Juicing has taken the world by storm, with celebrities as usual, leading the trend. As a juice lover myself, I decided to look further into whether it really is a worthwhile trend that does benefit our bodies, or just another health myth. I am a huge smoothie and juice lover and my craving for juices started back in 2006 when I started to purchase juices from a nutrition centre opposite my work.
It started with a juice in the morning and then one for lunch, replacing food during my day. I felt healthy and my general wellbeing showed as a result. But nine years later, I am not having so many juices per day and I decided to be thrifty by purchasing a juicer and follow the many health experts, celebrities and bloggers joining the trend.
But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Some pros and cons of a juicer are; it is a cheaper alternative to spending over £4 per juice from a juice bar. The downside, cleaning the juicer! Those are for the novice juicers who are trying to be healthy. But what about some of the other pros and cons; a juice is not that filling as all the fibre is taken out to give you pure juice. If you need something more filling, you need a smoothie that keeps all the fibre in through blending. On the plus side, smoothies are quicker to prepare, just bung it all in!
The main benefits of a juice is that it is an easy way to provide your body with nutrient filled vegetables and fruit and being home-made, misses out the bad toxic fats, sugars and salts you want to avoid. However it’s not all good; if you are juicing as a diet be careful! Yes you are reducing your daily calories, but most of the calories in the juice are from the high amounts of natural sugar from the fruit and vegetables and are lacking protein. This is key for your energy levels.
This leads back to my second ‘con’ to juicing; we are losing the fibre in the juice from the juicers on the market and thinking that we are being healthy, but we’re actually on a high carb, low protein and fibre diet. Before knowing this myself, my health dipped with headaches, fatigue and being a bit moody. (More than usual!)
I have since purchased two books that praise juicing but have a clear message that you must still maintain three healthy meals a day. Your body is able to remove toxins by itself without the help of juice. Just eat clean!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my juicer. I always prefer freshly squeezing orange juice over shop brought juice. But we shouldn’t be under the illusion that we must diet on juice alone. They can can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle that boosts our energy and skin.
My top tips for juicing are:
- Start with a base such as apples, carrots, pineapple or cucumber. These will provide most of the liquid in your juice.
- Add some fibre. Oranges, strawberries or pears; the juicier the better.
- Add some extra goodies. I mean spinach or kale for those extra skin boosters.
- Put a kick in it! I am not a fan of ginger but most juices contain ginger. I prefer lemon or lime myself.
This is a quick and simple recipe to start you off with juicing.
Add ice for a cool summer drink.
Ingredients: 4 Large Apples 200g Strawberries and 1/2 a lime.