Where once 'juice' meant a freshly squeezed glass of OJ, today you’re nothing if you’re not drinking wheatgrass, beet, or a frothy concoction of baby kale blended with ginger. What’s with turning everything that can be squeezed into juice?
Juicing aficionados claim that sipping a “garden medley” helps you detox, avoid colds, and can even prevent cancer. But with designer juices costing upwards of $10 a bottle (juicing is a $5 billion industry, did you know?), are they worth the investment?
Get the Juice
Walk along any sidewalk in any American town and you’re sure to find at least one place selling freshly squeezed juices. Juice bars are the new coffee shops – even Starbucks is getting in on the action by acquiring the juice brand Evolution Fresh. If you want to design your own health-giving juice you can make your own, but is it worth the effort?
Is Juicing Good For You?
Juicing is a great way to pump high concentrations of nutrients into your body. Juices are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, you don’t have to deal with any added fat or sugar – drinking one cup of juice is an easy way towards meeting your recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Many claim getting these vits in juice form is healthier because the body absorbs the goodness more easily and doesn’t tire itself out digesting fiber. But in actual fact, your body needs fiber to help with digestion. There is no real scientific evidence to show that getting your vitamins in juice form is healthier.
You’re not going to feel as satisfied drinking a glass of juice compared to eating an apple. And because the drinks do not contain fiber, your body absorbs the fructose in the fruit faster, which can cause blood sugar problems.
Hard Drinking: The Juice Cleanse
Not content with sipping a fresh concoction of orange and lemon juice on a summer’s day, a lot of people are turning to the juice cleanse or fast to flush out impurities from their bodies and improve their health and wellbeing. During the juicing fast, you limit your consumption of food to only fresh fruit and vegetables in juice form, mixed with water, usually lasting a few days up to a few weeks.
Proponents claim that you lose weight, feel more energetic, boost your immune system, and end up with baby-soft, glowing skin.
Is Juicing Safe?
Be aware that juice cleanses can be dangerous for some people suffering from nutritional deficiencies and kidney disease, plus blood sugar levels can sky-rocket, which is bad news for diabetics.
Juice fasts leave out critical food groups you need for long-term survival. Yes, you probably will lose weight on a juicing fast – the word “fast” is the key here; you’re only consuming around 1,000 calories a day if you follow the detox program so it’s not likely you’ll come out looking heavier. But you’ll probably put it back on.
If you want to juice, do it as part of a balanced diet and focus on yoga and exercise to help yourself to a serving of energy and positivity.Image credit: MyEssentia