The health benefits of juicing have made this popular form of “drinking your greens” a major health trend across the nation!
There are plenty of fad diets that come and go. South Beach Diet, Paleo Diet and Atkins are just some of the best known ones. Unfortunately, most of these are centred on weight loss instead of health, something that we seem to run into pretty frequently.
Juicing, however, is a little different. Of course it can help you lose a few extra pounds, but that isn’t the main objective. When the ultimate goal is better health, everything else falls by the wayside. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits juicing can provide.
Juicing is a great way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet you might not get otherwise. This is something we all struggle with, and even the healthiest among us are probably missing out on something. Hate carrots? That’s fine. Carrots, apples and some ginger makes for an amazing drink that looks more like carrots than it tastes. All the extra nutrients and vitamins you get will help your body function better and can reduce chronic tension and fatigue.
Once again, weight loss is more of a side effect than the overall goal of juicing. However, it can be an added benefit if that’s what you’re looking for. A juice only diet isn’t something you want to maintain long-term, but it can act as a great jumping off point for a new diet or exercise program. Just make sure to keep an eye on your calorie intake since it’s easy to underestimate what you’re getting when you juice.
Incorporating these additional nutrients has many other benefits than simple weight loss and extra vitamins. Juicing can also put you on the right path to a general detox where you try to eliminate as many harmful toxins and chemicals from your body as you can.
Most of us do quite a bit of damage to it on a regular basis, breathing pollution, eating the pesticides that have leaked into the ground, etc. However, if you’re using it for detox, make sure to use organic produce. Otherwise, your detox may not be as effective as you hoped.
There are various other benefits you can get from juicing. In addition to a general detox, you can see many benefits that come from incorporating the program into your diet for the long-term. One of the key benefits is the reduced rate of many common health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
Obviously, you shouldn’t expect juicing to make up for smoking cigarettes, but the phytonutrients found in many fruits and vegetables greatly reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, you can see a reduction in swelling, which can be great for reducing the effects of pregnancy and other hormone laden times, as well as minimize aspects of arthritis.
The downside is that some people can get a little overly exuberant about juicing. It can be great to stick to a juice-only diet for a week or less, but our bodies are made to consume foods whole. After the initial detox period, keep up your juicing with a glass or two each day, but don’t rely solely on it.
The other major downside to juicing is that you lose one key ingredient: fiber. Juice-aholics may argue that your body has an easier time getting all the vitamins and nutrients out of the juice without fiber, but fiber is actually good for you. To avoid missing out on that fibery goodness, try saving the pulp and adding it to your food. A little orange rind on your salmon dinner? Yes, please!
Overall, the benefits to juicing are plentiful and numerous. It is important not to get carried away with it, but that’s true of practically everything. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to make sure you’re incorporating the fiber somewhere in your diet. Otherwise, sit back, sip and enjoy!