Juicing: Healthy food buzzwords 3 Featured

Authors: tABLE health

Juicing, is the trend of squeezing and mixing fruit and vegetable juices into elixirs that are touted to prevent cancer, help you lose weight, and cure many chronic illnesses, is not new.  Juicing was popular among the Woodstock-going, authority-be-damning , slightly crusty young hippies of the 1970′s and continued to enjoy popularity as those hippies reintroduced themselves into capitalism, made some money, and bought juicers.  But just because juicing has been all the rage twice in recent history, does that automatically mean that it truly is a healthy-living-seeker’s dream?  Bellbottoms have been brought back a few times since they were introduced…are they really so great?

The claims that juicing fanatics profess for this practice don’t really hold any water (pun intended).  There is no evidence-based research that proves that drinking a mix of kale, apple and carrot juice will prevent cancer or be better in any way than if you just eat some kale, apples and carrots (in a stir-fry with some nutmeg and garlic perhaps?  Yum!)  And which do you think will be more filling- the juice or the whole fruits and veggies?  Juicing may help you lose weight in the beginning, but thats just because you will be eating very few calories.  You will probably end up extremely hungry and after just a few days will wash down your juice with 2 cheeseburgers and fries.

Many proponents of juicing recommend the practice for those who have a hard time getting down their fruits and veggies, but I’m quite sure that if you don’t like swiss chard sauteed with garlic and red peppers and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan, you’re probably not going to like its raw juice mixed with beets and oranges.

Yes, a glass of orange juice does have more vitamin C than an orange, but a single orange already has over 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day.  Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, any extra you take in will go right back out in your urine.  A similar principle applies to all of the vitamins and minerals found in other fruits and vegetables.  Plus, lets not forget that juice has next to no fiber, which is essential for your digestive health.

So whats the takeaway from this?  If you like that $8 blend of spinach, beets, lemon and grapefruit at the fancy gym on your way home from work, sure, go ahead and suck it down.  Fruit and vegetable juices as an occasional snack are perfectly fine and healthy.  However, juices should never be viewed as a meal replacement or a diet.  Enjoy chewing your food rather than slurping it and you will be much better off!

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