If you don't often have fruit and vegetables then juicing is a good way to get them into your diet. It helps to meet your daily requirement according to Jennifer Barr, MPH, RD, LDN, a dietician who works at Wilmington's Centre for Community Health.(www.webmd.com.)
There are many health claims about juicing on the internet. It is true that eating a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of heart disease or cancer but there hasn't been a lot of research that has been done specific to juicing. There is some research on juicing and immune system, but any immune system benefits probably come from eating fruits and vegetables, whether it's in juice or not, Barr says.
Fans of juicing also say that juicing is better than eating whole fruits and vegetables because the body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives the digestive system a rest from working on the fibre.
But you shouldn't count on juicing as your sole source of fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat two whole fruits, and three to four vegetables a day. They should come in different colours, as the colours have different vitamins and minerals, Barr says.
You can add some of the leftover pulp back into the juice or use it in cooking. Besides muffins, Barr uses other combinations -- such as spinach, pears, flaxseed, celery, and kale -- to make broth for cooking soup, rice, and pasta. She calls it "going the extra step to fortify your meals."
"Don't think because you're juicing that you're off the hook with eating fruits and vegetables," says Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesman and founder of Eating Free, a weight management program."You could be taking up to four fruits and now the calories start adding up. If you use vegetables to juice, the calories are a lot less. If you use mainly vegetables, add an apple or kiwi for flavour. Calories are a concern if it's pure fruit juice," Villacorta says.
To make a juice more balanced with protein some good sources are almond milk, Greek yoghurt, flaxseed, or peanut butter.