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Written by The Nutrition Twins
Juice shops are popping up everywhere and if you’re not dabbling in “juicing” you probably have a friend who swears by it. You may be wondering what it’s all about and if you can skip eating produce if you drink the juice.
When you “juice”, typically, a juicing machine extracts the juice from whole fruits or vegetables. The processing results in the nutrient-rich skin and valuable vitamins and minerals being left behind. Juicing also removes the pulp, which contains fiber. You can add some of the leftover pulp back into the juice or use it in cooking to add nutrients back, but many people just toss out the pulp. If you don’t end up consuming what the juicer removed, you still need to eat your fruits and veggies to reap all of their health promoting benefits.
Note: If you blend your produce rather than juicing it, you avoid this issue.
There are some reasons to consider juicing:
- If you don’t eat many fruits or vegetables but enjoy drinking the juice you’ll be able to get some produce in your diet and some of the nutrients you’d otherwise likely skip
- If you enjoy juicing you may find you are getting more leafy greens than ever
- If you’re opting for juices instead of less healthy foods and drinks you were formerly consuming
- “Cold-pressed” juice is made in a machine used to produce the juice that doesn’t produce as much heat as traditional juicers. Heat destroys some of nutrients and enzymes so cold-pressed juices are more nutritious because they keep a larger amount of the nutrients intact.
- If you are going to make your own juice rather than buying them, juicers aren’t cheap. Typically juicers that don’t require as much cleaning are at least $150 but often closer to several hundred dollars. This could be a pricey investment if you end up not using it more than for a short trend.
- Most people find they have to ease into the flavor of juices and it’s much more palatable with fruit added.
Juicing for weight loss? Be cautious. If you are juicing with fruit in the mix be aware that calories add up. The average piece of fruit will provide just 4 ounces of juice. This means you may have to juice 4 pieces of fruit to get 12-16 ounces—that’s at least 240 calories! Eat four pieces of fruit and you know it, but drink those same four pieces and you’ll likely not realize.
- Most veggies add up much less quickly –3 cups of leafy greens are about 25 calories compared to most pieces of fruit that are 60-80 calories each. Pure veggie juices are ideal but most people need a little sweetening with fruit.
- If you’re relying on a juice fast to lose weight be aware that simply drinking fruits and vegetables won’t give you the protein that you need to maintain your muscle tissue and is not recommended, especially for any longer than a few days. A healthy weight loss is generated from a balanced diet and exercising of course!
Want to juice and don’t know how to get started? Try this recipe. Simply add these ingredients in your juicer
- 4-5 large handfuls spinach
- 1 large or 2 small cucumbers
- 1/2 small lemon (peeled)
- 1 red apple or 1 pear
- 1 small carrot,
Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake and serve.
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For a Get Healthy Guide, check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure!