According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of obese and overweight people is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, obesity increases the likelihood of developing medical complications such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. To avoid such medical problems, many people result to dieting to control their daily calorie intake. In fact, one of the dieting methods that has gained prominence in recent years is juicing. Here is some more information about this diet:
An Overview of Juicing Diet
Juicing is very simple to grasp and follow. All you have to do is prepare and drink juice prepared from widely available fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, carrots, bananas, beetroot, broccoli, kales, pineapples, oranges, cucumbers, and lemons. As such, you would be able to use different fruits and vegetables to create different flavor profiles.
How Juicing Works
Juicing diet essentially entails replacing all regular solid foods with nothing else but fruit/vegetable juice for a period that could span a few days or several weeks. Some individuals such as Joe Cross, the author of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, have lived for months on fruit and vegetable juice alone. Nevertheless, medical experts do not recommend going to such extremes. In fact, most recommend sticking to a juice diet for about three days. In general, majority of people use juicing for detoxification purposes.
Is Juicing Healthy?
Proponents of this dieting technique say it is healthy while opponents counter by saying it is harmful to some extent. Stella L. Volpe, PhD and chair of Drexel University’s department of nutrition sciences reckons that preparing and consuming fruit juice is not bad at all since it contains all essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber. However, Volpe says using fruit juice as a toxin cleanser is not necessary.
Another medical expert, Dr. James Dillard, assistant clinical professors at Columbia University College of Physicians, says going on a juice fast for a few days is not harmful. Nevertheless, Dillard reckons it is not the most effective way of shedding excess weight since one is likely to gain it all back upon resuming solid food intake. Moreover, someone following such a diet could develop irritability, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and constipation according to Cedars-Sinai hospital’s Dr. Glenn D. Braunstein. A report published by the Mayo Clinic states there is no scientific research or evidence to support claims juicing is healthier than eating whole fruits.
Despite these claims and counterclaims, proponents and opponents agree that adopting a juice diet for a few day does no harm to the body. The concern among medical experts and researchers is taking it to extreme levels such as going for weeks without solid foods.
Is it Hard to Stick to this Diet?
Since this diet bars consumption of solid foods, sticking to it even for a few days can be challenging. This is because juices are less satiating than solid foods. In spite of this, a determined person can survive for about three days on juice alone.
There are several reasons why proponents of juicing love it. To start with, it allows the body to get rid of harmful toxins that build up over time. This occurs as phytonutrients found in fruits and other essential nutrients like vitamin B flood the body’s cells to clear toxins. Data from the CDC’s Exposure Report shows that the average American has about 147 types of chemical toxins in his body.
In addition, taking nothing else other than juice gives the liver much needed time to rest since it acts as the body’s detoxifier. This is important because the liver faces an increasingly uphill task of eliminating or keeping the huge amounts of healthy and unhealthy compounds that pass through it daily. In most cases, it is unable to get rid of all toxins meaning some end up in the cells where they wreak havoc according to Woodson Merrell, M.D. and Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center.
This is where juicing diet comes in handy to reduce the liver’s immense workload. At the same time, juicing allows the gut to re-establish the body’s essential healthy microbiome balance. Remember compounds found in modern diets and medicines can deplete levels of healthy bacteria and microbiome that the body requires to function properly.
A juice-based diet can cause electrolyte imbalances according to Dr. Braunstein. In addition, high sugar content in fruit juices can harm diabetics because it simply ramps up blood-sugar levels leading to blurry vision, fatigue, as well as excessive thirst and hunger.
Juicing has been around for years and people who have tried it say it works wonders. If you would like to try it, it is advisable to do so for a few days preferably no more than three. More importantly, you should only do so if you are healthy and do not pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.