Mon | Sep 25, 2017

The proper way to juice

Published:Thursday | August 7, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Juicing is the new fad for the health-conscious and not-so-health-conscious, as the best way to consume the nutrients our body needs.

But like with most things, there are dangers in how you do it. According to president of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), Kirk Bolton, if not done properly, a juice diet can cause more harm than good to the body.

"Do not substitute your meal for a juice diet. Juice diets will eventually cause your system to become lazy due to the lack of muscular contraction in your digestive system. You must also take into consideration your health status. Are you doing chemo, having kidney issues, diabetic, etc?" Bolton said.

He admits that there are benefits to having foods in a juice format; however, it should not be a substitution for a meal. The body needs food for one's digestive system to be regulated properly. Juicing, instead of consuming whole foods, will not provide the body with the roughage it needs for the digestive process to function properly.

If someone chooses to juice, they should ensure that they are consuming whole foods along with these juices.

"If you are having any of your food juiced … it's advisable not to store it, but to consume it immediately. The other juices that are available on the shelves are pasteurised, so it is safe to consume after storage, but nutrient quantity and quality would be much less. But when you produce your juice at home, you may cause the build-up of spoilage bacteria that could be harmful. So drinking it almost immediately after preparation is much healthier and also less harmful," Bolton advised.

He explained that this by no means equates to us eliminating juice from our daily diets, just do not replace your food with juices. If one wants to have a glass of natural juice along with a meal, that is fine.

Bolton lists a few things that one should consider before juicing:

1. Certain persons, based on their health status, should not consume a lot of their foods in a juice format. Juice diets may pose a risk to diabetics, people undergoing chemotherapy, persons with nutritional deficiencies, and people with kidney disease, and it is advised they do not try a juice fast. For diabetics, it might raise their blood sugar. If you have kidney disease, it may cause a build-up of potassium and minerals in the blood, which is hazardous to the kidneys.

2. While the juice form does hydrate and supply nutrients, there's no reliable scientific research to support claims that juicing your produce is healthier than eating them whole. Actually, one loses some nutrients in the juicing process, rather than direct consumption.

3. Juices does not offer the filling effect you get from whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.

4. Our body is a system that does its own detoxing. Thanks to our kidneys, liver and intestines that filter unwanted things we eat and get rid of them through our urine, bowel movements, breath and sweat. We do not need to be torturing ourselves with strict juice diets with the view that we are getting rid of toxic things from our bodies.

From Kirk Bolton, president, Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition & Dietetics (JAPINAD), 6 Caledonia Avenue, Kingston 5 (on the property of the Nuttall Memorial Hospital), contact us at 345-FOOD (3663) or via email: japinad@yahoo.com.