To Blend, or not to Blend…

I had a friend in college who was a Division I Varsity swimmer.  For a little context, this kid was training for the Olympics.  And he had a shot.  

His practices lasted something to the tune of 7 hours per day in the summer, and one day he decided he was too drained.  If he wanted to swim and function as a person, something had to give.  For him, that “something” was chewing.  “Chewing takes up too much energy,” he thought.  (I know, my reaction precisely.)  So he bought a blender and made purées out of dinner contents — chicken breast, broccoli and milk, chugged all at once.

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If you’re frowning at the thought of my friend blending his dinners, that’s good!  Keep that face.  Because that’s exactly the sentiment I want to convince you to have if someone brings up a more palatable topic, such as “fruit or veggie smoothies.”  It’s as much a travesty to blend your produce as it is to mix your main course, and here’s why:

Blending for even as long as a few minutes can generate enough heat to reduce nutrient content.  Important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, pantothenic acid, thiamine and folate are heat sensitive.  Most of their benefit is lost in blended fruits and veggies!

In addition, when you make juices or smoothies out of your fruits and veggies, you reduce the benefit of ingesting the fiber contained in those foods.  Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that our bodies cannot digest — instead fiber helps promote regularity, a sense of fullness and slows the rate of sugar absorption.  

To get the most nutrition and satisfaction out of the delicious produce in your life, simply ditch the blender and keep your cutlery close at hand.

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