To Juice or Not to Juice?

Juicing has become a hot topic in nutrition over the past few years. You may have heard how juice cleanses supposedly detox the body, help you lose weight fast and aid in meeting your daily fruit and vegetable requirements.  While juicing might sound like the quick fix to some of your health and wellness worries, it is important to know the facts before hopping on the juicing bandwagon.

Detoxing the Body

Juicing claims to detox your body and purify it of toxins. But your body already has a built in system for detoxing itself – the liver, kidneys and GI tract. The best way to “detox” your body is to eat a general, healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Your body will do the work for you!

Weight Loss

Juice cleanses often require consuming only juiced fruits and vegetables for a few days at a time. This drastic drop in caloric intake may result in initial weight loss, but this type of eating plan is not easy to sustain for the long haul.  Not only will you feel tired and sluggish, you will be missing out on important nutrient groups like protein and fat!

Getting Your Fruit & Veggie Fix

It is recommended men and women get 5-5 1/2 cups combined of fruits and vegetables per day. Juicing seems like the perfect strategy to get your daily fix. But watch out! When you juice fruits and vegetables you may be consuming way more than you would if you ate the whole food. For example, you typically need 4-6 large carrots to yield 8 ounces of carrot juice. Most people would not eat that many carrots in one sitting! The best method for getting your fruit and veggie fix is to eat whole food sources.

What is Juicing?

Juicing by definition is the process of separating the juice from the pulp of fruits, vegetables and plant foods. When you juice fruits and vegetables you are separating all the good for you fiber away from the juice you consume. Fiber promotes gastrointestinal health and also helps you maintain a feeling of fullness. In addition, fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. The lack of fiber, fat and protein in a juice can lead to a spike in blood sugar and increased appetite.

Before you go juicing, think about the health consequences. You will be better off eating a balanced diet made up of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy! If you do decide to juice, be sure to include the pulp so you do not miss out on fiber!

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