to blending, juicing, and hand-squeezing and the results analyzed for phytonutrients content. While scientists did not notice a significant difference between the phytonutrients content of hand- and machine-juiced grapefruits, they did notice a significant difference between the juiced and blended fruits, leading them to the following conclusion:

“Therefore, consuming grapefruit juice processed by blending may provide higher levels of health beneficial phytochemicals such as naringin, narirutin, and poncirin. In contrast, juice processed by hand squeezing and juicing provides lower levels of limonin, bergamottin, and 5-M-7-GC. These results suggest that, processing techniques significantly influence the levels of phytochemicals and blending is a better technique for obtaining higher levels of health beneficial phytochemicals from grapefruits.”1 (emphasis mine)

This effect has been studied on foods besides grapefruits as well, although indirectly. Researchers assessed the antioxidant response elements (AREs) of fruits and vegetables, and to do so, 134 fruits and vegetables, including flesh and peel, were “homogenized” – in other words, blended – before analysis.

Why Preservation Of Phytochemicals Is Crucial For Bone Health

This same study delved into why intact, bioavailable phytonutrients are so important for health, including bone health. Steven H. Zeisel, one of the study authors, notes the following:

“This study changes how we can recognize constituents of fruits and vegetables that improve our antioxidant defenses. … In the past we looked for certain structures in phytochemicals that could trap free radicals, now we know that there are many ingredients in fruits and vegetables that work in a completely different way to activate our own internal defense systems.”2

Zeisel goes on to note that the study sheds new light on why fruits and vegetables are so good for our health, stating that:

“…phytochemicals actually cause an upregulation in the expression of these AREs.”2

Clearly, nutrients in fresh produce protect our cells, including bone cells.

Smoothies Are A Significant Component Of The Save Our Bones Program

The Program is nutrition-based, and the protective effects of produce-based antioxidants are well documented in Chapter 12, appropriately titled “Antioxidants: Undercover Bone Builders”. Further expanding on this, Bone Appétit, the companion cookbook to the Program, includes a free bonus called Blender Magic.

Blender Magic is a recipe collection dedicated to the powerful bone health benefits of smoothies. It shows you just how versatile smoothies can be, from tart to savory to sweet. Blender Magic also guides you through the process of choosing a blender, and it details why blending is superior to juicing for bone health.

The convenient digital format of Bone Appétit and Blender Magic allows you to search quickly for ingredients, recipes, or specific topics of interest. And you can easily print individual recipes if you like.

Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!

Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!

Learn More Now →

Now is a great time to get started on exploring the nutritious world of smoothies. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full swing, and ice-cold smoothies deliver nutrients while cooling you off.

Do you have a favorite summertime (or any time) smoothie recipe? Please share this and any other ideas about today’s topic with the community by leaving a comment below.

Till next time,

References:

1Uckoo, R.M., et al. “Grapefruit (Citrus paradise Macfad) phytochemicals composition is modulated by household processing techniques.” J Food Sci. 77. 9. (2012): C921-6. Web. June 26, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22957912
2Orena, Stephen, et al. “Extracts of Fruits and Vegetables Activate the Antioxidant Response Element in IMR-32 Cells.” The Journal of Nutrition. 145. 9. (2015): 2006-2011. Web. June 26, 2016. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/145/9/2006.abstract

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27 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Nancie Locey January 8, 2017, 12:41 am

    purificadoras de agua.

    http://www.s7jfFNM1rQ.com/s7jfFNM1rQ

  2. Diana H. August 24, 2016, 10:30 pm

    I use to make Smothies and enjoyed them very much, but the doctor said that they make your sugar go up too fast and it was better to just eat the fruit instead, I’m almost 88, exercise regularly and don’t take any meds. I’m in good health, thank God and thank you for all you have made me aware of What do you think about this, Vivian?

  3. Vickie Lepore July 15, 2016, 9:40 am

    Currently I am doing lots of carrot, beet, & ginger juices as colon cancer therapy. After surgery, juice will certainly assist with getting my system back in working order, and then I plan to add vegetable juices to my smoothies. What I understand about carrot juice, is that the sugar is absorbed by the cancer cells, along with the substances that promote apoptosis and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Good discussions here!

  4. Jane July 10, 2016, 7:02 pm

    I also like my Ninja blender. I have the large size that but it comes with two individual serving cups for smaller batches which is very convenient and fast. My favorite smoothie is frozen strawberries, spinach or kale, a teaspoon of real vanilla flavoring, plain greek yogurt, a squirt of organic lime juice and a quirt of organic blue agave nector. Tastes like a strawberry milk shake, yumm! The color is sort of like milk chocolate due to the spinach or kale, but the taste is all strawberry! I use whole greek yogurt, not low fat for richer taste.Jane

  5. Marlyn Namato July 8, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Hi Vivian, I wish you a wonderful summer and hopefully you can enjoy every minute of it…Here in Madrid it is very hot with high temperatures some times reaching over 35C or even 40C.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the very interesting articles with so much valuable information you so kindly e-mail to me. Big hugs to you and to all your family.
    Love, Marlyn.

  6. Virginia Reed July 8, 2016, 12:53 pm

    My doctor prescribed Evista, he told is was used for breast cancer and also helped bones. A friend of mine was perscribed Evista for 5 years for her cancer. She doesn’t have cancer and her bone density was great. Do you know if Evista is ok.

    Also, I would like to purchase your books, but it seems like there are many books and I don’t know which ones to buy.

  7. Susan July 7, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Hi,I just started on this program. I have been using Shakology Vanilla, I put bannana , unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon .
    Any thoughts on this? It’s supposed to be whole foods .

  8. Diane July 7, 2016, 1:32 am

    I love all the info you send and incorporate it into my daily planning, have avoided osteoporosis and diabetes. Would like to see some gluten free recipes in your next batch. There are many I am unable to use of these last ones, Diane

  9. Trish July 6, 2016, 4:14 pm

    I make a smoothie most every morning and typically it consists of blueberries, blackberries, banana, parsley, mixed greens, coconut milk, chia seeds/hemp seeds, cacoa powder, goji berries, inner filet of aloe and topped with sunflower seed or other nut choice – cashew, pecan, pumpkin seed etc. for the crunch and once in a while a spoonful of granola.
    Love juicing too but hate to lose the benfit of the fiber so I am much more inclined to have a smoothie.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 7:45 pm

      You pack a lot of variety into your smoothies, Trish! Sounds delicious.

  10. Claudia Graves July 6, 2016, 1:56 pm

    I make juice (veggies only) since too much fiber is a problem for me, but then…… I use the juice as part of the liquid for my daily smoothie and add veggies that aren’t very “juicy.” It’s super nutrition. 🙂

    To save time and effort I make several weeks worth of juice at a time and freeze it. I also make different juice combinations for variety and to rotate my foods.

    • Eyda Hernandez July 6, 2016, 3:25 pm

      I’ve read that to obtain the FULL benefit of the juice ., it has to be consumed within 20 minutes. Please check it out.

  11. Richard July 6, 2016, 1:05 pm

    Great article, thanks, a question… There is a debate which type of juicer is best masticating or high speed puree and which was used in the study?

    • Helen July 6, 2016, 2:42 pm

      This will not answer your question directly, but I have found that a NutriBullet is an excellent tool for creating completely incorporated, thick smoothies that provide readily absorbed nutrition.
      I’m hypoglycemic, so can feel when my blood sugar begins to drop. A NutriBullet smoothie, since it contains all the skins and fibers of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, beans, coconut milk or whatever else is included, provides nutrients that are absorbed much faster, and provide the benefits of whole food.
      Hope this helps.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 2:32 pm

      Hi Richard,

      The study does not specify the specific types of machines used in the research; instead, it refers to “common household processing practices such as blending, juicing, and hand squeezing techniques” and says the grapefruit were “analyzed for their phytochemical content by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).”

      If you’re wishing to purchase a juicer for home use, your best bet is to choose one that fits your needs and your budget. The principle of separating the juice from the fiber is pretty much the same. 🙂

  12. Ann July 6, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I have severe bone problems and my rheumatologist told me I needed Reclast which I had in March this year. Now everything hurts horribly and I cannot use the bathroom even with laxatives. I also have headaches, all my joints, even my neck and jawbone ache.
    Do you have any suggestions, and will this be in my system for a full year?
    Please help if you can.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Hi Ann,

      It sure sounds like you have a lot on your plate, and I wish you a successful, healthful resolution to all of these challenges.

      As far as Reclast goes, the decision to take it or not is entirely yours. Your doctor can’t “make” you take a drug you’re not comfortable taking. I suggest you continue to research, explore all your options, and then make an informed decision. A good place to start is to peruse all the free information at the Save Our Bones site using the Search feature. Here is a link to help you get started – it’s the search results for “Reclast”:

      https://saveourbones.com/?s=reclast

      Best wishes moving forward!

  13. R. Lalitha July 6, 2016, 11:57 am

    Thank you very much for giving updating information about bone-health.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 2:21 pm

      You are very welcome, R. There are always new discoveries and exciting research in the realm of bone health!

  14. S BSingh July 6, 2016, 9:59 am

    Thanks you are really saving n preventing so many provelembs

  15. sushma July 6, 2016, 9:47 am

    Hello Vivian

    I have read that you can only digest food properly in your mouth by chewing properly, especially fibres (enzymes released in the mouth will breakdown the fires more easily). Undigested fibres can be harmful to your digestion and especially your intestines ( all the new research on intestinal probiotics seem to agree on it). Would it not be better if the vegetables are juiced with one added fruit and drink without the fibres? Please help if you have any comment on the new studies.

  16. Stephanie S July 6, 2016, 8:49 am

    I’m a little confused about the grapefruit study. Were the peels included in the smoothies? Is this why the phytochemicals are higher in the smoothie than juicing by hand or machine?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 11:20 am

      The peels were not included in the blended grapefruit samples. The scientists used (in their own words) “common household processing techniques.”

  17. Judy July 6, 2016, 6:54 am

    I recently read some interesting articles that dried plums build up the inner part of our bones. Do you know anything about this?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 10:56 am

      Judy, at the Save Institute we’ve been following the studies on dried plums and bone health. In fact, you can read more about plums and bone health in this previous post

      https://saveourbones.com/vivian-answers-day-5/

  18. Georgina July 6, 2016, 4:23 am

    Thank you Vivian for all your important information that you passs on to us. Much appreciated.
    God bless
    Georgina

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 6, 2016, 5:58 am

      You are very welcome, Georgina!

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