Does Blending Fruit Destroy Nutrients?

Does Blending Fruit Destroy Nutrients?

Smoothies have become a popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets. Their convenience makes it easy to throw together a refreshing and nutritious beverage in seconds. But some claim that blending fruits and veggies can destroy their nutrients. Is gulping down produce really just as good as eating whole foods? In this article, we’ll explore whether blending impacts phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. We’ll look at what happens when cell walls are broken during blending. And we’ll discuss maximizing nutrition whether you eat whole or blended produce. You may be surprised at what the science says about smoothies!

What Happens When You Blend Fruit?

Blending fruit breaks down cell walls and plant fibers. When you put fruit in a blender, the high-speed blade bursts open the plant cells, releasing their contents. This frees up nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are trapped inside the cells. Blending also breaks down the plant fibers and structure that would normally remain intact when you chew whole fruits. The smooth, liquid consistency of a blended smoothie makes nutrients more accessible for absorption compared to eating whole chunks of produce.

What Happens When You Blend Fruit?

However, some nutrients are more sensitive to heat and oxidation. Vitamins like vitamin C and folate can start to degrade when blended fruits are exposed to air, light, and higher temperatures in the blender motor. Polyphenols and carotenoids also start to oxidize. Using a high-powered blender for less time can reduce this nutrient loss. Overall, blending makes some nutrients easier to absorb while slightly depleting others. Most studies find that the increase in bioavailability outweighs the small losses.

Does Blending Fruit Destroy Nutrients?

Most research indicates blending does not destroy nutrients in the fruit. A 2013 study found that blending and homogenization increased the bioaccessibility of carotenoids in carrots. Another study on tomato puree found higher lycopene levels in blended versus whole tomatoes. Mixing antioxidants like carotenoids can make them more bioavailable for absorption.

A review in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety highlighted studies showing greater polyphenol and antioxidant bioavailability in blended fruit compared to whole fruit. The mechanical breakdown of fibers and cells releases these nutrients. However, some polyphenols are sensitive to oxidation, so minimizing blend times is ideal.

A few studies found marginal losses for some vitamins. One study in the Journal of Food Science saw a 29% loss of folate in blended strawberries. Another in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry observed up to 33% reductions in vitamin C from blending kiwifruit. But these are smaller losses compared to the benefits of increased nutrient absorption.

Overall, research does not support the claim that blending fruit significantly destroys nutrients. Cell disruption enhances the bioaccessibility of antioxidants and plant compounds. Just be mindful of heat and oxygen exposure when blending to preserve delicate vitamins.

Nutritional Benefits of Blended Fruit

Blending improves nutrient absorption from fruit. The mechanical breakdown of cell walls in blenders increases the bioaccessibility of many antioxidants, polyphenols, carotenoids, and vitamins inside the cells. One study found absorption of carotenoids from blended carrots was 3-6 times higher than from whole carrots. The smaller particle sizes allow nutrients to be more efficiently absorbed by the body.

Fiber is maintained when fruits are blended. The high-speed blades break down the fruit pulp but do not destroy the insoluble and soluble fibers. Fiber supports digestive health and helps you feel full. Smoothies provide fiber that is easier to consume compared to eating whole fruits.

Blending with liquids helps hydrate as you consume nutrients. The liquid consistency makes nutrients more bioavailable since the digestive system doesn’t have to break down fibrous cell walls. Adding milk or yogurt also provides protein, fat, and probiotics that boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Smoothies are an easy way to hydrate and can replace less nutrient-dense beverages.

Blending optimizes nutrient absorption from fruits while retaining important fiber. Smoothies are a nutritious option providing hydration and efficient delivery of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Nutritional Benefits of Blended Fruit

What Fruits Can You Mix Together?

Here are some delicious and nutritious fruit combinations you can mix together:

  • Berry Blend – Mix strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries for an antioxidant-rich smoothie. The flavors combine well.
  • Tropical Blend – Blend pineapples, mangoes, bananas, and passionfruit for a tropical fruit smoothie. The pineapple and mango pair nicely.
  • Citrus Blend – Oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and lime make a tangy and refreshing combo. Balance the tartness with some bananas.
  • Apple and Pear – Apples and pears go well together, especially with some cinnamon or maple syrup for extra flavor.
  • Stone Fruits – Peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots blend well for a summery smoothie.
  • Melon Medley – Combine honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon for a hydrating blend.
  • Berry and Banana – This classic combo is hard to go wrong with. The banana brings creaminess.
  • Dates and Apple – Blend these sweet ingredients with almond milk for a smoothie reminiscent of apple pie.

The key is experimenting and having fun combining fruits with complementary flavors and textures. Pair sweeter fruits with more tart ones and add creamy bananas or avocados for a luscious blend.

What Fruits Can You Mix Together?


Does putting fruit in a blender destroy all the healthy nutrients?

No, blending fruit does not destroy most of the nutrients. In fact, blending helps break down cell walls, so some nutrients, like carotenoids and polyphenols, become more bioavailable for absorption. Potential losses are small compared to the boost in nutrient absorption.

Is eating whole fruits or making blended smoothies for maximum nutrition better?

For maximum nutrition, a balance of whole fruits and smoothies is ideal. Smoothies provide efficient delivery of certain nutrients thanks to the blending process. But chewing whole fruits slows digestion, which can aid the absorption of some vitamins. Get benefits from both blended and whole fruits.

Do smoothies have less fiber than eating solid fruits?

No, the fiber content remains fairly equal between whole fruits and smoothies made from the same fruits. Blending breaks down the pulp but does not destroy the insoluble and soluble fibers found in fruits and veggies. Smoothies are an easy way to get dietary fiber.

What is the best way to preserve nutrients when making my own fruit smoothies?

To maximize nutrient retention, avoid over-blending fruits and vegetables. Use short blend times at lower speeds if possible. Minimize heat by adding ice and using short blend cycles. Add lemon juice to help preserve vitamin C. Use a high-quality blender to generate less friction heat. And consume smoothies immediately after blending.

Can I still get nutritional benefits from store-bought bottled smoothies?

You can still benefit from bottled smoothies, but be aware they likely contain fewer nutrients than a freshly blended version. Check labels for whole fruits and veggies at the top of the ingredients list. Opt for refrigerated, not shelf-stable varieties. And consume shortly after opening for maximum freshness and nutrient content.

Related Video: Do Blended Foods Lose Their Fiber? | Ask a Nutritionist | HealthiNation

Summing Up

In conclusion, current research indicates that blending generally does not destroy the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Breaking down plant cell walls through blending makes many antioxidants, phytochemicals, and carotenoids more readily available for absorption. Some water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and folate can degrade with heat and air exposure during blending, but these losses are relatively small.

Overall, the benefits of increased nutrient absorption from blended smoothies seem to outweigh any minor nutrient losses. Fiber content also remains intact when whole produce is blended. Just keep blend times short and minimize heat, light, and air exposure to preserve delicate nutrients. Enjoying both whole fruits and blended smoothies as part of a balanced diet will provide you with optimal nutritional benefits. Blend up your fruits and veggies without worries that you are obliterating the nutrients!

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