Is Juicing Actually Healthy?
Juicing has taken off in the nutrition world. There are many health-conscious individuals who have taken it upon themselves to drink fresh-squeezed veggie and fruit juice every day. While this is a very healthy drink choice, there are some flaws that come up with juicing every day. To be honest, it might surprise you to read that it’s better to enjoy a fresh glass of juice once or twice a week, or as a treat every now and then.
Although there are great ingredients in these juices, if prepared right, there are always downsides to consider when talking about practicing a nutrition health craze every day. Here’s some food for thought to help you consider how to juice smarter (if you should even do it at all):
1. Juice can be packed with sugar.
It may surprise you to hear that most bottled juices have the amount of sugar to match that of CocaCola. Although the sugar in CocaCola isn’t natural and the sugar in juices is, it’s still too much and can quickly add up to even more throughout your day. Whether they’re organic and refrigerated or conventional and off the shelf. Juices that are made from fruit as well as veggies like beets and carrots, can spike your blood sugar.
It is true that with very fresh, minimally processed juices will offer quickly absorbed nutrients, however, this is quickly counteracted due to the sugar spikes. Also, the nutrients are quickly processed and released from your body shortly after drinking them. This makes it not really worth it.
2. Juice doesn’t offer much fiber.
Juiced fruits and veggies are fiber-free—all that good fiber gets left behind once the juice is squeezed out of it and tossed out. Fiber is essential to our bodies because it helps boost gut health and facilitates waste removal.
Although there are those who think of juicing as a digestive aid, many people on juice cleanse actually often have a problem with constipation.
3. Juice won’t keep you full.
Not only is juice lacking fiber while being full of sugar, it also skips out on fat and protein. Without fat, protein, and fiber to fill your belly and signal to the brain that you’re done eating, you’ll feel your tummy rumbling looking for more sustenance within an hour of sucking your juice dry.
4. Juice’s nutrients don’t last long.
Especially for store-bought juices, no matter how clean they are, the nutrients most likely have died out due to time. Unfortunately, the nutrients in the fruits and veggies used to create your juice start degrading the moment they are exposed to light and air.
5. Juicing can be wasteful.
Taking a bag full of fresh food that could feed a small family and pulverizing it down to liquid form is wasteful. Plain and simple. Why not try eating the fruits and veggies the way they were grown and really feel the energy, nutrients, and sustenance that they have to offer in natural form.
How to make juicing healthier:
Although the point has been made above that juicing might not be all that it’s cracked up to be, if you would like to try it, follow these tips rather than buying from a store!
- Make it yourself! That way, you can control the ingredients, portion size, sugar content, and freshness. Be sure to:
- Skip high-sugar fruits, such as pineapples, mangoes, bananas, etc.
- Go heavy on the greens.
- Use lemons, limes, green apples, ginger, mint, and turmeric to add flavor.
- Keep in mind that juicing for weight-loss or detox is not a healthy approach, nor is it sustainable. Instead, try an elimination diet.
- If you’re buying an off-the-shelf juice drink, read the label:
- Check how many servings there are per bottle. Some bottles have two to three servings, and you can wind up drinking far more sugar than you intended.
- Check the grams of sugar per serving. If it’s more than 6 grams, skip it altogether.
- Check the grams of fiber. Many bottled juices have none at all, which is bad news for your body, particularly if you’re trying to keep blood sugar stable.
- Be sure the drink is made with certified organic, minimally processed ingredients.
- If you’re ordering at a juice bar, be sure to:
- Look for organic ingredients, so your drink is as free of chemical pesticides as possible.
- Ask the barista not to sweeten your drink with fruit juices like apple, orange, grape, and so on.
- If you prefer a sweeter drink, add a little stevia or touch of raw honey.