Juicing is a process of extracting juice from fresh vegetables and fruits. The solid matter of vegetables and fruits including seeds and pulp are usually stripped away leaving a liquid that contains vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.
There are many different methods of juicing, from squeezing a fruit by hand to using the commonly motor driven juicers. There are 2 common types of Juicers:
1. Centrifugal Juicers
They are traditionally the most common type of juicer. Centrifugal juice extractors utilize fast spinning metal blade which spins against a filter mesh, separating the juice from the flesh through a centrifugal force.
2. Cold-Press Juicers
They are also known as Masticating Juicers because they extract juice by first crushing the fruit or the vegetable before pressing it to yield the highest amount of juice.
Although Centrifugal Juicers are fast to assemble and easy to clean; the fast spinning metal blade produces a lot of heat which destroys enzymes and oxidizes nutrients during juicing.
Masticating juicers work at a very slow pace but they extract more juice and preserve more nutrients.
Is Juicing Good or Bad?
Juicing has become more popular in the recent years. There are many boutique juice shops that are popping up in the streets to celebrities touting their use on social media platforms. It seems like it’s the new health craze and this hippie inspired trend is gaining a lot of popularity. So is juicing good or bad for you?
The Advantages of Juicing
It is usually used for two purposes:
1. Cleansing/ Detox
Juice cleansing diet involves elimination of solid food and only juice is consumed to help rid your body of toxins. The cleansing diet can last for a couple of days to several weeks.
Juice cleansing is an intense detox since all solid foods are eliminated. You will feel hungry on the first one or two days but from day three your body will adjust and the hunger will subside.
2. As A normal Diet Supplement
Fresh juice is used to supplement the daily diet to help increase nutrients intake from vegetables and fruits that you would have otherwise not have consumed.
A lot of people do not get enough nutrients from their daily diet because the nutrient levels in foods we consume are much lower.
Also, most people eat a lot of processed foods that contain little nutrients. Constant stress and environmental pollution can increase the body’s nutrient requirements. Juicing is a convenient and easy way to up your nutrient intake because drinking fresh juice is just like taking a shot of instant nutrition.
Other benefits of juicing are:
• It feeds good bacteria to the gut.
• It helps to lower high blood sugar and cholesterol.
• It makes the skin glow.
• It improves the immunity of the body.
Disadvantages of Juicing
Although juice extracts from fruits and vegetables have a lot of benefits, they also have a bad side.
1. Fruits and Vegetables are Great if Consumed Whole
Whole fruits and vegetables contain healthy fiber which is normally lost during juicing. Depending on the type of the juicer you are using, juicing removes almost 90 percent of the fiber. Fiber is important because it helps to reduce constipation, slows down sugar absorption, cleans the digestive tract and helps to rid the body of trapped plaque & toxins.
2. It’s Not Good For Weight Loss
A lot of people use juice as quick weight loss method. The truth is that although the juice diet may actually help you to lose weight, it’s a short term remedy. The diet has severe calorie restriction that will slow down your body metabolism in the long run. A juice diet for weight loss is also very difficult to sustain for long because the solid foods that are responsible for satiety are eliminated hence you might end up feeling hungry more often. This means that you will end up drinking more juice, hence more calories and no weight loss eventually.
Other disadvantages of juicing are:
• Fruit juice contains too much sugar that can lead to blood sugar spikes.
• The body naturally cleanses itself hence it doesn’t need a juice cleanse or detox.
• It can be expensive. The cost factor of buying a juicing equipment or premade juice can be pricey.
When it’s done right, juicing is a beneficial practice that can improve your overall health. However, eating whole fruits & vegetables is the healthiest way of getting more nutrients.