There is a lot of confusing ‘talk’ in the media about whether we should juice or whether it is the new anti-christ. Here is my view on juicing…
The Benefits of Juicing
We have seen a huge rise and trend in juice diets over the last year for weight loss which has overpowered all the other benefits to juicing.
Joe Cross’ story, told through “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, is a typical example of how juicing has been charged with the motivation for weight loss. What is often overlooked in the press, is how juicing almost immediately cured all his health complaints. Though Cross emphasises this in his documentary, the main message which everyone is attuned to absorb is the weight loss benefit which is a startling example of how we are still making a shallow connection between juicing and health.
That being said, juicing is working as a revolutionary catalyst for many. Nutritionists all over (including myself) have used juicing as a way to get people to change their view of fruits and vegetables. It is easy to get people to commit to drinking a fresh juice every day; it’s not intimidating and they are delicious. It doesn’t take long for people to feel the benefits, for their tastebuds to change, and most powerful of all, for their mindset to shift.
Juicing is a tool for improving all aspects of health, our hair, skin, nails and reducing risks of cancers and diseases.
There are far more benefits from juicing real fruits and vegetables than from vitamin supplements. Whole food sources have a higher quality of vitamins and minerals which our bodies absorb more effectively.
Sugar and Fibre?
There has been a lot of negative press on juices lacking the fibre from their fruits and vegetables has made a lot of people avoid juices and forget their high nutrient density. When they are integrated into everyday eating, their low fibre content does not need to be a concern. It is when food-eliminating juice diets are undertaken for prolonged periods of time, that problems associated with lack of fibre often occur.
Sugar! A huge topic of debate for years and continues to be so evermore. With no thanks to long-life and concentrated juices, juicing is tainted in the eyes of many for being high in sugar. However, fresh, concentrated and long life need to be recognised as completely different juice products. The sugar in fresh juices is of a far higher quality and more nutrient dense. Further, the juice market has come on leaps and bounds and there are so many green juices as options now which can contain no sugar at all.
Further, there has been so much written damning sugar that many people have felt bullied into cutting all sugar out of their diets completely. What is so often forgotten is the simple fact that our bodies all need some form of sugar for our cells to properly function. People should not be concerned about drinking a juice with some fruit in, it is refined sugars which should be avoided.
When and How Much?
Drink a juice after eating. By combining the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants of the juice with food containing fibre, we will get more benefits than from drinking them alone. This has been shown to reduce LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.
How much or how many juices should be consumed daily is dependent on individual diets. I do think that one large fresh green juice a day will go a long way in meeting your daily dose of vitamins, nutrients and minerals and the good will probably out-weight the harm!
However – The bottom line: Forget juice. Eat fruit
Think of juice as ‘liquid calories’ that don’t satiate, are all too easy to over-consume and don’t pack in the fibre of whole fruit. Yes it’s healthy (in small doses) and has a divine flavour but it’s still high in natural sugars and ranks on a par with soft drink. Sip with caution. And eat a piece of whole fruit with a glass of water. Or dilute your juice with water or ice.
To discuss your individual nutritional needs please contact the Registered Nutritionist Emma Olliff.