The Pros and Cons of Juicing vs. Whole Foods



The Pros and Cons of Juicing vs Whole Foods


Woman in workout gear pouring smoothie in kitchen
Juicing can be a convenient way to get a huge boost of healthy nutrients quickly and conveniently. Proponents of juicing say it can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and even help you lose weight. However, juicing may not be any healthier than eating whole fruits even though some find it’s easier to drink all the concentrated juices from blending vs. eating the same amount of whole produce. A pound of carrots juiced provides a lot less volume than eating a pound of whole carrots. Considering the average American only consumes about half of the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, juicing may help us consume the important nutrients we need.

 

But what does fruit have that fruit juice does not? Mostly the fiber, which is very important for digestion and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Other nutrients may be lost in the fiber and skin of the produce too, yet for those of us who don’t seem to have enough time to sit down and eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, or simply don’t like them, juicing can be an important part of a healthy diet. When considering whether to juice or eat the whole fruit or vegetable, keep in mind these pros and cons.

 

Pros of Juicing

  • Juicing provides almost the same vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients as eating whole fruits
  • It is easy to consume juice on the run
  • Juice provides easy to absorb nutrients, without much volume
  • The water content in juice can help you stay hydrated
  • Cons of juicing

  • Juicing removes fiber, which is important for healthy digestion
  • Fruit juices can raise blood sugar more quickly than whole fruits
  • Juice doesn’t keep you feeling full as long as eating whole fruits and vegetables because it’s absorbed faster
  • Juicing can be expensive
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    If you decide to juice whole foods, you will need a good juicer, which can cost upwards of $100. Remember to keep food safety in mind and wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove dirt and germs before processing. You may want to choose organic produce to avoid common chemicals used in agriculture. Be sure to consume your fresh juice right away so it doesn’t grow any unwanted bacteria that could make you sick.

     

    Be creative when juicing. it can be fun to whip up delicious new flavors such as mixing cucumbers, kale and the sweetness of strawberries. There is no end to the tasty combinations you can make especially if you consider adding fresh herbs like basil or mint. You can even mix ingredients based on the nutrients you desire, like oranges for vitamin C or red grapes for resveratrol.

     

    So now that you know a little more about the nutritional take-a-ways of juicing vs. whole foods, why not try this quick and easy orange-carrot juice following the instructions on your juicer.

     
  • 3 medium organic carrots, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 organic oranges, peeled and seeded
  • 1 organic apple, washed and cut into sections
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    Juice the carrots, followed by the oranges and then the apple. Enjoy right away.

    Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RD

    Jennifer M Wood, MS, RDN is registered dietitian nutritionist and successful food and nutrition consultant in Southeastern Minnesota. As the founder of a nation-wide gourmet food company, Wood wrote Jenny’s Country Kitchen…recipes for making homemade a little easier! (2003), which is a timeless collection of make-ahead, freeze-ahead and pantry-stocking recipes and time saving tips to help busy families put nutritious food on table. Wood graduated with a pre-med bachelors degree in nutritional science in 2001, completed her dietetic internship in 2007 and went on to complete a master’s degree in food and nutrition in 2011.

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