A glass of liquid crimson. A glass of goodness. Tart, sweet, fresh … can’t you just taste it?
That glass of juice can help close the gap if you fall short on eating fruits and vegetables. But there is more hype to the benefits of juicing than proven results.
Juicing and Cleansing
Juicing and cleanses are touted by celebrities as a way to reboot your body, shrink your stomach and rid you of toxins.
Juices squeezed from fresh foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals but what’s missing is the fiber and skin. Fiber slows digestion. So, with no fiber, the quicker the juice sugars enter the blood stream and bam! a spike in blood sugar. Those spikes aren’t good because your energy falls as blood sugar falls.
Fiber’s a good thing because it helps maintain a healthy digestive tract, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer and helps maintain blood sugar levels and weight. Fiber serves as a scrub brush to move things through your system. Yet, nearly all of us fall short of meeting fiber recommendations. Men need about 38 grams per day and women need 25 grams but most Americans average 16 grams.
A juicing drawback is that most juice recipes don’t include protein or fat. These are powerful components that help you feel fuller and sustain your energy longer so you’re able to put your best foot forward. Depending not he mix, juicing results in a high-carb, low-fiber, low-protein meal that can leave you feeling hungry, moody, depressed, irritable, dizzy, and constipated.
Some people (I am NOT one of them!) suggest a juice cleanse as a way to reboot their eating habits by stepping away from processed foods and refocusing their eating on whole food. But our bodies are in a constant state of cleanse. A significant role of the skin, liver, kidneys and colon is cleansing by regulating and removing waste and toxins from the body.
In extreme calorie-restricted diets, water and muscle are the first things to go. So, while the number on the scale may drop, so does lean body mass. Protein is the building block of muscle. By omitting protein foods your body will use the only source available – your muscle mass. With less muscle your metabolism slows down so you become less efficient at burning calories.
Not a fan of diets
As a registered dietitian, I’m not a fan of diets that you go “on” and “fall off.” These diets don’t support normal eating – what, where, when, and how much to eat. Having said that, unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding, diabetic or taking certain medications, such as high blood pressure, it’s unlikely that a few days of juice will cause harm.
The bottom line: Juicing can be a flavorful way to boost fruit and vegetable intake and can be part of a healthy eating style that also includes water, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy and whole fruits and vegetables. A beet–ginger–cucumber–apple blend may taste delicious but healthy eating is healthy eating, not just drinking.
Are you ready for your own fiber challenge? I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.
Berry Banana Smoothie
This is my #1 favorite, go-to smoothie recipe. I make it nearly every weekend so it means “Yay!!…It’s the weekend!” Filled with health-boosting foods such as yogurt, berries, bananas, oatmeal and milk, I celebrate the goodness it delivers. That’s a party in a glass!
Ripe bananas are sweet
As bananas ripen they get sweeter, so you may not need to add sugar. Repurpose your ripe bananas to use in smoothies. Peel, then freeze in an airtight container. Use them frozen in the smoothie. That’s what I do 😉
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Berry Banana Smoothie
- Yield: 1
- Category: smoothie
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 banana, peeled, frozen or fresh
- 1/2 cup berries, frozen or fresh
- 1/4 cup oats, raw or cooked
- Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. If too thick, add more milk