Do you juice? Everyone's doing it - it seems everyone from Gwenyth Paltrow to Miley Cyrus to Bill Clinton has jumped on the bandwagon. Proponents of the trend claim juicing gives them glowing skin, increased energy, and helps the body "flush toxins." Some proponents claim that juicing provides superior absorption of vitamins and phytonutrients since the body can skip the digestion process.
Juicing is currently a 5-billion dollar industry, and business experts project the business will grow 4-8% a year. In response to the trend, over 6200 juice bars have popped up nationwide. Juicing is certainly popular, but are the proposed health benefits real? While the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are well established, there is no sound scientific evidence that extracting the juice is any healthier than eating the whole fruit or vegetable itself. Lets take a deeper look into the Pros and Cons of this juicing craze.
- If you don't like vegetables or fruit, it can be an easy way to get them in quickly
- Juicing can be fun and delicious. Combinations are endless!
- Juicing eliminates the fiber from the fruit and vegetables. Fiber helps keep us regular, helps maintain gut health, lowers cholesterol, helps control blood sugars, and may aid in weight loss. Without fiber to slow absorption, juicing can make blood sugar control difficult for diabetics.
- Juices are easily contaminated and may cuase food borne illness. If you choose to juice, make sure you only make the amount you'll be frinking in one sitting.
- Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of a compound called oxalates, which can cause further damage to the kidneys in those with Chronic Kidney Disease when consumed in high amounts. Those with kidney problems should avoid drinking large amounts of fruit and vegetable juice over a long period of time. The American Journal of Medicine recently reported a case of oxalate nephropathy after a man with Chronic Kidney Disease underwent a 6-week juicing fast.
Some proponents of juices choose to undergo "juice cleanses," foregoing all solid food and drinking only juices for anywhere from 3 days to several weeks. Cleanse diets are ineffective, not sustainable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Since the body releases water as it breaks down its glycemic stores, you may lose weight temporarily on a cleanse diet, but it will come back once you start eating adequate calories again.
The bottom line? Juicing can e a quick way to get in the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from the fruits and vegetables, and are generally safe for hose already in good health, but juiced frits and vegetables are not superios to intact produce.