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Making a smoothie is an easy way to fit a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables into one portable drink you can take on the go. If you are health conscious like me, you might be wondering how a blender with a fast RPM could affect the nutrients in the fruit and vegetables. I spoke with a registered dietician nutritionist to find out exactly what happens to the nutrients when using a blender with a fast RPM.
As a general rule, a fast RPM on a blender does not destroy the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. It does help break down whole fruits and vegetables which could be useful for someone who has a hard time chewing.
Continue reading below to learn more about what happens to the fiber and protein in your smoothie when you blend it.
How Your Blender Can Affect the Nutrients in Your Smoothie
The nutrients in fruits in vegetables in your smoothie will not be affected severely when blending them. There are a variety of opinions on what happens when you blend fruits and vegetables together in a blender. Some people say a high RPM on a blender destroys ingredients in fruits and vegetables. Others say it makes it easier to absorb the nutrients into our bodies. Being a health-conscious person, I decided to ask a professional what happens to the fiber in fruits and vegetables when you blend them up.
“Blending does not destroy fiber, it stays the same, just grinds it up for you,” said Kelly Otoole Wood, Registered Dietician Nutritionist.”
Blending doesn’t destroy nutrients, but the fiber will be in much smaller pieces allowing you to consume it quicker and more easily. Some people say a high RPM on a blender can destroy nutrients, but a chemical process such as heat would have to be present in order to change the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Since most people will only blend a smoothie for about 30-60 seconds, there is not enough time for a significant amount of heat to occur making any nutrient loss negligible.
Some people can not tolerate or do not care for vegetables in their whole form but can tolerate them in blended drinks with other flavors added. It’s a much better option to drink a smoothie full of healthy fruits and vegetables than not eat them at all.
Although, for people who are watching how many calories they take in, it’s best to eat whole fruits and vegetables as they will be much more filling and satisfying than a blended drink.
It will take you much longer to eat whole fruits and vegetables allowing your brain more time to get the signal from your stomach that you’re full and satisfied.
In order to get the greatest benefits from your smoothie or protein drink, consume the smoothie immediately after you make it, and do not drink leftover smoothies or store them in the fridge. If you let the smoothie sit out on the counter or in the fridge, the fruit will begin to oxidize which will decrease the taste, texture, and quality of the fruits and vegetables inside.
What are essential nutrients?
It’s important for us to understand what nutrients are in order to understand what happens to them when we blend them. Essential nutrients are compounds that the body needs that it cannot make or make enough of according to Healthline.com. Nutrients must come from food in order for our bodies to grow, fight disease, and have overall good health.
Protein is the building block of muscle. Carbohydrates fuel your body. Fat supports processes such as vitamin and mineral absorption, muscle movement, and building cells. Vitamins are essential for a healthy body and fighting disease. Minerals help support functions such as hydration and building strong bones. Water is crucial for every system in the body and we cannot survive without it.
Does blending increase nutrient absorption?
Blending fruits and vegetables does not increase nutrient absorption. Blending fruits and vegetables is a way to break down food before you consume it similar to chewing food, but the way the nutrients are absorbed by your body does not change. If you eat whole fruits and vegetables, you would still need to chew them before your stomach was able to digest them. Chewing helps help break nutrients down so we can digest them more easily and blending is essentially doing the same thing.
“Blending does not increase nutrient absorption, but it does help break the food down if you have issues chewing food,” said O’Toole Wood.
Do blenders destroy protein?
Blenders do not destroy protein in a smoothie or protein shake although it does change the texture and appearance of the ingredients you blend together. Protein powder will be blended in with fruits and vegetables making them take on the color of whatever ingredients you choose. If you blend protein powder with raspberries and strawberries, for example, the protein powder will turn red in color, but it is not destroyed in the blending process. Blending ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, and protein powder turns the ingredients into a thick liquid making them easier to drink.
“Blenders do not destroy protein, you may not get all of the protein (say from a protein powder) if there are leftovers stuck on the side of the blender and or your glass,” said O’Toole Wood.
Do blenders destroy fiber?
Blending fruits and vegetables together does not destroy fiber. In fact, blending whole fruits and vegetables should mostly eliminate the need to chew the food and make it easier for you to swallow.
“Blending does not destroy fiber, it stays the same, just grinds it up for you,” said O’Tool Wood.
On the other hand, juicing eliminates important soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables and only leaves the juice content for you to consume. Fiber is important for healthy digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer according to MayoClinic.org.