Juicing fruits and vegetables is popular. It seems to be a fad, off and on through time. My hubby and I decided to give it a try for two days right after Christmas. I know not really the most opportune time, but what better way to supposedly detox all those sweets we may have consumed through the Christmas season.
I did not invest too much into equipment, I had been given a used extracting juicer and already own a Vita-mix so we had the equipment to get started. The next step was to purchase all those vegetables, apples, lemons, herbs, and ginger. Juicing can be a bit expensive. I did some research online and found a “cheat” sheet for green juices. With the expense of the produce, I would have been really frustrated if the drinks tasted so bad that we couldn’t drink them. It is really expensive to juice and then dump it down the drain!
We started out doing our first juice, and proceeded to consume juices throughout the day about every three hours or so. We made sure to consume filtered water and herbal teas through the day also. For our “dinner” I had made a mineral broth by cooking vegetables for a few hours, and pureed the vegetables. It was nice to have something warm to “eat”. The first day went okay. I was frustrated with all the pulp that is produced from juicing and it seems like such a waste. We decided to juice all our vegetables first, remove the pulp, and freeze this. I will use it in meatloaf and meatball recipes.
Day two was a whole new challenge. We both really started to crave food and to be able to chew something. It is amazing how much you think about food when you are doing any kind of food fast. I then thought about how many people in this world who are actually hungry. I knew that in one more day I would begin to eat food again, but many people do not know when their next meal will be. I adjusted my attitude real quick.
Again on day two we did extraction juices. I did do two smoothies because I had to work, and felt I needed the extra protein to maintain my strength. My smoothies were mostly vegetables like our juices. Neither one of us really felt like we had “detoxed” like so many people claim happens by doing a liquid fast. Granted we only did it for two days (it is recommended to not exceed four days on a liquid diet without medical supervision). So why do so many people claim a liquid/juice diet is so good? Here are some of the pros and cons.
- Increased Vegetable and Fruit Intake. Most Americans do not come close to consuming the recommended 6 to 9 vegetables and fruits each day. Juicing can be a good way to add vegetables and fruits to your diet. This can also be a great way to get kids to consume more of these nutrient-rich foods.
- A Dose of Vitamins and Minerals. By juicing, it is like taking a fresh “multi-vitamin” that is easy for the body to absorb compared to tablets and capsules. It is important to use organic vegetables and fruit to obtain the best vitamins and minerals through juicing. Check out a previous post about the benefits of organic foods.
- Fresh Juice is More Nutritious. Fresh, raw juice will have more nutrients than ready-made juices. Many ready-made juices have been pasteurized. This heating process destroys many of the nutrients.
- Missing Necessary Nutrients. Even though fresh juices are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, they are missing essential fatty acids and protein. These are needed to help maintain healthy cells throughout the body, and they help maintain satiety.
- Too Much Sugar. Vegetable juices can be bitter so we often add in more fruit. This can lead to blood sugar swings. Diabetics should not do a juice diet because of these swings. Anyone who does a juice diet can have a loss of energy because of these sugar highs and lows.
- Starving (well at least feel like it!). People who choose to do a juice/liquid diet often consume more calories during this fast as they will consume more juices to fill their bellies. This is why you many not lose any weight on a liquid diet. If you do lose weight, it is often gained back when your resume eating whole foods.
- Missing Fiber. Our bodies need fiber in our diets, and it is removed when juiced. The insoluble fiber found in vegetables and fruits is needed to “scrub” our digestive tract. It gets rid of plaque and trapped toxins. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood, therefore avoiding sugar spikes.
I listed more cons than pros so does that mean juicing is bad? Not at all, it just is not a good way to receive ALL your nutrients. Our bodies need food, real, wholesome food. Some may claim that it is a way to cleanse, but I question this because if we remove the fiber from the food, how do the toxins get removed from our systems?
If you are eating vegetables and fruits every day, throughout the day, you are detoxifying each time you eat the vegetable or fruit. Choosing to eat organic, unprocessed foods, and staying hydrated with healthy liquids can be the best way to detox every day. Another way to detoxify is to reduce the amount of processed food consumed and replacing with fresh vegetables and fruits. Choosing to consume some fresh, raw juices can be a great ADDITION to this type of diet. It is important to remain balanced in all that we do.
For me, I wanted to experience what many tout as a healthy way to detox. I modified it a bit with the smoothies and pureed soups. I am glad we gave this a try; we will add juicing to our regular diet occasionally.
Have you ever done a juice/liquid diet? How did you feel during it? Did you find it helpful in any way? If so, how was it helpful?
Disclaimer: This website is for general information only. This information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Do not rely on information provided here for your own health conditions. If you have specific questions regarding your own health, raise them with your primary care physician.