All About Juicing
Juicing is another way of consuming fruits and vegetables that provide the essential vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients the body needs daily. With this diet, you are expected to substitute 3 of your meals (more or less) for a mixture of fruit and vegetable juice. By drinking your meals, you consume more fruit and vegetables than you may ever get to eat at any one time, and give your digestive system a rest.
Juicing has been taken to another level – a trend brandished all over the internet and magazines advising people of its numerous benefits, especially with regards to weight loss and detoxification.
This low-calorie diet is unsustainable long term, and the downside of consuming only juice is worse than its assumed benefits. The human body is not designed to function off juice alone. Your body will react to the loss of essential fats, nutrients, proteins, fiber and vitamins it needs to grow and develop, and this deficiency may lead to health conditions if left unchecked.
Weight will be lost when consuming less than the recommended daily caloric intake from meals. However, it will be quickly regained when normal eating resumes. You may be also be prone to osteoporosis and tooth decay from not consuming calcium (strong bones and teeth) and taking high quantities of a diet rich in fructose.
Intense hunger and irritability will be experienced, as liquids alone cannot fill you up – especially if you have an active lifestyle. You will be tired, constipated, suffer from headaches, mood swings, dizziness, experience hair loss, and may develop skin problems (pimples, acne, eczema, dry skin).
Proponents of this diet claim that juicing will provide you with more energy, help your body detox, give you a clearer skin, and improve your overall health. This may be the case for a short period; however, doing this diet over long periods can result in the exact opposite.
Some side effects of juicing include:
The body functions properly when you consume a nutrient-dense diet from all the food groups (protein, fats, whole grains etc.) in the right proportions. By limiting your diet to only fruits and vegetables (juiced), there will be a nutrient shortage that can affect your health over time.
The little protein obtained from fruits and vegetables is not sufficient for the body. Protein is necessary for energy and maintaining muscle mass. Consuming only plant based protein over long periods will lead to a loss of muscle tissue, fatigue, and a sluggish metabolism.
High Sugar Content
Some fruits and vegetables contain high quantities of natural sugar. When the fiber is removed from the juice, you will be left with concentrated sugar which can increase the blood sugar level.
Low Fiber Intake
Fiber is important for regulating the blood sugar and cholesterol levels. However, when juicing, some people filter out the pulp (fiber) preferring only the juice. This pulp contains the nutrients, and when removed, only high quantities of sugar are left behind. Insufficient fiber intake can result in constipation.
High Carbohydrate Levels
By juicing lots of fruits and vegetables, you’ll end up consuming higher quantities of carbohydrates that’ll raise the blood sugar level if not monitored.
The liver, kidneys, immune and digestive systems work in harmony to remove toxins and harmful substances from the body. If this is so, going on an all-juice-cleanse that does not provide all the necessary nutrients will only worsen the situation and create more harm than good. With healthy eating and exercise, the body can very well take care of itself.
Fresh fruits and vegetables do not come cheap. You will have to buy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on this diet. Juicing may work out more expensive than a normal diet.
You can enjoy the benefits of juicing alongside meals, or replacing one meal with a fruit and/or vegetable juice (with the pulp included). Sustainable weight loss will be attained by eating a diet comprising of all the food groups (fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, protein and fats) combined with a sound fitness program.
Juicing is another fad diet that does more harm than good. Healthy eating and exercise trumps any kind of diet long term. Any diet or cleanse that claims to be able to shed all the weight you’ve built up over many years (within a short period) is dangerous and should be disregarded.
Juicing is a good way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet; however, it should not be isolated and used to replace other food groups.