Your body will benefit a lot from vegetable and fruits.

Chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular complications can be prevented or managed using some veggies and fruits.

Recent times have seen an interesting trend that involves “juicing”.

It refers to extraction of the wholesome juices of vegetables and fruits.

The main reasons for juicing are “detoxification” and increasing nutrients in meals.

Advocates of juicing claim it can aid absorption of nutrients, but opponents claim the practise removes fibre, a crucial nutrient.

The following is a comprehensive explanation of juicing alongside its advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding Juicing

Extracting juices from fresh vegetables and fruits is called juicing.

In the process, pulp, seed and other solid materials from vegetables and whole fruits are removed.

The extracted juice still has minerals, vitamins and antioxidants found in the original vegetables or whole fruit.

Methods of Juicing

There are many methods of juicing including popular motorized approach and manual extraction.

Juicers come in two forms:

  • Centrifugal juicers: They pound vegetables and fruits into pulp by moving at very high speeds.
  • Cold-press juicers: Masticating juicers, as they are also known, grind and pound vegetables and fruits at a slower pace to extract the highest amounts of juice possible.

One advantage of cold-press juicers is that they produce no heat and thus do not destroy important nutrients and enzymes, a characteristic of centrifugal juicers.

Why do we juice?

There are two different aims of juicing:

  • Detox or cleansing the body: You stop taking solid food and replace it with juice in order to detoxify your body. Detoxification using juices takes between 3 days and a number of weeks.
  • To complement the usual diet: It can be a convenient way to complement your daily diet, which means you will consume more nutrients from veggies and fruits than you would under normal circumstances.

In summary: Juicing is the extraction and consumption of fresh juice from fresh vegetables and fruits. It is done to eliminate body toxins or to complement normal diet.

Juicing is a convenient strategy of acquiring loads of nutrients

The common diet does not contain enough nutrients for most people.

The nutrient content in normal diets has been decreasing over time.

This is because produce takes long to reach grocery stores from the time of harvesting, and processing methods destroy some essential nutrients.

Our polluted environment and increasing levels of stress further necessitate consumption of particular nutrients.

In vegetables and fruits, we find disease-preventing compounds such as minerals, plant compounds, antioxidants and vitamins.

For those who are unable to consume the right daily quantities of veggies and fruits through a normal diet, juicing is a handy method for augmenting nutrients’ intake.

A study established that people who supplemented vegetables and mixed fruit for two weeks had improved levels of vitamic C, folate, beta-carotene, selenium and vitamin E.

Moreover, when 22 studies were reviewed, it was established that fresh veggies and fruits as well as mixed powder concentrates elevated antioxidants and folate amounts, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E.

In summary: In case you have difficulties consuming adequate daily amounts of vegetables and fruits, try juicing as it will provide you with numerous crucial nutrients.

While whole foods have been found to increase body immunity, research on juices is not encouraging.

Strong proof exists on the powerful role of whole vegetables and fruits in lessening vulnerability to diseases, but comparative evidence on vegetables and fruit juices is not readily available.

One significant review indicated that antioxidants and not fibre are the key reason for the health advantages of vegetables and fruits. Assuming these findings were accurate, the health benefits of juices are similar to those of whole foods.

Despite this, there exists no strong evidence that pure vegetables and fruits aid the fight against cancer. No data is available on research in human beings and additional findings are unreliable.

There is hope, however, in other aspects of health. For instance, vulnerability to heart disease is reduced when one takes juices. Pomegranate and apple juices are associated with lower blood pressure and reduced levels of cholesterol.

Moreover, drinking vegetables and fruit juices or mixed concentrations of the same can lower homocysteine levels and indicators of oxidative stress, and both factors are associated with better heart health.

A major study established that people who consumed vegetable and fruit juices thrice or more times every week had lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease as opposed to those who drank juices for less than one time a week.

Juices contain polyphenols that lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. Plant foods also contain antioxidants that are known to guard brain cells.

These results notwithstanding, there is need for greater understanding of the impacts of vegetable and fruit juices on health.

In summary: There is inadequate evidence of the relationship between vegetables and fruit juices and lower risk levels to heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

It is better to eat whole veggies and fruits

Proponents of juicing state that it is preferable to consumption of whole vegetables and fruits.

Their argument is that once fibre is removed, it becomes easier to assimilate nutrients.

Despite this, no supportive empirical study exists to support these assertions.

The fact is that for you to enjoy the full health advantages of a plant, the fibre content is crucial.

For instance, the juicing process obliterates the crucial antioxidants that are inherent in plant fibre. The health advantages of whole vegetables and fruits are linked to fibre.

Actually, close to 90% fibre gets lost during juicing, subject to the juicer. Although soluble fibre is not lost, most of the insoluble fibre is left out.

Prospective Health Gains of Fibre

Eating higher amounts of fibre is linked to reduced risk of obesity, heart illnesses and Type 2 diabetes.

Research has established that when soluble fibre is increased, cholesterol and blood sugar levels become better.

A study was conducted to compare apple juice to whole apples. It was established that LDL cholesterol increased by 6.9% when a person took apple juice as opposed to eating whole fruit. The higher fibre content in whole apples was thought to cause this phenomenon.

A study that involved observation indicated that people that drank fruit juices had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes compares to those who ate whole fruit.

In addition, consuming whole fruit makes one satiated as opposed to drinking the juice of the same fruit.

Another study matched juicing and blending in the context of nutritional content of grapefruits. According to the findings, blending, which has more fibre, is more advantageous in deriving greater benefits from plants.

Is it advisable to mix fibre in juices?

How much fibre your juice contains depends on your choice of a juicer. However, there are suggestions to the effect that leftover pulp can be added to drinks and foods to boost their fibre content.

This is preferable to getting rid of all the fibre, but according to research, adding fibre once again to juice has lesser health disadvantages than merely consuming vegetables and fruits.

Moreover, research has indicated that increasing pure fibre in juice does not add to feelings of completeness.

In summary: You will enjoy more health benefits if you eat whole vegetables and fruits. You lose beneficial antioxidants and fibre through juicing.

Taking fruit juice to lose weight is not advisable

Countless people have taken to juicing as a weight-loss strategy.

Majority of juice “diets” consists of taking about 600-1,000 calories of juices every day, which leads to drastic calorie deficit and rapid loss of weight.

The problem, though, is that this diet is unsustainable over a long period.

Although you can experience some weight-loss over a short period, your metabolism will slow down in the long-term due to drastic calorie restriction.

You may also experience nutrient deficiency over a long term since juices do not have some crucial nutrients.

In summary: Majority of juicing diets result in high calorie restriction, yet this cannot be sustained for long and can slow down metabolism.

Don’t swap meals with juices

Your body is likely to suffer when you swap meals with juices.

This owes to the fact that juice alone lacks crucial nutrients in addition to being fat and protein deficient.

You need to eat adequate amounts of protein daily to maintain your muscles and boost your wellbeing in the long run.

Moreover, you need healthy fat for hormonal balance, sustained energy, fat-soluble vitamins K, D, A and E and cell membrane.

Despite this you can drink juice in place of one meal every day, and this will not be harmful, though you have to maintain a balanced diet in all other meals.

To increase the balance of your juice, add good fats and proteins to it. The latter can be from whey, avocados, peanut butter, almond milk and Greek yoghurt.

In summary: Since they lack fat or protein, juices are not nutritionally balanced and adding these nutrients will bridge the gap.

You don’t need juice cleanses; they may also harm you

Drinking pure fruit juice is linked to higher risks of lever damage, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Moreover, no scientific proof exists to suggest that you must do away with solid food in order to detoxify your body.

Your kidneys and liver are natural toxin removers in your body.

Additionally, if you extract juice from non-organic vegetables, you are likely to eat more poisonous stuff, particularly because of the presence of residual pesticides.

People with kidney problems should also be warned that drinking a lot of juices that contain oxalate may expose them to kidney failure.

Diarrhoea, dizziness, fatigue and nauseas are negative side effects linked to some extra-powerful juice cleanses.

People on prescription medication should get information on probable relations between drugs and nutrients.

For instance, blood thinners can be affected negatively by high levels of vitamin K present in green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale.

In summary: No empirical proof exists to suggest that you must use juices to detox your body. People on medication and those with kidney complications could be harmed by juices.

There is a lot of sugar in fruit juice

Additional contents in your juice play a crucial role, and there is a larger amount of calories and sugar in fruits than in vegetables.

Eating a lot of fructose (the type of sugar found in fruit) is associated with weight gain, increase in blood sugar and higher vulnerability to Type 2 diabetes.

Did you know that 114 ml of pure apple juice has no fibre content, but contains 60 calories and 13 gm of sugar?

Pure grape juice also contains 20 grams of sugar for every 114 ml.

One strategy of ensuring your juices contain as little sugar as possible is to make juice from veggies, and for sweetness, to add a slice of fruit to the vegetable juice.

In summary: Fruit-based juices have higher sugar content and more calories than juices made from vegetables.

Remember the following:

There are antioxidants and vitamins in fresh juices to boost your health.

Despite this, vegetables and fruits remain most wholesome and nutritious when eaten whole.

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