You see new diets, weight loss programs, and body cleansing techniques coming out all the time promising amazing results or health benefits. One of the most recent trends claims to be your answer to not only dropping unwanted pounds, but also cleansing your body of harmful toxins: The Juice Diet or “juicing.” So what is “juicing” and is it safe? What are the health benefits of juicing and the potential adverse health effects? Experts have weighed in on the new trend and laid out all the pros and cons of juicing.
Everyone knows that fresh fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of any healthy, well balanced diet. They provide your body with tons of essential vitamins, Natural Anti-Inflammatory, and minerals and are also naturally low in calories. The juice diet or “juicing” basically involves squeezing only the juice from fruits and vegetables and drinking it as your meals.
Here’s what the experts have to say about “juicing”:
Juicing is a quick and easy way for someone who dislikes fruits and vegetables (like children) to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet. Juicing also potentially allows for someone to meet the USDA’s RDI of fruits and vegetables in just one single drink. It’s also a good way to get in some of those vegetables that you really dislike the taste of because you can combine them with sweet fruits to disguise the taste.
Even though it may seem like juicing has to be good for you, it does have its flaws that make it a difficult diet to sustain. One of the biggest problems with juicing is that you miss out on most of the vitamins and minerals in the fruits and vegetables. Most of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables are found in the flesh, so when you drink only the juice you’re not getting the most nutrients possible.
On top of that, the juice is also where the majority of the sugars are found in fruits. The fiber (which offsets the sugar spike and gives you the feeling of satiety) in fruits and vegetables is found mainly in the flesh so juicing may not only leave you feeling hungry, but can give you a big spike in your blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, because you don’t get the feeling of fullness from drinking only juice, you’ll tend to drink more which means more sugar in your diet and more calories. This also leads to the questions: How much juice should you drink? How many meals a day should you juice? How many days in a row can you safely juice?
The appropriate answers will vary person to person based on their needs, but one thing is clear, you cannot juice for long periods of time and maintain optimal health. Although fruits and vegetables are extremely good for you, they lack quality proteins and complex carbohydrates- both of which are crucial for maintaining lean muscle mass, proper nerve function, and a healthy digestive system.
As you can see, the problem with juicing is the majority of the health benefits come predominately from eating the entire fruit and vegetable, including the flesh which is left out during the juicing process. The other major problem with juicing is it’s not a sustainable diet because it lacks high quality proteins and complex carbohydrates needed for proper health.
If you are going to try “juicing” make sure to do it the smart way- in moderation and for short periods of time. Juicing can aid in weight loss and possibly help to cleanse your body, but only when it’s done as part of a more comprehensive weight loss plan that includes a good balance of all the major food groups and plenty of exercise.
Here is a delicious juice recipe with a sweet kick that is packed with tons of fruits, vegetables, and spices that are all known to contain powerful anti-inflammatories, including: turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper!
Spicy Turmeric Orangeade
- 1 large piece turmeric (4-5 inches or more)
- 1 large piece ginger (2-3 inches)
- 5 carrots
- 2 lemons
- 1 orange
- 1 cucumber
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tbsp. basil (fresh or powder – if using fresh, use 2 tbsp. and lightly crush it)
You’ll need a standard electric fruit/vegetable juicer. Juice the turmeric, ginger, carrots, lemons, orange, and cucumber. Then add the cayenne powder and basil to the juice. If you’re using fresh basil and fresh cayenne pepper, you may juice these too. Enjoy!
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