Overcoming the “Dangers” of Juicing

So, you’re worried about juicing?  Is it really worth it, or too many reasons not to bother??  OK, yeah….. juicing is not perfect.  We can’t say it’s a true panacea or a fountain of youth.  But nor can we say that it’s truly dangerous!  After all, just getting out of bed in the morning could be dangerous too – IF you do it wrong!  Juicing is an unique way of getting nutrients you desperately need –  quickly!  Call them inconveniences, or even annoyances at worst!  Whatever flaws there are – they don’t deserve the label of “dangerous.”

To get the most out of juicing for it’s true purpose – an incredible way to nourish and detoxify –  you need to know a few important points.  These are more like “words of wisdom” and cautions, rather than a skull and cross-bones warning label!  Instead of telling you why not to juice, I want you to find more reasons to embrace it – and do it right!

First of all, DON’T EXPECT TO BE JUICING FULL-TIME!  Remember, juicing is a tool to be used occasionally, for cleansing and replenishing your body.  It’s a core part of a healthy lifestyle!  But of course you’ll need more than just juice therapy.

Here’s how to overcome the “dangers” that most people cite, because there are simple ways around them:

No Fiber

Juicing lifts the burden of digesting solid foods while giving a jolt of nutrients – quickly!  You don’t start juicing with the intention to add more fiber to your diet – that’s not what we’re doing here!

More Juice, More Often

Because there’s no fiber, the nutrients are quickly absorbed but the energy is spent quicker too.  Keeping your energy up is the goal Depending on your juice therapy – juice cleansing for a few days, juice fasting for 1 day or a once-a-day meal replacement – you’ll need to juice more throughout the day.

We’re not talking about shots of juice.  You need more than just 3 juices to replace 3 regular meals, otherwise you’ll likely crash!  In general, drink as much as you can – 500 ml (half liter) or more each time.   Fill in the gaps as you get hungry and develop a solid routine.

That means you’ll still need solid food too.  In fact juicing works best in combo with healthy diets of solid foods containing fiber, fats and proteins.  If you juice for a long time, you’ll need to make up for these.  Do your best to make compatible and healthy choices!  Juicing doesn’t give you an excuse to binge on junk food!

Too Much Fruits – Not Enough Veggies

Make sure that 70 to 80% of the juice is from vegetables.  Stripping out the fiber from fruits leaves you with concentrated sugar.   This sugar is isolated and would otherwise be absorbed at a much slower pace because the fructose (fruit sugar), comes attached to fibers and minerals that help the body absorb it better.  If the bulk of your juice is fruits you’ll get much too much concentrated sugar, too quickly. 

Diabetics in particular need to be aware and minimize the amount of fruit in their juices.  Anyone with yeast infections, candida and blood disorders should also take careful note too!

A good rule of thumb is to drink your veggies and eat your fruits!

Oxidation

Drink your juice fresh – within a few minutes is best.  This is because oxygen in the air begins the process of oxidation where the nutrients and vitamins decompose.  Think of a rusty old car – rust is caused by oxygen – and it happens in our bodies and to juices too!

the effects of oxidation
the effects of oxidation

This can be offset by storing your juices in an air-tight container in the fridge – but do it right away.

Centrifugal juicers, spin very fast and create a lot of air and heat, which lead to a loss of nutrients.  Foam or froth at the top of your juice is a sign of air in your juice.

A masticating juicer (or “slow screw”), solves this problem and is more efficient in juicing leafy greens too.  These juicers squeeze and grind at a much slower pace however and take more time than centrifugal juicers.

Time Commitment

Once you get a routine down, its a breeze!  Especially if you consider juicing as a meal replacement.  The time it takes to clean and prep the ingredients, make the juice, then clean your juicer – is no longer than cooking a regular breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Not to mention, it’s much quicker to drink your meal!  All in – about 15 minutes total time!

A Lack of Fiber, Fats and Proteins

We already said we’re not looking for fiber by juicing.  Set the same expectation for fats and proteins too.  However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add them back into your juices!

Spinach is a good source of plant-based protein.  But I’m talking about adding superfoods high in good fats, proteins and fiber too!  Adding coconut oil, chia seeds, chlorella and spirulina powder or nutritional yeast are great ways to supercharge your juices and make them a longer-lasting energy source.

The Mother of All Dangers

Not limited to juicing…. no matter where you go and what you eat, pesticides, chemicals and GMO’s are a fundamental problem across the world.  We don’t always have access to organic foods due to limited time, money and availability.  This leads to difficult compromises.

Some masticating juicers do better to keep the fiber intact when separating it from the juice.  Hence the pesticides and other toxins are ejected out along with the fiberCentrifugal juicers on the other hand, split the pulp which can lead to chemicals breaking out into the liquids we consume.  Fortunately most chemicals do bind to the fiber.  Superfoods are also known for binding to toxic chemicals as well.  However, no juicer can eliminate all the chemicals that seep into the plant, past the outer skin. 

The best advice buy organic and wash your produce well before juicing. 

Also, consume enough fiber through superfoods and regular healthy meals along with juicing.

Bottom Line –  You’re Getting Large Amounts of Nutrition

Juicing is a cleansing, detoxifying way to reset your body and jump start healing.  It’s NOT a diet that replaces eating other healthy foods.  Especially if you’re just starting out, you can’t go wrong by following these guidelines.

Even though juicing isn’t perfect, keep in mind it’s main purpose – an efficient way to get large amounts of nutrients into our bodies quickly.  Compared to any other form of nourishment, it’s more effective and no more dangerous, nor even inconvenient – if you’re making an honest comparison.

Easy Recipes – Start Here!

3 thoughts on “Overcoming the “Dangers” of Juicing

  1. I am enjoying reading and learning the facts about juicing and health. For instance I didn’t realize that high speed reduced the juices quality. I look forward to learning more.
    Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the nice comments! The funny thing about a high speed juicer is that it does usually have a high and a slow speed. However I’ve found that juicing leafy greens at slow speed is even less efficient!! That’s just the nature of the “centrifugal” style juicers. These are much better for the harder veggies like carrots, beets, cucumber, celery, etc.

      One surefire way to see how efficient your juicer is, is to look at the pulp afterwards. If the pulp is dry – then you know that you’re getting the most juice out of the veggies – efficiently! This is typical with carrots and the harder fruits and veggies. The leafy greens, spinach, kale, sprouts, etc., these tend to be more moist afterwards and partially still intact. You could even run them through your centrifugal juicer a 2nd time and probably get a little more juice out of them! So you can tell the difference right away and see the limitations of your juicer right there.
      I use a Breville juicer, which is a centrifugal style – I do everything at the High speed, and this is still the best way for me to get the most out of the leafy greens. However, I always make sure to BUNCH them up tightly and push them through the juicer slowly. This tends to work pretty well – but again it’s not as good as you could do with a masticating – slow juicer.

      I also found that any juicer should be at least 850 watts – anything less is just too weak to juice any leafy greens at all!

      I’ll have a few more pages regarding this soon!

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