I get a lot of questions about juicing in and out of my workshops. It really intrigues people. One day I will probably have a nice detailed blog post about juicing in juicy detail, but today I wanted to focus on the general. Good or bad?
Anyone who has any experience with juicing or who has their foot in the health food world door probably has some kind of strong opinion about juicing. Or they are exceptionally confused. I found two articles, one about why juicing is THE BEST and the other about how juicing can RUIN YOU. Read them. Then read below, or just skip ahead!
1. Organic juicing is the heal-all! It extracts the fiber allowing all the healing phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, to be extra easy to absorb into the body. With our depleted soil and generation after generation of modifying our veggies to be bigger and sweeter, we no longer can acquire the nutrients we need just by eating them. We'd have to eat way more than our stomachs can handle! But with juicing you can pack in more and take up less tummy room. It also gives the digestive system a break, which is a natural pat of our eat-hunger cycle, but which we no longer have due to constant access to food.
2. Juicing is terrible! It removes the fiber which means there is no slowing down the inevitable blood sugar spike and eventual crash! That is damaging and causes insulin levels to rise quickly, which is inflammatory, leads to mood swings as your blood sugar drops down to below average, cravings, etc. The acidic state of the juice can do damage to teeth over the long term. Eat everything in its WHOLE state. This is just another form of PROCESSING which denatures a lot of the oxygen sensitive nutrients.
You're going to HATE my answer. Ready? hehehe. "Everything in moderation!" Lia you suck! I know, but seriously guys, that's kinda all you can glean from the back and forth. Both sides do have some great points. I've heard of many people who damage their enamel with consistent lemon water drinking, as well as too abrasive toothpastes leading to gum recession and loss of enamel. Brush gently and switch things up.
I use these things as tools to help me achieve what I want at the time. I'll drink lemon water for a few days in a row when the people around me are getting sick, or I feel a bit of a virus trying to take over. That's also when I'm more likely to juice. But then I STOP. I take a nice long break and eat whole, real foods because that truly is the state we are meant to eat them in. Little lovely packages of goodness.
When else do I juice? When I notice that I'm falling into bad habits or eating too much sugar too consistently. I'll juice for a day, MAYBE 2 days, just to reset my system, my taste buds, and yes, even to give my digestive system a bit of a break. These juices are LOW FRUIT HIGH VEGGIE to prevent, or at least minimize the blood sugar peaks and valleys. Longer feasts/fasts can definitely be appropriate, but I don't recommend juicing the same fruits or veggies everyday for years. Change it up!
Should You Avoid Kale?
I'm referencing the second article above in which the author gets diagnosed with hypothyroidism and has to avoid certain veggies. Crucifers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc, are known to be able to disrupt the thyroid. They, and a host of others, are called goitrogenic foods because of the way certain phytochemicals screw with the absorption of iodine in our bodies, a necessary mineral for proper thyroid function. If you don't have thyroid issues, I wouldn't worry about it. There doesn't seem to be enough evidence that eating them as part of a well-rounded diet is going to do harm. Don't eat them every day for years, or extract a concentrated version of them, like in juicing, everyday for years. Cooking them does lower their negative impact, so a light steam is good. Kale is actually ranked as having a higher nutrient profile when it is cooked than when it is raw because the nutrients become more available.
Should You Eat Twinkies and Dairy Instead?
That little bit at the end of the article where she gives up on all her beliefs and hope for health by eating a Twinkie with regular cow's milk really irritated me. Screw it all right? Just go wild! We clearly don't know what is good for us and what isn't, so have your Twinkie and eat it too. NO! Keep learning. Keep striving, not for perfection, but improvement and understanding. See how your body reacts and feels. Variety, variety, variety, along with fresh and whole! Keep it simple and clean and full of joy and you'll know you're on the right path. Keep the Twinkie in the fallout shelter.