Juices and health

Juices and health

Although juices have been considered as some of the healthiest drinks until recently, the truth is that most of the traditional juices are not as good as one couldexpect.

Juices and nutrition

Although juices are a pretty good way of obtaining the nutrients that can be soluble(those that can be incorporated from drinking the liquid), and as such are a pretty good source of vitamins and other necessary components for our health, juices most of the time lack a fundamental component, fiber.

Fiber is defined as the portion of plant based foods that we can’t process ourselves. The importance of this fiber comes to light from the fact that fruit has a high quantity of fructose, molecule that forms part of the typical sugar we use to sweeten our drinks, and its effect on our liver.

Fructose induces a plethora of processes as we saw in the article on problems of processed sugars and is the main reason why drinking juices could be an idea we should reconsider.

Fiber and Juices

The problem with most juices is the fact that trough selective breeding we have chosen fruits that have a higher content of sugars each generation and with it we have also increased among others the levels of fructose in this fruits.

An interesting fact is that the sweetest fruits our ancestors had the chance to eat were as sweet as a carrot nowadays, an example that illustrates the difference between our ancestor’s alimentation and ours and maybe how excessive is the quantity of sugars we consume nowadays.

The importance of the fiber in fruit comes from the fact that the fiber helps us reduce the speed at which we have to absorb the sugar and as such we reduce the insulin spike that comes with carbohydrate-rich foods.

By including fiber we can make the increase in sugar levels in our body into a more steady one, and this can give the body the chance to keep up with this increase and metabolize in a way such that it doesn’t end up harming us.

You could think of it as having all the assembly line working in perfect harmony when we have fiber in our meals, or having complete chaos when we eat meals that have too much sugar and no fiber.

The fact that most juices don’t usually add the part that has fiber, like in the case of the oranges and bananas, makes these juices into something that, if we only take into account the sugar levels, could be as bad as some soft drinks.

Another problem is the fact that using a blender could by itself affect the insoluble fiber in a negative way harming some of the positive properties it could have provided us. By ripping the fiber it has a harder time to do the job we wanted it to do, which is to slow the intake of sugars, mostly fructose and glucose.

Green Juices

A possible solution to this problem would be to add external sources of fiber to our juices so that we can reduce the insulin spike that could come with drinking them. By adding leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, not only do we help reduce the insulin spike due to an increase in fiber, but we also increase the nutritional value, since many nutrients such as folic acid are found mostly in these kinds of vegetables.

Another reason to consider adding leafy vegetables to our juices is the fact that they also usually present high mineral contents among them presenting Mg in the case of spinach, which is known to be one of the dietary deficiencies for most people.

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