Is juicing good for you is a question I’ve been asked a lot recently. With all the bad press it’s been getting recently I’m not surprised people are confused about it.
The main reasons that juicing is getting such a bad rap is because of the sugar juices contain and their lack of fiber.
Let’s take a look at the sugar problem first.
When they compare the amount of sugar in fruit juice to the amount of sugar in a can of coke they are not talking about the same type of sugar. The sugar in a can of coke is sucrose (table sugar) a refined sugar, while the sugar in a home made juice is fructose, a natural fruit sugar.
The difference between them is that sucrose in a can of coke is absorbed quickly into the blood stream causing a spike in blood sugar which triggers the hormone insulin.
Fructose on the other hand is low glycemic and does not cause a rise in blood sugar. It is processed mainly by the liver where it is converted to glucose and stored as glycogen, and glycerol which can raise levels of triglycerides (blood fats).
Triglycerides could build up in liver cells and lead to non alcoholic fatty liver disease and reduce liver function. Triglycerides released into the bloodstream in excess can increase the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease. Researchers have so far only shown an association of fructose with these conditions. Clinical trials have yet to show that it causes them.
In a study published in 2008 researchers found that consuming 100 percent fruit juice was not associated with obesity or being overweight in children and adolescents. Yet, schools are banning fruit juice.
Most of the research has centered around high fructose corn syup (HFCS), a liquid sweetener alternative to sucrose (table sugar) which crops up in everything from soft drinks to sliced bread, processed meats, cookies and mayonnaise. Statistics show that the average consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has increased from 0.5 pounds a year in 1970 to a shocking 43.5 pounds a year in 2010. Health experts agree that it is more deadly than table sugar and should be avoided.
What’s the problem with lack of fiber?
One advantage of eating fruit whole is that the fiber it contains slows down the absorption of the fructose and helps you to feel fuller longer.
When you juice fruit and vegetables you leave the insoluble fiber behind. It’s well established that fiber is important for good health and the majority of people don’t get enough of it.
If you are only having one or two juices a day and eating plenty of whole fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds then it’s hardly a problem.
So, is juicing good for you?
Firstly, although juicing has been labelled a fad, it’s been used as a way to detox and heal the body by naturopaths and other health practitoners for hundreds of years.
The famous cancer specialist, Dr. Max Gerson, prescribed a diet containing large amounts of raw vegetable juices as part of his successful detox treatment for cancer and other degenerative diseases. The juices were mainly green juices although he did let his patients have an orange juice first thing in the morning as mnay were Americans and that is what they were used to.
There are many advantages associated with juicing. Juicing makes it easier to give your body the important nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals it needs. Some argue that juicing offers a more efficient way for your body to absorb nutrients without placing undue pressure on your digestive system.
According to Dr Paavo Airola, a naturopathic physician, and author of “How to Keep Slim, Healthy and Young with Juice Fasting” juice fasting is the number one healer and rejuvenator. He explains that “during a juice fast the toxic waste products that interfere with the nourishment of the cells is accelerated and stimulated”.
We are being told by scientists that your 5 a day is out of date and that we need 7 – 9 servings of fruit and vegetables to prevent cancer and other diseases and prolong our lives. If like a lot of people you don’t like vegetables that much or have trouble getting in your 5 a day then juicing is a good way to get most of the nutrients they contain.
Supermodels swear by juicing to detox and lose weight and many people have been inspired to start juicing after seeing Joe Cross’s incredible transformation in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He lost 100lbs and cured his autoimmune disease thanks to a 60 day juice fast and 3 months on a plant based diet.
Jason Vale, aka “The Juice Master”, has gained fame for his juice based diets. He claims swapping junk food for juice helped him overcome severe asthma, psoriasis, eczema and hay fever, as well as helping him lose weight. He says ” The overall effect is that the body has a chance to cleanse efficiently and heal. This is one of the main reasons why so many apparent ‘different’ aliments improve on a freshly extracted natural juice diet.”
If done correctly, juicing can be an incredibly effective way to lose weight. Most fruits contain a lot of natural sugar, which can make weight loss difficult so make sure to use juicing recipes that include lots of nutritious vegetables and only a little fruit for added sweetness if weight loss is your primary goal.
Lemons and limes are two fruits that are low in fructose and are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark, deep green leafy vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing.
I recovered from chronic fatigue with juicing so to answer the question “Is juicing good for you?” I would say without a doubt, YES! Ready to kick start your healthy eating plan, lose weight and renew your energy with some healthy juicing?