By: Camille Marie Nutrition
Juicing has gotten a bad reputation over the past few years, and not for no reason. The rise of trendy juice cleanses and the plethora of companies creating juice products that are essentially sugar water showed the world the unhealthy side of juicing.
But if you do it the right way, juicing provides some incredible health benefits that you won’t want to pass up. The goal of this article is to change your relationship with juice and empower you to make informed decisions around how and when you incorporate juicing into your routine.
Before we dive into the health benefits of juicing, let’s clarify what “juicing” means exactly. Not all types of juice are created equal and it’s important to understand the differences.
When we talk about juice, we’re not talking about Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail or Sunny D. These are juice brands that qualify as the “sugar water” we mentioned above, and we recommend avoiding these at all costs. They contain loads of sugar & ingredients like artificial sweeteners and food coloring that are not only toxic, but scientifically proven to contribute to health issues such as unhealthy weight gain and diabetes.
For the purposes of this article, “juice” means either making your own from scratch using a juicer or blender, or choosing a juice from the store that meets these criteria:
Does not contain any added sugar (read the ingredient label and look out for things like: sugar, sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, corn syrup, etc.)
A blend of fruits and vegetables (to keep the amount of natural sugar relatively low)
Contains pulp! (The pulp of the fruits & vegetables contains fiber, which provides added nutrients and brings down the overall glycemic load of the juice)
If you opt to go the easier route (no shame!) and purchase your juice from the store, one of our favorite brands, that contains nothing but the best, is Evolution Fresh.
Without further ado, let’s get into the scientific benefits of juicing!
Top 3 Health Benefits of Juicing:
1. Increase amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet
Fruits and vegetables are chock-full of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for facilitating the production of energy, healthy brain function, mood stabilization, weight regulation, and much, much more.
The daily recommended dose of fruits and vegetables for adults is 7-9 servings per day. (1) That means about 7-9 cups! And that’s a large volume to consume if you’re eating whole fruits and vegetables.
That’s where juicing comes in! Rather than eating all 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables, you can drink some of those servings to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
We’ll remind you that it’s important to include the pulp in your juice, as this is where the essential nutrient fiber comes in.
2. Decrease inflammation in the body
Another important health benefit of juicing is that it decreases inflammation in the body. First off, what is inflammation?
Inflammation happens when certain chemicals from your blood cells enter your blood to protect your body from foreign invaders. (2) This is an extremely important bodily response, as it’s the mechanism that helps your body heal from illnesses.
However, there are many other things that can trigger this inflammatory response in the body when it’s not necessary, and that’s where you run into problems. Inflammation can occur from too much or little exercise, eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol, and the list goes on.
One of the best ways to combat inflammation in the body is by consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables! The phytonutrients in plants have properties that work to systematically decrease inflammation and help your body function optimally.
3. Increase energy
The last health benefit of juicing we’ll touch on is increased energy! And who doesn’t want more energy?
How exactly does juicing give you more energy? There are many reasons, but one that is certainly the key is that juice takes virtually zero effort to digest.
About 30% of your body’s total energy for the day is dedicated to digesting food. (3) Yes, 30% - you read that correctly! So the more you can incorporate easy-to-digest foods such as smoothies, soups, and of course juices, you will likely find you naturally have more energy throughout the day.
Our favorite ways to incorporate juice into our diets is with breakfast in the morning and/or in the afternoon between lunch and dinner for a midday energy boost!
Give juicing a try and see for yourself!