Juicing vegetables and fruit for positive health benefits has become very popular in the last decade in health and diet circles, but is it really such a healthy activity? Does it really do what all of the health pundits claim that it does or are there some key pitfalls to it?
Giving Up Insoluble Fiber
When you juice fruits and vegetables, you’re actually destroying most of the insoluble fiber content during the pulverization process. Fiber is a roughage that has positive benefits for the efficient and smooth digestion of food as it moves through our system. Pulverizing the fruit or vegetable actually destroys most of the insoluble fiber content.
This is not the case with smoothies that do retain all parts of the vegetable and fruit being blended along with the fiber. However, juicing does retain lots of insoluble fiber, which is also critical in digestive health.
This loss of insoluble fiber also means that when you drink juice, your body is not feeling as full or as satisfied as it would if the fiber was present. Clearly, this may have implications for those who are trying to lose weight.
Getting A Rush
As your fruits are pulverized and lose that insoluble fiber, they are releasing fructose content that would normally be bound up in the fiber and digested slowly. Releasing it into the juice in this way means that your body can absorb it much more rapidly, and also means that you are ingesting a huge amount of natural sugars in one hit.
This spikes your blood sugar levels and can be dangerous for those suffering with diabetes. Juicing with mostly fruits is going to increase your sugar intake and potentially lead to weight problems. This is the complete opposite of what we are often told about juicing and its health benefits.
This is why experts recommend using a ratio of 80% to 20% vegetables to fruits in all recipes, or even 90% to 10%. This allows you to use fruit for flavor and not as the main star, so you get all the nutrients of vegetables and an added boost in taste.
The Non-Benefits of Nude Food
There’s a good reason why we cook our vegetables and sometimes our fruits. Cooking plant-based foods actually helps to break down the plant cell walls and release certain nutrients that are trapped there. When you juice, these cell walls are not being broken down and some key nutrients are not being made available for absorption by your body.
Cooking vegetables also means that we get the opportunity to add healthy fats to the food. Fat is actually of benefit to our bodies because it helps us to absorb some vital nutrients, including vitamins K, A, D, and E. It’s no accident that humans have been cooking food for many thousands of years and surviving.
A Waste of Food
It takes about 12 apples to make a single large apple juice. That’s a lot of apples! Most of us wouldn’t eat 12 apples in a row to get some of the health benefits from them. In fact, we’d likely be feeling full after only 2 apples.
What this tells us is that juicing not only strips most of the essential fibers from fruits and vegetables, but it also eats up a tremendous number of fruit and vegetable resources in the quest to make just a few juices! If you had one fruit and vegetable juice every morning, can you just imagine how many fruits and vegetables you’re using yearly? It’s a process that gets expensive very quickly.
Is Juicing Really So Good?
Even when you consider these pitfalls of juicing, juicing is still a healthy habit, especially beneficial for those who don’t want to or don’t have the time to eat whole vegetables and are missing important nutrients.