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Is The Juice Worth The Squeeze?

Above we have two different types of foods. The one on the left represents whole foods (apples, bananas, spinach, any whole fruit and veggie). The picture on the right is a  “green drink” which represents juiced fruit and vegetables. Do you think one is better over the other or are they equal in nutrition? 

The Naked green machine juice blend is made with apples, mango, pineapple, banana and kiwiw. It also has some spirulina, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, barley grass, wheat grass, garlic, ginger, kale and parsley. Sounds pretty healthy right? Are you sure? Why not just eat the actual veggies whole? Let’s compare the nutrition facts!

comparison chart

Many people believe that juicing is healthy and beneficial. A popular reason people like to juice fruits and veggies is to detox their bodies. It is believed that drinking the juice of fruits and veggies acts as a cleaner and helps the body get rid of toxins. People also like to juice fruits and veggies to simply add it into their daily routine. Some avid “juicers” think juicing is more beneficial than eating whole fruits and veggies because it eliminates the fiber for better absorption. But wait, don’t we need fiber? Doesn’t fiber have a lot of healthy benefits?

While juicing can provide nutrients, it also eliminates the fiber that is super beneficial for your health. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble is dissolvable in water and creates a gel-like substance that is known to help reduce blood glucose levels. Insoluble fiber is not dissolved in water and helps soften the stool and makes it easier to “go”. It can help improve insulin sensitivity. Both insoluble and soluble fiber help reduce the risk for developing diabetes!

In the above picture one of the biggest differences on the nutrition label is the fiber. The wholesome fruits and veggies have 7 grams of fiber, compared to the drink which has 0 grams. Plus eating 1 medium apple, two cups of spinach and a half a cup of pineapple seems like a lot of food, maybe even a great salad! So remember fiber = fantastic!

In general, Americans don’t eat the recommended amount of daily fiber. In case you were wondering how much fiber you should be having, women should have 25 grams per day and men should have 38 grams per day. Since everybody is different, a general rule to use is to have 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. This general rule is great if you are trying to count your calorie intake, and plus it ensures you are getting the right amount of fiber. Plus fiber helps you lose weight!

Another thing to be aware of is that some store-bought green juices or homemade juices can have a lot of sugar in them. Now that the fiber is being eliminated there is nothing to slow down the digestion rate of your drink. This can cause a spike in blood glucose levels, so individuals who may prediabetic should be cautious. So if you are going to juice make sure to limit your juicing of fruits and try to have more vegetables. If you do need some sweetness add some stevia in to get the same affect.

There are two different ways to juice fruits and veggies. One method is called cold press – where fruits and veggies are pressed slowly to get a lot of juice out. The second method is called centrifugal juicers – fruits and veggies are grinded at high speeds with a cutting blade to produce pulp, the high speeds also separates the solids from the juice. Both types of juicing machines can range from around $100-500!

If you were to ask me, I would recommend you to choose eating whole fruits and veggies over juicing. Why? Nutrients can be lost so easily in fruits and vegetables! Just simply cutting your fruits and veggies destroys some nutrients. Cooking also destroys certain nutrients because of the heat. Eating whole fruits and veggies, I believe would provide you with more nutrients, one major one being fiber.

If you feel that you are in need to “detox”, don’t worry, that is what your liver is for! Your liver is an amazing organ, one of its many jobs is to filter your blood and get rid of toxins. So a great way to take care of your liver is to simply eat a wholesome diet and drink the appropriate amount of water for you personally. Make sure to eat whole fruits and veggies and limit your intake of processed foods. For the most part the skin of fruits and vegetables are where the fiber and micronutrients are. For example the skin of a baking potato is a great source of vitamin E. The skin of an apple is packed with fiber and is a good source of vitamin C and A. I guarantee you will feel better limiting or eliminating processed foods!

So the takeaway between eating whole fruits and veggies compared to juicing is this. If you do like juicing or have always wanted to try to juice go right ahead! It would be great to add it into your daily routine but do not use it as a substitution for eating whole fruits and veggies. Be mindful of how much fruit you are going to juice with your veggies. It wouldn’t take too much to go overboard on the amount of sugar in a glass of green juice. I personally would not recommend using juicing as a meal replacement, because there is very little protein and almost no fat (depending if you use avocado in your drink). Having a good mixture between healthy carbohydrates, protein and fat is important to creating a complete meal. Instead juicing would be a great snack with some nuts on the side! If you have any questions in regards to juicing fruits and veggies do not hesitate to reach out and I would be more than happy to answer any questions and provide you with my input!

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