This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Thanks.
Smoothies are great for the on-the-go types. They provide a quick and easy way to consume a range of fruits and vegetables in just a couple of gulps. For those looking for a hearty start to the day, a smoothie does the trick.
But does blending fruit destroy fiber and other nutrients? Does the nutritional value go down after blending?
Be sure to check out our list of high fiber smoothie recipes when you’re done reading!
Does Blending Fruits and Veggies Destroy Fiber?
The short answer is no. Blending fruit does not destroy fiber or change the fiber content in whatever you’re blending! The only difference might be how the fiber is absorbed. The idea that blending fruit gets rid of nutrients or fiber in any meaningful way is a myth.
Smoothies will always contain more fiber than simply juicing the fruit. When making fruit juice, you take the liquid content of the fruits but leave behind the fiber-rich pulp. Smoothies use every part of the fruit, which maintains the fiber.
Read more: Should you buy a blender or juicer?
Blending reduces the size of the fibers, for one, which changes how our bodies absorb them. But whether this is good or bad depends on the specific fiber.
Blended fruits still contain a healthy fiber content. Plus, if you’re only giving the fruits and vegetables a short blend, no more fiber would be lost than if you chewed them.
When you blend fruits and vegetables in smoothies, you grind down the fibers found within, changing how our bodies react to them. For example, when wheat bran is blended, the fiber can no longer absorb as much water.
However, blending other fibers, such as oat bran, increases its water-holding capabilities. This would, in a way, make the blended product more fiber-rich.
If you REALLY over blend and heat the fruit, you can impact the fiber content.
The main downside of blending fruits with higher fiber is that it makes smoothies foamy.
Does blending destroy nutrients?
The same answer applies to nutrients. Blending fruits and vegetables does decrease their nutritional value to some extent, but only slightly. If you’re worried about losing nutritional value, you don’t need to be.
Many people jump on the fact that blending fruits and vegetables causes the nutrients found within to oxidize. Nutrients are lost when exposed to oxygen – this cannot be denied.
However, it takes time for oxidation to have a real impact, about an hour after blending the fruit. Oxidization can also happen if you use your blender to grind coffee beans.
Read more: How to Grind Coffee in a Vitamix
How Much Dietary Fiber Do Smoothies Have?
The fiber content of a smoothie, of course, depends entirely on what whole fruits and vegetables you’ve included in the ingredient list. If you include lots of fruits like raspberries and passion fruit, your smoothie will contain a healthy dose of fiber.
If you make a green smoothie with kale, spinach smoothies, or other greens then you’ll really ramp up the fiber content.
The average 16oz fruit smoothie can have anywhere from 15-30g of fiber.
How to Minimize Fiber and Nutrient Loss When Blending Fruits and Veggies
As we’ve already mentioned, the nutritional value of a smoothie has a shelf life. If you leave your smoothie for more than 20 minutes after blending it, the blended whole fruits will have been exposed to oxygen for too long, reducing the smoothie’s nutritional value.
The best thing to do is drink your smoothie right after making it. Smoothies usually last 2-3 days in the fridge if you store them the right way.
Again, I don’t believe blending fruit destroys fiber, but some people do.
To minimize fiber and nutrient loss when blending, include as many fiber-rich fruits and vegetables (and other fiber-rich ingredients) as possible. To make sure that your smoothie stabilizes your blood sugar level and provides other fiber benefits, try adding some of the following ingredients to your smoothie:
- Passion fruit (the most fiber-rich fruit!)
- Ground flaxseeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Seed butters (Tahini or sunflower)
- Nut butters (cashew, peanut, or almond)
You can also minimize nutrient loss by reducing the time you blend the ingredients. Some argue that the heat from blender blades can negatively affect nutrients. When exposed to heat, vitamins A, C, D, and K can be canceled out.
Is Blending or Juicing Better for Retaining Essential Nutrients?
Blending is far better than juicing when it comes to providing essential nutrients. Juicing is simply squeezing the juice from a piece of fruit or veg, leaving behind the vital fruit pulp. Not only does the pulp give smoothies its fiber content, but it also provides the drink with antioxidants.
The pulp of high-fiber fruits such as grapefruit adds essential nutrients to smoothies, such as phytochemicals, which improves the overall nutritional value of the drink.
However, that’s not to say that juicing fruit and vegetables doesn’t provide you with many vitamins and nutrients. Juice, like smoothies, is a good source of vitamin C and E, as well as folate, beta carotene, and selenium.
Also, due to oxidation, juices will lose their nutritional value over time – just like smoothies. Some claim that juices can actually retain nutrients for longer than smoothies, with nutrients remaining present 72 hours after juicing in some instances.
So, although juicing may be better at retaining nutrients, fresh juice cannot compete with a fresh smoothie in terms of nutritional value. For both smoothies and juices, it’s better to consume fresh from the juicer or blender.
If you’re ever trying to pick between a blender vs juicer, we recommend going with a blender! There’s less nutrient loss because the pulp stays in with the liquid.
Does Blending Fruit Make it Better For You?
The short answer is no, blended fruit is not better for you than solid fruits. When blended, oxidation occurs, which limits the nutritional value of the fruit.
Another significant problem with blending is that it breaks down the cell walls that make up the fruit, which turns the natural sugars found within into free sugars. Free sugar intake should be kept to a minimum and only make up around 5% of our daily calorie intake. Consuming excess free sugars could increase blood sugar levels and cause tooth decay.
However, many health benefits of consuming smoothies daily outweigh the cons. For one, a smoothie still counts as one of your 5 a day and can help combat cancer and high blood pressure. They’re also good for aiding with weight loss, as a smoothie can be used to keep you full for longer and stop you from snacking.
If you’re short on time, you could consume a smoothie quickly and still gain a rich helping of vitamins and minerals. Although they may not be as healthy for you as eating solid fruit, smoothies are far more convenient.
Read more: Best blenders for frozen fruit smoothies
Common Questions on Blending Fruit
Blending fruit does not destroy fiber but may lessen its ability to aid in healthy digestion. When blending fruit, you blend the fruit pulp, too, which contains the fiber. This means that some insoluble fiber will be present in the smoothie. Some fibers absorb water better when blended, while others don’t.
Yes, blended fruits contain almost as much fiber as their whole, solid equivalents. Although smoothies kept longer than a day will lose their nutritional value, smoothies consumed fresh will contain a healthy level of fiber.
It’s better to eat fruit whole as opposed to in a smoothie, as blending weakens the strength of nutrients and fiber and creates free sugars. However, the health benefits of eating fruit whole over drinking a smoothie are only slight, and you’ll still get a good dose of vitamins A, C, D, and K, as well as phytochemicals and folate.
So, does blending destroy fiber?
Despite the rumors that blending destroys nutrients found in fruits, this is not entirely true. Blending fruit should not change the fiber and nutrient content of the fruit as long as you don’t over-blend it.