Just Beet It: The Pros and Cons of Juicing

Just Beet It: The Pros and Cons of Juicing
Jen Stiff

The elaborate juice alchemies available in craft juice shops and on grocery store shelves today make some big promises, from detoxification to jumpstarting the immune system to making your skin glow. But does drinking activated charcoal kale lemonade really live up to the hype?

Most health care practitioners will tell you it’s more important to chew your vegetables and fruits rather than drink them (most nutrients are found in the skin of the veggies). That’s not to say juicing doesn’t have its perks, but juicing is meant to supplement your fruit and vegetable intake, or enjoyed as a healthy snack or alternative to your morning coffee. Juicing isn’t a replacement for the 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables your body needs each day.

The sage advice to consume your foods in the form that is as close as possible to how they were plucked from the earth or a tree applies here, too. Always aim for minimal processing. The juicing process is, of course, much more innocuous than the vast majority of processing that goes into other packaged foods, but it’s a process nonetheless (which you’re well aware of if you’ve ever watched how five pounds of whole carrots juices into a thimble of carrot juice).

Upside of Juicing

Juicing in and of itself is not a bad practice. There are various benefits to it:

  • Nutrient boost – Juicing is one way to squeeze more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and while chewing your produce is preferable to drinking it, consuming produce is preferable to not consuming it.
     
  • Convenience – You can purchase pre-made juices if you’re in a hurry or on-the-go, rather than putting in the time and effort to make them yourself.
     
  • Variety – One serving of juice can contain a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which you may rarely or never consume. Everyone has that one fruit or vegetable they just don’t get around to befriending. Dandelion greens, anyone?

Downside of Juicing

Incorporating juicing into your daily routine can also have its drawbacks:

  • Price – It can be tough to swallow paying $12 for a 16-ounce beverage. Two reasons it costs so much: labor and raw materials. If you’ve ever made juice at home, you know how labor-intensive juicing can be, between buying, washing, slicing, and juicing your vegetables, plus clean-up. It’s also expensive, even if you make it at home. A good quality juicer is an expensive investment, as is purchasing the massive quantities of produce you need to make a reasonable amount of juice.  
     
  • Fiber fail – When you extract the juice from fruits or vegetables, you don’t get the nutritious pulp and fiber, which also means a loss of some key vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
     
  • Sugar overload – Store-bought juices often contain significant amounts of fruit-based or added sugar, and lack “the good stuff” like kale and spinach. Know what you’re …read more
    Source: Deepak Chopra  
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