For busy parents, it can be hard to have your kids get all the fruits and vegetables they need in a day to stay healthy. Juicing – which in recent years has skyrocketed in popularity – seems to be a promising solution: A homemade juice made with fresh produce is versatile and can pack up to 1 cup of mango, kale, spinach and apple each – along with other healthy ingredients like ginger or lemon. For parents who are interested in “detoxing,” they can do a cleanse, sipping six to seven bottles of cold-pressed fruits and vegetables for 3, 5 or 7 days. But could there be a downside to drinking your fruits and veggies?
Juicing: More than a trend?
Reporters for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal have all dived into the juicing fad and come back with mixed results: Juicing isn’t as healthy as it seems. The Mayo Clinic noted that juicing strips the fiber from the finished product – think of all the fruit compost you’re left with! That fiber naturally found in produce typically helps you avoid sugar spikes and crashes. Reverting to a strict low-calorie diet, which is typical for a juice cleanse, can make juicers feel sluggish and lethargic. To avoid that, some juices have hemp or almond milk in them as a source of protein.
In addition, juicing can be pricey habit. For those who like to juice at home, a juicer is an investment. Busy moms who grab it on the go likely dish out up to $50 per day for fresh-pressed juice cleanses. But what about the benefits of detoxing? Researchers are skeptical of juicing’s claims of detoxing, as it’s hard to pin down exactly what toxins they’re referring to.
However, it’s not all bad news when it comes to juicing – there are ways to keep it part of a healthy diet. Sabrina Tavernise, when investigating for The New York Times, found that sipping a juice as a snack is a good way to get more nutrients into your day. Juices that have leafy greens, strawberries and oranges are full of nutrients that are easier for our bodies to absorb when they’re juiced, wrote Julie Andrews for Men’s Fitness.
A smoothie may be the better choice when looking to add extra fruits and veggies to your day.
Blending: The best way to drink your produce
For juicing skeptics, there may be a better option. Blending fruits and veggies into a smoothie is a great way to sneak more produce into your diet, according to NPR. By keeping the whole piece of grapefruit or handful of spinach, you’re more likely to get fiber as well as additional antioxidants. You’re also more likely to feel full and not feel cranky from a sugar crash. Don’t worry – you can still be creative with your smoothies, too, to keep them interesting!
When it comes to adding more produce into your day, both juicing and blending are good options. As Tavernise revealed, both do the most good for your body and your wallet when you supplement a healthy eating regimen.