Consuming vegetables as salad or juice: Which is healthier?

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Vegetables Image
Representational Image

Should you be eating your vegetables or drinking them in the form of juice? Nutritionists say that this is one question they have been asked multiple times.

This question especially comes from those who find it difficult to eat raw vegetables in the form of salads, or simply don’t have an appetite for them. Experts are of the opinion that “Whether you eat or drink them, the vegetables remain the same, what changes is the way your body absorbs the nutrition from these vegetables.”

Vegetables in salad

Vegetable Salad Image

Vegetables are known to be a rich source of fiber. Also, they are loaded with water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins can be easily lost because of oxidation, or when they are exposed to oxygen in the air.

When you’re chopping vegetables for salads, you are actually losing some nutrients. This happens when you store the vegetables, chop them, serve then and finally eat them. Also, if you’re cooking and eating the veggies, then you may be losing the nutrients even more, because of the heat involved in cooking.

What’s more, the process of chewing and eating leads to a slower release of vitamins and minerals from vegetables.

Vegetables consumed as juice

Vegetable Juice Image

We get an instant rush of immediate goodness when we juice raw vegetables and drink them with their fiber intact, say nutritionists. This means a great deal of vitamin and mineral absorption, as the juicer has done half of the digestive tract’s work for you. Drinking vegetable juice also reduces the transit time of veggies in the gastric lining. It reduces nutrient loss which occurs inside the body because of an acidic environment in the tummy.

“How will you reach the finish line quicker? By walking or sprinting towards it? Sprinting right? Your glass of vegetable juice is like sprinting towards the finish line. The antioxidants kickstart even before they reach your intestines, and absorb more quickly,” nutritionists say.

Drinking vegetable juice makes vitamins and minerals reach the absorption point faster than eating, and therefore increases its bioavailability. It is also an effective way to increase consumption of vegetables.

“Where one would manage to eat only a handful of spinach when in the form of salad, in a glass of vegetable juice one can easily consume a bunch of it, in addition to tomatoes, carrots and maybe a little bit of bottle gourd or any other vegetable of your choice,” they explain.

Quantity and quality can both be catered to, by drinking a rainbow of vegetables. Additionally, preparing vegetable juice is far less time-consuming than chopping veggies for salad or for cooked meals.

This is not to infer that you should avoid salads and drink only glassfuls of veggie juice. Enjoy your salad and cooked vegetable dishes like you have always been doing, but make it a point to drink a glass of raw vegetable juice every day and get ready to see a difference in your hair, skin, immunity and vitality, nutritionists assure.