Juicing: Fad or Fabulous?

The pros and cons of squeezing fruits and veggies. 

Posted: 05/22/2013 12:10 PM EDT

(Photo: GettyImages)

 

It seems you can’t walk a block these days without bumping into a juice bar, and you need extra fingers to count all the friends who have bought a home juicer. Some health gurus tout juicing as a miracle cure for everything from heart disease to cancer. But is juicing really healthy or just the latest health craze?

Why You Should Juice

Fruits and vegetables contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals, and juicing fans say your body can more easily absorb these nutrients in juice form. And since one glass of juice utilizes a larger quantity of fruits and veggies than the whole foods you would eat in one sitting, you’ll get more health-boosting nutrients—and your recommended daily servings.

The Downside of Juicing

When you squeeze fruits and vegetables down to their liquid form, you lose the fiber, a vital part of a heart-healthy diet. You may also consume more calories and sugar in juice. You should also note that raw foods used for juicing can, in some instances, contain dangerous pathogens that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hepatitis or kidney failure. Pasteurization—the process packaged juices go through— kills these organisms; juicing on its own does not.

Limit the Bad, Maintain the Good of Juicing

There are things you can do to minimize the downsides to juicing. To lessen the sugar intake, drink more veggie juice—beet, kale, carrot and celery (all of which are lower in sugar)—than fruit juice. Nutritionists advise you to limit fruit juice to one glass a day. To combat the bad bugs, wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly and drink your raw juice concoction as soon as you squeeze it. (Pregnant women, however, should be cautious about drinking unpasteurized juice.)

Read more about the pros and cons of juicing at BlackHealthMatters.Com.

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