Every decade or so, we find a new fitness trend to jump on. Sometimes it’s a successful gamble, but most times it’s merely the favor of the week and tends to hold very little weight (no pun intended). Now, the current hot topic is juicing. Before we break down the myths and truths about juicing, I do want to mention that it’s been around for a while. It’s mainly used by the gym-fanatic, overzealous health “freak,” so this isn’t a new idea. But the way the world works is funny…it always comes back around.
What exactly is juicing ?
Juicing is the process of extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking the juice of fruits and vegetables means consuming their water and much of their vitamin and mineral content.
Juicing vs Whole food fruits and vegetables
Alot of advocates of juicing have lead us to believe that juice is more nutritious than simply consuming fruits and vegetables. To compare the nutrition of whole fruits and vegetables to juice, you kind of have to compare oranges to oranges (see what I did there). With that being said, it’s important to know that whole foods tend to contain more vitamins and minerals due to the fact that when juicing you will remove the skin (which a lot of vitamins are in or around).
Now if we are calling a spade a spade, most people juice as a way to get veggies and fruits into their diets without having to actually bag up fruits and veggies. The one thing we heard all our lives is “eat greens and fruits to lose weight”. The fiber content is always higher in the whole produce since it is primarily found in the pulp, which is removed with the traditional juicing process. Fiber is one of the key reasons that fruits and vegetable are so good for us.
Okay! So we just looked at juicing vs whole foods and we have whole foods up 10-9 on the scorecard right now. Let’s discuss the myths and see if we can co-sign them or bust them!
Will juicing detox my body?
NO! Now I fear that an angry mob of juicers and fitness junkies are going to be outside my door. * looks outside window* Sorry to break the news to y’all. This doesn’t mean you have to get your money back from the Instagram trainers but there is no scientific evidence showing that ingredients in juices help to eliminate toxins. In fact, your body is pretty well-equipped with its own detoxing systems. So to keep your organs functioning at peak performance, a balanced diet consisting of minimally-processed, nutrient-dense foods is needed. The body cannot survive on the nutrients in fruits and vegetables (or their juice) alone. Therefore, a juicing cleanse may actually be preventing the body from functioning the right way.
Does juicing help you lose weight ?
Yes…no…I mean, yes…but no. Complicated, I know. Here’s how this works. If you incorporate juicing to your regular diet, this will have positive impact on your weight loss journey. A typical 12oz glass of juice is around 180 calories which can serve as a good snack.
On the flip side…
If the goal is to juice-only, A) you won’t get enough protein and fiber during that time that you will essentially lose muscle mass and B) this will slow down metabolism while increasing hunger, thus risking the chance of actually gaining weight. Sounds like being an overweight vegetarian (just saying). Juicing only might be worth it as a short term decision to kick start pending fitness goals but not a long term solution.
Is juicing even healthy considering all the warnings about it?
It is, but like I stated, it’s not a long term solution. The best way to get the necessary nutrients is to incorporate the whole foods into your daily routine.
So now that you have a better understanding, head over to the kitchen and eat some raw carrots… or maybe not.
Be right back *takes call from lance Armstrong about juicing*
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