Is It Really A Good Idea To Juice & Drink Our Fruit & Vegetables?
Occasionally, a fresh juice of vegetables and fruit is okay. But daily, or several times a week, to receive nutritional health benefits as juicing is believed to give? Not such a great idea.
When we juice fruit and vegetables, think about how many pieces of fruit and veg we have to put through the machine to fill a glass with juice. That is a whole lot of fruit and veg, but what you’re actually doing is stripping back the fruit and vegetables of their most valuable nutritious components. So you may get some vitamins and minerals, but you’re also getting a huge sugar hit.
Fruit and vegetables are bound together by fibrous structures. And when we juice fruit and vegetables we destroy the structure, strip it back of all the fibres and are left with mainly the fructose sugars from the fruit and vegetables.
Fructose from fruit and vegetables in their whole state (not juiced) and in moderation (a few serves a day) are not going to do us any harm. But when we juice several pieces of fruit and vegetables we end up consuming a whole hit of fructose in one go (which surges straight into our bloodstream because it doesn’t have the fibre in it to slow the release down). A large amount of fructose without fibre puts stress on the liver, as the liver can only metabolise a certain amount of fructose at a time (for example, the liver is capable of metabolising the fructose from one orange. But not the fructose of 1 orange, 1 apple, 1 piece of pineapple, 1 carrot and 1 beetroot all in one go, which we would find in one fresh juice).
It is believed that when the liver can’t metabolise all fructose received, the liver starts storing the fructose as fat. Too much fructose can also effect regulating hormones such as insulin.
So a freshly squeezed juice every day is not a great idea. Fruit should mainly be consumed as it is, whole, where you’ll receive all the benefits of it without the huge hit of fructose like you get from a freshly squeezed juice. Juicing is a way of processing foods.
Keep processed foods to a minimum. If you enjoy a freshly squeezed juice, by all means, have one, but in moderation, as a treat.
Cold pressed juices are a little bit better than the original juicing methods in regards to how much nutritional value they retain, but at the end of the day, juicing is juicing. It is still processing the fruit to something outside of its natural state therefore it’ll have less nutritional benefits compared to eating whole fruit as it is.
As for the even more processed fruit juices, the stuff you buy from the supermarket in cartons and bottles, well that’s even worse! Sometimes real fruit isn’t even in the juice, it consists of water, sugar and additives to make it taste fruity. The ‘healthy’ fruit juices that you buy which are ‘made from real fruits’, well they might be made from real fruit initially, but after the lengthy processing process, a lot of the flavour from the real fruits is lost therefore they need to re-add the flavour back, and they do this with flavourings and other fancy additives.
What about fruit smoothies, and the ever so popular green smoothies? They’re a lot better – smoothies at least contain everything that was once the whole fruit (the fibre to aid in the fructose absorption etc). Still, I think eating the whole piece of fruit is better, but go ahead, have a smoothie (make it a green one!) every now and then. You can download my FREE green smoothie recipe eBook for recipe ideas.
Next time your about to have a juice, instead, make the healthier choice to eat a piece of whole fruit and have a glass of water.
And on a political note, fruit juice should be counted towards your 1 of 5 a day.