Juicing: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

Amy Kaczor, MS, RD, LDN

Juicing has become increasingly popular in recent years, from juicing more conventional produce items like oranges, apples, or carrots to the more unusual items such as celery, beets, and even garlic. Juicing is a creative way to mix and match our favorite fruits and vegetables for your unique tastes and preferences. Whether you fresh squeeze your fruits and vegetables at home or buy 100% juice from the store, juicing is a great way to ensure you get adequate amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, such as vitamin C and potassium.

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One cup, or four ounces, of 100% fruit or vegetable juice is equivalent to one serving of fruits or vegetables. The American Heart Association (n.d.) recommends that individuals consume five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, so that glass of fresh juice in the morning is a perfect way to kick start the day with a tasty serving of fruits and vegetables. Getting an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet ensures that your body stays healthy and strong. In addition, good fruit and vegetable intake may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and some types of cancers.

One-hundred percent fruit and vegetable juices are great alternatives to those fruity-flavored drinks or candies that often don’t contain much natural fruit at all! In addition, if you freeze 100% fruit juice into popsicle molds, they can make delicious alternatives to high-fat and high-calorie dessert options.

While freshly squeezed juice is a great way to fit in an extra serving of fruits and vegetables, it is no match for the real thing! Juicing removes the pulp and eliminates a majority of the dietary fiber. Fiber is crucial to a healthy digestive system, while it also can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber that keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. Blending fruits and vegetables, rather than juicing them, is a great way to have that refreshing sweet drink with fiber!

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Check out the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for more information on fruits and vegetables and their health benefits!

Amy Kaczor, MS, RD, LDN

References

Fruits and vegetables serving sizes infographic. www.heart.org. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/fruits-and-vegetables-serving-sizes

United States Department of Agriculture (n.d.). Nutrients and health benefits. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/fruits/fruits-nutrients-health.

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Part-time Registered Dietitian, Part-time Freelancer, Part-time Entrepreneur, Full-time Coffee Enthusiast. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for subscriber-only content!

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