Are you all enjoying your weekend so far? I hope everyone is up and moving…get out and exercise when you can!
This week I’ve been discussing the benefits and dangers of juicing diets. Many of us carry around our morning “NutriBullets” or “BlendActives” and enjoy the fact that “it’s a great way of getting fruit and veg into my diet without the effort”.
But “blending” your fruit and veg and “juicing” your fruit and veg are very different things. Blending “blends” the whole food taking the skin and fibre with it so this is much better for your body. Juicing extracts the juice and discards the fibre.
So what are the concerns with the juicing diets?
1. You could risk dangerous drug interactions.
The high vitamin K content in a spinach-kale smoothie, for example, can be life-threatening if you take blood-thinning medications – anticoagulants. Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, parsley and mustard greens –can lower the drugs’ anti-clotting activity & could lead to a blood clot, stroke or death.
If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statins, high blood pressure, anxiety, or certain allergies drugs stay away from grapefruit juice. The citrus fruit blocks an intestinal enzyme that controls absorption of drugs.
2. You could develop diabetes. Drinking one or more daily servings of apple, orange, grapefruit and other juices increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21%. If you have the metabolic disorder, juicing could lead to blood sugar spikes because you’re getting all the sugar of fruit without the fibre, The fibre in whole fruit and vegetables slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
3. You could damage your kidneys.
Beware of fruit and vegetable juices with high amounts of potassium, such as bananas and kale, if you have kidney problems. Adults need 4,700 mg of potassium daily to keep the heart and muscles working. In healthy people, the kidneys generally excrete the excess.
4. You could threaten your thyroid gland.
Kale, bok choy, cauliflower, collards and spinach are rich in glucosinolates, which form goitrin, a compound associated with hypothyroidism or insufficient thyroid hormone. The National Cancer Institute recommends eating a variety of vegetables daily – not just leafy green ones.
5. You might get food poisoning.
One reason fresh juice is healthy is that it’s unpasteurized, so the taste and nutrients are preserved. But when juices aren’t heated to kill germs, they’re more vulnerable to lethal bacteria, such as salmonella. If you leave a container of juice on a table overnight, toss it. Otherwise you risk food poisoning and major intestinal problems. Products that aren’t pasteurized must say so on the package.
6. Juice cleanses don’t work.
We clean out our houses and cars. So why not our bodies? That’s the reasoning behind juice cleanses, which are intended to rid your body of toxins. Forget about it. The practice is a waste of time and money, because your body doesn’t need “cleansing”. Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines and kidneys. It’s foolish to think the body can’t detox on its own.
7. Juices can be calorie bombs.
Juicing for days to lose weight can be potentially harmful because you’re losing out on important nutrients. In fact, you might gain weight, because you’re consuming more calories than you realize – mostly from naturally occurring sugar in the fruits and vegetables. Some juices and smoothies are more caloric than a meal
8. You’re passing on protein.
Kale juice is packed with vitamins A, K and C, plus iron, calcium and antioxidants. But you’ll get only about 2 to 8 grams of protein. That’s not enough if you’re drinking juice as a meal replacement. Us gym bunnies need a good dose of daily protein to repair cells, create new ones and also preserve and build our lean body mass. Which helps keep you healthy and even burns calories.
So what have we learnt? Juices are better than a burger and chips, and can be a good addition to your diet – if you’re healthy and consume them in moderation. But if you want to live a healthy life and prevent chronic diseases without spending a fortune, eat whole vegetables and grains, and don’t be fooled by “detox” products.