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Will juicing support weight loss and overall wellness?

Updated: May 7



Juicing is popular among dieter's and health enthusiasts; from 7 to 14 -day juice cleanses, holistic juicing to improve numerous types of ailments, or part of a regular diet. This may seem like a motivating way to lose weight, but there are some pros and cons to the juicing experience.




What is Juicing exactly?


Juicing is where you extract the juice from fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs. Juicing has many of the nutrients from whole foods but tend to lack some of the important reasons of eating fruits and vegetables. Juicing takes out the pulp (fiber) and important phytochemicals.


The results: a slurry beverage that can be a really easy way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, with much needed micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).


Win, win right? You got what you needed and should be on the road to weight loss. Not quit, let's dig a little bit deeper so you can understand more on what's we are missing out on.






What is Fiber & why do I need it?


You might hear talks about fiber on social media, advertising, or even at the doctor's office. You might have heard in the past that this is something you need daily or maybe just casual conversation with a friend that talked about some health improvements.


What is it though? Why is fiber important and exactly where can we get it and how much? Fiber represents at most the indigestible portions of plant food.


There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber either dissolve or swell when placed in water, turning gel like and are digested by most living bacteria in the large intestine. They also are referred to as fermentable!


Benefits to eating Soluble Fiber:

  • Lower total LDL (bad cholesterol) may decrease the risk of heart disease.

  • Improve movements in the throne room and intestinal health.

  • Improve food absorption.

  • Help with possible weight loss.

  • Help protect against diabetes: because the carbohydrate is not absorbed, this can reduce overall blood sugar spikes. Thanks fiber!



Types of Soluble Fibers:
  • oat bran

  • oatmeal

  • beans

  • fruits < apples or pears>

  • Vegetables < artichoke, leaks, sweet potatoes>

  • Commercial products like salad dressing, jams and jellies



Okay, great so what does the other type of fiber do? The other fiber to look out for is insoluble fiber or non- fermented fiber. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water and are not easily digested by the little bacteria that live in your intestine.


Benefit of insoluble Fibers:
  • Adds bulk in the GI tract while it draws water in. It helps reduce constipation, hemorrhoids and regulates the large intestine, for a happier and healthier you!

  • By improving the movements through the large intestine, helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and diverticulosis.

  • By delaying the gastric emptying from the stomach, it helps you feel full for a longer period of time. I.E., reducing your overall caloric intake leading to a great chance of weight loss.



Types of Insoluble Fiber:

  • Whole- grain wheat

  • Celery

  • Brown Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Apple Peels

  • Broccoli


Seems like fiber does quite a bit if you ask me. How much do you need a day? For women a recommended daily intake is 25 grams and for men 38 grams. Always consult your health care professional to ensure this recommended intake is good for you.


The next thing you should consider when juicing is phytochemicals. What is this and why is it important?



Phytochemicals are found in colorful plant foods that support the detoxification processes in the body. The importance of the phytochemicals such as polyphenols have a large amount of health benefits such as:


  • Cognitive improvements

  • Improve cerebral blood flow

  • Psychomotor activity improvement

  • memory and learning

  • Memory and learning

  • Increased blood perfusion

  • Inhibits tumor development with cancer

  • Detoxication of cancer precursors

  • Inhibition of DNA Oxidation

  • Inhibition of Neurion inflammation




These are just a few things that these polyphenols can do. You can get 18-69% greater concentrates of these polyphenols' compounds in organic crops 17% more than conventional crops. (Barankski et al., 2014; Smith-Spangler et al., 2012).


When juicing you may lose some important aspect of these phytochemicals from pulp and overall process. Due to taking out the fiber “pulp”, and the breakdown of these fruits and vegetables, there will be more “anti-nutrients" that become more concentrated in the juice.


These " anti-nutrients" are called oxalate or oxalic acid, which are naturally occurring compounds in plants; left over waste. Foods that are high in oxalate bind to calcium as they make their way out of our system. This can increase kidney stones 1 in 10 people. (Khatri. Minesh , MD (2022). Foods High in Oxalates. Foods High in Oxalates (webmd.com)



Research has been tested when a large amount of juice related beverages is consumed and used as a; oxalate-rich foods used < beets, chard, collards, leeks, parsley, and spinach>. People have been more prone to suffer kidney disease from frequent consumption. At least 10 times as much oxalate or about 1200 1500 milligrams per day.


* Note - Know this would be considered large amounts of juicing overtime due to the lack of other macronutrients restrictions. As well as using the juices as meal substitutes. Just know if you consume 1 a day you should be alright!


Juicing can be fine in moderation, just like anything you can have too much of a good thing. There are also some benefits to juicing:


  • Consume more fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals.

  • Support lowering blood pressure.

  • Improve blood lipid profile.




If you are looking for a fast weight loss; this would most likely be a good route. Fruit juice tastes really great and is still rich in phytochemicals but they increase your sugar intake and calories. For weight loss to occur you need to be in a caloric deficit or product more movement during the day for weight loss to occur. (Clemens, Drewnowski, Ferruzzi, Toner, & Welland, 2015).


A better alternative would be to make smoothies or protein shakes instead, leaving in the pulp to get all the benefits. Plus, you will have a protein source to help cart out a toxicant in the body.




The best way to navigate juicing or premade juices is to incorporate them into a whole-food diet instead as a substitution for meals. It is recommended to include a form of protein to help reduce the accumulation of toxicants in the body & keep including fiber to support improved digestion with ongoing detoxification and GI health.


I hope this blog gives you an idea on where to go with juicing and how to make the best decision to support your overall health. If you enjoyed this blog and want more, please subscribe to my website www.beyoufitness.org.




Need more support and you are located in Lansing Michigan, I run an all-women Semi- private personal training group. I am looking to fill my sessions and would love to help support you. You can contact me on my website and schedule a free assessment & class to try ! We would love to have you apart of our team.


Thank you for reading!!!



Christine Curtice NASM- CPT , NASM - CNC, NASM -CES, ACE-CPT , LVL 1 PNN



References:


Clemens, R., Drewnowski, A., Ferruzzi, M. G., Toner, C. D., & Welland, D. (2015). Squeezing fact from fiction about 100% fruit juice. Advances in Nutrition, 6(2), 236S–243S


Barański, M., Srednicka-Tober, D., Volakakis, N., Seal, C., Sanderson, R., Stewart, G. B., . . . Leifert, C. (2014). Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. The British Journal of Nutrition, 112(5), 794–811.


Dansinger ML, et al., (2005). Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction – a randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(1):43-53.


Dietary Fibre. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018, www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/dietary-fibre.html












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