But should they be?
Juicing does have benefits. There is a downside, however. Juicing cuts out the fiber and the fiber (heart-healthy and gut-friendly) is what reduces the blood sugar/insulin response your body has to all the natural sugars in freshly juiced fruits. The skin of the fruits and vegetables, as well as the pulp, is where the nutrients are. Juicing negates this benefit. Additionally, there are no proteins or fats in juices and our bodies need this for tissue repair and maintainance as well as fuel for the brain. Juice alone is not filling enough for most folks so people who juice may eat the same amount of food in addition to taking in the high caloric fruit juices. Juicing as a fast or detox protocol is a stressor on the body, can lead to a slower metabolism and potential break-down of muscle. Weight loss is temporary since it is water weight and the loss of glycogen. Fresh squeezed juices start to oxidize immediately so, if you are going to drink them, drink up right away. Letting them sit for any length of time degrades the product and the benefit that might be gained. Raw foods can harbor pathogens so the fruits and veggies need to be thoroughly washed and consumed right after making. Storing increases the vulnerability to bacteria. It is thought that the fiber is what holds the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, so without that, the juice cannot stand up. On a more positive note, since the US diet is short on these nutrient powerhouses, drinking a juice is better than not getting any fruits and vegetables at all.
Make a better choice by creating a smoothie. Adding a good, sugar-free, full-fat yogurt, raw nut butters or coconut oil in addition to a high quality protein powder (and there are some bad ones out there) can make for a more balanced meal in a glass. Fruit, kale or spinach can be added for anti-oxidant help. The protein and fiber will keep you full longer and the benefits of the two will have your body thanking you!