Have you ever tried blending your food as a meal replacement in hopes of getting healthier? It turns out there are some pros and cons to blending your food, and the answer might not be what you thought it would be. Let’s see if blending eases digestion and is more beneficial for your health.
So, Does Blending Food Make it Easier to Digest? Yes, blending food has been shown to make it easier to digest – as it breaks down your food (fruits and vegetables) into their smallest pieces. Making your food more readily available and easily absorbed by the body. On the other hand, blending may have several drawbacks. Let’s check out its benefits and drawbacks of blending.
Blending your food
You might have heard from some people – especially fitness enthusiasts – about the benefits of blending your food. Nothing is sacred anymore, from fruit smoothies to chicken breast, and anything is blendable as long as your blades can take it.
Blender itself was invented in 1922 by Stephen Poplawski. In terms of food blending, it was first used to aid patients in hospitals that require specific diets, especially those who were unable to chew. Now you can see people everywhere, from food courts with their fruit smoothies and gyms with their protein shakes – using the blender to its full potential.
Benefits of blending your food:
- Faster process and more nutrient absorption – One of the benefits of blending is that it’s faster and more efficient in terms of
processing. In blending, you don’t care how it looks and which ingredients come first. You only need to get all your ingredients and put them inside a blender. Blending is a magnificent way to save time when you are in a hurry; this also means you don’t need to chew and avoid choking hazards. When you’re in a hurry, you tend not to chew your food properly, and according to sources, that could lead to indigestions and nutrients being lost and not absorbed properly in your gut. Furthermore, the leftover unchewed food could become a bacteria breeding ground and give you all sorts of stomach issues. With blending, you avoid this altogether. Your food is properly mashed and readily absorbed by your stomach lining.
- Retain several nutritional elements – Compared to blending, cooking your food could sometimes lead to a loss of nutritional content – that is especially true for heat-sensitive vitamins such as vitamin C and B. By blending your vegetables instead of cooking it, you can retain heat-sensitive vitamins, which otherwise could be lost when cooked.
- Retain the fiber inside the food ingredients – Blending retains the fiber inside your food ingredients better when compared to juicing. This is because when you juice your fruits, the process will strain nonliquid components which include fiber. By blending your food, you are homogenizing the fiber with all the other components, making it easier (and unavoidable) for you to consume.
- Forces you to eat all elements – a more balanced meal If you are the type of person who is picky with their meal, then maybe blending could be
the answer for you. Blending your meal would force you to consume the meal in its entirety with no exception, just as we’ve stated in the previous point. Sort of like ripping off the bandaid quickly and do it in one go.
Drawbacks of blending your food:
- An increase in surface areas could mean an increase in cross-contamination of food – The first hazard you might encounter if you blend your food is the possibility of increased contamination in your food. Blending your food involves chopping your food up into the smallest pieces possible, which in turn increases the ratio of your surface area to volume. An increase in surface area may lead to more possibility of cross-contamination of your food, and in the end, increased risk of food poisoning. That’s why you need to make sure that the food products are properly handled and eliminate any possibility of bacterial contamination.
- Cooking can activate several nutritional contents within your food. Although heating your food could lead to loss of nutrients in your food, some nutritional content is activated by heating the food slightly. This is true for food like tomatoes, the bioavailability of antioxidants in tomatoes increases when it goes through heat treatments. One way to approach this is to slightly blanch the vegetables before starting to blitz or blend them. This way, you increase their nutritional content and eliminate unwanted microorganisms, bloating enzymes, and pesticides on the veggies.
- No signaling of being full – When you chew your food, especially when you do it slowly and properly, your digestive system will release hormones and enzymes to let your brain know that you’re full. When you drink your food instead of chewing it, you might miss this process overall, and that could lead to overconsumption.
- Food may not be properly digested due to unreleased enzymes. One of the importance of chewing properly is to release saliva, which has digestive
enzymes that help break down your food into forms that your body can absorb. Blending your food is essentially just drinking it, skipping the whole chewing process. This means some nutrients may not be properly digested due to a lack of digestive enzymes.
- Weak jaws and orthodontic problems – If you often only drink your food instead of chewing, it could lead to weak jaw and orthodontic issues. Recent findings stated that the softer your food is, the weaker your jaw will be – and this also leads to weaker teeth. Not using your teeth could mean losing your teeth!
What’s the final decision? Should we blend or chew? We’ve covered all the benefits and drawbacks of blending your food vs. chewing it. Essentially, it all depends on your objectives. Because in several circumstances, blending can be good for you. For example, when you’re short on time or when you want to increase your dietary intake.
But avoid only blending your food as your only option for consuming food, as it might lead to digestive and orthodontic issues. So, look at blending food as something complementary to your daily diet – morning smoothies, breakfast on the go, or when you want to bulk up and gain some weight. Hopefully, you’ll get the full nutritional benefits of both techniques!