Fruit, Vegetables and nuts are an integral part of our diet, they both contain nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, more than 85% of adults are under-consuming fruits and vegetables, resulting in low intakes of dietary fibre.
One way of increasing the consumption of healthy raw food is by making smoothies out of whole food. But, many of us get worried about whether the nutritional content of fruits or vegetables or anything we put in a blender will be reduced by blending.
If you ask me if blending destroys nutrients? The answer is No, a blender does not kill the nutritional value of food because blenders do not destroy nutrients.
The only thing you should concern about after blending food is oxidation. When whole food is torn apart the covered part is exposed to air and oxidation may start. But that won’t hurt if you store your smoothies sealed or consume them right after blending.
Does blending destroy nutrients? do blenders remove nutrients?
Does Blending destroy fibre?
Consuming full fruits and vegetables helps to prevent diseases such as stroke, cancer, coronary heart disease, and skin-related problems.
Do blenders destroy fibre? No, they don’t, that’s one of the benefits blenders have over juicers. Blending gives you the whole bulk of fruits and vegetables including the pulp. Nothing is removed.
If you are using pure ingredients and avoid added flavours or other unnatural additives, blending will not affect the healthiness of the blended product. It will have the same benefits as consuming whole fruits or vegetables.
There is even more to smoothies.
According to this amazing article about smoothies, drinking pureed greens with mashed fibre can also help enhance the probiotic effect. Increasing good bacteria in the gut having positive effects on your health such as improving your immune system.
Blending retains the fibre content of the food items, thus lowering the glycemic index and preventing any disturbance in the sugar level of the body.
Do blenders destroy vitamins?
No, blenders do not destroy vitamins in food. When you blend whole ingredients, the nutritional value, the vitamins and minerals and any other chemical compounds that the whole food contains still remain in the blended product such as a smoothie or soup.
Exposing Vitamin rich food to water may cause some vitamin content to reach out. If the water is hot, or the food is boiled in water, the leaching occurs more rapidly.
Does blending destroy vitamin c?
The blending process itself does not destroy vitamin C in food. But heat and exposure to water or air could remove vitamin c from food.
We all use water or other liquids when blending smoothies. Vitamin C is soluble in water so it may be broken down. Also, if the smoothies or blended drinks are left out for a long, their vitamin c levels may also get down.
It is also best practice to use frozen fruit for blending because freezing can retain vitamins in food.
Does blending destroy probiotics?
Blending food does not destroy these probiotics. The probiotics are teensy organisms that are unable to see through the naked eye.
Blending is a mechanical process that crushes food at a higher level. Blenders are unable to tear apart or remove these bacteria so it is not possible to destroy them through blending.
Probiotics are friendly microorganisms that live in our bodies. These bacteria support gut health and boost the immune system.
Does blending destroy antioxidants?
Antioxidants are not removed from food during blending. Mechanical processes such as blending do not harm antioxidants because they are compounds and does not affect by such coarse liquefication.
Antioxidants are not destroyed, but when green leaves such as kale or fruits are exposed to water and heat, the antioxidants in them may leach into the water.
In the case of blending, all the ingredients are included in the mix and pulverized together. So, there is nothing left out and all the antioxidants are contained in the blended product. comes in various forms and structures from a variety of green vegetables and fruits.
Does blending destroy enzymes?
Enzymes are not affected by blending. They are almost always made of amino acids. Just like proteins. They denature by chemical processing or extremely high temperatures.
Blenders with heating elements such as Ninja Foodi blenders may cause enzymes to slightly denature if the temperature of the mix is very high. Vitamix blenders also produce friction heat when run for long so the heating could cause enzymes to lose their structural properties.
Regular blenders which do not heat food when blending do not destroy enzymes.
Does blending protein powder destroy it?
Proteins are complex compounds that are made from the chaining of molecules called amino acids. Totally destroying protein can be something very difficult (Technically).
But, exposing proteins to extreme mechanical or thermal conditions can destroy their structure. Destroying the structure of a protein is also referred to as “protein denaturation”. Very high-speed blenders which are able to heat ingredients inside such as Vitamix may denature the protein.
They still contain the same molecules and they still are proteins but their physical structure becomes different. A simple example of this phenomenon is cooking eggs. A raw egg white has protein. When you cook the egg white, the molecular structure of protein inside the egg white changes and they convert from transparent liquid to opaque solid.
The same happens if you blend them in the blender, the protein structure may denature with high mechanical agitation and thus lose its original shape.
So, blending does not Destroy protein but it may or may not denature them depending on their speed and ability to heat ingredients.
High temperature, acidity, or other chemical activity can denature the structure and properties of proteins.
Naturally, proteins are coiled helix structures and have their biological activity. When exposed to chemical or physical change, protein powder loses its activity and uncoils the helix structure. This is when we say the proteins are destroyed or denatured.
Our body destroys proteins and breaks them into components called amino acids. These amino acids are the nutrition that we get from proteins.
Does Vitamix destroy nutrients?
Although Vitamix blender heats up ingredients by friction. The temperature levels do not rise to extreme values which could destroy nutrients. So, Vitamix blenders are safe for blending healthy foods and keeping all the nutrients inside the product after mixing and blending.
What destroys nutrients?
Extreme temperatures, abnormal pH levels, chemical denaturants exposure etc can result in the degradation or deactivation of nutrients. When the nutrients are disrupted, they can not do their job properly and may become useless like burnt food.
Mechanical agitation that is performed by blenders does not affect most of the nutrition in food. So, it is safe to blend food without worrying about the loss of nutrients.
On the other hand. Juicing vegetables or fruits decreases the nutritional value of whole ingredients by separating pulp and pith from the juice.
What does a blender do to food?
The reason why blenders prevent destroying the nutrition of a particular food lies in the process of blending.
Since there is no filtering in a blender, it reproduces everything (nutrients) you put into it. No component such as pulp or fibre etc. from the whole food is wasted or removed. You get everything.
Blending also helps break down food for easy digestion. Blenders break tougher food items such as nuts and seeds used in smoothies and obtain fibre and oil content.
It also helps the stomach to do extra work of breaking down tough foods. People who do not chew vegetables or fruits properly can also find blended foods healthier.
Blending is the best alternative to add complete nutrition of healthy green foods in your meal and will also help you in weight loss and healthier skin. Smoothies are far better than drinking flavoured juices with no fibres or other healthy nutrition. Read this post by Harvard Health Publishing for more details.
How to minimize loss of nutrients and make smoothies healthier
To avoid nutrition loss to blender or blending, keep these points in mind.
Do not over-blend
Blending for long intervals may help in getting more smoothness and consistency but it could also oxidize food if you blend it for too long.
Most blenders (even lowered-powered) do not take more than a minute to pulverize food. To avoid losing any nutritional value you have to make sure not to blend for too long.
Consume right after you blend
If you blend a smoothie, or green drink or make any other food product in a blender, it is best to take it right away. The more you delay consuming a product after blending, the less nutritional value will be retained.
Store them airtight
Do not leave the product out of the blender in the open air for too long. Store it in a sealed container if you intend to use it later. As blending tear apart the food and expose its inner core content, there is a chance of degradation if keep they are left uncovered.
Most often few important things slip under our radar while blending smoothies, and instead of making a healthier recipe, it can become an unhealthy drink.
To avoid these mistakes while making smoothies and have most of the nutritional benefits from fruits and vegetables follow these amazing tips to make the healthiest smoothie.
- Do not add more than a cup of fruit to a single serving
- Add berries to green leaves for better taste and high dietary fibres
- Do not add sugar additives and flavoured yoghurt
- Add nuts and seeds for a protein boost
- Add ice to make your smoothie bigger without adding more calories
Conclusion | Do Blenders Destroy Nutrients?
No, blenders do not destroy nutrients. The nutritional value and the healthy components of whole food such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, proteins, probiotics and enzymes remain intact inside the ingredients even after the blending process. So, your smoothie bowls, protein shakes or frozen drinks all have the same nutritional benefits as their whole counterparts.