Juicing fruit and vegetables is a popular way to get a get a quick ‘health fix’, but does come with the downside that they are less filling than eating the solid foods in the first place.
Eating more fruit and vegetables is the foundation stone of any healthy diet. One popular way to consume them is through juices. The one clear downside from drinking fruit and vegetables compared to eating them is the loss of fibre and other nutrients found in the skin and pulp. Juices though can be a quick, convenient and tasty way to get some of the health benefits of fruit and vegetables which is certainly better than not eating them at all.
One other potential downside to drinking rather than eating fruits and vegetables, is that the juice may not be as filling as eating solid food. It is also easier to drink the equivalent of many pieces of fruit in a few seconds when eating the same amount would take a lot longer, meaning there is more chance of over-consuming unneeded kilo joules.
Obtaining the juice from plants is not new, but the first juice extractor wasn’t invented until 1930, as stated on the Macrobiotic Guide website. The first juicer worked by grating the vegetable, putting the mashed product in a bag and squeezing out the juice by a hydraulic press. In 1955, the first kitchen counter juicer was created. It had a screen that the mashed vegetable was forced through, thus resulting in juice. Two schools of thought made juicing popular: naturopathic and natural hygiene movements.
A big difference between juiced vegetables and whole vegetables is digestion. According to the Living and Raw Foods website, juicing removes the indigestible fiber that is present in vegetables. Much more of the nutrients are then absorbed by the body as compared to eating the whole vegetable. Certain diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and malabsorption, make it difficult to digest food. This can often lead to malnutrition, since many nutrients are not readily absorbed by the body. Juicing is a way for the body to benefit from vegetables because it is easier to digest.
Both eating your vegetables and juicing your vegetables will give you essential nutrients needed by the body to help fight disease. But juicing will give you more of those nutrients than just eating your vegetables. Vegetables have phytochemicals, which have been found to protect cells from damage and help fight disease. According to the Joyful Juicer website, these biochemical substances may prevent and fight against heart disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, allergies and digestive system ailments. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine, according to the Natural News website, reports that both vegetable and fruit juice may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease due to the phytochemical polyphenol. Not only does juicing provide more of these phytochemicals, it also provides the body with more water.
There is no surprise that eating your vegetables is healthy. According to the Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition website, a 1997 report published by the World Cancer Research Fund, choosing predominantly plant-based diets, full of fruits and vegetables, lowers the risk of cancer. A 1997 study of 47,000 Italians published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals with high consumption of vegetables lowered their risk of myocardial infarction by 21 percent and angina by 11 percent, according to the Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition website. But if you don’t like eating vegetables or cannot digest raw whole vegetables, juicing provides a way for you to gain the benefits of these results. The Natural News website reports that a study done by the University of California at Davis showed that people who drank their vegetables in conjunction with eating vegetables were more likely to consume the recommended daily amount. The vegetable-juice drinkers stated they enjoyed drinking the vegetables and found it a more convenient way of adding vegetables to their diet.
Heat from cooking vegetables kills the enzymes present in vegetables. Juicing is made from raw vegetables and therefore still contains the enzymes that are valuable to the body’s health. The American Dietetic Association recommends the average adult consume between 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Juicing vegetables may not provide the amount of fiber that is present in whole vegetables, according to the Joyful Juicer website. For example, one cup of raw carrots contains 7.32 grams of fiber, but one cup of carrot juice offers little to no fiber. It is recommended to include both juice and whole vegetables for a well-balanced diet.
So, while the overall effects of juice compared to solid foods on feelings of hunger and fullness were small over all, the key aspect was this was magnified in people who were overweight.
Eating whole fruits and vegetables helps keep appetite in check by making you feel full. These same foods are also nutrient powerhouses, and on a weight-by-weight comparison, have much fewer kilojoules per gram than most other foods commonly eaten.
It’s no surprise that people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables are more likely to have a healthy body weight. For someone who is battling to keep their weight in check, then two simple positive changes to make are to eat more fruit and vegetables, and to eat them from a plate, not a glass.