Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Juicing is no healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Juicing often involves using a machine to take out the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals found in the fruit. But whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing.

Some people think that the body can absorb nutrients better from juices than it can from whole fruits and vegetables. But that usually isn't so.

Other people try short-term diets that consist only of juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables. These are called juice cleanses or fasts. Some of these diets may claim to help remove toxins, aid digestion or lead to weight loss. But no strong scientific proof supports their use for any of these reasons. Juice cleanses don't give you enough nutrition. They're linked with other health risks too. And any weight lost during a juice cleanse could be gained back once you start eating a typical diet again.

Juicing can play a role in a balanced diet. For instance, it can help you get fruits and vegetables if you don't enjoy eating them.

Juicing also can give the digestive system a rest from digesting fiber. This may help some people who have certain health conditions or who receive certain medical treatments. Do not cut back on fiber unless a health care professional recommends it. Fiber is key for digestive health, and it can help you feel full.

In general, think about making juice with a blender instead of with a juicing machine. Blending the parts of fruits and vegetables that can be eaten produces a drink with more healthy plant chemicals and fiber.

If you try juicing, make only as much juice as you can drink at once. Harmful bacteria can grow quickly in freshly made juice. If you buy commercial fresh juice, choose a pasteurized product.

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Aug. 23, 2023 See more Expert Answers