Should we really be juicing our food?
When we juice our fruits and vegetables, they are stripped of their natural fibre, which is actually good for our bodies. Some experts believe that when this fibre is removed, our bodies can more easily digest the nutrients without having to work so hard, absorbing the nutrients and enzymes through minimal digestive effort.
The same experts believe that juicing is a natural healing protocol for the body and those dealing with chronic and debilitating diseases, cancer being one of them, can reap the many benefits of juicing. Their reasoning is that while our body is trying to fight off a disease or illness, we should be allowing it to use most of its strength to do so, which cleansing allows for. It is a non-invasive treatment which can be extremely beneficial for some, but it is not a cure, and few experts recommend it as a treatment.
Juicing also allows more nutrients to be digested in one go then we normally consume in an average day. This is because 10 carrots may only make half a cup of juice, but the average person does not eat that amount in one go (it would be a tiring task indeed).
On the contrary, others believe that there is no scientific research to support that claims that juicing is better and healthier than eating food whole and that the fibre that is removed is actually vital to our bodily functions. With the fibre being stripped, your body absorbs the sugar in the fruits and vegetables more easily (fructose), which affects your blood-sugar levels. If you do decide to jump on the juicing bandwagon, try and drink more veggies and avoid sugary fruits.
So, should you juice?
It all comes down to this, juicing can make you feel better about yourself. The determination required to complete a cleanse is a sure-fire way to set yourself new goals and try to reach them. And reaching said goals in completing the cleanse can make you feel motivated and proud – and there is no harm in that. Besides the emotional benefits, there are studies that suggest that juicing, while it does not actually get rid of toxins itself, does give our bodies a bit of a break from digesting hearty meals in order to focus on more important things, like our immune systems, fighting diseases, and in turn our organs could possibly work better and rid the body of toxins more effectively.
If you’re going to do a juice cleanse, don’t do it for prolonged periods of time as this could have adverse effects on your metabolism in possibly slowing it down and resulting in weight gain when you return to normal eating. Three days to a week are the recommended time for a cleanse. Some people say it helps them to control their cravings and others insist that it makes their cravings worse and they end up in a sugary den of doughnuts and depression as soon as their cleanse is over.
If you want to lose weight for a wedding or special occasion, many people would recommend doing a juice cleanse, but if you are looking for sustainable weight loss, this is not the answer. The best way to reach a weight goal and stick to it is to make healthy lifestyle changes. Bringing juices into your diet can help give you the fruit and vegetables you wouldn’t normally have had. Try sticking to a diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. It’s all about balance. A juice cleanse might help you to get a jump start into healthy eating, however, it should not be the long-term solution.
So, if Sharon from spinning class says she really feels amazing after she does a juice cleanse, she probably does. In doing something good for your body, you will psychologically feel more energised and happy. And there is nothing wrong with feeling better about ourselves, even if there is no scientific evidence to prove why.