Does Blending Destroy Nutrients And Fiber?

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does blending destroy nutrients and fiber

You may have heard rumors about the effects of juicing on nutritional and fiber content. But does this translate to blending, as well? Some juicing machines can break down nutrients and zap fiber content instantly, but that has more to do with their extraction process and the loss of the fruit or vegetable’s cellular structure. Blenders are a bit different. When you throw food into a blender, you’ll lose some nutrition. But since you’re still consuming the whole food, the loss isn’t as severe. Read on to learn more about the way nutrients and fiber break down in a blender.

Nutrients

Exposure to oxygen causes the breakdown of nutrients in food. When you put anything in a blender, the destruction of the food’s cellular structure creates immediate oxygen exposure. This causes nutrients to diminish and spoilage to begin, but if you drink your smoothie immediately, you’ll still get plenty of vitamins. The longer your blended concoction sits around, however (even in the fridge), the more the nutrients lose their strength.

food nutrients

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Max Pixel

Fiber

The soluble and insoluble fiber of fruits and vegetables work together to slow digestion and the release of sugars. When you blend produce, you’re essentially pre-masticating it, or breaking down the insoluble fiber. This breakdown means faster glucose release into your liver and a spike in blood sugar. The loss of optimum fiber absorption isn’t a dealbreaker, though. Consuming a stacked glass of fruits and veggies is still better than missing out on all those essential nutrients.

Shelf Life

Now that you know how nutrients and fiber fare after blending, you should probably consider how they behave when you stick your blended drink in the fridge. Nutrient breakdown still occurs, and as the juice separates from the pulp it creates a layer of sugary liquid. Avoid storing your smoothies for more than 12 hours. If you add lemon juice and take steps to keep the air out, you can probably stretch this to 24 hours. Read our article “Do Smoothies Lose Nutrients Overnight?” for more information.

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Conclusion

Does blending destroy nutrients and fiber? The short answer is yes. You’re always better off eating whole food for the healthiest diet. But smoothies and juicing are great ways to pack in the vitamins if you don’t have time to sit and eat your recommended daily allowance of fruits and veggies. You may not be getting all the best nutrition by tossing food in your blender, but the benefits of juicing and blending far outweigh the downsides.

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