Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Reasons You May NOT Want to Juice

Many people tell us that they are committed to eat better and for that reason they have invested in a juicer. There seems to be this agreement, promoted by the clever marketing of juicing devices, that there is no better way to get large amounts of nutrients into the body than taking them in the liquid form.

We do not recommend juicing, except to create treats, and treats are not to be eaten every day, with every meal.

Here are some reasons:

1. Juicing Skips the First Part of Digestion

The human stomach was designed to digest foods after they have been pre-processed in the mouth. Chewing is important, not just because it breaks up foods in small pieces (which you could argue juicing does even better) but because the saliva that is excreted during mastication has enzymes and ferments that start digesting the food while in the mouth. Juicing makes the stomach work harder. Most juicing processes, also extract only the juice and throw away the pulp, with all the fiber that would benefit your gut.

2. Too Much Sugar!

Vegetables, in their raw form are often bitter. This means that when you juice them you may end up with a very unsavory drink. People who create tasty combinations for juicing, more often than not compensate for the bad taste by adding fruit. Fruits have a lot of sugar in the form of fructose, and sometimes glucose. Often times the amount of sugar they add per serving is more than would be recommended for them in the whole day!

3. Chemical Changes

When foods are broken up and mixed with water, fast chemical changes happen. If you ever blended a banana with water or milk, and did not drink it right away you probably noticed that the drink became progressively darker as time passed and that the flavor changed, first becoming slightly sweeter and, if left longer, somewhat bitter.

If you ever blended lemons or lime with water and accidentally left a seed in there, you may have noticed that your lemonade came out bitter, and that the longer you let it sit, it became even more bitter, to the point that it was better not to drink it.

All foods, when they are blended react with the water, as well as with other foods that were put in the juicing mix.

Current advice to do all your juicing for the day in the morning and then saving it in jars to have during the rest of the day is, for this reason, a very bad idea.

4. Too Many Foods Together

Much of the nutritional advice given in the United States focuses on the amounts of nutrients. Because people want to concentrate nutrients, it seems like a really good idea to add as many different types of veggies and fruit to a juice so as to get more nutrient in a short period of time. This may sound sensible, but in reality you are making the stomach work extra hard. By eating too many foods at a time through juicing you may be forcing the stomach to produce more gastric juices than if you were chewing and eating simpler foods.

5. Bad Food Combinations

The desire to consume as many nutrients as possible in one drink, leads people to add diverse vegetables and fruits to their juices, often experimenting and changing recipes. Few people take the time to look at the different ingredients they are adding to their juice and finding out whether they combine well together, or whether they should be eaten together at all.

Is There a Smart Way to Juice?

You can enjoy juicing as long as you don’t overdo it, and follow some simple rules:

  • Juice only fruits and the vegetables that you would eat raw anyway. For example, you would eat carrots or celery raw, but you probably would not try to eat collard greens or cabbage in the raw, so it would be OK to juice carrots or celery, but it would not be OK to juice collard greens or cabbage.
  • When juicing fruits, do one or two at a time, never more than three at a time. Ideally, juice only one fruit at a time. If the fruit is sour, you may add half a banana to help with the taste.
  • Unless you are using a proven recipe from a trusted source, when juicing vegetables, juice only one at a time, to prevent undesirable taste or chemical combinations.
  • Drink your juice right away. Make only the amount you are able to drink at that time, and do not save any to drink later.
  • Juice only when the weather is warm. Juicing in the summer can be refreshing, but juicing in the winter can make you feel colder.
  • Drink no more than 12 ounces of juice at a time, and drink your juice slowly, swishing it some in the mouth to promote the production of saliva.

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