To juice or to blend: that is the question. My patients often ask me which is better, and the answer is simple: both are beneficial for different reasons.

Read on to find out which works best for you.

Why Juice?

Juicing extracts water and all the nutrients from the produce while discarding the fiber. This concentration of nutrients is quickly absorbed into the body without the burden of having to digest the fiber. This is great when you want to increase your fruits and vegetable servings without all the bulk.

The quantity of plant produce that one can consume in an eight ounce glass can be the equivalent of eating one bunch of kale, ten celery stalks, ten carrots, or three cucumbers. There is no way we would eat that much produce in one day.

Juicing is the way to go when wanting to rev up your vegetable and fruit intake to add concentrated nutrients including valuable antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. I like to add a green juice once a day to provide my body with all the vibrant nutrition that is power packed in a green juice. I like to use mostly greens and keep my juice on the low glycemic index to avoid sugar spikes–try it!

How to Juice

Because of the high concentration of produce, it is best to only juice organic produce. Try to use local produce as well, when possible. I love picking beautiful, organic, local greens from my farmers market and combining them in interesting ways. What tastes good is good here!

There are many types of juicers on the market. Finding the perfect juicer for you can be overwhelming. Purists insist that a cold press juicer is superior to a rotary type juicer as more nutritional content is maintained. The metal blade of the rotary juicer heats up the produce therefore reducing the nutritional value.

However, I still think there is value in juicing with either the rotary or the cold press. The best cold press on the market today is the Hurom as it is easy to use and clean. And the Brevielle is another great choice if you are going for a rotary juicer. The take away here is: just start juicing!

To get you started, try one of my favorite green juices:

Organic Only

1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of spinach
3-4 cucumbers
3 carrots
1 apple
2 lemons (skins removed)
1 piece of ginger

Juice it, and this recipe will yield 32 ounces of super-powered juice.

To Blend

Blending is a great way to add nutrition to your diet while making it easy on your digestion system, for blending helps break down the foods. When you make smoothies in a blender you have the opportunity to add organic fruits, veggies, flax oil, superfoods, nut milks, hemp protein powder, and wheat grasses. All of these increase your antioxidant and fiber intake while increasing the digestibility though the blending process. My morning smoothies are a mainstay in my diet to power pack nutrients into my system. It is a perfect way to start the day.

The most powerful blenders are the Blendtec and the Vitamix. I love them both but you can do a great job with many other powerful blenders out in the market place. Pick the one that appeals to you!

While most think that blending is strictly for smoothies, I love making nutritional soups. My fall/winter live soup is a great way to warm your body as well as adding all the wonderful seasonal vegetables to your diet. Try it:

Fall/Winter Live Soup

1 head of broccoli
1 parsnip
2 zucchini
1 cup spinach
1 to 2 avocados
1 cup finely chopped cilantro or any other spicy greens
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cold pressed organic olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Wash and chop all vegetables. In a large stock pot or wok, on a low heat sweat shallots, garlic, ginger in 1 tablespoon olive oil & pinch of cayenne pepper until translucent. Next add to the stock pot broccoli, parsnip, and zucchini and coat with oils and spices. Then add pure water just enough to cover all vegetables. Simmer for about 10 minutes—when bubbles start to appear turn off heat before boiling to retain the nutrients of the vegetables.

In blender place 1 avocado, ½ cup cilantro (raw), and ½ cup spinach along with ½ the soup stock. Blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup and greens. Making the soup in two batches is much more manageable!

Juice and Blend!

To recap: juicing is best when you want a power house of concentrated micronutrients without the bulk. Blending gives you fiber, making it less concentrated as juicing, but you can complement your fruits/veggies by adding many other ingredients (protein, oils, etc.). Both give you lots of fun, delicious options. Be creative!