Is Juicing Fruits and Vegetables a Fad or a Healthy Choice?
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With the rising popularity of juice bars, juicing has become a hot trend for squeezing more vitamins and minerals in your diet. Juiced beverages may seem enticing because they are convenient and easy to digest, but there can be a downside if taken to an extreme.
Unfortunately, the processing involved in juicing often strips the fruit's fiber content, leading to a more rapid absorption of carbohydrates and a rise in blood sugar. Also, juice calories can add up quickly, even though they are from a natural source of sugar. It takes juicing two to three small oranges to equal a fruit serving in one whole orange, plus you miss out on the fiber!
Fruit juices are marketed for their quick absorption, immunity-boosting properties and ability to remove toxins from the body, but science has yet to prove these claims when comparing juice to the whole food fruit and vegetable equivalents. Our liver and kidneys already detoxify and filter harmful nutrient by-products. It is also worth noting that commercial juices are often pasteurized and when heated to high temperatures may lose up to 70 percent of their nutritional properties, including essential vitamins A, B, C, and E.
On the brighter side, juicing greens, such as kale or spinach, can be a more palatable and efficient alternative if you’re not a big fan of these vegetables. Keep in mind you reap greater fiber value from the whole food and you want to aim for 20-35 grams of fiber a day. Fiber should ideally come from a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as starches and wholegrains. Foods high in fiber tend to be lower in calories and help with digestion, fullness and managing weight. If you wish to go the juicing route to meet some of your nutrient needs, you can find high-performance blending machines, such as the Vitamix® Blender, that are better at preserving fiber as compared to other blenders and juicers.
While juicing seems to be an easy fix and allegedly helps cleanse and detoxify the body, try not to rely on juice alone to meet all of your fruit and vegetable needs. The American Heart Association recommends getting eight to ten fruit and vegetable servings a day, but at the very least strive for five servings. It’s not as daunting as you may think. Fit in a fruit at breakfast and for a snack and vegetables both at lunch and dinner to meet these goals.
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Article provided by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.