THE PROS AND CONS OF JUICING
Are you looking for a simple, tasty way to get the nutrients you need to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals? Then juicing might just be for you. Although, is it really time to dig out our juicers, blenders, presses, and centrifuges? Or is juicing not quite as healthy as it sounds? In this blog, we take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of juicing and answer some FAQs to help you decide whether it’s something for you.
WHAT IS JUICING?
The name pretty much says it all: ‘juicing’ is the process of squeezing juice from fruits and vegetables. Most of us have a lemon squeezer laying around in our cupboards, which is great for squeezing citrus fruits, although most juicing enthusiasts tend to go the extra mile with a proper juicing machine. You can combine different types of fruit and vegetables like carrots, apples, ginger, spinach and beets to get a diverse mix of nutrients and flavours. The juice produced contains many of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally present in the fruit or vegetable.
Although juicing can be a good way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, it’s important to know that juice doesn’t contain all the fibre present in the whole fruit or vegetable. So, don’t go replacing whole fruits and vegetables in your diet with juice. See it more as a nice, healthy treat.
IS JUICING ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU?
First, we don’t believe in labelling foods and drinks as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. To determine whether something is good for you, you always have to look at the bigger picture. We all understand that chocolate cake for breakfast is not the healthiest choice, but a slice every now and then, as part of a balanced diet, is totally ok. In this sense, chocolate cake can be both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, depending on the context.
The same goes for juicing, which has several pros and cons to keep in mind.
The benefits of juicing:
It’s an easy way to get more fruits and vegetables, especially for people who have trouble eating enough of them.
It’s easier on the digestive system because it takes out most of the product’s fibre.
It gives you get a high concentration of nutrients.
The cons of juicing:
You won’t get the fibre-rich benefits of whole fruits and vegetables (fibre is important for healthy digestion).
It can peak your blood-sugar levels (a normal 250ml glass of orange juice contains an average of five oranges, which you can chug in a really short period, flooding the body with five times the amount of sugar that it’ll need to absorb).
A good juicer can be pricey in the first place, and the cost of fruit and vegetables can add up fast.
It can be time-consuming, and cleaning the juicer afterwards can also be a chore.
Unpasteurised juice can pose a risk of bacterial contamination, especially if it’s not drunk straight away or stored properly.
As you can see, juicing has both advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to weigh them up before deciding whether to go all in on the juicing trend.
FAQS ABOUT JUICING
Still not sure about buying a juicer? We’ve listed some FAQs below, which should make the decision a little more ‘pulp’-able.
IS JUICING GOOD FOR LOSING WEIGHT?
When it comes to losing weight, it’s all about your calorie balance. When you eat less calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. To achieve this negative calorie balance, a combination of working out and eating healthy is always best. Just like most other foods and drinks, juice contains calories and will therefore contribute to your calorie ‘budget’. It can also be high in sugar, which is important to watch out for whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.
Always consult a doctor or dietician before making any major changes to your diet, especially if you have health problems or are taking medications.
To learn more about losing weight while keeping your physical and mental wellbeing in the best shape possible, check out our quick guide to healthy weight loss.
IS IT WISE TO JUICE FOR A WEEK?
If you’ve been thinking about juicing for a while, you’ve probably come across a whole range of companies offering juice cleanses. Sure, fasting while only drinking juices can be good for the body over a short time, although it’s generally not recommended to cleanse for a whole week. Excessive juicing does have some drawbacks.
First, it can lead to a lack of important nutrients such as protein, fibre and fats. These are essential for the functioning of the body. Moreover, some juices can be high in sugar, which can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar and energy levels. Drinking only juices for a week can also lead to fatigue, dizziness, headaches and other health problems. On a social note, a strict juice diet can often mean you’ll miss out on special meals with friends and family.
IS FRUIT JUICE HEALTHIER THAN SOFT DRINKS?
Soda is often compared to fruit juice when it comes to sugar content. It’s true that a glass of fruit juice contains as much sugar as a (non-diet) soda, but there’s a big ‘but’. Fruit juice still contains a considerable number of vitamins and minerals as opposed to soda. Still, you should be getting enough of those if you eat your five-a-day. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional glass of juice (or soda, for that matter), but don’t think of it as a necessary part of a healthy and balanced diet.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER EASY WAYS TO EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES?
Absolutely, there are lots of easy ways to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Here are some of our favourite tips:
Set realistic goals
Start by trying to eat at least two servings of vegetables and fruit a day, for example. If you’re having trouble setting goals, our beginner’s guide to goal setting is sure to set you up for success.
Plan meals ahead
That way, it’s easier to add fresh vegetables and fruit to each meal. For example, throw in some red peppers to your omelettes or fresh fruit to oatmeal or yoghurt.
Make your own healthy snacks with fruit and vegetables, like pieces of chopped carrot or cucumber with hummus, or apple or banana slices with peanut butter.
Try out different fruits and vegetables to find out which one you like best. Give some spinach in your smoothies a try, or some new fruits in your usual fruit salad or breakfast bowl.
Veggie skewers on the BBQ. Aubergine or courgette on your pizza. Pomegranates in rice. Apples or grapes in salads and tarts. The possibilities are endless.
Shake up a smoothie
Remember that it’s also important to vary the types of fruit and vegetables you eat so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs.
You’ve got the juicy details, now it’s time to get out there and discover whether juicing can work for you. If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with our Nutrition Experts via our customer service channel. Don’t forget to follow us on social media, too. You can find even more expert advice, workout and recipe ideas, and daily inspiration for every goal at @bodyandfit_official.