When the new year arrives, many people will undoubtedly dust off their juicers in preparation for the post-holiday detox. While this and other forms of restrictive eating are popular after the Christmas season for many adults, there may be better strategies than maintaining a diet that relies solely on drinking green juice in place of other foods.
Eat, drink, and be merry from Halloween to New Year, followed by days or weeks of restrictive juicing programs in January, which may result in vitamin deficiencies, energy imbalance, and other problems. While there are certain benefits to drinking green juice, here are some reasons why it should not be your primary source of nutrition, whether during the New Year or any other season.
Green juicing usually involves crushing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to separate the liquid components from the fibrous flesh. One advantage of juicing is that incorporating fresh produce in your juice daily may significantly improve your intake of fruits and vegetables. According to one study, concentrated fruit and vegetable products, including juices, can raise blood levels of various nutrients, including folate, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
While many nutrients are preserved when juiced, some are dramatically diminished. This is true for fiber, which can aid in blood cholesterol reduction, digestive regularity, and stabilization of blood sugar. Unfortunately, the bulk of fiber is left with the pulp when the liquid is removed from the pulp of fruits and vegetables during juicing. This means juices provide different benefits than the whole fruit and vegetables used to generate the juice.
Another disadvantage of green juice is its lack of nutrients such as protein and fat. Juicing becomes less satiating as a result. Suppose these nutrients aren’t ingested elsewhere in the diet. Research suggests this may lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiency-related symptoms such as hair, nail, skin integrity issues, muscle loss, and delayed wound healing. Green juices also have a low-calorie count. So, follow a juice cleanse-focused diet plan for an extended period. You may experience a substantial calorie shortfall, which can have comparable adverse side effects on your health and metabolism.
A large calorie deficit increases the chance of dietary shortages and promotes rapid muscle loss—both of which can decrease metabolism, but is also unrealistic to maintain.
When fresh fruit juice is consumed as part of a well-balanced diet, it can increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This is a beneficial use of juicing and a practical technique to improve your diet of healthy fruits and veggies. However, juicing may cause more harm than good when used to replace whole foods and balanced meals regularly.
If you want to attempt juicing, limit yourself to one meal per day and make sure your other meals and snacks have enough nutrients not available in juice, such as protein, fat, and fiber. Better, better; instead of juicing, try increasing your intake of whole fruits and vegetables to reap the benefits of juicing and fiber.
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