Juicing has become a popular trend in the health and wellness industry. While shopping in your local grocery store demonstrations take place of new juicing recipes and machines to make a great tasting juice. I have been asked many times by clients and friends what is my opinion on juicing. As with most things, context is important. Juicing is a healthy alternative to consume the necessary nutrients that the body can benefit from. Also, people can get carried way with juicing and not have a balanced diet. The short-term benefits can seem positive, but in the long term depriving your body of essential nutrients is not beneficial.
The Mayo Clinic argues that there is little scientific evidence to support the belief that juice makes vitamins in fruit and vegetables easier for the body to absorb. Eating whole fruit and vegetables is the healthier way to get your daily intake. Proponents of juicing argue that drinking juice delivers the most nutrient-dense part of the food, in a concentrated form. In a Department of Agriculture study, researchers analyzed 12 fruits and found 90 percent of the antioxidant activity was in the juice, rather than the fiber. In other studies people who drank juices were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, cancer, or to develop heart disease.
The health benefit of juicing is still up for debate. Juicing is an easier form to consume multiple fruits and vegetables than on a plate, using utensils, etc. All of them can be combined in one serving which can be more convenient. My concern is for those who get carried away with juicing. Fasting to lose weight or “jumpstart” a weight loss goal. Many doctors have stated that the first three days, a fast is merely "psychological", causing almost no harm to body or mind. Not eating triggers hunger pangs, but pathology remains unaffected, because the body uses reserves of stored glucose to generate energy. The liver has enough stored glycogen for 18-24 hours of energy.
After 3-4 days many people have difficulty maintaining normal blood sugar levels, and acids start to accumulate. "This happens particularly in people who are underweight or have less body fat, since body fat could also be used as a form of energy. Low blood sugar and ketone bodies will also cause problems in maintaining blood pressure and heart function," said Dr Anoop Misra, Director, Centre of Internal Medicine (CIM), Fortis Hospital. Most of these kinds of fasts consist of juicing without solid foods, carbohydrates, and proteins. This can be detrimental to your health in the short and/or long-term.
Anything done in extremes is not good for you physically, spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically. Your health is no exception. A balanced diet needs to contain foods from all the main food groups in the correct proportions to provide the body with optimum nutrition. Your caloric intake should be personalized because every person is different and hence the correct diet may vary from person to person. Following a diet that is varied, covers all foods groups and is low in undesirable nutrients such as sodium, saturated fats and sugar, you are well on your way to a healthy lifestyle that can include juicing.