Incorporating different forms of acquiring your vegetables and fruits will assure your daily requirements are met!

Lately I have heard a lot of hype about the whole “juicing” thing. Like many other people I know, I wonder: “What is the big difference between a juicer and a blender?” Don't they do the same thing? Isn't grinding veggies down to their liquified state the same with rotating blades? Apparently not, but both are great ways to keep your body healthy.

Juicing involves putting the whole fruit or vegetable into a juicer. Juicers work by dividing liquid from the vegetable or fruit. This quickly gets absorbed by the body due to its lack of fiber. The reason juicing is so healthy for you is because it provides you with a great boost of nutrients to keep you energized all day. You can combine lots of different vegetables and fruits for a tasty treat, this is a great way to mask the flavor of an undesirable vegetable. Simply blend it with some of your favorite veggies and fruits to reap its benefits without the horrible taste you dislike! If you are diabetic, be careful when you juice. Don't use a lot of fruit due to its high sugar content. Instead, use vegetables as your main base for juicing. You should consult a doctor before you begin to be sure it is safe to do so. Juicing is good for those people who have digestive issues however. It is much easier to digest due to its lack of fiber. Juices are a good addition to a healthy diet to aid in getting all of your daily vegetable and fruit servings in because you can put a lot of “stuff” in your juice at one time.

Blending retains the fiber and pulp of vegetables and fruits. Smoothies are the result. These are better suited to replace meals. You can add all kinds of tasty things to your smoothies. Some especially great items are: coconut water, almond milk, spinach, tomatoes, flaxseed, whey or any protein powder, nut butters, or avocados. The more healthy things you add, the more nutritional your smoothie. Due to the fiber present in smoothies, you will feel fuller longer. The fiber helps slow digestion and lets the nutrients be absorbed into the body at a slower rate. This is good for diabetics because it won't cause spikes in blood sugar levels. The drawback here is that it is harder to digest, so people with digestion problems may have difficulty with this way of gaining nutrition. For more information about this and all of our blogs, contact the Wayne County YMCA at 253-2083, or on the web at

The information we have shared with you today comes from the website where Registered Diatician Molly Kimble shares her expertise. She also adds:

“Tips for juicing and blending

Here are some ways to maximize nutrient density and minimize sugars and calories, whether you’re blending or juicing on your own or ordering at a juice bar:

Start with a base of nutrient-dense nonstarchy vegetables, incorporating a variety of colors, from dark greens to purples and reds to orange, as each color represents different nutrients.

Instead of limiting your blend to the same combinations over and over, rotate ingredients with what’s fresh and local. Not only will you add interest and variety to your juice or smoothie, you’ll also ensure that you’re getting a broad range of nutrients.

Keep in mind that everything is concentrated — particularly with juicing. This includes desirable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers, so be sure that even organic produce is washed thoroughly.

Boost the flavor and health benefits of juices and smoothies with add-ins like herbs (think basil, mint or cilantro) and spices (cayenne, ginger, cinnamon).

If the drink is going to be used as a meal replacement, increase its staying power with protein such as Greek yogurt or whey, soy, or vegan protein powder and healthful fats such as nuts, nut butter and avocado.

Freshly made juices and smoothies are highly perishable and can lose nutrients quickly, so drink or freeze shortly after juicing or blending.

Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. She can be reached at  Comment and read more at”