I have always been skeptical of fads. Any reasonable, intelligent person should question a trend that professes to offer over-the-top health claims. But when it comes to juicing, I believe that it offers vital and important benefits to disease prevention and even reversal.
And although juicing may have just recently been forced to the public eye, it is by no means a new practice. Jack LaLanne was promoting the power of raw vegetable and fruit juices 50 years ago, long before it was fashionable.
Our goal at FoodTherapyMD is to focus on attacking chronic illness by eating plants and by juicing plants (and blending them too)! All are needed in order to get the maximum amount of health-promoting phytonutrients, and also have them absorbed easily and effectively.
But with everything in life, there are naysayers – those who fail to see the health benefits of juicing. There are two major arguments typically used to dismiss it all together: fiber and sugar.
First, let’s talk about the issue of fiber. One reason that health “experts” dismiss juicing is that they believe that all the fiber is removed from the fruit or vegetable during the juicing process, and therefore renders juicing nutritionally useless. That’s just not true! Although insoluble fiber (the pulp) is removed in the juicing process, soluble fiber remains in the juice. Soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic, and is vital to intestinal and digestive health. These fibers also regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
The people who dismiss juicing are uninformed, not only about the process but also about the science behind the inflammatory nature of disease. They don’t understand the importance of phytonutrients or why we need anti-oxidants to stay healthy and disease-free. We don’t juice vegetables for fiber, we juice to consume large, concentrated doses phytonutrients, the compounds in plants that deliver amazing healing and disease-preventing properties. Science is clear on the fact; the more phytonutrients you consume, the less disease you have. Juicing allows multiple doses of anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense vegetables to get maximally absorbed into the body.
Second are those who say that juicing is just like drinking soda, in that both are full of sugar. That may be partially true if you only juice fruits. But at FoodTherapyMD, we recommend vegetable juicing with the addition of small amounts of nutrient-dense fruits. Our recipes (the ones we recommend doing at home) use no more than 20% fruit. Most of them are 90 to 100% vegetables. We all know going to your neighborhood juice bar and ordering whatever looks the sweetest is not the best idea. And juicing alone is not the way to optimal health. But thoughtfully consuming a variety of colorful veggies and fruits in juice form is a wonderful way to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and it makes it easier to consume a wide variety of plants.
So – YES YES YES! You should juice! Every. Day.