By Paige Romanowski
I have always subscribed to the adage of “less is more” when it comes to living a balanced and health-FULL BodyRite life. Falling prey to trends and quick fixes that promise weight loss, anti-aging effects and/or increased health is easy to do, especially when everyone seems to be doing it! We call this “drinking the Kool-Aid;” in this scenario what people are really drinking is not Kool-Aid but rather a green, blended sludge (to some) also referred to as “green juice.”
Based on the rise of chronic disease and obesity in this country, it is a safe assumption to make that most human beings are nutrient deficient and regularly exposing their biology to foods that are toxic. Diabetes type 2, fatty liver disease, obesity, cancer and heart disease are just a few byproducts of bad nutrition. To be more specific, the biggest felons guilty of these health-related crimes are wheat, corn, sugar and soy.
Juicing seems to be the one step cure-all remedy promising healing and redemption from the evils of the toxic food world that surrounds us. No longer are people eating their food but drinking it in hopes of packing in the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that, apparently, aren’t available to us in chewable form.
More is more it seems when it comes to juicing. By blending our fruits and vegetables into liquid sludge, our bodies can now consume even more nutrition when compared to what we can actually eat in solid form. Destroying beautiful complex food into simple liquid form also “pre-digests” our food, thus enabling our bodies to absorb the most nutrients which supposedly equates to better health.
More is not more in this scenario unfortunately. Blending the complex structures of fruits and vegetables into the simple form of liquid is not the answer to filling the nutrition void. The complexity of fruits and vegetables plays a valuable role in the digestive process as well as the insulin response. Gut flora is essential when we are talking about increased immunology. Translation? Sure. The longer plant food takes to break down in the colon, the better overall health we have. Fiber is essential for probiotic health and increasing our sense of fullness post meal. Juicing removes fiber all together which means our bodies get hungry again sooner than later. Bombarding our body’s ecosystem with more green elixir does not mean that you are a healthier version of yourself than you would be if you were simply eating enough fruits and vegetables. Over supplementation should also be a concern.
Ultimately, reducing foods that promote inflammation is a great place to start which means abstaining from the four major food felons: wheat, corn, sugar and soy. Second to that would be increasing your overall daily intake of vegetables primarily because it is likely you aren’t consuming enough anyway. Finally, I would be cautious when it comes to how much fruit you are eating. Vegetables offer up just as many vitamins and nutrients as their fruit counterparts but without the sugar knock-out punch. So, as a matter of course, eat fruit on highly active days as long as it is local and in season.
We have teeth for a reason and that is to chew. Our bodies work harder for us when we let our digestive systems do the work they were designed to do. Less is more when you focus on whole food. More is more when you leave the work up to your body and not a blender. Happy crunching!