Juicing Diet Plan Pros and Cons
The race to healthy living benefits by going on a juicing diet plan is all the rage these days. From Hollywood celebrities jumping aboard the juicing bandwagon to health gurus prophesizing the health benefits of juicing, this craze seems to be an inescapable conversion for just about anyone concerned with their health. Juicing, or drinking a combination of fruit and vegetable juices, for an extended period of time has indeed taken the health world by storm.
Just look at the juice section of your favorite supermarket, where the little stack of cartons of orange, apple, grapefruit or the occasional tomato juices that used to greet you in the old times has now been replaced by almost a full section of quite an assortment of juices, many of them containing exotic fruits or offering targeted health gains and specific dietary benefits.
An Abundance of Benefits
A juicing diet plan has been extolled with an abundance of benefits from detoxifying the body to losing weight the healthy way. Much of its charm, especially among those who yearn to be healthy, but shy away from hard core dieting, is in fact in its promise of multifaceted rewards without feeling deprived of your usual craving for good tasting food.
And who doesn’t want a refreshing drink that packs in lots of nutritional benefits, by the way? But, while it is vastly popular, make sure you are aware of the pros and cons of juicing before you give it a try.
Positives of a Juicing Diet Plan
Juices are a good source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins – Fruits and vegetables are packed with an abundance of these good nutrients. Drinking a glass of orange juice can already supply your body with more than your required daily dose of vitamin C that will help boost your immune system and generate antioxidants to fight free radicals and other toxins lurking in your system. Combining fruits and vegetables known for their specific health benefits will give you an ample source of much needed nutrients.
Juicing will help you get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables – Let’s face it: not everybody likes to eat fruits and vegetables, especially in their raw form. If you’re among those who are not able to eat a balanced go-grow-glow diet because your taste buds are simply not up to the challenge of eating whole vegetables and fruits, juicing might just give you a new lease of life, so to speak.
A four-ounce glass of apple juice, for example, is equivalent to a whole apple fruit. So, if you feel burdened somehow by eating an apple a day, be comforted by the thought that you can breeze through your daily apple serving by quickly downing a small glass of apple juice.
Get your vegetable nutrients - Vegetables are so important for good health, and many of us do not consume nearly enough. Juicing your vegetables at home is an easy and effective way to gain the benefits of these nutrients. But, keep in mind that it is still important to eat whole vegetables and juice should only be used to supplement an overall well balanced diet plan.
Juicing can get kids important nutrients – For kids that refuse to eat vegetables, and many do, juicing is a great way to hide them by blending healthy low sugar fruits with vegetables.
Negatives of a Juicing Diet Plan
Juice is not nutritionally equivalent to whole produce – Never even for a moment believe that fruit and vegetable juice can replace all the nutrients and good benefits you get from including whole fruits and vegetables in your diet program, for example the all-important fiber that gets stripped away during juicing, along with essential nutrients that are contained in the pulp. When you juice, you leave behind parts of the fruit and vegetables in your juicer, parts, which unfortunately are where the good stuff remain—unconsumed.
Juice is high in calories and loaded with sugars – Those who think that it is okay to drink as much juice as possible and simply because it is fat free and comes from nature are sorely mistaken. A glass of orange juices for example is a highly concentrated source of calories—140 calories per 8-ounce glass to be precise—and this is way above the 60-calorie count of a whole orange fruit.
The majority of the calories contained in fruit juice especially, are actually derived from their high amount of natural sugar from fruits and some vegetables. At the core of it, juicing gets you on a high-carb diet that is low on protein and fiber.
While juicing definitely has its benefits for one’s health, there is also a tradeoff when a holistic approach to diet and health is also considered.
When you do juice make sure it is mostly comprised of vegetables and not fruits, low sugar fruits should only be used to complement the juice and not be its star. The bottom line is, if you want to make a new habit out of juicing, do make it a point to also complement it with a wholesome and balanced diet plan that will ensure you get maximum nutritional benefits.
Juicing at Home
It is often difficult to eat enough fruits and vegetables every day to meet our daily nutritional requirements. A healthy diet plan requires 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. With juicing, you can consume several servings in a single glass of a well-prepared vegetable juice. Fresh juices are a very valuable source of nutrients and they are also easy to digest.
The key is juicing at home, instead of buying processed juice at the store. The minerals, enzymes and vitamins in fresh juices are often damaged or destroyed during the preservation processes, such as pasteurization. Juices preserved by pasteurization are heated up to high temperatures in order to destroy any microbes therein. As a result of the heat, some of the nutrients and natural enzymes in the juice become denatured.
Hence, to derive the full health benefits of juicing, juicing at home and drinking it fresh is the way to go. Juicing is a method commonly used to separate the juice from fruits, vegetables, pulp and fibers. It is an easy way to meet the nutritional needs of our body and it also helps the body to easily digest essential nutrients, and especially those found in vegetables. There are no major investments in equipment necessary, all you need to get started is a juicer.
Types of Juicers
There are different types of juicers available all with a wide range of price tags.
Using a Juicing Diet to Cleanse the Body
Juicing is an excellent way to cleanse the body and get rid of toxins. Some of these toxins build up in the body due to poor dietary choices, alcohol or substance abuse, stress etc.
There are quite a few techniques for cleansing the body with juice. Some juice diet plans work for the body as a whole while some others are for specific bodily organs like the kidneys, colon etc. The best time to consume the juice is in the morning, preferably before breakfast. It must be stated here that these juices are not replacements for your regular meals, and they should be combined with an exercise routine and healthy eating habits.
When embarking on a cleansing diet, it is recommended that juicers should drink about two liters of water daily and abstain from alcohol, nicotine, sugar, dairy or caffeine. You can adopt a seven-day cleansing diet whereby different juices are ingested over a period of seven days along with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Detoxify the Kidneys
It is also very important to cleanse and detoxify the kidneys. When food is processed within the body, the toxins are transferred to the kidneys for further processing and elimination from the body. If the level of toxic substances within the kidneys and liver become abnormally high, it could result in urinary tract infections. Hence, the need to cleanse the kidneys of toxins.
Strawberries, pumpkins and seeds of parsley have all proven to be effective in cleansing the kidneys. Apart from these, there are other herbs that can serve the same purpose. e.g. birch tea (tea made with birch bark). Grape juice and cranberry juice are both helpful in kidney detoxification as well. The colon needs to be cleansed of toxic matter too and this can be achieved by juicing with papaya, pear, beetroot, bananas, carrots, lemon, and peaches.
Cleansing with Juice
It is rarely a good idea to fast from eating a variety of whole foods for long periods of time. If you are going to do a juicing fast for cleansing, make it short and sweet. Also, make sure to check with your doctor to be sure that there are no medical issues that can interfere or be hindered by a juicing cleanse, safety first! If you really want to do it right, then consult a nutritionist that can help guide you to the proper and safe methods of cleansing with juice.
How Juicing Can Get Kids to Consume More Vegetables
As parents, we have all been there – sitting at the dinner table, pleading with your child to eat his asparagus. Hiding tiny slices of carrots in his quesadilla. Pretending his mashed potatoes are really just “fun French fries.”
No matter what method you have used in the past, it’s highly likely you have come away from the table frustrated when your tot has finished dinner and left his vegetables on the plate. Vegetables and kids just don’t seem to mix, and who can blame them? The lack of sweetness of vegetables is an acquired taste.
Luckily, the fairly new juicing trend may be the perfect way to get your child his proper servings of vegetables. Although it is always preferable if you can get your vegetables in their natural form, juicing is ideal if there are no other options. That is not to say juicing isn’t a good option however.
Press Vegetables into Juice
The benefits to juicing, especially juicing for your child’s diet, are incredible. By pressing vegetables into juice, the nutrients and enzymes are passed into the bloodstream faster and your normal digestive organs are not needed.
Perhaps for children, the most beneficial aspect of the juicing process is that it does not have to taste like vegetables. Simply add fruit to make the juice sweeter and you can often cover up the taste of vegetables – you can serve entire servings of spinach, kale, and otherwise “unpleasant” vegetables to your child without him even knowing!
Because these juices will taste like a typical sweet fruit juice (just homemade), your child will have no problem reaching for the juice multiple times a day. He can easily get an entire day’s worth of vegetable servings into his diet in just a few glasses, not to mention the nutrients and enzymes from the fruit mixed into the juice.
Boost Immunity with Green Juice
“Green” juices (juices with the aforementioned spinach or kale as a base) might take a little getting used to as a result of their strong and sometimes bitter taste, but they are the healthiest juice you can make. Juicing is also a proven way to boost a person’s immunity, brain power and health, and increase energy.
For children under twelve years old, it is generally recommended that you dilute the juice with water. Regardless of your child’s age, dilute it fairly heavily with water for the first few days or weeks and slowly add more juice to the mixture as your child’s body adjusts to the new substances running through his body.
Number of Calories
A few words of caution, though: the more fruits you add to the juice, the higher the number of calories and amount of sugar you will have in each glass. If you have any concerns about the levels of sugar in your child’s bloodstream already, you might want to stay away from juicing for the time being.
The skin and pulp of the vegetables, often not included in the juice, contain the most fibrous parts of the vegetable. When you juice, you lose this fiber, which is one of the reasons doctors maintain it is still important to eat whole vegetables.
A cup of homemade juice is also a concentrated source of calories, which is always important to watch when being ingested by a little person. As with any major dietary change for you or your children, consult a doctor before embarking on a juicing journey.
Despites these concerns, if your child isn’t getting the nutrients he needs from vegetables, juicing is a great way to introduce them to his diet. You can use a wide range of vegetables, including ones you know he would never touch in the natural form, to get a wider variety of nutrients in his diet.
Involve Your Child
Involve your child in the juice prep to get him interested and help him become more knowledgeable about what goes into his body and what his body needs to stay healthy.
While some children might need more persuasion than others to drink a glass of green juice, don’t stop trying! Keep experimenting with different recipes and amounts of fruits and vegetables – for all you know, your child may one day decide to taper off the levels of fruit in the juice and start drinking mostly vegetable juice, and then simply a plate of vegetables. Ah, if only we could all be so lucky!