Archive for March, 2013

How Beneficial is Juicing?

Here are some myths and facts about this recent trend:

 

Juicing gives the digestive system a break. Truth: The digestive system is designed to handle eating normal foods in normal amounts.  While eating high-fat foods for an extended period of time may put stress on your system, drinking only juice on a “juice fast” will not provide any extra benefits.  Your body gets a rest every night when you are fasting.  Your digestive system only really needs a break when you’re sick.

Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. Truth: Juicing provides a good alternative for people who just can’t seem to stomach raw, whole fruits and vegetables.  But juicing cannot and should not entirely replace them.  It is fine and beneficial, but whole, raw fruits and vegetables should also be consumed in order to get more nutrients and fiber.

Juicing makes it easier to absorb the nutrients.  Truth: While it’s true that enzymes get broken down and degraded while the fruits and vegetables are being processed, this is not always desirable.  Some enzymes in their native form are more beneficial and the human body has its own enzymes to help break down foods when necessary.  There are also fewer nutrients in the juice because the nutrient-rich skin containing vitamins and minerals, is discarded.

Juicing is healthier. Truth: This claim is large, yet extremely vague.  Its ambiguity leads people to believe that juicing is all-around more beneficial than consuming raw fruits and vegetables.  And while it is good if people aren’t getting enough fruits and veggies, it is certainly not the top recommended method of consumption.  People often can’t handle the unpleasant sight/smell/taste of purely vegetable juices which are the best option among the juices. And when more fruits and ingredients are added, the sugar content soars!

 

Overall message: Juicing may be a good addition to your current lifestyle, but don’t believe all the claims you hear.  Always check with a registered dietitian before you cut out/replace part of your diet.