To Juice or Not To Juice

In the doc­u­men­tary film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, juic­ing, the act of run­ning fruits and veg­eta­bles through a juic­ing machine and drink­ing up the results, is pre­sented as a god­send for folks strug­gling with weight prob­lems. Through his juice fast and exer­cise, the film’s pro­tag­o­nist loses a whole bunch of weight, and he finds a life-long skin con­di­tion he suf­fered from was cured. Through the magic of juicing!

Juic­ing has been posi­tioned by its pro­po­nents as a way to drop mas­sive amounts of weight, a method to cleanse your sys­tem, and even a shield against can­cer. How­ever, juic­ing is a two-edged sword, with poten­tial risks as well as poten­tial ben­e­fits. Here are some quick pros and cons:

  • Pros: Fans of juic­ing claim that juic­ing allows you to absorb the nutri­ents in fruits and veg­eta­bles in a quicker, more ready man­ner. Juic­ing also allows you to eas­ily expand the vari­ety of veg­etable and fruits you con­sume. It’s also a great way for folks who don’t like veg­eta­bles and fruits to add them into their diet.
  • Cons: Because juic­ing doesn’t uti­lize the skins or pulp from plants, you lose a lot of nutri­ents, in par­tic­u­lar fiber. Juice is also sub­ject to bac­te­r­ial growth if it’s not pas­teur­ized. And juic­ing hasn’t been sci­en­tif­i­cally proven to be any health­ier than eat­ing whole fruits and veg­eta­bles. Oh, and juicers can be costly.

It would seem that the best way to get your fruits and veg­eta­bles is to eat them whole. How­ever, if you don’t like eat­ing veg­eta­bles, or want to get a quick dose of nutri­ents, juic­ing is a decent option. Just make sure you’re get­ting enough fiber, too.