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Is Juicing Worth the Hype?

Posted by itsupportgroup
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on Monday, 16 September 2013 in Health & Nutrition

 

iStock 000005249957LargeFrom detox to weight loss, “juicing” has taken the health world by storm as an alternative way to squeeze in some flavorful nutrition — both figuratively and literally. Known as “cleansing,” juicing is the act of extracting juice from fresh produce, whether to enjoy as a nutritious snack or drink on-the-go, or as part of a liquid diet. But the question among health aficionados remains: is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits and veggies?

 

The verdict is so-so. Proponents of juicing rave about its many health benefits, from better absorption of nutrients to an increase in energy levels. Despite the media buzz, there is scant evidence to back up these claims.

Though eating more fruits and veggies is almost always a good thing, there are times when it can be problematic — especially when on a juicing diet or cleanse. For instance, individuals taking anti-coagulants must be careful not to increase their consumption of dark, leafy greens; otherwise, the extra vitamin K will cause their medication to be less effective at preventing their blood from clotting.

Those with kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension, for example, are also urged to consult with a Registered Dietitian before making any significant dietary changes, as juicing can cause adverse effects with these conditions.

The restriction in calories is helpful in losing weight but is not a sustainable long-term option. The lack of variety in juicing will bring about nutrient deficiencies, including essential fatty acids, calcium, many of the B vitamins, vitamins D and E. Plus, most of the nutritious fiber found in whole produce is lost during the juicing process, as juice contains little to no fiber (however, incorporating pulp from fruits and veggies can give a boost to the fiber content).

Rather than thinking of juicing as a way to substitute meals, think of it as an occasional snack—though not to replace the benefits of consuming whole fruits and vegetables. For extra nutritional value, add the juice to milk or yogurt and turn it into a healthy fruit or veggie smoothie instead!

 

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