To Juice or not to Juice – that is the question?
So a lot of clients and friends are asking about juicing, and why I don’t juice. Apart from the stereotype it has now led to of ‘fancy pants’ detox cafes serving overpriced sludge, the reason i don’t juice is as I don’t believe it holds that much benefit for the body (or my purse). I also think there are a lot of falsehoods surrounding juicing that I don’t buy into.
So heres the low down!
Juicing for Health-
Fruit contains vitamins and minerals. BUT (and its a big one) when comparing ‘like for like’ and ‘pound for pound’, VEGETABLES almost always come out on top.
A brief internet search will easily evidence this- Check out an Orange vrs Broccoli comparison- Who would have thought that Broccoli has more Vitamin C than an Orange- well it does!? Broccoli (comparing 100 grams) holds more calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A,C and B6 than the lowly Orange. It also has a hell of a lot less Sugar! So nutritionally for me, Veggies come out on top.
So -What if I just add ‘more’?
Sorry folks- this is not a great way to go either- Breaking down a piece of fruit into a juice takes out a valuable component called fibre! Without fibre the body processes the sugar at a much faster rate than it would if you were to eat the piece of fruit whole.
What does this mean?
Firstly without Fibre your body skips part of digestion. We then skip the part which means we feel ‘full’ at the end! Feeling hungry ‘after we have eaten ALOT of fruit in a juice form’ means we then need something else to eat (to curb the hunger). This cycle often leads to clients either ‘starving’ whilst on a juice diet (lowering their overall metabolism long term) OR ramping up their calories (if adding into a normal diet) all because they drank a juice for their breakfast, and they now need something else to curb their hunger! In my experience ‘juicing’ never fills the gap – it in fact it often helps ‘create one’.
Secondly you are wasting money- Remember More is not always better!
Eating 10 oranges would be (for most people) almost impossible. However- to drink 10 oranges is often not a problem (especially when they are served in a fancy jar with a dash of something green added in). Those who juice are then led to believe ‘they must be getting an overload of vitamins from the 10 oranges’ NO Sir. Don’t forget your body can only absorb a certain amount of vitamins and minerals. It gets rid of anything it doesn’t need- (people often like to see this as a detox- I call it needing to urinate).
But what about the Sugar- its ‘good sugar’ right?
Sugar is a complex area. So in basic terms- Sugar comes in different forms: Glucose, fructose and sucrose. Sucrose, (ie table sugar), is basically a combination of both glucose and fructose. Most people recognise this as ‘not being great’ for their bodies. Glucose is often associated with being a fuel- it can help keep us moving. It is an energy source. But again ‘too much of it’ can lead to bad things.Then you have fructose, the only type of sugar found in fruits. Fructose is not absorbed well in the gastrointestinal tract. It is therefore sent to the liver to deal with. The liver struggles to process fructose in large amounts (found in juices) and it is then stored as FAT. Fat can be stored in the liver or elsewhere in the body. EXCESS FAT doesn’t just make your jeans tight. It leads to ALOT of other long term health issues. All Sugar is not bad- BUT any ‘overload of sugar’ is.
So is all Fruit Bad? Should I never drink juice again.
So this is all down to personal choice. For me- I eat to ‘perform’ and judge how ‘food makes me feel’. I will drink a ‘fruit juice’ very sporadically every now again. Usually this is when I am on a beach (see image 🙂 and just ‘fancy it’ not because I think it will help detox or revitalise my body.
I often find if I crave fruit juice I am in fact either low in Carbohydrate (for the amount of energy I have expended that day) OR I am actually thirsty so I eat more Carbs (allowing my body to use them more effectively) or I drink more Water (again rehydrating my body without the sugar overload). So I use this as an indictor for these purposes. This is not to say a fruity juice is not a treat – I can appreciate this and do ‘as and when’.
And finally – I much prefer to eat my food than drink it, so I often eat fruit – in fact there is not a day that goes by that I wont eat blueberries or bananas. Both of which I can buy in my corner shop without a glass jar or fancy straw in sight!