I’ve been seeing the whole celery juicing craze EVERYWHERE lately. On Instagram, Facebook groups, YouTube, you name it. I’m sure you have too.
People claim it helps clear up their acne, helps them lose weight, makes them regular, finds them true love (not really but you get the picture.)
So the real question is, does it live up to the hype? Is juicing healthy? Is there any scientific reasoning to back it up? Or is it just that, hype?
Let’s get into the science of juicing, celery or any other fruit or veggie, and if it’s really worth your time, effort, and money.
Is Juicing Healthy?
Potential Benefits of Juicing
Since juicing requires a large volume of fruits and veggies, you technically will be getting a higher amount of vitamins and minerals in one glass than if you were to eat say, one apple.
Juicing can also make the plant easier to digest, may provide electrolytes and hydration, and can help you consume more of a certain veggie you may otherwise avoid.
Negatives of Juicing
- No Fiber
This is perhaps the biggest negative of juicing. When you juice a plant, you take away much of the bulk, pulp, and fiber.
Fiber is SO important for a healthy diet. It’s linked to a healthier heart, healthier gut, and aids in healthy weight management.
If you choose to get the majority of your fruits and veggies by juicing, you could risk not getting enough fiber in your diet. If the plant you are choosing to juice doesn’t contain fat, you also won’t be getting that macro which is needed to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. (Vitamins abundantly found in fruits and veggies.)
- Extra Sugar
You might hear that the sugar found in fruits and veggies isn’t as harmful as processed sugar found in say, cake. Why? Because of the fiber and other nutrients in whole fruits and veggies that slow digestion and the blood sugar response caused by the natural sugar in the food.
When you juice a plant, you’re getting a more concentrated dose of sugar from those plants. Without the fiber to control your blood sugar response, you’re likely to get a spike in blood sugar when you drink the juice.
Why do spikes in blood sugar matter?
Frequent blood sugar spikes can lead to insulin resistance. This means the insulin your body is producing to move that sugar out of your bloodstream becomes less efficient and that sugar and excess insulin remains in your bloodstream. Long term, this causes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to virtually every chronic disease including heart disease.
Fiber slows the insulin response and prevents large spikes in your blood sugar which is another reason they are so important in the diet and why it might not be a good idea to only drink the juice from your veggies.
When you juice a fruit or veggie, you don’t use the entire thing. After it goes through the juicer you are left with a mound of pulp, skins, and other parts of the plant that often go wasted.
There are ways to reuse and recycle these leftovers (like composting), but sadly that’s not always the case and it’s wasted.
Juicing can be expensive. From purchasing an actual juicer, buying enough organic produce, to even buying a green juice at your local juice bar, the cost can add up quick.
I took some time to hypothetically become a juicer for the week. Here’s what it could cost me:
- Juicing machine: $400 to $1600
- Organic produce (recommended for juicing): $30-50/ week
- Juice at a local juice bar: $5-8 per glass
Of course, this could vary depending on where you live. And hey, if this is how you prefer to spend your money that’s totally fine! Personally, I believe there are more cost-effective ways to get your veggies. Just keep in mind that juicing is currently a multi-billion dollar industry and there’s a reason why.
When you take a fruit or veggie from its whole form to a juiced form, you are losing fiber and some other beneficial properties. Yes, you are getting a more concentrated dose of micronutrients, but you’re also getting a more concentrated dose of all the sugar in the plant. Without the added fiber, your blood sugar may spike throwing off your blood sugar balance which isn’t ideal.
Juicing isn’t necessarily bad for you, but I wouldn’t suggest it completely replace consuming fruits and veggies in their whole form.
Remember, the claims and hype you see on documentaries and social media about juicing are mostly anecdotal. They are just peoples personal opinions or a companies agenda to get you to spend money on a product.
A better option is to include whole fruits and veggies at every meal so you’ll get the benefits of fiber and the micronutrients of the plant.
One of my favorite ways to eat my veggies is in a smoothie. When you blend up whole fruit and veggies in a smoothie, you’re getting much of the benefits of juicing but with the added fiber, fat, and you can add protein. Smoothies are more filling and more cost effective too!
Have you tried juicing before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
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