SalmonBerry

To Juice or Not to Juice?

In Nutrition on March 20, 2013 at 4:00 am

Juicing, especially the uber-trendy juice cleanse, is all the rage these days. As a way to get a major download of nutrients into your diet, I say “carry on”. But I can’t endorse juicing as a meal replacement or an excuse to not eat an actual vegetable. I’ll be addressing cleansing in another post but for now lets discuss juicing as a supplement to our daily diet.

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Heavy on the greens. Easy on the beets and carrots. Cautious with the fruits.

Why is juicing beneficial?

For those of us in a disease or re-building state (i.e. cancer, surgery recovery, inflammatory bowel), juicing is crucial and amazingly restorative. For the rest of us, I believe juicing needs to be put in it’s proper place. Yes, juicing can concentrate nutrients and allow for increased absorption but it also removes an important nutrient when extracting the pulp and skin from the final product – fiber. Fiber regulates blood sugar, supports digestion, and lowers circulating blood cholesterol. If you are going to juice, be vigilant about getting your fiber from other sources. Additionally, the major nutrients extracted from most veggies are vitamins A, C, & K. Vitamins A & K are fat-soluble meaning they can only be absorbed into our bloodstream while bound to fat. So, eat a handful of nuts with that green juice. Vitamin C is extremely fragile and begins to degrade when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen! Therefore, cold-pressed juice consumed immediately is the most nutrient-dense option.

What to be mindful of when juicing.

Be sure to steer clear of fruit juice as it’s a sugar bomb and highly caloric (go easy on beets & carrots, too!). For green juices, consider adding in garlic or ginger and, for palatability, be sure to rely mostly on low sugar fruits such as apples, pears, berries, and lemons/limes in small doses. Lastly, consider the fact that drinking your calories does not trigger satiety the way a meal with fiber and fat does…you may find yourself consuming additional calories.

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Earthy, grassy, refreshing green juice.

If I don’t eat a balanced meal, it’s like I almost start to twitch. It’s really uncomfortable and I’m not in therapy for it. As a result, I tend to rely more heavily on smoothies b/c they retain the fiber and I can add in healthy fats (avocado, flax oil, chia, coconut milk) and protein (hemp, tofu, nut butters). There are a TON of juice and smoothie recipes on the web. In choosing a healthy one, carefully evaluate the amount of fruit the recipe relies on, and then let your creativity run wild!

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