Michal Ofer

All the Juice

Michal Ofer
All the Juice

Yes, I know, this is going to stir up some controversy, but in actuality, it really is all about bio-individuality and what works for you! It really is not my place to get on my soapbox and discuss whether I think juicing is healthy or not, if it is working really well for the person doing the juicing!

Now, I could go getting my knickers in a knot if someone was trying to force me to drink juice, but I would expect the same respect for my bio-individuality as I’m willing to give.

I don’t get why the 2 sides are so divided. The ‘Juicing is Awesome’ people vs ‘Juicing is Wrong’ people.

The facts: There are many healthy, robust people who have been lifelong juicers. People who think juicing is awesome are clearly feeling great, seeing some benefits, and enjoying their juice-filled life. I don't think these people are liars. 

There are reasons juicing might be awesome for those people. Juicing may be providing some easily-assimilated nutrients that they were lacking. Perhaps they went from eating fast food every day to eating freshly-juiced vegetables instead (clearly, this is a vast improvement). 

If juicing is working for you, great, have at it. When juicing stops working, it’s time to stop juicing!
Plain and simple!

There are a few reasons that may be responsible for juicing not working for you from the start (or why juicing would stop working for you after some time). I am one of those people for whom, juicing does not work.

These are the reasons I, personally, don't juice - except for rare occasions when I’m really, and I mean REALLY, needing something cold, sweet and smooth.

1.       Too much sugar.

I have an inkling that many people love juicing because it tastes so sweet. Unlike consuming copious amounts of sweet treats, consuming large amounts of fresh juice comes with no guilt.

We often forget that fruits and vegetables are sources of sugar. Yes, it is natural sugar, but still sugar none the less. When we juice, we consume way more fruit than we would if we were eating that same fruit in its whole form. Juicing fruits of choice are often apples and bananas, both high in those natural sugars. This can lead to eating a little too much sugar for optimal blood sugar regulation. I know there are nutrients in the juice, but many of those are getting used by the body to process the sugar!!

Most adults are perfectly adept at working out their personal sugar needs, however, a couple of sugar laden fruits (even if they are used to mask some vegetable flavors), can be too much for a child’s body to handle at once.

2.       Food, and the nutrition that comes along with it, are best eaten and digested from their whole state.

Digestion is a complex task. It involves chewing, saliva production, stomach churning, stomach acid production, nutrient absorption in the small intestines, nutrient re-absorption in the large intestines and finally, elimination. Each process involves substances that the body produces for the sole purpose of digesting food and getting as many nutrients as possible out of that food.

Drinking juice is like drinking water to our digestive process. The important steps in nutrient extraction and absorption are skipped. The sugar, minus the fiber (another important aspect in keeping our digestive system working optimally) is sent straight into the bloodstream.

Digestion is a system meant to be worked, and juicing asks very little of this important process.

3.       Concentrated plant constituents can be problematic.

I believe we are meant to eat plants in their whole form. They naturally show up with everything necessary to digest them properly, allowing the body to absorb the right amount of nutrients at the right rate. I would not eat 2 bunches of spinach all at once, so I see no reason to drink that amount.

We live in a society where conventional wisdom is of the idea that more is better. This isnot always the case. Daily juicing of large quantities of oxalate rich (dark, leafy greens) or goitrogenic (cruciferous plants like broccoli and cabbage) could result in ingesting an unnaturally high quantity of these constituents which could negatively affect overall health. This is especially relevant to those experiencing thyroid difficulties.

4.       What a waste of fiber!

Fruits and vegetables contain fiber that is easily used by the digestive system. Juicing eliminates some of the most natural, healthy, filling parts of the whole food. The digestive tract needs fiber to keep things moving along, and too much juicing results in a lack of this essential product.

To juice or not is your choice, as long as whatever you choose works for you. Once the benefits are no longer felt, it becomes time to change, move onto something that makes YOU feel awesome, something that benefits and enhances your body, your life and your lifestyle.