Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, you can’t have missed the resurgence of the “juice.”
Juice detoxes or fasts or cleanses are by no means new, but it seems social media, and movies like Joe Cross’ Fat Sick and Nearly Dead have propelled the humble juice into a whole new stratosphere.
Be it raw, green, vegetable, fruit, kefir-based, coconut-based or nut-milk-based, juicing, and its twin, the smoothie, have become the icon of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle.
What I like about juicing
It’s my digestive system’s happy place.
Typically we all have some kind of digestive trouble. Whether that’s bloating, reflux, flatulence and pain or the external effects of poor digestive function, like skin problems, headaches, allergies, hay fever or candida. When we give our gastrointestinal tract a rest, it has less time to worry about digestion and more time to concentrate on repair.
It’s a pure nutrient-shot
yes, the fibre is removed and yes, that can mean a higher immediate sugar hit (hence why I don’t favour pure fruit juicing or loads of higher sugar vegetables like beetroot and carrot). BUT lack of fibre also means a quicker route for the nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, bioflavonoids and other goodness to enter your system and dive headlong into your cellular matrix. Happy cells.
My concerns about juicing
Can be high in sugar
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not all crazy-anti-sugar (it’s quite necessary for brain function for a start, glucose being the brain’s main fuel source), but I am anti-excess sugar and fairly anti-fruit juicing. Some fruits are magnificent anti-inflammatories and digestive aids, like bromelain from pineapple and papain from paw paw. They’re great to include in your your repertoire! But in general, ensure fruit bases are kept to a minimum and base your juices on mixed leaves and multi-coloured vegetables.
Lack of fibre
Not the end of the world for a short time and definitely beneficial to aiding the quick uptake of nutrients. But for those who need some added assistance in the regularity department, you can add a scoop of chia seeds or include a daily dose of slippery elm in warm water (with a water chaser).
Using it as a weight loss strategy
Depends on the length of time and type of juice. Typically a liquid diet may see you shed a few kilos from water loss, but your body tends to stabilise once you return to normal eating. As part of an overall plan, I think vegetable juicing is a great adjunct when you just need to stop the craziness of poor eating, drinking and stressing, and when you want to heal and calm an inflamed internal system, but not an ideal long-term strategy if weight loss is your goal (of course Mr Cross may have something to say about that!)
As with everything, it’s about balance and about your individual makeup.
For example, green juices are fantastic, but too much raw kale can up your intake of goitrogens to the point where they may inhibit thyroid function. A big no no for anyone with a tendency toward hypothyroidism. Which is why it’s always a good idea to have a chat to a Naturopath or Nutritionist when adopting any new eating program. After all, we want your juicing experience to be happy, healthy and beneficial for your body.
Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.
Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!