Juicing – Yay or Nay?

Juicing has recently been increasing in popularity among efforts to be healthy. The definition of the term juicing is typically a 3-10 day period when an individual’s diet consists mostly of vegetable and fruit juices. One can easily see the appeal to this trend: increasing your intake of the veggies you maybe don’t prefer to eat while only tasting those more potent fruit juices. According to the American Journal of Medicine, “it is widely marketed as providing health benefits, including weight loss, flushing toxins from the body, and increasing energy.”

Is this strategy of attempting to be healthy more helpful or harmful?

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Juicing can actually lose a lot of the good things we find in our fruits and veggies such as antioxidants and phytochemicals which are found in the skin of these foods that aren’t included in the juicing process. The effects of fiber found in these fruits and vegetables are lost as well. Fiber is crucial for keeping you feeling full and for regulating digestion!

While the high water content of a juicing diet can help one stay hydrated as well, the negative effects seem to outweigh the benefits. Despite the common result of weight loss in just a few short days, juicing can have a negative impact on your metabolism if done for a long period of time. Lean muscle mass breaks down only after a couple of days, which is bound to happen while juicing if one isn’t getting the balanced diet of proteins, grains, dairy, etc. that is recommended.

An important fact to remember is that our bodies are wonderful machines! We already have an immune system and various organs that assist the body in getting rid of toxins. Nothing significantly shows that we need an outside source to cleanse our systems.

Registered Dietitian Deborah Levy suggests a limit of 3 days if deciding to go on a juicing “cleanse.” Another RD, Elizabeth Sommerfeld, emphasizes that smoothies could be a better alternative to juicing, because they retain a lot more of the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

Another option is to incorporate juicing INTO a well-balanced diet of your proteins, grains, and other essential foods. You can get all the positive benefits without it being harmful to your health!

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References:

 CNN Health

The American Journal of Medicine

Victoria Advocate

Juicing Picture

 

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