Juicing has been on the scene for years, it can hardly be said to be a new trend. Everyone seems to have done it at some point, from local Instagram and blog personalities, to Hollywood celebrities. At the height of its popularity a few years back, you could hardly scroll through your social media feeds without coming across someone sharing their photos of pretty, colourful bottles of cold-pressed juices.
For those of us who are new to this, this is what you need to know about juicing in a very succinct nutshell. Juicing is basically the practice of… drinking fruit and vegetable juice. Juices are made in a juicer, which separates the pulp and insoluble from the your fruits and veggies, leaving you with the end product: the juice. Juices are not the same as smoothies, which are made in blenders and thus contain the pulp and insoluble fibres of the fruit and vegetable.
The question of whether juicing is good for you or not arose because many celebrities tout juice cleanses or juice fasts as the magic bullet for everything, from weight loss to good health to eternal youth. Such programmes involve the replacement of some or all meals for days, even weeks, with juice. Consequently, dieticians and nutritionists have come forward to caution people that such juice cleanses may not be the fount of health, and that doing so for prolonged periods of time may even be harmful.
So, the question still remains: is juicing good for you, or is it not? We say yes, BUT with caveats. As with everything, a good balance and moderation is central to success. These 4 reminders will help you make juicing a great complement to your wellness plan!
1. Juices as complements, NOT replacements
If you want to juice as a meal replacement as a means to lose weight, we would caution you to think twice. That is because not eating a balanced diet will cause you to lack nutrients in the long run. Nutrients such as protein and carbohydrate fulfill certain functions in the body, and you would not be able to get these by only consuming juices for an extended period of time.
The best way to approach juicing and embrace it as part of your wellness journey is to juice in addition to your diet. Juicing is a great way to get veggies into your body in an enjoyable, fuss-free way, so why not do just that? Try making juices that include veggies you don’t normally eat, cos different veggies contain different nutrients. This way, your juicing habit will really compliment your diet since a whole new world of fruits and vegetables have been made accessible to you through juicing!
2. Keep those juices colourful
Those different colours on your fruits and vegetables mean that they contain different vitamins and minerals. For example, purple produce contain a lot of antioxidants and nutrients with anti-ageing properties, while dark green leafy vegetables are high in iron. Red fruits are high in phytochemicals that lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while orange produce are rich in beta-carotene (good for the eyes) and bioflavonoids (boosts skin health). So with this in mind, try to use a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables in your juicing endeavours, so you fuel up on more than one nutrient and can benefit from all the nutrients that come with drinking up the colours of the rainbow!
3. Juicing does not detox
There is a common perception that you can detox your body by drinking juice. While it sounds enticing in theory – cos embarking on a juice cleanse supposedly lets your stomach rest and frees your body resources up to up its detoxing function – it may be harmful to only consume juices in the name of weight loss or even good health. The thing is, juices contain A LOT of sugar. Sure, the sugars are naturally occurring. But, juicing actually concentrates the natural sugars found in the fruits, and if you drink nothing but juice for all your meals over a few days… that’s a lot of sugar you would be consuming. So the important thing to remember is that drinking some juice is good for your body, but it does not have detoxing properties by itself. And, drinking too much, is bad.
4. Watch your overall calorie intake
So, the best way to make juicing work with you in your quest to lose weight and live healthfully, is to drink it WITH a healthy, balanced diet. Drinking excessive amounts of juice could actually work against your weight loss attempts because juices contain a lot of sugar, and sugar is calories. Be sure to consider the calories in your juice as part of your overall daily calorie count, so you don’t overlook it and inadvertently eat more while trying to live healthily with juices.
Juicing is not bad, but your best bet would be to do it in moderation, as with many other things in life (like chocolates and carbs!) Juicing, when done from the position of complementing an already balanced diet comprising lots of fresh produce and whole foods, is actually plenty awesome in upping your fruit and veggie consumption!
If you are looking to turn to juicing to detox, maybe you’d like to check out our range of treatments for a detoxing experience from inside the inside out. It provides a great complement to your healthful lifestyle!