Is Juicing Healthier than Eating Whole Fruits and Vegetables?
Celebrities like actress Gwyneth Paltrow and best-selling author Kris Carr popularized juicing as the new mainstream diet fad, but do the benefits of juicing actually live up to all the hype, and is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Juicing extracts juices from fresh fruits and vegetables, and proponents of juicing claim that this liquid form is easier to digest than whole fruits and vegetables and that nutrient absorption increases. However, no research has verified these theories, and in actuality, juicing removes fiber, a component that enhances digestion. Fiber is found in the pulp that is removed through juicing. In addition to assisting in digestive processes, fiber increases satiety, which may help decrease caloric intake throughout the day. Some juicing enthusiasts encourage incorporating the leftover pulp into other meals or adding it back into the juice. However, adding the pulp back kind of defeats the purpose of juicing, so a blender for smoothies might be a better investment for someone who wants that added fiber.
On the plus side, juicing can provide increased fruit and vegetable consumption for those that don’t meet the recommended servings, which is less than half of Americans. And juicing is a great way to sneak in greens such as kale and spinach for the kiddos!
As for the claim that juicing removes toxins from the body, no current evidence validates this, and the liver and kidney are actually quite effective in removing toxins from the body. Another myth floating around overstates weight loss success from juicing, where weight loss is usually from a loss of water weight. Juicing can actually add more calories to the diet than people realize, and without the added fiber to increase fullness, juicing may not be worth the added calories.
My advice: If you obtain plenty of fiber throughout the day, juicing once a day is okay, but don’t rely on juicing for every meal. And don’t store your juice for the next day; drink it right away to prevent harmful bacteria build-up! If you don’t consume enough fiber during the day and want to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption, add a healthy smoothie instead of juicing once a day.
Caution: Juicing for every meal can cause dizziness, nausea, constipation, fatigue, irritability, and electrolyte imbalance. If you have diabetes, juicing with fruits and starchy vegetables can raise your blood sugar rapidly since nutrients are absorbed quicker.
Yummy-looking smoothies I want to try!
For more nutrition related articles by Danica Pelzel, visit http://veganutritionist.com/category/nutritionhealth/