Should you juice?
Increasingly popular over the last 30 years. It's now hip to be seen with a juice in tow, and usually the greener the better. But is chopping, juicing, then dismantling and cleaning your cold press juicer every day really worth it?
First up, juice from the supermarket is not the same thing! Most juices are made from concentrate, contain added sugar, and don't contain any vegetables. I don't ever recommend straight fruit juice as it's so easy to over-consume, and eating fruit whole is a much better option nutritionally for a variety of reasons.
- Tasty drink that isn't just water
- Convenient to drink as you do something else (on the go nutrition)
- Rich in nutrients
- Easily digested
- Convenient to drink as you do something else (easy to over consume!)
- Lacks fibre, and therefore filling power, unless you drink a lot (which adds up in calories if you're adding fruit). One 300ml apple juice can be drank easily, whilst the equivalent 3 apples will take you longer, more effort and fill you up much quicker!) Plus your tummy bacteria won't be too happy as you're leaving out their food source! Unless you're getting plenty of fibre from other food, you'll be missing out on the protective compounds the bacteria create after eating fibre. These compounds support your gut function and help protect your gut lining from damage and ultimately cancer development.
The misguided information
- The 'rich in live enzymes' story is irrelevant. As Glenn Cardwell so gracefully put's it: "Enzymes are proteins. We eat them. They die. Then their amino acids get made into human proteins we can use and bingo!, they start a new life."
- The claim juices should be used to 'detox' is misleading. They simply don't act like a housekeeper sweeping away all the 'naughty food' and toxins. Your liver, lungs and kidneys do this for you 24/7, 365 days of the year, and it doesn't cost you a thing.
The bottom line
Juicing is a tasty way to fill your body with nutrients. Just make sure they're full of vegetables and only sweetened with a bit of fruit. This helps to ensure its not a sugar and calorie overload. Even better, blend a smoothie with the fruits and vegetables, skins and all (where appropriate), to keep your tummy happy and your appetite at bay. Your diet should still be rich in fruit and vegetables, with a juice or smoothie as a healthy addition. It won't cancel out a poor diet.