Based on the Daily Fruit and Vegetable Table recommendation of the US Department of Agriculture, adult men and women have a recommended daily intake of 2 cup servings of fruits daily and 2.5 and 3 cups of vegetables, respectively. Imagine chewing all of those together with the rest of your meals for the day.
Over the years, people resolved this problem trying to meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables by squeezing out the juices out of it. Later on, it became an alternative to fad diets to lose weight, but isn’t juicing a fad as well? Is it really helping you or just causing you more health issues?
1. Fruits that are high in sugar
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for an adult with a normal body mass index (BMI) is 25 grams of sugar per day. Most fruits are naturally high in sugar and combining 2 to 3 fruits might shoot your blood sugar up. A cup of pineapple has 16.3 grams of sugar, a cup of apples has 13 grams and a cup of lemon has 5.3 grams.
Before you can actually come up with a glass of juice, a combination of 4-6 fruits and vegetables is necessary. For beginners, the sweetness of fruits is an aid for the unpleasant taste of vegetables but imagine if you are going on a juice fast and you will triple the RDA for sugar in a day.
2. Pesticides and foodborne illnesses on the fruits
Juicing at home ensures that you enjoy your juice as fresh as possible, however, there are unseen dangers such as foodborne illnesses that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains and food poisoning. Store-bought juices undergo the process of pasteurization which exposes the juice to high-heat to kill bacteria and other harmful contaminants. However, this process can also break down and destroy essential nutrients.
Likewise, most nutrients of fruits come from the peel but as the peel is the fruit’s covering against insects and environmental factors, it is also the layer exposed to chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. Even organic produce is said to be exposed to pesticides. The proper way of cleaning the fruits and vegetables you wish to use must be observed, however, there is no guarantee that it can strip off chemicals on the surface.
3. Most fibers are removed
There has been a lot of discourse about this particular danger of juicing and how it strips off insoluble fiber from the juice. Yes, juicing removes insoluble fiber from the product and it stays together with the pulp. But soluble fiber remains in the juice itself. Insoluble fiber plays a vital role in allowing healthy and regular bowel movement.
Soluble fiber which is retained helps absorb digestive bile and helps lower bad cholesterol. It is dangerous specifically if you intend to just fill yourself with juice and nothing more. If you are trying out juicing for a 3 to 5-day detox, then it might not be a problem.
4. Not drinking the juice immediately
The juice you extracted must be consumed immediately after doing so to avoid growth of bacteria. Commercially available juices have prolonged shelf life because of pasteurization but most juicing companies highly recommended for their products to be consumed within the day of purchase.
It is best to plan your recipe to avoid having too much juice left that would make you feel guilty to just throw away. Always remember that a single fruit will most likely produce a ¼ cup of juice.
5. Dental problems
Juicing multiple fruits could be an indulgent treat but fruits are packed with sugar. Sugar produces more acid in the mouth aside from the fruit acids that are already in the juices. This is a bad combination that can harm the teeth and the gums. Some fruits and vegetables can also cause teeth staining that might require harsh chemicals to remove.
6. Nutrient overdose or deficiency
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin and minerals you can’t just find in a single capsule. Juicing has become what we thought to be the best way to extract all of these without the effort to endure the unpleasant taste. But having too much can be unhealthy too.
High amounts of potassium can cause damage to the kidneys, while too much beta-carotene, a pigment found in carrots can cause carotenemia causing yellowish or orange pigment on the skin.
7. It does not promote a balanced diet
If it can give you too much of something, it can also put you in danger for lacking some nutrients. Some of the important nutrients are on the peel or the skin of the fruit. Most juicers really just extract the juices and leave the skin and pulp in the filter.
This also removes the phytochemicals and some studies show that some juicers can actually destroy the nutrition components of the fruits. Without carefully planning your recipe and with a prolonged juice fast, you might be getting enough Calcium, Iron and Protein that the body needs.
8. People overdo it
Juicing is a complementary part of a healthy diet and should not form part of it. Most people use juicing for detox purposes. Usually, a juicing detox for 3, 5 or 7 consecutive days is ideal if you: a.) are on vacation or on post-vacation after indulging so much on food; b.) have been stressed and wanted to feel lighter; c.) reset your gut; and, d.) lose weight. Listen to your body when it tells you that you have had enough of juicing and can go back to a healthy, balanced diet.
9. Digestive issues
Some juices and fruit acids might be too potent for our stomach to handle. Likewise, gas-producing vegetables like garlic, onion, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower can also cause stomach ulcers due to its high sulfur content.
10. Eating disorders
Fruits and vegetables are naturally light yet filling when eaten in solid form. Imagine how light it would be after juicing it. For beginners, it will definitely be a hard adjustment however, the mind-conditioning that is involved can encourage a person to stick to juicing as a long-term eating habit.
Juicing lets you meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables with less effort but carefully planning what to include every time you press that juicer on is essential. Making juicing a part of your healthy eating habits will surely boost your immune system, make your skin look better and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Anything too much is bad and relying solely on juicing for your health needs will let the harm outweigh the good. So it is helpful to carefully plan the duration you intend to do juicing, list down and combine your ingredients based on its nutritional values, wash and ensure that your ingredients are clean before juicing and maintain a balanced diet to maximize the potential of juicing for your body.
Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at PerfumeHut.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.