Squeezing out the pros and cons of juicing.
Juicing: Its pros and cons
There’s nothing like a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice to make a breakfast feel complete. Juicing – extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables – is popular with many. But is it as healthy as proclaimed?
Novelty And Nutrition
Juicing can be a fun and portable way to add nutrition to your diet. If you struggle to eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, juicing can help you get there.
The good news is that the juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. Juicing may also help you incorporate a broader variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, such as kale, spinach or tropical fruits.
Not Equal to Whole Foods
However, juicing shouldn’t be the only way to get these nutrients. Whole fruits and vegetables also contain healthy fibre, much of which is lost during juicing – especially if the skin and pulp are removed. Dietary fibre not only aids in digestion, but also may help improve blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Fibre also helps you feel full, which can help with weight control. Some promote juicing as a quick way to lose weight. However, a diet containing only fruits and vegetables isn’t balanced. Be sure you’re also meeting your needs for fibre, protein, calcium, iron and healthy fats. You can do this by incorporating juicing into a healthy-eating plan that includes a variety of whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, and whole fruits and vegetables.
Is It Right For You?
While juicing in moderation is generally healthy, certain types of juice may not be appropriate for everyone. A juice made of mostly fruits can be high in carbohydrates and sugars, which can influence blood sugar levels. For people with kidney disease, fruits that are high in potassium – such as melons and bananas – can cause complications and may need to be avoided. Juicing can also be a significant source of calories, depending on the contents and the portion size you consume. But without the fibre to keep you feeling full, you may find that you’re hungry sooner. Add these up and you have a recipe for potential weight gain if not kept in check. If you’re not sure whether juicing is a healthy option for you, talk to your doctor or a dietician.
Juicing can also be a significant source of calories, depending on the contents and the portion size you consume.