Is Juicing Good for You?
Our daughter has been talking about getting a juicer and I wasn't sure of the answer to this question: is juicing good for you? So I dug into it and lo and behold I found this on my blog from a while back (!!) so I'm reposting today… 🙂
My longtime reader and friend, Jeanmarie Todd, was nice enough to not only write another post for my blog, but to do all the research involved first…which is very time-consuming. Thanks Jeanmarie!
Feel free to skim through the bolded parts if you're in a hurry. 🙂
And if you're just looking for a juicer, this one has great reviews.
Who hasn’t wondered: is juicing good for you?
It’s touted as an easy way to get more fresh produce into your diet—the idea being that you’ll consume more vegetables and fruits if you don’t have to actually chew them. Even if you’re not too lazy to masticate, maybe you want help consuming a greater volume of antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes from vegetables and fruits.
This is made to sound so healthful—yet IS juicing good for you? It seems antithetical to “whole foods” or “real foods” eating. Paleolithic man didn’t juice, Weston Price’s healthy natives didn’t juice, and who has the money to throw away so much of their organic produce?
I didn’t find much about this on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, and didn’t expect to. Dr. Joseph Mercola says juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount and wider variety of vegetables more efficiently, with better nutrient absorption. But like any other health trend, some have taken a grain of truth and extrapolated it to a whole lifestyle. Dr. Ron Schmid, author of Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine, an excellent introduction to Price’s research, said it best:
“If you go from a diet of mostly steak, pasta, Scotch and cheesecake, to raw fruits, vegetables and juices, you might well feel better, lose unwanted weight, and think you’ve discovered the fountain of youth—for a while. But at some point—a point that will vary markedly for different people—you’ll run into trouble. And many people will then think, ‘Gee, I did great on that diet. Why won’t it work now? Something else must be wrong since my diet is fine.’ But this is probably the wrong conclusion. The physical part of the explanation for health problems can almost always be found in the diet.”
Jack and the Juice Lady
Jack LaLanne, the 95-year-old fitness guru who hasn’t had dessert since 1929, hawks a juice extractor bearing his name, so we know where he stands. Another proponent is Cherie Calbom, author of The Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health.
“Juices are loaded with antioxidants, other vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals,” Calbom writes. “Most of us just don’t get enough of these nutrients in our diets to promote health and heal our bodies” without juicing. It saves time and energy, including cooking fuel.
Not only do food prep and cooking take up valuable time, so does chewing!
“Very few people have the time/energy to eat anywhere near the amount of vegetables they could juice,” Calbom says. “I timed eating a medium-size carrot; it took 10 minutes. Every day I juice 5 carrots, along with a beet with the stem and leaves, a handful of parsley, two stalks of celery, a cucumber, 1/4 lemon (peeled) and about a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root. . . There is no way, any day of my life, that I would eat all that if I had to sit down and chew it all up.”
I’m pretty sure I could eat a carrot in way under 10 minutes, but what about all that sugar?
“You can juice items you would probably never eat such as leaves like beet leaves (they are loaded with minerals), stems, seeds, and peels (if organic),” Calbom says. “All of these parts of the plant are loaded with nutrients, some with far more than the portion we’re accustomed to eating.”
True. I learned from a demo lady at the store that you can throw whole strawberries into a Vita-Mix without removing the hulls, which she claimed are high in Vitamin C. I can’t verify that, but I can verify that the hulls are unnoticeable blended up in a smoothie.
Still, is juicing good for you? Because ingesting minerals and digesting/absorbing them are two different things; for the latter, you need fat.
Advocates claim it can heal conditions ranging from allergies, anemia and cancer to varicose veins and water retention. Calbom even advises raw juices for candidiasis and hypoglycemia. I find the claim troubling, based on my own experience. Wouldn’t the carbohydrate content of juice, unslowed by fiber, very quickly hit the bloodstream, provoking an insulin response—and feeding the candida? Donna Gates of The Body Ecology Diet shares my concern.
‘Fit for Life’—Unfit for Work
I once followed the Fit for Life recommendation to start the day with fruits only, until 11 a.m. or so. Instead I had to leave work by 11 a.m. because I was so sick with the worst hypoglycemic reaction of my life.
Still, a few years later I bought a Jack LaLanne juicer. (I never miss the opportunity for Life to teach me the same painful lesson more than once!) I quite enjoyed the juice I made at least three or four times, but I just couldn’t stand throwing away all that good fiber. Grandma taught me that most of the nutrients are just under the skin, so why would I want to waste the skins and pulp? Only crazy Americans with more money than sense would pay top dollar for organic produce and toss so much of it, right? Plus, I rather enjoy chewing.
Let's look through our nutrient-dense lenses
Since discovering the nutrient-dense, full-fat, animal-based, traditional foods approach espoused by Weston Price, I examine any health claims through the lens of his insights. Any new information has to mesh with what I already know. I’m skeptical about claims that raw juices will basically solve all health issues.
Eating for lifelong health is not just about one thing—whether fiber, whole grains, acai berries, flaxseed oil, or name your favorite “miracle” ingredient. Is it human nature, or just American consumer culture, that we want to reduce complexity to one simple rule? (“No white foods!” seemed like a good one, until coconut milk came along. And lard.)
Funny how we say “fruits and vegetables” rather than “vegetables and fruits,” which I’ve consciously done. Dr. Tom Cowan, a member of the WAPF board, says fruits are overrated as a nutrient source. Dr. William Davis, author of the Heart Scan Blog, says lots of fruit, even whole, can contribute to diabetes.
Modern fruits are the product of many generations of selective breeding to make them higher in sugar (remember, all carbohydrates ultimately digest to glucose), and that makes them easy to overdo. (Picking them green and shipping them across the country may also mean less development of phytonutrients.) Dr. Cowan’s advice to me was to eat greens three times a day. Hmmm, juicing all that kale would be a lot easier to swallow…
But we shouldn't eat all of those greens raw!
Cruciferous vegetables, also known as the brassicas, are goitrogenic, meaning they can interfere with thyroid function unless cooked. This vast family includes kale, chard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cresses, mustard greens, radishes, bok choy, rutabagas, and more. Well, that cuts down the possibilities for juicing right there. These plants also contain a lot of soluble fiber, the kind that is fermented by bacteria in the digestive tract (feeding the beneficial microbes is a good thing).
Notice the offerings at juice bars: most are based on carrots, apples, beets, or all three—not that the combination isn’t delicious, but “ideally, you should avoid fruit juices due to their high sugar content,” Mercola says. “Although vegetable juice is processed, it doesn’t raise insulin levels like fruit juice,” he says. “The only exceptions would be carrot and beet juice (and most vegetables that grow underground), which function similarly to fruit juice.”
So maybe my concern over vegetable juice spiking insulin is unfounded? Dr. Cowan recommends lacto-fermented vegetable juice for cancer patients—as well as intact vegetables.
Mercola suggests starting with celery, fennel, and cucumbers, adding choices such as spinach, leaf lettuce, endive, escarole; herbs such as parsley and cilantro, and one or two bitter green leaves such as kale.
Add fats for nutrient absorption!
Add fats so nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin K and minerals are absorbed. Balance the juice with fat and protein from raw cream, raw butter, raw eggs, avocado, coconut oil, or freshly ground flax seed, he says. Add some or all of the pulp. Now we’re talking!
I still prefer kale cooked, with plenty of fat.
If you're asking, ‘is juicing good for you?', how about this: if you must juice, just consider these tips:
- Emphasize vegetables over fruits; make and drink juices fresh.
- Cook cruciferous vegetables rather than juicing them or lightly steam any greens before adding them to your juice.
- Take juices as part of a meal or balance with fats and protein for best nutrient absorption and to prevent an insulin spike.
- Instead of a juice extractor, consider a Vita-Mix or Bosch to make a blended veggie smoothie to retain the fiber.
- Flavor a veggie smoothie with raw sauerkraut and fresh herbs, even chicken stock if you need to dilute it.
- Try Lacto-fermenting some fresh vegetable juice.
- Don’t rely exclusively on raw juice for your diet.
So occasional juicing as a way to get in more antioxidants and phytonutrients isn't a bad idea, as long as you're following the above tips!
***Jeanmarie has added a follow up note related to the GAPS Diet and how juicing plays into it: “The big surprise for me in researching this was learning that the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, a grain-free, lactose-free, and sucrose-free regimen, recommended consuming freshly pressed juices.”
Let us know your thoughts on this! If this post, “Is juicing good for you?” helped you OR maybe brought up more questions, comment below. 🙂
- Again, if you're looking for a juicer, this one has great reviews.
Kim Kilpatrick says
I prefer smoothies over juicing. I agree with insulin spikes in juicing alone. I have to admit I’m addicted to sugar but with smoothies I can hide all the veggies with an apple and strawberries. lol
Lee Deavers says
The link to jeanmarie is no longer valid.
OK, I’ll ask her about it, thank you!
Marie R says
I agree, also, that juicing is overrated, but I can’t discount it completely. Certainly our ancestors were unlikely to juice as easily and as often as modernity, but is it impossible? Also, speaking of our ancestors, neither did they deal with rampant obesity, cancers, and a myriad of other ailments that afflicts us today. So perhaps, we wouldn’t want to juice for every meal or even every day, but perhaps also, a person is sick and needs the extra nutrition, in addition to a regular intake of healing foods like fats, broths, and fermented foods. Once healed juicing would then become more sporadic.
Makes sense Marie!
I developed acid reflux 8 years ago. The only morning food I can consume without heartburn is carrot juice. I get no spike in energy, only a feeling of “goodness”. Usually, I don’t eat again till dinner. Then it’s meat, and steamed veggies, (When I’m good). I have issues with all grains. Just feel “off” when consumed. Yes, even brown rice, potatos etc. Later.
Thanks Laurie! i have sprouts growing and pea shoots in my window–never thought to grow lettuces like mache! will do that! thanks for the link!
Laurie N says
I’m not Zeke, but I’ve got some ideas for other green things. You can grow quite a few different greens and herbs in pots if you’ve got even a bit of a green thumb. I’ve tried strawberry spinach, claytonia, and mache, along w/ a variety of different lettuces. Herbs are very forgiving and easy to grow, too, such as parsley, mints, lemon balm – I would think these would go with a wide variety of fruits and veggies. You can also wildcraft, assuming you have access to unsprayed areas. I have munched on purslane, plantain, clover blossoms, nettles (cooked).
Here’s a nice article about growing a variety of greens in an urban setting: https://www.urbansustainableliving.com/leafy-aspirations.html
I spent a small amount of time in the raw foods camp–in an attempt to naturally heal from the drugs given to me to cure my lymes disease….for a while things felt better–but eventually i had to stop due to many other health issues cropping up–especially female issues–seems that raw foods and especially juices are cooling foods and in chinese medicine, this means female problems…
that said–i have a vitamix and i enjoy making thick veggie/fruit/coconut oil shakes…you drink a whole lot less, you are eating all the fiber and other associated content, you can make some and save some (which you cant do with juice)…anne wigmore was a proponent of this type of “energy soup” and it is a big part of the hippocrates diet…
I could NEVER eat breakfast–i think now it might have been because i was sensitive to pasturized dairy and cereals– but this breakfast goes right down and gives me a ton of energy–but its not juicing–its blending…
ZEKE–if you are reading this, could you please write a bit more about what other greens are available to us to eat? I have an amazing veggie market by me and i try a lot of different things–but you are right that the predominance of veggies in the aisle are either high oxalate or thyroid suppressing…whats the alternative?????
Thanks for all the comments! I definitely don’t have all the answers and am constantly looking for better information!
Definitely, most of us could probably expand our veggie repertoire, whether raw, cooked or juiced. If juicing is working for you, go for it. Just beware there could come a time when it’s not working for you, and it might be for some of the reasons suggested. The glycemic index is not a universally accepted concept and it definitely can be overemphasized, but excess sugar in the system is deadly, which is why the body pumps out insulin to remove it from the bloodstream. Excess insulin over time is also bad. So, the idea is to find what works *today* and also *long-term*.
Home-pressed, fresh juice is always going to be better for you than store-bought, but it may or may not been good for everybody. Just because your body can handle the sugar load now (you haven’t sufficiently damaged your metabolism yet for instance), doesn’t mean it’s not taking a toll in the long term. Just something to consider. If fresh juice is your one sweet treat in an otherwise fat- and protein-rich day, there are probably worse dietary sins!
Fiber is an interesting topic. I bought the “eat more fiber!” line for a long time and was shocked, shocked I tell you, when I first heard of Fiber Menace. And even more shocked that it was endorsed by Sally Fallon or somebody at WAPF, but that caught my attention. Then I read what he said and it made sense. I do think there are differences between grain fiber (bran) and vegetable/fruit fiber, cooked vs raw, soluble vs insoluble, etc. You can overdo it and you can underdo it, and your individual mileage will vary, but most of what you poop out is (or should be) dead bacteria, and if you have plenty of good bacteria in your gut, things will work out for the best. Some of them feed on what is to us indigestible fiber (such as cellulose). We definitely don’t need to graze grass like a cow, but I’m not sure that means we shouldn’t eat anything at all with cellulose in it; I think a certain amount is good for the bacteria and doesn’t hurt us. A lot of it would not be beneficial; I can’t tell you exactly what that amount would be obviously.
I tried to hit the sweet spot of what is most applicable to most people .
As I said, though, I haven’t researched it to know for sure which theory makes the most sense, and it’s most likely that each side has *some* things right… 🙂
Fabulous – Forget fiber kids, not important apparently.
KK: you are welcome to delete my clearly incorrect ideas.
My two boys and I have been on the Gaps diet for 4.5 weeks and have had little fiber and ya know what? We have no problems pooping. A little constipation with my 4yr old for one day. I jiuced carrots for him and all was well. This ridiculous notion that we need lots of fiber is another way for big industry to make lots of money of supplemental fiber! Argg!!!!
BTW, I love juicing!
I personally have been making a daily green smoothie for as long as I can remember. I use a normal blender instead of a juicer, so that I can retain the fiber. Ingredients are kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger, then I use a small amount of fruits to add some sweetness (apple, banana, kiwi) and some organic carrot juice and ice to thin out the smoothie…and finally avocado (the fats to help my body absorb). It really is quite delish and I’m able to get some extra fruits and veggies in that I might not normally. My hubby and 9 year old love it and constantly ask me to make green juice (although technically its a smoothie!)
Yes, Lucas, that was it, thanks for figuring it out for me!!! 🙂 Interesting stuff, huh?
I remember reading about fiber from the book review “Fiber menace” on the Weston a price website, maybe that’s what your thinking about Kelly. https://www.westonaprice.org/Fiber-Menace-by-Konstantin-Monastyrsky.html
KK: sounds like an important topic for an upcoming post for you then!
Actually, I’ve heard that just the opposite may be true. It’s so counter to what we’ve been told about fiber from mainstream docs and such, but I’ve heard that we really don’t need all that much. Now, keep in mind that I haven’t researched this AT ALL and I’m probably right down the middle on the topic (we eat whole grains and plenty of produce but never worry if we’re “getting enough fiber”), I’m just throwing it out there for the discussion. I wish I could find that website that talked about this in great detail…
It seems you do not appreciate the value of fiber and its function in your intestines. Its extremely important. One could write 100s of pages on it and do not feel very verbose right now.
1) fiber is needed for proper GI dynamics and motility
2) fiber needed for proper function of osmolarity regulation
3) fiber needed for healthy transit time of food throughout GI length (for satiety perception and also blood sugar regulation)
4) there are plenty of things that a juicer doesnt extract and break down in the pulp that can be used by your intestines as well as your intestinal flora.
As far as the ‘waste’ from juicing, you all realize you are basically complaining about losing the chance to poop it out? There isn’t much left except cellulose. Which our body cannot digest. It just passes through. Unless you have major fiber issues and need it, you aren’t missing much.
I’ve just recently switched from store bought orange juice to making my own in my juicer. Clean up is a pain, and it may not be the BEST thing to put in my body, but its better than the pesticide-ridden stuff from the store. I just really love OJ with my morning eggs and toast – so at least I’m drinking it with fat, protein, and fiber! I’m thinking about trying to make the fermented orange drink from nourishing traditions next. That would be a step up!
You didnt bring out much about green smoothies. It seems you dismissed the cruciferous as those that have no value raw due to the goitrogeneic aspects.
In all things moderation and also fiber.
I have a juicer but only use it for making carrot and other juices that I add to my sprouted whole wheat bread recipes. AMAZING flavor. You can add the pulp back in too.
I do green smoothies in my VitaMix because I KNOW my digestive system and also my teeth are not up to the challenge of molecularizing leafy greens and such.
I drink green smoothies I make from homegrown kale and lettuces and mesclun and sprouts and spinaches but not every day. I do not drink the same green every smoothie and I am also careful to eat some of my homegrown undepleted greens as slightly cooked or even long cooked (like with my collard greens and southern recipes).
Smoothies give you a huge blast of fiber which will buffer any bolus you might get from fruit you add to the mix. Some people do not even add fruit to their smoothies. Adding coconut butter/oil is awesome, so is homemade yogurt and kefir (from our dairy goats). NEVER add sugar. Blueberries are fantastic but drink it right away or else the pectin sets the smoothie up into a panna cotta like curd that contracts and expresses the liquid portion of the smoothie -> odd drinking experience.
All things in moderation and with fiber.
I dont think long term juicing fasts are a good idea – balance and fat and FIBER (as we all know here) is missing.
I have got to say, I think I disagree with you. Sorry! 🙂
While juicing is not a “miracle” cure by any means, I think it’s a delicious and simple way to start the day and cleanse the body. I love a glass of juice to start the morning off, and I feel absolutely wonderful after I drink it. I mean, I have a physical sensation of “wow! I feel SO good!”
About 3 years ago, I was incredibly ill, and at the time, no-one knew why. Now we know that I have celiac disease, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, PCOS, and diabetes II. I now eat a diet nearly devoid of grains and processed foods, and in our house we love butter, schmaltz, and coconut oil, as well as kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc. And I feel SO great! Almost 100% better than I did 3 years ago.
However. I think raw foods deserve a place in a nourishing diet, and raw fruit especially, if only to satisfy our needs for vitamin C. I am totally against supplements – I think our natural diet should provide all the nutrients necessary for health. In The Ultimate Nutrition Bible Patrick Holford explains that unlike almost all other animal species, our bodies do not naturally create vitamin C. He theorizes that this is because we once ate a diet very high in fruits and vegetables, and thus had no need of this specific trait. Our bodies need to eat fruits and vegetable, and we need to eat a healthy percentage of them in raw form.
Speaking as someone who has diabetes II, I have not had a problem with juicing (or fruit, for that matter) and insulin spikes. It’s true that juice is higher in sugar than, say, eggs, but it doesn’t even compare to high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, and even maple syrup, honey, agave necter, or any other “natural” sweeteners. Although juicing does separate out the insoluble fiber, all of the soluble fiber is still there in the juice, and that’s the fiber that really counts (if you know what I mean). That fiber helps stabilize the blood sugar and prevent insulin spikes and the following insulin crash.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are what Natalie Rose and Patrick Holford call “prebiotics,” foods that feed and nourish the good bacteria we try to populate our guts with when we eat fermented foods.
I sometimes hear people argue against juicing by saying that paleo-lithic ancestors didn’t have juicers, so we shouldn’t juice. I would like to point out that they also didn’t have saute pans, ovens, refrigerators, or blenders, but we don’t have a problem using those gadgets to prepare food and make it more palatable. What they did have was a diet that featured quite a lot of raw or semi-raw foods, and I think we should too. I don’t think juicing is a miracle cure or the key to good health, but I do think it is a delicious option for preparing raw foods. Because eating them plain does get boring sometimes 🙂
Julie L. says
Getting a high-quality juicer is on my wish list for “someday.” 🙂 Years ago, someone gave us an old, vintage Champion juicer that we never touched and then idiotically sold at a garage sale for something like five dollars!! The nerve of us! Oh, to go back in time…Well, at least I’m sure we made someone very happy that day. 🙂
Am interested in recommendations for juicers. I do think our family would consume more veggies if we juiced. Would love to get into the habit of having one glass of freshly-juiced veggies/fruits per day. I’m also not opposed to throwing some raw kale or chard in there, too. Have always been a little suspicious of the whole goitrogenic/cruciferous veggies argument. I’m not advocating subsisting on raw cruciferous veggies by any means, but I really have a difficult time believing some amounts of these in your diet would sabotage healthy living. I don’t find myself leaning toward any extreme, seemingly counter-intuitive arguments (such as Rami Nagel advocating to stay away from gifts of nature such as sunflower seeds!).
I recall picking fresh swiss chard out of my garden this summer, practically scratching my head at the “it’s only beneficial to the body if it’s cooked, and if it’s not cooked, beware, thy thyroid!” argument. Needless to say, we consumed fresh swiss chard in our salads throughout the summer. But do I eat raw broccoli? Blech–no! This is primarily for taste reasons, however. 🙂
Moderation in all things. 🙂
My husband loves fruit juice. While I try to get him onto juices that are organic with no additives (not always an easy find because he often buys his own and gets the cheapest ones), I still worry about all that fructose he is eating. He finds it frustrating that he likes to think he is eating better by using the fruit juice than by drinking Coke (well um yeah). I keep trying to wean him onto a natural soda with white sugar rather than HFCS interspersed with fruit juice. I did get a juicer. I hope to add some juiced fruits to water kefir to create a fruity soda like drink that will keep for a bit.
I do enjoy when we have chili or something that really is a one dish meal and I don’t have salad that I can toss some carrots in and perhaps some greens and have a vegetable drink with dinner! Not often, but now and again I figure there are far worse things that we could do.
On my own–probably wouldn’t juice. I tend to like to roast or slowly steam my veggies!
Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life says
Those juicing tips are great, they correct all the common problems related to juicing. I can’t stand seeing people obsessively juicing brocolli and similar veggies. Some things are made to be cooked.
I find it funny that you have this post, just days after I posted the same topic with a very different twist: https://cmichellehoward.blogspot.com/2010/02/whats-grosser-than-gross.html I will say that since learning about Nourishing Traditions and pairing that info with my frugal nature (my aunt once told my parents I was BORN conservative when, at eight years of age. I didn’t want to waste a whole dozen eggs dying them for Easter) I basically discontinued use of my juicer. I save it thinking I may want it for putting up produce some time, but it rarely makes it’s way out of the cabinet these days.
Laurie N says
Thanks for this post. Juicing is something I’ve wondered about over the years but never really researched much. The biggest barriers were cost and waste. High quality produce is pricey, unless I grow it myself, and like the author I have no urge to discard mountains of pulp, and who really uses it all for some other use? Why not just eat it with the fruit or veggie it came with originally? Smoothies seem like a much better option, but I enjoy the mouth feels of different foods. (I know I seen it recommended that you chew your smoothie, but then it seems to me why would you bother with a smoothie if you had to chew it anyway?) I did just get a new Bosch (my old food processor died 🙁 ), so I may try out the smoothie option once the garden is back in full swing.
I really like Zeke’s comment, too. There are so many food options available, and we cultivate so few! At last count I had over 100 varieties of fruit, veggies, herbs and flowers in my garden, and I would love to grow more (but there are only so many hours in a day). A lot of the greens self-seed once established or have seeds that are easy to harvest and replant, such as mache and strawberry spinach. I think it’s up to the real foodies to expand our plant culinary horizons as well as our animal based culinary horizons. 🙂
Valerie Nordquist says
I agree about juicing being a way over-rated health trend. I bought a juicer and haven’t used it a lot, but would really like to start having some periods of fasting with lacto fermented drinks that may have juice in them. I like kombucha with a little bit of fresh veg/fruit juice.
I always cring a little when I hear (read) people mention, “that’s not what our paleo ancestors ate” I’m not against eating moderate amounts of fruit and grains. I’ve read Dr Price’s entire book and after all his research he says he does not expect us to convert to a diet such as those discovered among natives. But rather that we should use what is available to us, and include nutrient dense foods available to us. In his health recovery clinic he and his wife served whole grains and cooked fruit (with fat of course) to their patients as part of their everyday diet.
I think people become too extreme on both sides of the arguement. I love the above recommendation about growing our own variety of greens. Would love ideas about how to consume more of these in meals.
I juiced years ago, in an attempt to get my body to work well without pain. I had very limited success, but nothing like the success I’ve had since adding good fats to my diet. Juicing is expensive, especially considering how much food is thrown out. I did compost the pulp for my garden, but it still seemed such a horrid waste!
We have a teen daughter with hypoglycemia who can eat just about any whole food without problems, but juices set her right off. I figure it’s gotta be the fiber slowing down the sugar digestion that keeps her on the right track with whole foods.
I will still occasionally pull out the juicer if I’m making something very, very special and I want layers of flavor. For example in a special birthday orange cake, I’ll use fresh orange juice that I reduce, along with grated peel and orange slices on the top. Other than that, I prefer using whole fruits in my blender in smoothies.
DeAnn Malcolm says
I really enjoyed reading this post. A while ago, I bought a nice juicer and would have my, “green Juice” every morning. (Kale–before I knew that it should be cooked first–or romaine, a cucumber, some parsley, a lemon, and an apple.) I have to say it was delicious and really gave me a lot of energy in the mornings…I have six children, so that is a big plus for me!!! I stopped because, frankly, it became expensive and time-consuming to clean the juicer every day. Then I bought, “Nourishing Traditions, ” and winter came along so the fresh veggies were not available. I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to it, but I have had lots of questions like some of the ones above. Personally, I think this is a “both… and” situation, and not an, “either…or.” I think juicing is perfectly acceptable and healthy. I have seen the results…more energy…clearer skin..healthy digestion. I do believe that one can use juicing to heal certain ailments. However, it is neither the ONLY solution, nor a long-term one. It seems to make more sense to juice in the spring and summer when veggies are fresh and abundant. In the winter, it makes more sense to focus on broths and smoothies, adding more fat and fiber. Who knows? I’m sure our ancestors from colder climates used left over beet stems, and veggies for brothy juice, while those from more tropical climates used fruit and vegetable leftovers to make delicious tropical drinks…sans tiny umbrellas. 🙂 I’m trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater here. I guess I’ve used all of these words to say that I think juicing can be a nice compliment to our diet without being the main focus. I’m trying to eat a more traditional diet, but I’m just not totally there, so I think juicing can add some key nutrients that I may be missing. Sorry for being so wordy. Lots to think about.
Hmm… Interesting. I could definitely see juicing being helpful, as Kate said, when pregnant. I had the hardest time eating enough food while I was pregnant! Seems like having them in liquid form would help with that.
Also, I’ve heard of using the pulp from juicing in muffins and quick breads. Any thoughts on this? (Besides the obvious that we shouldn’t be eating muffins all the time.)
I love smoothies with coconut milk. As soon as my Tropical Traditiond coconut cream comes in I’ll use that. Whole fruit with the fiber, and fat. Perfect. i especially loved this when pregnant. For me it IS easier to drink than eat. Or, to eat all together, like in a salad or soup. I don’t like sitting and munching individual bites of any fruit or vegetables really. But it’s healthier to have a big salad with fatty dressing or soup with homemade bone broth anyway.
I’ve always wondered why so many of the vegetables we eat are brassicas. Its ridiculous, there are so many other greens, better greens, out there we could be eating. I found a statistic one that said the western world only uses about 2% of the species of greens available to it. Cabbage and broccoli and kale and collards and cauliflower are all just different varieties of the same plant! I urge every reading this comment that has garden space to order a Richter’s catalog and discover a small fraction of the other greens we could, nay should be eating.
Sorry to get off on a rant there.
I must say that while constant juicing probably isn’t a wise choice. I am a big proponent of occasional juice fasting. I know it has helped me. I juice mainly vegetable with little if any fruit/carrots/beets.