To Juice or Not to Juice? Arguments for And Against Drinking Your Fruits and Veggies
Blog | Adelaide | Glen Rd
Given the hectic life of a university student, the chances are high that you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables. Even if you’re eating a portion of veggies with every meal, you’re still falling short of the recommended amount, a whopping 5-9 servings every day. Fruit is more palatable for many people and simpler to prepare, so you would think it’d be easier for people to incorporate into their diets, but many are still not getting 2 or more servings per day. We’ve explored easy delicious study snacks and 3 ingredient snacks, but this is our first foray exploring whether or not we should be letting the juice loose.
Juicing has emerged as a supposed solution to the deficit of fruits and vegetables faced by so many people. Juicing takes the chewing and complex preparation out of the equation. Instead of roasting a butternut squash for 2 hours to get your serving of vegetables, you can juice the squash and get the same effect (or better, since eating vegetables uncooked preserves more of their nutrients). But is juicing all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s look at some of the arguments for and against the juicing lifestyle.
Pro: Juicing Reduces Bloating
One thing holding many people back from having full servings of vegetables with breakfast or lunch is the heavy, full feeling accompanying eating a big, solid meal. If you feel bloated or suffer from other digestive issues when you eat too many vegetables at one sitting, you’re not alone. Juicing your vegetables can get you many of the same nutrients without causing that heavy feeling or those digestive troubles.
Con: Juicing Can Be Wasteful
Many people who are health conscious are also environmentally conscious, which can lead to a moral quandary when it comes to juicing. The process creates a lot of non-juice waste, mainly pulp, that ends up being thrown away. And though it has value when it’s part of an intact fruit or vegetable, once it has all the nutrients removed, this pulp is basically useless. Some people recommend cooking using pulp as an ingredient to reduce waste, but the sheer amount produced by a day of juicing makes this impractical for most people.
Pro: Juicing Results in Better Nutrient Absorption
Because juicing removes all the insoluble fibre from the fruits and veggies you’re using, it makes the nutrients absorb more quickly and completely into your body. The digestive system has a hard time processing insoluble fibre and extracting the nutrients within. But juice is like a concentrated nutrition potion, with all the vitamins and minerals and none of the fibre, so these nutrients hit your bloodstream quicker.
Con: You Get Less Fibre When You Juice
The flipside of the “pro” above: although removing insoluble fibre makes nutrients absorb more quickly, fibre is actually one of the things that make fruit and vegetables healthy. Removing fibre also makes the glucose in juice hit your blood quicker, causing an unhealthy and unpleasant spike in your blood sugar. We also need insoluble fibre to clean out our digestive tract, removing toxins and plaque.
Pro: A Juice Is Convenient When A Meal Isn’t
If you live an active lifestyle, it can be hard to find the time to prepare a healthy meal with adequate servings of fruits or vegetables, or the time to sit down and eat said meal. But you can easily grab a juice out of your fridge on the way out the door, if you’ve prepared one ahead of time. Juicing makes getting all of your servings of fruit and vegetables much more convenient if you plan accordingly.
Con: Juicing Is Costly
If you’re on a restrictive budget, juicing might not be within your means. Not only do you need to invest in a juicer (and have space to store it), you’ll need to buy big amounts of produce. While some fruits with high water content yield a lot of juice from relatively little product, it can take a massive volume of produce to create even a small cup of juice. It’s not a cheap lifestyle.
These are all obviously only suggestions. Do your own research and see whether this is suitable for you. The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are one of the most important components in a healthy diet, and eating enough of them is a predictor of good health. Yet the difficulty of chewing through massive mouthfuls of fruits and vegetables still precludes many people from eating enough of them. If the positives of juicing outweigh the negatives, it might be the way to go for you.
“To juice or not to juice?”
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