Juicing is incredibly popular right now, and everyone wants to know if they should jump on the bandwagon. But it’s not a quick answer to weight loss, and there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. These days people everywhere are juicing to lose weight, cleanse, and consume more healthy foods and nutrients, and juicers can be found in infomercials and department stores.
What Is Juicing, Anyway?
Juicing is the process of extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking the juice of fresh fruits and vegetables means you are consuming their water and much of their vitamin and mineral content. However, the pulp, or fiber, which also has many health benefits, is removed. (Note: Some high-powered juicers do retain most of the pulp in the juice, resulting in a thicker juice.)
There are many types of juicers on the market today, but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter what kind or how expensive your juicer is. Vitamix is great if you have some dough to spend, and the Nutribullet is great for the less spendy. The most important thing about juicing, and the only real reason to do it, is to insure that you’re getting those vitamins and nutrients inside you!
Juicing vs. Real Food
It’s important to compare apples to apples (literally) when talking about juicing. If you are using a juicer or blender that retains the pulp, such as the Nutribullet, your end result will be similar to the whole fruit. Use this list to compare real food vs. juice that has not retained the pulp:
- Real foods usually contain more vitamins and minerals.
More often than not this is because these nutrients are in the skin (or very close to it) of fruits and vegetables, which typically gets discarded as pulp when fruits and vegetables are juiced.
- Real foods always provide more fiber.
In the traditional juicing process, the pulp is what gets removed, and since fiber is contained in the pulp, content is always higher in the whole, real fruit or vegetable. Remember, fiber is one of the key reasons that fruits and vegetables are so good for us.
- Gram for gram, juice is slightly lower in calories due to its slightly higher water content. This may vary depending on the combination of fruits and vegetables in your juice recipe. Fruits already have a higher calorie content than most non-starchy vegetables, due to the natural sugar content of fruit. Many people drink large cups of juice, which can double or triple the calories.
- Both juice and real foods provide a lot of water.
Whether you choose to juice or to eat the whole, real fruit or vegetable, you’re getting much-needed hydration due to the high content of water in fruits and vegetables.
- Real fruits are lower in carbs than their juices.
Carbohydrates can be found in both fruits and vegetables, but fruits contain more than veggies do. Both fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, but fruits contain more carbs than veggies typically do. When it comes to juicing for weight loss, make sure to include plenty of vegetables and keep the fruits to a minimum.
- Juicing is more expensive than eating real fruit.
It takes a lot of fruits and vegetables to make a small amount of juice, and fresh produce doesn’t come cheap. If you’re using a juicer that eliminates the pulp, you will end up spending a lot of money making fresh juices, and it may be more beneficial on your wallet and body to simply eat the fresh produce.
So Why Do People Juice? What Are the Benefits?
People who juice typically fall into one or more categories based on the reason they choose to juice.
- The Juice Detoxer uses a juice concoction with the goal of detoxing the body and giving the gut a rest.
- The Juice Discipliner is typically looking to jump-start their weight loss by using fruit and vegetable juices as their main source of nutrition for up to a few days, weeks, or even months.
- The Juice Once in a while(r) enjoys freshly squeezed juice with a meal or snack, and occasionally replaces a meal with only juice. This juicer simply likes juice or feels that fresh juice is a healthy addition to their diet on occasion.
The Real Truth About Juicing
Does juicing actually help people reach any of the goals above? Science and common sense will help us answer that question.
Juice does not cleanse your body, as there is no scientific evidence showing that the ingredients in juice helps to eliminate toxins. In fact, our bodies are well-equipped with multiple detoxing systems, and these systems work automatically. Also, our bodies need more than the nutrients that fruit and vegetables provide. We need a variety of foods, including complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and lean proteins as well, particularly when juicing for weight loss. But, juicing can be a great way to make sure you are getting the nutrients from vegetables and fruits you wouldn’t normally consume.
Here are two fabulous juice recipes for detoxing and weight loss!
Sima’s Secret Detox Juice #1