Get the JUICE on Juicing

juice1Juicing has officially joined the ranks of other popular diet trends. Proponents of juicing suggest if can help with anything from weight loss to “cleansing” the body. Before you spend a fortune on a fancy juicing machine, make sure you’re aware of the potential health risks and benefits of juicing.

On the positive side, juicing is a good way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, especially if you are not someone who typically consumes them. Juicing also cuts down on food waste by allowing you to add fruits and vegetables that may be about to spoil. On the flip side, juicers are expensive and can range in cost from $50 to $400. Additionally, juice, no matter the source, is a concentrated source of calories and lacks protein and fat which help stabilize blood sugar and provide feelings of fullness. The skin and the pulp of fruits and veggies are where the fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals are stored; if you remove these parts, you’re throwing out the most beneficial part of the produce. Additionally, homemade juice isn’t pasteurized which could be a food-safety hazard. Also important to note is that juicing to lose weight or “cleanse” is not only unsuccessful, it can be dangerous; if juice is consumed in place of food you could be starving your body of vital nutrients. Some believe that juicing can lead to weight loss but it is well studied that if you cut your calorie intake far below your needs your metabolism may slow down and overtime could lead to weight gain. Our bodies naturally “cleanse” themselves with two power organs not to be taken for granted, our liver and kidneys.

Skylar’s Bottom Line: Freshly-prepared juice can fit as a part of a healthy diet, but it’s not a magic miracle food. Speak with your health care provider before starting to juice to prevent potential drug and nutrient interactions. Dark, leafy greens including kale and spinach are high in vitamin K, which could interfere with how well some blood thinners work.juice2