Juicing or taking juice supplements is seen as an easy way to get the recommended daily allowance of fruits and veggies. But is that really a shortcut way to not have to eat whole food plants? The short answer is no. But we don’t expect you to believe it just because we said so (we aren’t your parents after all). Let’s look at the reasons that juicing is not going help you as much as you think it will.
It’s easy to take in lots of calories
You would never eat three carrots, two stalks of celery, a handful of kale, some parsley, 2 apples, a cucumber and a bit of ginger washed down with a cup and a half of water and some lemon juice in one sitting. Not that you couldn’t. It would likely fit in your stomach. But that would BE your breakfast. Not the precursor to your breakfast. All of those plants are great things to eat. But to take in all those calories and then eat more is a mistake.
Not to mention, you aren’t getting ALL the nutrients when you juice.
Missing fiber You might think, “Who cares? I’ll just take a fiber supplement.” But a fiber supplement isn’t the same thing as the fiber in whole food. The fiber found in plants has nutrients attached to it that leaves with the fiber when the juice is stripped out. Those nutrients feed the good bacteria in your gut.Only drinking the juice means your gut bacteria goes hungry. Starve your gut bacteria and it will die. Leaving room for not healthy flora to spread. Nobody wants that.
Fiber makes us feel full. You’ve heard us talk about the stretch receptors in the human stomach and how they have a big say when your brain decides you’ve had enough to eat. No fiber means no stretch. Your brain gets the message that you haven’t taken in enough energy to sustain yourself and will very shorty be saying, “Hey, we are hungry!” And sadly, that often means grabbing an animal product or something processed just to quiet the hunger pangs.
Fiber slows down digestion. Processing plant fiber takes time. Your body has to break things down and sort good stuff from waste. Your stomach empties more slowly so you aren’t feeling hungry 20 minutes later. That processing time keeps your blood sugar from spiking. Eating whole fruit doesn’t spike your blood sugar the way just drinking juice does.
Fiber keeps things moving. We all know that fiber helps our GI tract move waste. The last thing you want is waste sitting in your gut rotting. People eating the Standard American Diet don’t get anywhere near enough fiber (and animal products are hard for our bodies to process anyway). “Fixing” the problem of not eating fruits and veggies by juicing robs you of the chance to keep your gut (and your body in general) healthy.
It used to be thought that fiber was “just a bulking agent” and anything would do; including plastic pellets. Now we know that plant fiber plays a HUGE role in our health. We think it’s sad to juice them and throw away SO much of the good stuff. Don’t pass on the opportunity to eat whole plant foods.
If you are ready to address how your food choices are negatively affecting your health, let’s set up a free get-to-know-you chat. Send me an email and let’s get you on track to taking control of your stress eating. Health@RnRJourney.com
Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at Health@RnRJourney.com.