Is Juicing Healthy?

By on August 30, 2017

Macros

What is Juicing?

Juicing is to extract the juice from fruit and vegetables, which is said to be an effective way to absorb a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals, but just how true is this?

Let’s look into some ‘benefits’ of juicing that I found on online blogs and websites – and what benefits they have on the body.

Benefits

  • Better detoxification and improved health
  • Quicker digestion
  • Quicker rate of absorption of nutrients
  • Removes hard to digest fibres

My concern with these benefits

What bothers me the most is how juicing can be seen as a quick cleanse, which enables you to absorb a large amount of nutrients at once, whilst being easily digestible.

The first problem that we face with juicing is that people indulge in too much sugar and not enough fibre. How is this so? It’s very common for the majority of the nutrients to be found in the skin peel rather than the actual fruit and vegetables itself.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a large red apple with its skin intact contains about 5 grams of fibre, 13 milligrams of calcium, 239 milligrams of potassium, and 10 milligrams of vitamin C. But remove the skin, and it contains about 3 grams of fibre, 11 milligrams of calcium, and 194 milligrams of potassium.

Juicing fruit won’t remove all of the nutritional value, but what it will do is strip the fruit of at least half of it’s nutritional value, this will result in a decreased fibre intake whilst keeping the sugar content high. Just how important is fibre?

Fibre

There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is dissolved in the stomach and creates a sticky substance. This substance traps certain components of food such as fats and sugars (making them more difficult for the body to absorb).

Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in your stomach, instead it dissolves in water and increases in size. This provides bulk and moisture to stools, creating a natural laxative effect. This can help to reduce constipation and promotes a healthy colon. This is most commonly found in the skins of fruit and vegetables.

Digestion

It’s only common sense that liquid will digest much quicker than solid foods, so what’s the problem with this? As fruit contains fructose as well as glucose, this will result in fructose being absorbed too quickly causing a fructose spike. But what’s the difference between a fructose spike and a glucose spike?

Ben Greenfield Fitness

  • After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20%.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is ‘burned up’ immediately after you consume it. In contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the small, easy-oxidized and artery damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides which mostly get stored as fat.
  • If you eat 120 calories of glucose, about less than one calorie of that is stored as fat. But 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. So eating high amounts of fructose is essentially the same as consuming fat.

After reading this article, I hope that I’ve been able to inform you of the effects that juicing has on the body, and why it’s important to eat fruit and vegetables as a whole solid food. Plus they taste great so why wouldn’t you want to?!

Emily Singer

About Emily Singer

Strength and Conditioning Undergraduate. Go Nutrition Social Media Assistant.