Nowadays, juicing is the new latte. Juicing is the beverage of choice for people on the go. These raw fruit and vegetable drinks are known to cleanse your body, help you to get a good amount of produce and to lose weight. So, juicing must be super good for you then, right? Can something this good be bad for you?
Are Juice Cleanses Healthy for You?
Although you might think juicing may be good for you as it supposedly has many health benefits. And it is true in some cases, however you may be doing more harm to your body than good. Before you hop on the bandwagon of juice cleansing, here are some insightful tips and facts to keep in mind prior:
- It’s all raw. As you may already know, juicing is done with raw vegetables. Many people cut up fruits and vegetables completely, skin and all, and juice it. This means that since the fruits and vegetables are not cooked, they can contain bacteria. So in some cases, people with a have a weaker immune system or a chronic immune disease who juice all the time, have a higher chance in getting a bacterial infection in their gut or stomach. It’s very important that you are taking in enough good bacteria during the day to balance the bad ones out that you will likely get in your gut at some point of the day. Ways to do this is by taking a daily probiotic, or eating yogurt, fermented veggies or other fermented foods. The best way to avoid getting bacteria is opting for organic vegetables and fruits when you shop.
- You could develop diabetes. About 79 million Americans have prediabetes, according to a study. This means they have blood sugar readings that are higher than healthy but not yet high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. When these types of people juice, they have a higher chance of developing it. Drinking one or more daily servicing of apple, orange, grapefruit and other juices increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21%.
- Many fruits and veggies contain sugars. When people juice, it is easy for them to be using too many sweet fruits and veggies like watermelon, apples, pears, and carrots. These may be very nutritious but if consumed too many when juicing, you are intaking too much sugars and fructose for your daily diet. Doing this is not great for your teeth, and it can definitely give you a kick in your sugar levels. Try to keep the sugary fruits and veggies in your green juice to a maximum of 1 per serving.
- You could risk dangerous drug interactions. Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, parsley and mustard greens all have one thing in common – they are very high in vitamin K -which can be life-threatening if you take blood-thinning medications, like warfarin. Such anticoagulants often are prescribed after a stroke, deep vein thrombosis or other circulatory conditions. If you are one of these people who take anticoagulants, it’s recommended to only eat a half-cup of leafy greens a day, according to a study. Grapefruit also interferes with drugs for high blood pressure, anxiety, allergies, and other ailments./li>
- You could damage your kidneys.
It’s also important to notice and be aware of fruit and vegetables with high amounts of potassium, such as bananas and kale, for those who have kidney problems. 4 and a half cups of chopped kale can be lethal if your kidneys are weak because of high blood pressure, severe infection, an enlarged prostate, certain drugs or pregnancy complications. In general, it is great to consider limiting your intake of potassium to 1,500 to 2,000 mg per day.
- It’s possible to get food poisoning.
If your juices aren’t heated to 154 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to kill germs, they’re more vulnerable to lethal bacteria, such as salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s definitely possible that fresh juice sold in stores may be contaminated after it leaves the plant – for instance, in shipping, storage or in your home. If you leave a container of juice on a table overnight, toss it. Otherwise, you will be risking food poisoning and major intestinal problems. It’s said that most store-bought, bottled fresh juices last up to 3 days if refrigerated and unopened.
- Not enough protein. When you juice, you are only getting vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C, plus iron, calcium and antioxidants, but you aren’t getting enough protein. Protein is a must in order for us to preserve and build lean body mass, and what keeps you healthy and even burn calories.
- You could threaten your thyroid gland. These leafy veggies are very rich in glucosinolates. Consuming high amounts of veggies such as kale, bok choy, cauliflower, collards, and spinach can form goitrin, a compound associated with hypothyroidism. Ask your doctor what the appropriate amounts of these veggies work best for your diet.
- Can gain more weight than lose. Juicing for days to lose weight can be potentially harmful – because you’re losing out on essential nutrients. Juicing might not even help with lost weight, it may just do the opposite. Like mentioned, some of the veggies and fruits naturally contain high amounts of sugars, and when consumed too many, you can end up with a few thousand calories of juice a day!
- Weight loss is only short term. With prior being said, if you do lost weight, just be aware that it is only for short term! But to be frank, you aren’t losing weight from drinking the juice, it’s because you have created a calorie deficit. For instance, if you are only drinking your meals, then you’re likely to be consuming considerably less calories than you would normally. If someone is eating up to 2,000 calories per day then jumps on the juicing bandwagon, what do you think will happen? Making a huge change on how you eat can definitely help you lose weight. But think about it, you can create a calorie deficit and lose weight just as easily with solid, nutritious foods too.
- It’s not sustainable. You might have lost a ton of weight doing a juice cleanse, but is it manageable to keep it off? Probably not. If a diet causes you to make a drastic change in the way you eat, it is unlikely to be sustainable. If you completely cut out a certain food from your diet, you are more likely to encounter cravings. It may be sustainable short term, but at some point, you’ll break and might end up binge eating – which of course, reverses all your hard work!
- They are pretty unhealthy. If you are juicing, you better below your calorie intake is going to split in half. Low calorie diets can be associated with a few problems including fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhea. You may be eating a ton of fruits and vegetables in your cleanse diet, but there’s next to no protein which is essential for growth and repair. When it comes to juice diets, we are also consuming little to no fat, which have a ton of key functions to play in the body, such as aiding with hormone production and transporting certain vitamins.
- Juicing doesn’t work. So we clean out our bodies because we are trying to rid the toxins, right? Wrong. Our bodies are naturally detoxing itself – using what is called the liver, intestines, and kidneys. If we have toxic material in the blood or elsewhere in the body, our body can cure Juice diets are low in fiber, which the body needs to process and excrete waste – so why juice?
Although, juice diets aren’t completely useless. They serve with good purpose like helping you find new ways to get more fruit and veggies into your diet. But it is not necessary to liquefy your food to achieve the best outcome. Whether you’re still wanting to try juicing or have been juicing for years, there are also a few common mistakes that we wanted to address and to help you for the long run:
- Adding too many sweet fruits and vegetables. Sorry to say, but adding too many fruits, you are exposing your body to a large amount of sugar in the form of what’s called fructose. You can add fruits to your vegetable juices to give it a bit of flavor but try to limit it. If you are in taking too much fructose daily, you can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which isn’t great for sustained energy and is also not good for those who suffer from Candida and diabetes.
- Not Enough Greens. I mean the whole point of juicing is to make green veggies the bulk of every serving. Green juices are packed with amazing nutrients; they produce chlorophyll, which helps to oxygenate your body, as well as detox and cleanse your body, improve the circulation of your blood and as a result give you a boost of natural energy you need!
- Not Drinking It Right Away. If you are not drinking your juice right away you are basically missing out on huge chunks of nutrients your body may be needing. When you drink your juice right away, your body will receive a boost of natural energy (best in the mornings).
Overall, though juicing can have its health factors, juicing too much, might not be the smartest decision made. Before starting to juice, consider these above 13 reasons prior, and decide if it’s worth it. Ultimately, making juicing a daily habit can get very expensive – about $3,500 yearly if you buy one a day from a premium juice bar!
Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Zensleep.com and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.