Juicing has become increasingly popular and we love green juice and tasty smoothies. This way we also eat greater amounts of vegetables and fruits when we consume these healthy foods in a fluid substance.
With juice and smoothies we can maximise our daily intake of raw and unspoiled vegetables and fruits that we of one or more reasons do not usually eat, although we know it is healthy for us. Even kids like fruits and vegetables when it has been juiced, so it is a great way of getting your child to consume their fruits and vegetables. However, there are a couple of things to watch out for and be conscious of.
It is recommended that we eat fruits and vegetables every day in order to have a well-balanced and healthy diet full of nutrients and antioxidants. However, make sure that you consume more vegetables than fruits as they contain more nutrients and more importantly also less sugar due to the fructose in the fruits. Especially, if you want to lose weight you should be conscious about your fruit intake as it may stall your weight-loss due to the high amounts of fructose and calories.
Why is juicing healthy?
Juicing fruits and vegetables provides us with an instant and vast amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. All these nutrients work together to strengthen our immune system. This means that not only can they protect us from a typical cough and cold, but also more severe illnesses. Juice is a particularly good source of antioxidants and vitamins such as A, C and E-vitamin.
Why we still need to eat vegetables
Due bear in mind that we cannot completely substitute juicing to eating vegetables in their natural form and shape as it does not give the same benefits to our overall health. When juicing vegetables a lot of the fibre is lost. This is due to the fact that the majority of the fibre is in the skin and the pulp which is deliberately being left out. Fibre slows down our digestion and helps us feel full and this is therefore lost when juicing.
In addition, the rate of your digestion and our satisfaction after eating are just as important to our overall health as the nutrients we consume. So while juicing can add to our overall nutrient intake, it cannot replace our daily vegetable consumption or even a normal diet. Juices consist of very little or no fat and protein and depending on which fruits and vegetables we juice, we will be lacking in certain essential nutrients if we do not consume a regular diet as well.
A few tips on juicing:
- Vegetables should be the focus – but do include some fruit. Adding an apple can have a huge impact on the taste and make the juice a bit sweeter.
- To add additional flavour and antioxidants include 1-2 root vegetables, such as beets or carrots.
- Include at least one leafy green vegetable such as broccoli or cabbage.
- Add one watery vegetable such as celery or cucumber. Not only does this add additional vitamins, but it also makes the juice more drinkable.
- Add a garnish. Just a small amount of a strong flavoured item such as ginger, lemon, mint or other herb can make your juice a real pleasure to drink while adding highly concentrated antioxidants.
- Consider adding back a few scoops of the fibre that is filtered out by the juicer or even some protein powder to add more filling.
All in all, as with anything else moderation is the key. Do not replace your normal diet with a juice-only diet as juicing should not be replacing proper meals. Although you might lose weight by doing so it is not a healthy way of doing it, and more importantly it is not a sustainable way of maintaining the weight-loss.
So, enjoy the occasional juice but avoid juice fasting or any other crash diets.