Stop Juicing and Start Eating for Optimal Health
By glutenfreegigi on January 17, 2014
The Internet is Abuzz with Juicy Hype
We’re half way through January and per usual, the internet is abuzz with juice cleanses, green smoothie challenges and detox fasts.
Too bad those extreme tactics aren’t necessary to cleanse and detox the body. So many hungry folks out there, claiming increased energy, brighter skin, healthier hair… starving themselves in the name of optimal health. It is sad and uninformed.
That’s not opinion. It is a healthy dose of my signature “Smart Nutrition Backed by Science”.
Before you click away with ruffled feathers, take a moment to hear me out and understand what science says about juicing and nutrition.
I Didn’t Say Sell Your Juicer!
I am not suggesting you never juice again or that you must forego a frothy smoothie from time to time.
The occasional (even daily) healthy juice blend or smoothie is a terrific addition to a balanced gluten-free (or any) diet.
We blend a quaff or two around my house periodically. I’ve even shared a few of those concoctions with you in theRecipe Index. Try the Red Velvet Smoothie, the Apple Pie in a Glass or the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for a healthy twist on some favorite dessert flavors.
The Problem with Juicing Is…
The problem with juicing comes in when these fruit and vegetable blends are touted as healing elixirs, liver cleansers and system detoxification potions… and when staunch juicing advocates suggest a juice fast lasting anywhere from several days to a month or more.
While adding fresh, in-season, (preferably) organic fruits and veggies to the diet is always a great choice, going to the extreme and using an all-liquid, all-juice program is not.
That’s not my opinion. It is science-backed fact.
There is No Magic in Juicing
According to the most current and up-to-date research from leading nutrition, health and medical authorities, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that extracted juices are healthier than their whole-food counterpart. (I covered this topic in-depth in the January issue of Food Solutions Magazine in the article, “Nutrition Facts about Juicing”, where I lay out the research, along with the pros and cons of juicing in detail.)
In fact, new research links juicing to eating disorders – not surprising when the majority of individuals who opt for the liquid nutrition plan are doing so (whether they admit it openly or not) to lose weight.
There’s more, too… actually chewing our food, or masticating, is an important part of our health! For more on this, be sure to read, “Chew on This: The Art of Eating is Dead“.
So, Why is Juicing Heavily Promoted as Healthy and Cleansing?
Juicing is advocated to rid the body of toxins and give the liver a break because during a juice cleanse, one essentially removes all processed foods, refined sugars, additives and unnatural ingredients from the diet.
It is true that doing so gives the liver a much-needed break from processing heavy, inflammatory agents found in processed and highly refined foods.
Remember, the liver is our detoxifying organ, so the fewer toxins we put into our body, the less stress we place on our liver.
But a juice cleanse is not necessary to provide our liver – and the rest of the body – with a healthy reprieve from dietary toxins.
Here’s a Novel Approach to Optimal Health
Eat real food. (I know, I just blew you away, didn’t I?)
Fresh fruits and veggies have nutrients our bodies need. Some foods, like those I share in my article, “Naturally Gluten-Free Super Foods for Optimal Health” (and other foods, too) contain exceptional antioxidants and enzymes that benefit the body in very specific ways.
Eating in-season produce is also a huge bonus for the human body. That’s why I devote an entire section of Food Solutions Magazine to In-Season Nutrition each month. You can learn more about the benefits of eating in-season in my article, “7 Benefits of Consuming In-Season Fruits and Vegetables“.
Now you know why I say Stop Juicing and Start Eating.
And while I do not *wow* you with hype and extreme methods to quickly achieve optimal health, weight loss or other goals you may have related to your gluten-free, allergen-free diet, I can offer you this…
Achieving Optimal Health and Weight is Easy
It really is simple to reach your health goals. There is no magic potion and the best part is, you already have what it takes to reach your goals. Dedication to YOURSELF.
That’s right, you must be dedicated to YOU.
Each day is a new beginning on your journey to optimal health.
Each day, you can choose to consume lean proteins, complex carbohydrates (in the form of those in-season fruits and veggies I advocate), healthy fats and plenty of pure water for hydration.