Juicing is a term used to describe the activity of extracting the juice out of fruits and vegetables so that you can drink the nutrients rather than having to eat the whole food. It gained popularity quite some time ago, and at first many people thought it was just going to be another ‘fad diet.’ Decades later, however, millions of people still enjoy juicing for health, and it is very likely going to continue long into the future.
Since juicing has been popular for such a long time, we now have a lot of evidence (both scientific and anecdotal) concerning what health benefits juicing provides, and how to make sure you get the most out of it.
The Pros and Cons of Juicing
Before beginning any new diet or health plan, it is important to understand both the pros and cons of it (as well as consult your doctor). Just like any diet, there are positives and negatives to juicing, so take a moment to read through them here.
Pros of Juicing for Health
- Easy Nutrients – For many people, it is far easier to simply drink the juice of fruits and vegetables than to eat them whole. When juiced properly, you will still get the majority of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are great for your health.
- Extracting Fiber – While fiber is very important, some people need to limit their fiber intake to help make digestion easier. Juicing leaves the pulp of fruits behind, so it is much lower in fiber than eating whole fruits or vegetables.
- Delicious – Even people who HATE vegetables find that when juiced and mixed with fruits, it can be extremely tasty. This is a great way to get the recommended amount of vegetables per day, without dreading every moment of it. It works especially well for children!
Cons of Juicing for Health
- Sugar Content – The juice of fruits (and many vegetables) contains all the natural sugars. This means you will really need to watch out to ensure you’re not consuming too much sugar per day. Choosing the right fruits and vegetables to juice can really help to avoid this problem.
- Extracting Fiber – Yes, it is also listed as a pro, but for people who need the extra fiber in their diet, this can be a significant problem. Taking the pulp and using it for cooking can be a great way to regain some of this lost fiber.
- Cost – If you want a high-end juicing machine, it can cost upwards of $400. There are a variety of lower cost options that will work well too, and you can even do some of it manually if you have the time.
Juicing for Weight Loss
Many people start juicing because they want to lose weight. Replacing one or more meals per day with fresh fruit and vegetable juice can be a great way to cut calories, while still making sure that you are getting all the important nutrients that you need. Unfortunately, many people don’t make a good plan when juicing for weight loss, which can make it much more difficult than it needs to be.
When juicing for weight loss, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is that sugar is enemy #1 for losing weight. Once this is understood, you will need to make sure you’re choosing the right foods to juice so that you get a great tasting drink that is loaded with nutrients, but still fairly low in sugar. It really isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
In order to make a lower sugar juicing drink, the first thing you want to do is focus on vegetables. On average, vegetables are going to be much lower in sugar than fruits (though certain veggies, like carrots, can still contain quite a bit).
Once you’ve chosen your favorite vegetables to juice, you’ll want to compliment them with a lower sugar fruit option. Many people are surprised at some of the great fruits that are still lower in sugar, and taste great when juiced. Here are some excellent options to consider:
- Lime (1.1 grams of sugar per medium lime)
- Rhubarb (1.3 grams of sugar per cup)
- Cranberries (4.4 grams of sugar per cup
- Raspberries (5.4 grams of sugar per cup)
- Clementine’s (6.8 grams of sugar per cup)
- Strawberries (7.4 grams of sugar per cup)
Once you’ve found the right combinations of fruits and vegetables, you can quickly make an easy drink that will help give you energy, while still allowing you to shed unwanted pounds.
Experimenting is Everything when Juicing for Health
One final note about how to be successful with juicing for your health. You want to make sure you are always experimenting with different combinations of fruits and vegetables. Write down which ones you love, and which ones you don’t want to try again. Try to find a number of great combinations that use all, or at least mostly, seasonal fruit. This will help to keep your costs down, and let you use more fresh fruits rather than turning to frozen options.
Once you’ve found a few great juicing options that you love, this will be and easy and healthy way to ensure you’re always getting all the nutrients you need for a healthy body.