Health, fitness and Food

The Raw Juicing Culture

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In past years we’ve seen the explosion of many different kinds of diets, such as ‘The Atkins Diet’, ‘The Acai Berry Diet’, ‘The Maple Syrup Diet’, ‘The Grapefruit’ diet.. the list goes on.  The latest fad on the list are juice diets.. or are they? The Promota  investigates.. written by Melissa Sinclair

It’s difficult to know which diets actually work and which ones are purely Hollywood inspired fads to encourage us to ‘get thin or die trying’.  As women, we are always looking for new and easy ways to get that killer body we often crave.  Many willing to get it at any cost.. except for good old exercise, a healthy balanced diet and maybe a few adjustments to their lifestyles of course.  But hey, it’s modern times – career women juggling motherhood and high flying jobs – I’m not knocking anyone, I’m just saying.

Juice diets, seem like a good option – short term instant results, kick-starts medium term goals, but what are the long term benefits (if any) of raw juices ?

As a HUGE foodie, I’ve never been one for dieting.  Easy for me to say I guess, I have a naturally small frame, thanks to mother who is still a slender size 10, an unintentionally ‘good’ diet – due to my lack of sweet tooth, a slight intolerance to processed/fast food and a feeling of sickness at the whiff of chocolate.  However, in the run up to the big 3-0, my metabolism no longer co-operates with my demands.  Time to detox and start fresh.  Enter juice diet/cleanse.

Basically, at first glance, it did what it said on the tin.  By day 3 I was energetic and lively, my skin was glowing and I honestly felt great.  Day 5 I had lost 5lbs. Woo hoo!  However, I put back on 3lbs in 2days (most likely water).  But there’s a lot of information out there that doesn’t exactly sing the praises of the raw juice craze.

We all know the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables, and regardless of age, we can all recall being told to ‘eat your veg, it’s good for you’.  But what are the benefits of drinking your fruit and veg over eating them? Are there any?  Whilst we’re not medically qualified to give any such advice, here’s some of our findings.

Pro ‘Raw Juice’ say:

  • 80% more nutrients are absorbed when you drink fruit and vegetables, many that you would otherwise be missing out on.
  • Allows you to consume more fruit and different kinds, with a variety of nutrients, in one sitting.
  • Reduces the amount of work your digestive organs have to do as the food is already broken down.
  • Easy to have on the go.
  • Natural produce improves bodily functions and kick starts your metabolism, so this can help with weight loss.
  • The nutrients help you feel energized and more alert, thus improving concentration.

Anti Raw Juice say:

  • There are no benefits to drinking, opposed to eating, fruit and vegetables.
  • Eating the whole fruit or vegetable is actually a better choice.
  • Although raw juices may enhance your consumption of vegetables in particular, you’ll miss out on some key nutrient’s by juicing.
  • You can naturally eat a lot of vegetables without eating a lot of calories, as they have a low energy density, yet still keep you full.  Juices don’t have the ability to provide such a level of fullness.  The latter can be a disadvantage in weight loss and cause you to binge when hungry.
  • When researchers studied eating fruits in different forms (apple juice, apple sauce, whole apple), the whole apple increased fullness, whilst the apple juice performed the worst and lead participants to consume 15% more calories in the meal that followed (according to a study published in the journal Appetite).
  • Juicing decreases the available nutrients and when you juice a fruit or vegetable you remove almost all of the fiber, which is needed for digestive function.

Whether as a juice or solid, what we do know is that a healthy balanced diet is key.  So, if you’re on the go and walking around with Tupperware filled with vegetables in your handbag isn’t ideal, then I doubt you’ll come to any harm grabbing a raw juice as a replacement.  Just eat and drink sensibly and remember, quick results usually fade just as quickly, so pace yourself and think long term.  Good luck!

Written by Lifestyle contributor, Melissa Sinclair

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