To Juice Or Not To Juice? [an answer to this old question]

Taken from here.


There’s a lot of hype around juicing and its health benefits, and nearly as much skepticism about the expensive nutrition trend. “Don’t drink fruit juice and absolutely avoid a high-fructose diet,” says Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Body and advocate of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. But many swear by the health benefits of drinking juiced fruits and vegetables regularly.

So is it truly better to juice fruits and vegetables rather than eating them whole? There are many sides to the story, so here’s our best guide through the question: To Juice Or Not To Juice?

According to Harvard University’s School of Public Health, eating whole fruits and vegetables is most nutritionally beneficial, however, juicing can still help you reach your 5 to 9 a day recommendation. Juicing vegetables and fruits retains most of their nutrients: including vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals found in the whole food. The primary loss in the juicing process is fiber from the peels and pulp of certain fruits and vegetables. But by leaving some pulp in the juice, you can retain some dietary fiber. Sorry Tim Ferriss, but homemade fruit and vegetable juice is more than just sugar-water.

In the opposing corner to Tim Ferriss stands the pro-juice fiends who say it can lower your risk for cancer, detoxify the body, promote weight loss and aid digestion. SPOILER ALERT: There are no magical healing powers and weight loss secrets found in the art of juicing. Juicing enthusiasts believe that your body can absorb nutrients better in liquid form than whole, thanks to the removal of excess fiber for ease of digestion. (Think: Eating applesauce instead of apples when you’re sick–eating something that’s already been broken down for you is just easier on the stomach, in most cases.) Likewise, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to corroborate these claims of juicing bliss. And in regards to juice being necessary for detoxification, many stand by the fact that your kidney and liver are awesome organs that are made to efficiently eliminate toxins for you, barring any medical conditions or an extremely toxic diet.

In 2005, CBS News released a story discussing how juice is as bad as soda. Dr. William Dietz, with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, “Parents need to be firm – thirst is satisfied with water, hunger with solid foods. Caloric beverages can blur that line.” But Dr. Dietz is referring mostly to concentrated fruit juices with added sugar and preservatives. Fresh-pressed juice is a different food entirely. And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show that only 24.4% of Americans get the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which means that 75.6% of Americans aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables and are most likely missing essential vitamins and minerals from their diet–something that can be remedied easily with a single fresh-pressed vegetable juice.

Juicing can be an excellent alternative to supplement the vitamins and minerals that you may be lacking. I believe the moral of the story comes down to moderation. Try to obtain vitamins and minerals from whole food sources, but if you want to juice it up here and there – that can be beneficial too.

Consider what you’re trying to get out of your juice. Some homemade juices can be very nutrient-dense, so use them as a supplement to fruits and vegetables that you are not obtaining from whole food sources. Here is a juice recipe that is filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta carotenes, antioxidants, Potassium, Calcium and more!

Beet, Carrot, Pear-Apple Juice (modified recipe)

1 beet

1 carrot

1 apple

1 pear

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 inch piece of ginger


Juicing Tips:

1. If juicing is your thing, opt for a cold compress juicer. These juicers efficiently process leafy greens, fruits, and other vegetables without adding any heat like some centrifugal juicers do. The cold compress technique allows fruit enzymes to remain intact and prevents oxidation of the nutrients in these foods. This way, the vital nutrients and minerals found in fruits and vegetables are retained. When compared to store-bought bottle juices and drinks, home juicing is a healthy alternative to gain the benefits of fruits and vegetables without artificial sweeteners and additives.

2. Only make as much as you can consume at one time. Juice can harbor bacteria quickly if stored, so juice up and drink up right away.

3. To retain fiber content in the juice, try to include some pulp when juicing.

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