In the diet and health world, you’ll find many fads and trends. Juicing has become popular as a way to cleanse the body, lose weight, and greatly increase intake of vitamins and minerals. It’s always valuable to look at the science behind a diet trend, so just how healthy is juicing?
On the one side of the juicing trend, we have a lot of marketing effort. If fruits and vegetables are good for you and your body, then drinking them in one go each day, must surely be of benefit?
However, the science behind it is more complex than the marketing line, and the reality is a tale of both pros and cons that are well worth considering before integrating juicing into a diet regimen.
The Pros of Juicing
Many people juice vegetable and fruits on a daily basis without thinking too much about the pros and cons of the activity. However, it’s always wise to look beyond the marketing lines and examine the nutritional value and science behind it.
In this spirit, here are some of the health benefits of juicing:
• If your daily diet is poor, then juicing even on a semi-regular basis can provide your body some much needed nutrition. The striping away of much of the fiber content in fruits and vegetables by the pulverization process makes it easy for your body to absorb the nutrients faster, thus giving you a high dose of nutrients. These nutrients contribute to your overall health and well-being and boost your immune system.
• The pulverization of much of the fiber also unlocks some of the enzymes found in some fruits and vegetables and makes them available for digestion and absorption.
• If you juice regularly you’re habituating yourself to a dietary activity that is actually of great benefit. You’re thinking of your body, your health and what you’re putting into your body, and developing this habit is of massive psychological benefit, particularly for those who have had previously poor eating habits. This change in habit can lead to other positive life changing activities, including regular exercise and eating more foods of greater nutritional value. Many of us don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, so drinking even one small cup of freshly juiced vegetables and fruits can help our bodies.
The Cons of Juicing
Despite the strong marketing line, juicing has quite a couple of pitfalls. Much of the nutritional science behind it is still being debated in diet circles, but there are some very specific problems that are slowly becoming more well-known.
Read on to find out some of the cons of juicing to put the debate into sharp perspective:
• Juicing fruits and vegetables actually strips away most of the insoluble fiber content due to the pulverization process. Eating fiber regularly is essential to a smooth digestive process, and helps us to maintain a healthy weight because it causes us to feel fuller for longer.
• As our bodies absorb a super hit of nutrition due to the stripping away of much of the fiber, we also absorb a lot of natural sugar, this is especially critical when juice blends consist mostly of fruits. This creates an abnormal spike in sugar levels, which is clearly problematic for diabetics and promotes weigh gain. Over time, this excess of fructose sugar will cause us weight problems as they are converted to fats and stored by our bodies. In this way, regular juicing will have the opposite of a beneficial health effect. However, it is important to note that this sugar overload only occurs when fruit is the predominant ingredient, when you juice a ratio of 80% to 20% or 90% to 10% of vegetables to fruits this is not a problem.
• Juicing can be expensive, with a quality machine costing around $150 or more and the cost in produce, where sometimes many vegetables are needed to make just one glass of juice. This will be expensive over time.
Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Juicing
It seems as though juicing is here to stay, at least for the near future, but it’s wise to consider both the pros and cons behind it. To supplement an already poor diet, drinking juice can offer superior nutritional and health benefits.