Think twice before you order your next green juice with added fruits. Apples, pineapples, grapefruit, orange… they may make your juice taste sweeter, and cut the taste of the veggies, but juicing removes the fiber and all of its benefits. So what does that actually mean? And, are green juices good for you?
The short answer is yes, the green juice benefits are great for you and provide vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables for energy, good digestion and also boost our immune system. What is not so good for you are green juices with added fruit. Juices made with fruit are stripped of their fiber content, causing the sugar in fruits (such as added apple, orange, pineapple, etc.) to be absorbed faster into your system and therefore spiking blood sugar levels. This can change your cravings throughout the day as insulin is released from your pancreas to lower blood sugar levels and in the meantime can change what your hunger hormones are telling you for satiety. For example, have a veggie and fruit juice by itself and you might be hungry an hour later. Or crave more sugar later in the day.
Really this means that drinking fruit juice without the fiber, can have the same impact on your system as eating white table sugar.
This is because fruit contains fructose, just as honey, maple syrup and white table sugar do. So, what’s the difference? FIBER. Fruit contains fiber, while other sources of sugar do not. When you eat fruit in its whole form, you get the benefits of the fiber – which helps to break down the sugars (fructose) for slower absorption. Meaning, as your system digests fruit in its whole form it has to break down the fiber first, slowing the absorption of sugar into you blood. Thus curbing cravings and keeping you more satiated.
Fruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber stabilizes blood sugar, slows absorption and reduces cholesterol. Your small intestine absorbs the nutrients and fructose for energy and the insoluble fiber drops down into your large intestine where it pushes waste through your digestive tract, making digestion quicker and helps with more regular bowel movements.
Here’s my advice, when buying your daily green juice keep it just veggies with no fruit. Eat your fruit whole or blend it into a smoothie so you get the benefits of the fiber. And if you are craving a big glass of orange juice, or a pineapple and veggie juice, have it with a snack that contains fiber or use it as a base for your smoothie and add in ground flax or chia seeds. Your health will thank you!