The Low Down on Juicing
Thanks to Instagram and a few celebrity influencers, our newsfeeds are once again inundated with the juicing trend–this time, specifically, celery juice. Juicing has its moments in the spotlight, often advertised with overexaggerated promises of health cures, and it’s definitely in the spotlight once again. But before you go out and drop several hundred dollars on a fancy juicer, take a look at the pros and cons of juicing. (And as a reminder, please check with your doctor or surgeon to see if any foods are restricted on your nutrition plan).
Juicing is being touted to “cure” all kinds of health woes, such as inflammation. It is often advertised as part of a “cleanse” for weight loss. Sometimes, it’s just advertised as a way to increase your nutrition in an easier to process way. As with most hype though, the truth is a little more complicated.
Juicing provides a lot of nutrients. This is true. When you condense a fruit or vegetable into something smaller, you’re getting more bang for your buck as far as nutrients go. And, it’s sometimes hard to eat enough fruits and veggies throughout the day. So, juicing can be a great addition for that extra boost of nutrients and for an extra fruit and vegetable serving.
That’s really about all there is to juicing. There is no magic. And there’s not a lot of science to substantiate some of the wilder medical claims. It’s not a cure. And you can’t “cleanse” your way to weight loss. Also, when you juice, you remove the fiber from the fruit or vegetable, and fiber is an important nutrient for digestion.
If you love the taste of juice and enjoy juicing, go for it. If you need an extra serving of fruits and vegetables and can get it from fresh juice, go for it. If drinking fresh fruit juice will satisfy your sweet tooth so that you are less tempted to eat a piece of cake, go for it. If you just really love the taste of celery juice and love the Instagram pictures you take of your juice, then have at it.
However, if you’re tracking calories and sugars especially, be cautious. Because juice is a condensed version of the actual fruit, it’s very easy to drink way more calories than you could have eaten in equivalent produce.
And if you’re looking for a magic cure-all, you’re not going to find it at the bottom of your bright green glass.
If you have questions about specific nutrients or think you may need to increase your vitamin or mineral doses, please contact your doctor or dietician.