Juicing is a process that extracts juice from fresh fruits and vegetables.

The process of juicing strips away the seeds, pulp and fiber, but leaves the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants behind.

Methods of juicing vary. Fruits can be squeezed by hand, otherwise a juicer can be used.

There are two main types of mechanical juicers, namely:

  • Centrifugal – this grinds the fruits and vegetables through the high-speed action of a cutting blade which separates the juice from the pulp
  • Cold Press – also called a masticating juicer, crushes and presses the fruits and vegetables more slowly to extract the maximum amount of juice.

The nutritional value of both types of juicing is similar.

People use juicing for cleansing and detoxification or to supplement a healthy diet.

Since the intake of nutrients is limited for many people, juicing is a convenient way to increase the nutrient value naturally. Another benefit is that juices can be made up of fruits and vegetables that a person would not normally consume. 

Those who don’t eat the recommended daily requirements of fruits and vegetables can add juices to increase those values.

Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, but these antioxidants require fiber for them to be released into the digestive system and absorbed.

In my opinion, juicing alone is not recommended because the process removes about 90% of the precious fiber that is vital for many other functions in the digestive tract.

Fiber is necessary for the good bacteria to grow and thrive in the digestive tract, but it also reduces the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Fiber is also a necessary component for the detoxification of estrogen and other toxins from the body.

The fiber content of foods and drinks increases feelings of satiety. 

Juice fasting is not ideal because generally people will be at a severe calorie deficit if relying on juices alone, and if done over a long period of time, can slow the metabolism and cause rebound weight gain.

Regular consumption of fruit juices can lead to metabolic syndrome.

When juicing fruits only it is important to consider the high sugar content. Without the fiber to slow the absorption down, these juices can have a negative impact on blood sugar.

Juices can be a great addition to a balanced diet and should ideally be used between meals as opposed to in place of meals. Since they are nutritionally unbalanced, proteins or healthy fats such as whey powder, avocado, Greek yoghurt and nut butters can be added for additional nutritional value. Soluble fiber powder can also be added if necessary.

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 8 October to learn more.

Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am