It sounded like the invention of the future: pulverizing your otherwise hard-to-swallow vegetables with delicious fruits and making a concoction easy to drink in minutes. Juices can provide you with a wide array of phytonutrients, minerals and anti-oxidants, and the added water content can add an extra burst of hydration to your day. Whether you are a beginner juicer or a veteran, there are some terms and conditions to consider before drinking your daily dose of veggies. We are breaking down the good and the bad of juicing.
The good: We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about seven apples? New studies show that people who consume seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily could significantly improve their overall lifespan. As a busy mama, you may not have time to cook yourself all these servings of vegetables, and half the time they might not be veggies that you like! Juicing is a great way to use produce that isn't tasty to you or is near spoiling, which will help reduce your food waste. When you drink your juice on an empty stomach, your bloodstream absorbs highly-concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes! All of these nutrients go to protecting your body against cancer, cardiovascular diseases and various inflammatory diseases. Plus, digesting juice is much easier on the gut than digesting solid foods. Trendy juice bars and juice services are popping up all over the place, and juicers are making their ways from infomercials straight to your kitchen. Don't be afraid to juice; with the right combinations of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, juices can be a great addition to your diet. This article from Women's Health Magazine advises people to follow the 80:20 ratio, meaning 80 percent of your juice should be veggies and greens, and 20 percent should be fruits. Too much fruit will add so much sugar and calories it may negate all those benefits you're striving for.
The bad: While a healthy concentration of nutrients is being absorbed into your body, so is a hearty concentration of sugars. That's why we mentioned that 80:20 rule up there. Don't overload your juices with your entire fruit bowl; yes, the green juices are an acquired taste, but a slice of a green apple or a few pieces of a pineapple go a long way. (Click here for 10 green smoothie recipes that don't require spinach!)By juicing your fruit, you are stripping away the fiber and concentrating tons of sugar into a single serving. This can easily spike your blood sugar and insulin. And by juicing fruits, you're leaving behind important parts which contain fiber. Fiber promotes beneficial bacteria in the gut and helps regulate your blood sugar levels; without it, those sugars can go unchecked. Also, juices usually contain no fat, and fat is vital for nutrient absorption. To wholly absorb all the nutrients from your juices, add chia seeds, coconut oil, or eat a serving of protein alongside your juice. That being said, juicing really shouldn't replace your diet completely (although there are ways to detox without starving). Some things aren't super conducive to being blended, namely fish, chicken and bread. Please don't drink these. Juices are additions alongside a well-balanced diet.
If you're happy with consuming solid vegetables and fruits, go for that! Says nutritionist Jackie Lynch in an article on Daily Mail, "The mechanism of consuming a whole piece of fruit is undoubtedly better for you on every level; weight loss, fiber absorption and nutrients." But, if it's helpful in your life to blend your daily amount of veggies and fruits, then go for it! It is also important to note that it is essential to drink your juices as soon as they are freshly made because of their increased vulnerability to bacteria, especially if not stored correctly.
But juicing continues to gain traction and popularity, and for good reason. Trick your husband into eating (drinking) something other than steak, or make yourself a Green Goddess juice right before work. Remember that your daily diet should include all the right stuff: protein, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy.