Its official, wheat grass shots have grown up, moved out of home and entered the workforce! Juicing and blending has become one of the most popular diet trends in last decade. With names like mango to go-go, the wellness warrior, berry-a-peeling, broccoli sunrise and hulk blood, there literally is a juice for every ailment and every area of health. Whether you’re looking to detox, cleanse, improve blood pressure, or prevent specific cancers or to treat kidney stones, fertility issues, or anxiety; you name it, there is a juice to help!
There is no disputing that juicing is a great inclusion to a healthy balanced diet, it’s an extremely efficient and effective way to consume essential nutrients from fruits, vegetables and herbs. Attempting to eat the same volume as wholefoods would be nearly impossible! There is however little evidence to support the many erroneous claims circulating recently about the vast powers of a prolonged juicing diet. Although you may actually lose 20kg a month, short term results may be overshadowed drasticly by compounded long term problems!
As a weight loss measure an exclusive juicing diet is not recommended for sustained periods. Juicing traditionally is used short term for detoxification purposes, otherwise known as ‘juice fasting’ and usually carried out no longer than 2-5 days. By only consuming fresh unpasteurised juices for a period of time you naturally exclude saturated fats, processed carbohydrates and sugars and substances like coffee and alcohol from the diet, as a result this is extremely beneficial for cleansing of the liver and kidneys. Your choice of fresh ingredients and their specific individual properties will further enhance your cleanse.
On any juice fast weight will initially be lost due to the restrictive nature of the diet. However this is probably more likely due to muscle loss caused by the absence of protein in the diet and any reduction in muscle mass will ultimately slow your metabolism. It is highly unlikely that any actual fat will be burnt due to the availability of fructose, natural fruit sugars converted easily by the body. These sugars also are readily stored as fats in the absence of accompanying fiber, the resulting calorie deficit will further facilitate weight loss, but your metabolism will be slowed as a result. This can mean when a usual diet is resumed the body may store more energy (as fat) in anticipation of the next ‘food drought’.
Significantly when exclusively juicing like protein, fiber and essential fats are also removed from the diet, some believe that this ‘rests’ the digestive system for a period, making digestion easier and nutrient absorption more efficient. These are essential components of a healthy diet though and should not be withheld for long periods. Juices may be fortified with protein powders or natural supplements such as almond milk or Greek yoghurt but it is recommended that if considering a sustained juicing diet it should be modified to include clean wholefoods such as lean meats and wholegrains ensuring adequate nutritional balance is maintained.
If considering a juicing diet explore your options carefully and consult your doctor. Blending is an alternative closely aligned with juicing, the principal difference is blending preserves the fiber content and is usually more suited to adding products containing protein, calcium and other essential nutrients. A juice fast is an excellent way to kick start a healthy eating program or lifestyle change and a modified juicing diet can be well balanced healthy option with a little planning.
Posted by mle00, 24th February 2014