Yes, a blender can destroy some nutrients (only a tiny bit) in your ingredients. And, this can be caused by such factors as oxidation, exposure to heat, and extended storage.
If you want to retain a lot of the nutrients in your blended ingredients, you’d have to use a good blender and also take your blends immediately after blending them.
Do blenders destroy fiber? Does blender remove nutrients? Does a blender remove protein? These are some of the worries food lovers have when using their blenders.
So, does a blender destroy nutrients? Yes, blending can destroy some nutrients. However, it depends on what is being blended- different types of fruits and vegetables have different effects when they are blended.
The good news is that many people who blend their produce actually enjoy more nutrient benefits than people who don’t because the fiber has been broken down into smaller particles for easier digestion.
Additionally, when you blend fruit with vegetables or other ingredients, you may be able to increase antioxidant levels in your smoothie.
Continue reading to learn more about what actually causes nutrient loss, and whether you should completely give up blending.
Basics Of How Blending Works
When you blend a smoothie, the first thing that happens is that your food is ground up into tiny pieces.
This helps to release the flavor and nutrients as well as increase their bioavailability.
So for example, if you were blending an apple, some of the antioxidants from the peel would be released into your drink which can help boost health benefits.
However, more surface area means easier access to go through the digestive system.
That is why blended foods are easier to digest than whole foods and your body does not have to work as hard!
However, what it also means is that there will be less undigested material left over for your body to absorb which translates into fewer nutrients and fiber being absorbed by your body.
So keep in mind that when you blend, there are both benefits and drawbacks.
Read this post about the working of blenders, for more details.
Does Blending Destroy Nutrients?
It is true that blending can destroy nutrients. This is because the closer you get to a puree, the less of the food’s original form remains intact. That means that while it might be easy for your body to digest, there are fewer vitamins and minerals left over.
It also reduces some of the healthy roughage which may help with regularity issues such as constipation or bloating.
On top of this, research has shown that whole fruit contains more antioxidants than blended fruit does.
The bottom line: If you want to maximize both taste and health benefits from your fruits and vegetables, go ahead and enjoy them in their natural state!
What About The Fiber? Does Blending Destroy Fiber?
Blending does remove most of the fiber from fruits and vegetables but it’s still there in smaller amounts than before.
That means that even though you don’t get as much roughage in your smoothie, you will still be getting some of it.
What About The Enzymes?
Enzymes are not destroyed in fruit and vegetables during blending because they cannot survive the heat.
On top of that, these enzymes don’t usually help with digestion unless they’ve been crushed to a pulp (by chewing them or cutting them into small pieces).
Why Is There Nutrient Loss?
A lot of people believe the breakdown of fibers during blending automatically removes the nutrients contained in your food. But, that’s not true! And, here’s why.
Naturally, before you swallow your foods, you have to chew them first.
Chewing is not just so you can avoid food-choking, it also allows the breakdown of fibers, that hold the nutrients in your food together, into smaller bits to aid digestion.
Blending also works to help you in breaking down food fibers more quickly.
This fiber breakdown releases the nutrients contained in the foods making it easier for you to swallow and for your digestive system to absorb.
Does a blender remove fiber, since they also help to maintain the smooth run of our digestive systems?
Well, no, blending doesn’t destroy fiber. On the other hand, it only breaks it down into smaller bits, thus making it easier for our body to absorb them.
Heat From Blending
It is true that heat can destroy food nutrient value. The heat produced from 30 to 60 seconds of blending cannot be compared to that from cooking, frying, boiling, and the likes.
Do you lose nutrients due to heat when blending? Yes, some nutrient value is lost. But it is nothing you’d want to worry yourself about. It’s just a small amount that is lost to heat from blending, which is why you have to purchase a blender that doesn’t take longer than normal to blend your ingredients. Also, avoid blenders that generate way too much heat when they run.
Exposure to Oxygen
Is There Such A Thing As Oxidation In A Blender? Generally, exposing your food to oxygen can cause them to lose an itsy-bitsy amount of their nutrients, not all.
Oxidation is the name given to this process; when foods make contact with oxygen, their nutrient value naturally breaks down. This happens when we peel, cut, chew, and blend our foods.
This is why our foods, once broken down into tiny bits, tend to lose their nutritious value over time.
To get the best of your smoothies and juices, consuming them immediately after blending would be your best bet.
Why Do We Even Need Nutrients?
The importance of nutrients in our bodies can’t be overemphasized.
Since the organisms in our bodies don’t have the capacity to produce the sufficient nutrients we need to survive, food consumption turns out to be the only option we have to get all these nutrients.
The nutrients we derive from foods allow for the proper functioning of all our bodily organs. These nutrients also provide us with the energy we need and protect our bodies from diseases.
So, now you see why we must consume as many nutrients as possible?
Why Should We Blend Fruits And Vegetables Then?
Blending breaks down some of the plant cells in fruits and vegetables. This makes it easier for your body to digest them, which can be especially helpful if you have a weak stomach or other digestive problems.
Fruits and vegetables also release more nutrients when they are pureed because even though there’s less fiber present, it has been broken down into a much smaller form. This small form is much easier for your body to extract nutrients from.
In addition to this, using blenders makes certain vitamins and minerals more “bioavailable”.
In simple terms, that means that they become even more absorbable by your body than before. One example would be lycopene, which isn’t as well absorbed in its natural state but becomes much more easily absorbed in a blended form.
On top of that, research has shown that eating blended fruit can help with weight loss because you are less likely to overeat when there are fewer chunks in your smoothie.
So eating whole fruits is the best way to enjoy both taste and health benefits?
Some people may not be able to handle the fiber or chunkiness of whole fruits and vegetables.
This includes children who have difficulty chewing, people who have dental problems, stroke victims or others with mouth injuries, people who have trouble digesting large amounts of cellulose (roughage), or anyone dealing with stomach pain or bloating.
People with diabetes should also blend their fruit since they can’t process simple sugars as well as other people.
Blending is also a good option for people who are on the go and don’t have time to eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state.
By blending them, you can easily transport your “smoothie” with you so that it’s ready whenever you need it!
What Are The Benefits Of Whole Fruit Over Blended Fruit?
Whole fruits contain more antioxidants than blended ones do.
This is because they contain parts of the food that are not broken down by blending yet provide loads of antioxidants, such as fiber or pectin.
Whole fruits also keep all of their nutritional value intact whereas some vitamins are lost by blenders.
Why should I not be blending veggies vs eating them?
Fresh fruit and vegetables are always better for health than juices or smoothies. This is because they contain more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants than their processed counterparts do. On top of this, whole fruits and vegetables provide that “crunch” some people want in their food while juices or smoothies do not.
Check out our collection of the best blenders for fruits here.
Things You Can Do to Minimize Nutrient Loss Due To Blending
Wash Your Ingredients Before Peeling
As I said earlier, your foods tend to have a loss of some nutrient value when you cut, peel, or dice them.
Soaking them in water will even make them have a loss of more vital nutrients like Vitamin B & C that can easily seep out when your fruits are soaked in water.
The best way to clean fruits, vegetables, nuts, and so on, would be to wash them before using your knife on them.
Put Ingredients In The Bottle And Grind Immediately
If you’re going to be cutting your ingredients, put them into the blender bottle immediately, and grind. Leaving them for a while can lead to nutrient loss due to oxidation.
Reduce The Time Used In Blending
Blending your ingredients shouldn’t take more than 30-60 seconds, depending on the power of your blender. Don’t exceed this time, as it can cause some nutrient loss.
If your blender takes way too long to blend your ingredients, you might want to have it replaced.
Don’t forget to always take your time to check through the details of any product you’re buying before making a go for them. It helps you make the perfect choice for your needs.
Use Heat Resistant Blenders
Avoid blenders that heat up easily. If you’re looking to replace your old blender, Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender might be a good purchase to make.
This blender has ten variable speeds that make it a great option for whipping both your smooth and chunky ingredients.
Vitamix Explorian Series 310 Blender comes with a radial cooling fan and a thermal protection system to prevent the blender from overheating during use.
The blades on this blender are made using powerfully crafted aircraft-grade stainless steel.
These blades can blend those stringy and coarse ingredients you might want to use (like your veggies, roots, nuts, and so on) into the finest smoothies for your consumption.
Cleaning this blender shouldn’t take you more than 3 or 5 seconds.
All you’ll just have to do is add a mixture of soap and warm water into the bottle, rotate the blades, and then rinse afterward.
Vitamix has a strange design that might make it a bit difficult for you to get used to. It is also, however, on the high side. Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base would be a great alternative if you can’t afford Vitamix.
Like Vitamix, this product is powerful and versatile. It can be used for whipping all your ingredients into the finest mix. It has a great design, unlike Vitamix, and is easy to use.
Consume Your Blends ASAP
Don’t leave your juices and smoothies sitting for too long otherwise they lose all their nutrients. Oxidation starts the moment you cut your ingredients open. Consume them immediately.
If you’re going to store them in your fridge, don’t store them for too long.
The longer they are left unconsumed, the lesser the nutrients they’d possess when you’re eventually ready.
Do Smoothies Lose Nutrients Overnight?
Healthy smoothies can be enjoyed for up to 24 hours after they’re made.
However, some nutrients like vitamin C and B9 (folic acid) break down with exposure to light so it’s important not to leave your fruit smoothie in the sun or next to a window.
In addition to this, avoid using ingredients that have high levels of oxalic acid such as rhubarb leaves or spinach which could prevent calcium from being absorbed properly by your body.
Related Post: How Long Does Blended Juice Last?
Juicing vs Blending
You may think juicing and blending are the same, but they are not.
When you juice your ingredients, particularly fruits and vegetables, you drain the liquid content out of the whole production and remove the fibrous material.
Blending, on the other hand, combines all, including the fibers that hold them together. You get to retain every part of your ingredients if you blend and, of course, a lot of the nutrients.
Below are some of the interesting benefits of juicing and blending, according to Healthline:
- Removes all fibrous content, and gives you more concentrated amounts of all the essential nutrients in your ingredients.
- The nutrients will also be easier for your body to absorb.
- Retains all the fiber contents that allow for healthy digestion of all your foods.
- Fills you up properly.
- Provides you with antioxidants that give you protection from diseases and repair damaged parts in your body.
Related Post: Juicing Vs Blending
So Does A Blender Destroy The Nutrients And Fiber?
Blending veggies and fruits does remove some nutrients due to breaking down cells but this can make certain benefits more bioavailable to your body.
It also makes the nutrients we do get from blended food easier for our bodies to absorb and use.
Blended fruits and veggies also contain less fiber than their whole counterparts which is why it’s important to blend them with other ingredients that add fiber back into the mix.
So while you will get more nutrients and fiber from whole fruits and veggies, blended ones still provide enough of each to keep you healthy!
If you fear you might still be losing more than the normal amounts of nutrients as a result of the heat your blender produces, purchase a better one like Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender or Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base.
Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments section if you have any.
The nutrients lost are nothing to be overly worried about! Your blended smoothies and juices are still way more nutritious than soda drinks or even packaged juices.