Vegetable and fruit smoothies and juices are becoming more and more popular as the days go by. They are sweet, easy to make, and you can make them at your home if you have a blender. This fact has increased the need for personal blenders and juicers.
However, there is one question that has been bugging a lot of people, does blending destroy nutrients of fruits and veggies? Many myths and misleading information are surrounds this question. Today, I will be trying to answer it in the best way possible, so that you can understand the whole process.
Some information on the internet will have us believe that the moment you blend fruit or vegetable, you destroy all the nutrients, while others will have us believe that smoothies help us absorb more nutrients than eating whole fruit. So, what’s the truth?
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Does Blending Destroy Nutrients: Overview
This topic is widely discussed across the world, and different experts have different solutions. Most believe that blending destroys nutrients, while some believe that blending only changes the appearance and texture of food.
Basics of Chewing Food
When we chew food, we break food into smaller pieces, which is logically what a blender does to a fruit or vegetable. Chewing the food helps us stop choking as well as break down fiber which helps hold nutrients. The more you chew food, the more the fiber in it is broken, making the nutrients more readily available to be absorbed by the body.
When you swallow the food, it enters the stomach where now the process of digestion starts. The chewed food is further broken down, which releases even more nutrients for your body to absorb.
Basics of Blending Fruits and Vegetables
Blending also works in a similar manner to chewing. Once you put your fruits or vegetables in the blender, it breaks down the fiber within them and releases nutrients during the blending cycle.
The whole process substantially changes the food’s appearance and texture, making them more drinkable. However, this process does not make the food lose nutrients.
Fiber is paramount for our digestive system as it plays a significant role in the regulation of our blood sugar levels, and it is worth noting that blending the ingredients doesn’t destroy fiber either. Instead, fiber is broken down like pre-digested food, which means our bodies can absorb the nutrients even faster.
Are There Nutrients Lost Due to Heat?
In as much as the blending process doesn’t destroy any nutrients, the heat produced while the blades run is capable of losing some nutrients. However, this should not be something to make you worried. The same happens when you cook your vegetables. In fact, more nutrients are lost when you cook vegetables than when you blend them.
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Oxidation of Nutrients in Vegetables and Fruits
Some experts suggest that blending fruits or vegetables leads to a 90% loss of nutrients. These experts claimed that the loss of nutrients is due to oxidation that occurs naturally once you blend your fruits or vegetables.
They stated that air gets sucked in the blender while you are blending, and the nutrients in the fruit or vegetable get destroyed, leaving your smoothie with about 10% of the nutrients. A lot of people tend to believe this, but is it true?
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Well, it is true that oxidation occurs while you are blending, but it is false that it destroys 90% of the nutrients. Oxidation also happens once you peel off the skin of a fruit while you are eating. You can see it if you, for example, peel a pear and leave it there for some minutes. It turns brown, which means all the nutrients are lost.
Loss of nutrients due to oxidation is inevitable whether you are using a blender or eating your fruits without having to blend them. So, you have nothing to worry about that blending fruits or vegetables will lead to a 90% loss of nutrients because it won’t happen.
The one thing you can do to prevent oxidation of your smoothies is to use a vacuum blender. Vacuum blending removes the air from the blender cup before blending, keeping your smoothies fresher for longer. Read more about the benefits of vacuum blending here.
How to Minimize Loss of Nutrients While Blending
You can ensure that you get the best out of your smoothies or juice if you practice a few more precautions while you are blending. These tips and tricks can help you out:
Use the Shortest Time Possible While Blending
If you practice always limiting the amount of time you use while blending, you can be sure that save as many nutrients from your ingredients as possible. If possible, take a maximum of 60 seconds. Most blenders take more time to make smoothies, but there are some powerful blenders out there that can make smoothies within 30 seconds.
Drink Your Juice/Smoothie Right Away
To limit the loss of nutrients due to oxidation, ensure to drink the product as soon as possible. If you can’t, store the drink in a place that it is shielded from heat, oxygen, and light. A fridge is one of the best solutions. However, it is worth noting that the more you stay without taking the smoothie/juice, the more it can lead to nutrient degradation.
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Be Careful While Washing the Ingredients
Avoid soaking peeled or cut fruits inside the water unless you are planning to use the soaking liquid during blending. Vitamins C and B are soluble, and they can leach out from the fruit if you soak it inside water. If you pour the water, you reduce the overall nutritional value of the fruit.
Does Blending Destroy Nutrients: Final Thoughts
While it is true that blending fruits and vegetables leads to loss of nutrients, it is nothing to be concerned about as the loss is so small. It is similar to the loss that occurs when you cook or microwave your vegetables.
Blending the fruits does not destroy fibers, nor does it destroy nutrients. However, it is essential to ensure that you take your juice or smoothie as soon as possible. The more you wait to take your juice or smoothie, the more nutrients will be lost due to oxidation. You can increase nutrient retention by storing your smoothies in the fridge or mason jars.
Also, try to limit the time you use while blending. There are some blenders out there designed to make smoothies within the shortest time, and you can get yourself one.