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The Do's and Don'ts of Juicing

Whether it is for aspirations of weight loss, the desire for detox, or for perceived improvements in energy levels, juicing is gaining in popularity and is one of the fastest growing health trends. But is it healthy? My short answer: it can be. But there can also be some crucial mistakes people make when they juice. So what should you and what shouldn’t you do when it comes to juicing? Here are three Do’s and two Don’ts on juicing.

DO: JUICE FOR QUICK, EASILY DIGESTABLE NUTRITION

If you are looking for rapid nutrient delivery – like if you’re an athlete and are looking for quick carbohydrates before practice or an event – juicing can be a great solution. Why? Since juice is pulverized, the first steps of digestion (chewing and mechanical breakdown in your stomach) are complete. This enables quick and easy absorption of the nutrients present in the juice. is also means that not only can athletes benefit, but so too can those who are stressed. When stressed, less of the body’s work goes to digestion, making juicing a healthy strategy when met with the right ingredients.

DO: NUTRIENT BALANCE

Even though your body will get vitamins and minerals from the foods you’re juicing, if you’re simply juicing fruits, your body is going to be met with a high amount of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this can create spikes and later falls in blood sugar, which can make you feel hungry just moments later. Plus, often times your brain doesn’t register liquid nutrition as energy! Stabilize blood sugar by combining your juice with a source of protein and fat – like a handful of cashews and pistachios, or a sprinkle of chia seeds and hemp seeds into your juice. Doing so will help you feel fuller, longer.

DO: INCORPORATE GREEN VEGETABLES

Did you know? A recent report shared that less than 9% of Americans get the recommended two to three cups of vegetables they need each day. Dark leafy green vegetables like kale, chard, and BroccoLeaf, are home to nutrients including folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium. Celery, cilantro, parsley, and baby broccolican be juiced too! Include green vegetables in your juices to for an extra nutrition punch to help you meet your daily requirements for vegetables.

DON'T: USE JUICING AS A MEAL REPLACEMENT STRATEGY

Juicing just apples and pears? You’re going to be getting a large amount of carbohydrates that, if not met with protein and fat, will not serve as an adequate meal.  Only juicing dark green leafy vegetables? That’s great for vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, but those juices will not provide you with energy and other nutrients you need. Juicing regularly as a way to replace meals – as in a detox or juice cleanse – may actually leave you with less energy and a weakened metabolism as compared to before the cleanse. So, use juicing as part of your meals, not as the complete replacement.

DON'T: THROW AWAY THE JUICE PULP

Save the pulp from your juice (it’s where all the fiber is at!) and use it to create recipes like pesto, hummus, and smoothies. Check out these recipes for how to Rejuicenate on the Foxy site!

What are your favorite tips for juicing? Do you have juicing recipes you love? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at @YESNutritionLLC  and @FoxyProduce!

Tori Holthaus, MD, RDN, LD is the founder of YES! Nutrition, LLC, a nutrition coaching and communications business on a mission to share healthy eating tips and strategies you should say "yes!" to. Follow her on Facebook, @YESNutritionLLC, Twitter @ToriHolthaus and Instagram @ToriHolthaus.

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