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Are New Juice Fads Good For Your Health?

Last updated Jan. 6, 2017

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Juice diets may seem healthy, as fruits and vegetables are significant sources of essential vitamins and minerals. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, juicing can help meet the nine servings per day recommendation for fruits and vegetables.


Carrying a bottle of fruit or vegetable juice has become an indication of status in our culture. There are several reasons as to why individuals choose to indulge in these high-priced juices. They may be looking to lose weight, detox and cleanse their body, gain more nutrients, or to simply go along with the trend. Pressed juiceries are starting to market their high-priced products in stand-alone stores as well as health food stores. At first thought, juice diets may seem healthy, as fruits and vegetables are significant sources of essential vitamins and minerals. But is this diet fad marketed as “juicing” healthy enough to sustain normal body function and nutrition?

Fasting is a body cleansing procedure in which food is restricted and solely liquids are ingested. Strict fasting may involve water only, but more generous fasts allow for teas or juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables. New York University Langone Medical Center highlighted the discrepancy that there is no scientific support for the use of fresh juice cleansing as a detoxification method. Therefore, it is tough to scientifically confirm that these marketed cleansing methods truly work.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, juicing can help meet the nine servings per day recommendation for fruits and vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the same vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are found in the original whole fruit. Still, it is best to consume fruits and vegetables in their whole form, as juicing separates the fruit juice from the pulp. The pulp contains most of the fiber that your body needs. Juicing fruits also increases their glycemic index, as it causes the sugars to be more readily available.

The Mayo Clinic states that some sources will boast that these expensive juices can lower your risk of cancer, remove toxins from the body, boost your immune system, and aid in weight loss. However, no thorough scientific evidence exists that these pressed juices are any better for your health than the whole fruit or vegetable it originated from.

Despite these inconsistencies, incorporating natural juice into your diet can be a simple way to try new fruits or vegetables you would not normally consume. If making juices yourself, make only the amount of juice you will consume, as harmful bacteria can grow rapidly. Select pasteurized products from a juicing store or market to ensure that the juice is safe to consume. When drinking pressed juices, make sure to use them as only a supplement to your current diet opposed to a means for cleansing or detoxification.

Instead of giving into the juice fads, try incorporating more whole fruits and vegetables into your diet. Despite their craze, the lack of evidence for positive health benefits makes juices an unhealthy alternative product to consume on a long-term regiment. By consuming these juices only in moderation and without intentions of using juicing to lose weight or for fasting, these fruit vegetable juices can supplement extra nutrients into your body that you would have never tried before.

References:

Vegetables and Fruit [Internet]. Harvard School of Public Health [cited 2015 Jan 27]. Available from: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vegetable-questions/#juicing

Grimes K. Fasting: Body Cleansing or Body Starving? [Internet]. Vanderbilt University [cited 2015 Jan 27]. Available from: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/fast.htm

Nelson JK. Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic [cited 2015 Jan 27]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020

Detoxification [Internet]. New York University Langone Medical Center [updated 2014 Sep; cited 2015 Jan 27]. Available from: http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=37404

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Edefonti, V., Bravi, F., & Ferraroni, M. (2016). Breakfast and behavior in morning tasks: facts or fads?. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Via, M. A. (2015). Wellness—Nutritional Approaches to the Generally Healthy Lifestyle.

Wilson, T., & Grivetti, L. E. (2016). A Brief History of Human Beverage Consumption: Prehistory to the Present. In Beverage Impacts on Health and Nutrition (pp. 11-25). Springer International Publishing.

Di Blasio, A., Di Santo, S., Lomonaco, N., Giuliani, C., Bucci, I., & Napolitano, G. (2015). Health & Fitness Journal.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 6, 2017
Last updated: Jan. 6, 2017