Maybe to lose weight or to boost nutrition, some turn to juicing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Sounds simple enough, but speaking with Sam Baker in this week’s Vital Signs, Navin Hariprasad, nutritionist and Operations Manager of Patient Foodservices at Parkland Hospital, shares a few points to consider about juicing.
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Six Things To Remember About Juicing:
- Eat and drink. WebMD.com says juicing is a good way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet. But you also should still eat fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat two whole fruits and three to four vegetables a day. Choose them in different colors to get a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
- Fiber’s important. When you juice, you don't get the fiber that's in whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing machines leave behind the pulp, which has fiber. You can add some of the pulp back into the juice or use it in cooking.
- Juicing's not cheap. Juicers can be expensive, ranging from $50 to $400. You may not need a juicing machine to make juice. You can use a blender for most whole fruits or vegetables to keep the fiber. You’ll want to remove seeds and rinds, and some skins. Once your juice is ready, it's best to drink it the same day you make it, for food safety
- Watch the Calories. Fruits and their natural sugars contain more calories than vegetables. Navin Hariprasad of Parkland Hospital recommends a three-to-one mix: three vegetables plus one fruit for flavor. You can make your juice more balanced by adding protein. Some good sources are almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, and peanut butter.
- Weight Loss and Cleansing. WebMD.com warns you may not get enough fiber or protein to make you full on a juice-only diet. You might rebel by eating something like cake or a doughnut. And not getting enough protein could also mean you lose muscle mass.
- If You're Taking Prescription Drugs. Check with your doctor before doing a lot of juicing, so you can avoid any potential problems. For instance, large amounts of foods high in vitamin K, such as kale and spinach, may change how the blood thinner warfarin works.