What’s the Deal with Juicing?
Juicing has really caught on in recent years. There are new juice shops popping up everywhere, and diets and cleanses are on the rise. Fresh, cold-pressed juices are on the forefront of health and fitness now a days, but what are some realities to juicing? What about the celebrity and Hollywood juice “cleanses” and weight-loss remedies? We’re going to touch on both, and talk about the pros and cons of each.
We’ve got to get one thing straight before we start. All juices are not created equal. The orange juices you buy off the shelf at Safeway, and the juice you just made at home with your brand new juicer, are completely different. One is essentially a processed sugar bomb (the store bought). The other, (the one you made), is chockablock full of real fruit and vegetables.
Lets start with fruits and veggies. The recommended daily serving for fruits and vegetables is at least 5 servings per day. That is a lot and most people don’t get that much. That is where juicing comes in. It is easy to fit your daily allotment of fruits and vegetables in a tall glass of juice. Fresh, cold-pressed juices made from organic fruits and vegetables are quite good for you. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals, just like any whole fruit or vegetable, although they generally taste better and are more convenient. However, they contain little to no fiber, which can prove problematic.
Whole fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which aids in digestion. It also allows your body to properly absorb nutrients. Without fiber, the juice you are drinking is absorbed much quicker than say a dinner meal with a source of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. There is simply nothing else in the way of your body breaking down the sugar and using it. Drinking just juice can spike your blood sugar levels and it does not remain in your system long enough to reap the full benefits. This is where doing a juice “fast” or “cleanse” can be an issue. Sure, you may initially lose a bunch of weight or even feel more energetic. But, you are not providing your body with the proper fuel as a whole. Essentially, you’re giving your body large doses of sugar every 3-4 hours, and that will not be helpful.
Now, are all juices bad? No! Juices are an outstanding and fun way to get your nutrients and your daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Do away with your cleanse though, and add a couple of fresh pressed juices to your daily diet. A well rounded diet full of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, supplemented with your fresh juice, is an awesome way to go about getting your nutrients.
Also, always note your fruit to vegetable ratio. One or two pieces of fruit should be enough to make that veggie drink taste sweet and delicious. It is easy to enjoy a large glass of fruit juice because it is all sweet, but don’t forget to include a hefty amount of vegetables too! Cucumber, kale, celery, spinach, beets, and carrots are all great vegetables to add to you juice.
Try this fresh juice with your juicer at home!
Mean Green Juice
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 cucumber
- 6 large kale leaves
- ½ lemon
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 green apple
By: Katie Summers