Busting The Myths of Green Juices

October 30, 2013 · 12 comments

Last week, my video with Rebekah stirred a little bit of controversy. One of her tips to lose ten pounds was to drink your meals.  Since many of you still have questions about green juice, I accepted the opportunity for a guest post from Kimberly Snyder, a semi-controversial nutritionist herself to bust a few common myths when it comes to green juice. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

Juice!

It’s inevitable. With success comes detractors, and this is especially true in the health industry. Everyone knows the “right” way to lose weight and get healthy and any other method is inferior. Forget that every individual has a different history, metabolism, psychology and emotions. Who cares if it’s working? If a certain diet, habit or food doesn’t fit within their dogma; a myth is perpetuated to bring it down. There are even myths about consuming fruits and vegetables, especially in liquid form. These illusions tackle the range of green smoothies from the preparation to the content and can all be debunked with a little critical thought and information.

Juicing Takes Away The Fiber

It is often argued that by juicing a fruit or vegetable, the water and nutrients are utilized, but the digestive health improving and disease preventing fiber is left out. To this, I have no argument, and is why I don’t advocate juicing. I much prefer smoothies, which don’t juice the ingredients, but rather chops and blends all of the ingredients into liquid form. However, unlike juice, what is left is still a whole food product. Nothing has been lost, the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber are all still available.

Those quick to dismiss juice’s lack of fiber fail to mention the average American diet’s lack of fiber (experts recommend twenty to thirty grams daily). Taking smoothies out of the equation, green juices lack fiber, but contain exponentially more nutrients than the food many typically consume. However, a thirty-two ounce serving of a glowing green smoothie contains twelve grams of fiber. This amounts to over half the daily recommendation in one serving. Doesn’t sound like a like of fiber to me.

A Blender Destroys the Fiber

Those who continue the fiber argument with this myth think very highly of blenders. Even the best blender on the market, the Vitamix, cannot obliterate or even alter the molecular structure of insoluble fiber. In fact the blender aids in soluble fiber and nutrient absorption, separating it from other vitamins and minerals.

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Green Smoothies Can Cause Disease

You read that correctly, there is a myth that all of the fruits and vegetables in the glowing green smoothie can actually lead to sickness. Now you can begin to see the lack of common sense of the health industry. The controversy surrounds what is known as oxalates. Oxalates are found within every living thing (plants and animals) that result from the incomplete metabolism of carbohydrates. When oxalate combines with calcium, it forms and relatively insoluble salt (calcium oxalate) which is most often associated with kidney stones, but can result in stone formation in the brain and fibromyalgia.

There are a few problems with the oxalate arguments. First, those that develop calcium oxalate are generally predisposed to them and have issues whether they drink green juices or not. Secondly, those with a predisposition are generally encouraged to decrease their animal protein intake. Animal proteins are generally a bigger contributor to oxalate problems than vegetables due to their digestion and absorption. Finally, issues with oxalates are associated with cooked vegetables, which results in the calcium bond, not raw vegetables. The glowing green smoothie does not contain any animal protein or cooked vegetables. If still concerned about oxalates, the greens of the glowing green smoothie can be changed regularly to receive a variety and prevent oxalate build-up.

You Can Never Be Full Drinking Green Smoothies

The most common misconception about including green juices into a diet is that one will never feel satisfied and constant cravings are likely. The dispute against this claim is based on the factors that result in hunger and the actual content of green juices and smoothies. Two of the most common causes of hunger are a lack of nutrients and dehydration. The make-up of most fruits and vegetables are over eighty-five percent water. For example, a thirty-two ounce serving of a glowing green smoothie will provide approximately thirty ounces of water. That’s almost four glasses, half of your daily recommendation.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient dense food type. This means that they are stocked full of the vitamins and minerals that will help your body optimally function. The glowing green smoothie contains four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit. Again half of the daily recommendation in one glass! When the body’s nutrition needs are satisfied, hunger will dissipate and eventually disappear rendering this protest useless.

Green juices are not a fad diet, they are not meant to deceive or harm. Instead they are a means to improve your health through easy consumption of nutritious food.

Guest post contributed by an editor for Kimberly Snyder, a New York Times bestselling author and the go-to nutritionist for many of the entertainment industry’s top celebrities.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 raq October 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

realy informative and intresting. i didnt realise fiber was lost through juicing, iv been wanting to get a new juicer but im unsure if its stil a good idea or if i shud just get a smootie maker n grinder for more nutrion. im confused now but happy to have read this. i want maximium benifit. is it just better eating them wholee then lol xx iv added my facebook for anyone that knows about this or want to ask me anythingx x

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2 J Hart October 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I personally would recommend investing in something like a vitamix or a blend tech blender because it preserves fiber and all the vitamins and minerals. It is also still very filling because nothing is taken out. You can make whole juices in a vitamix or blend tech and they are delicious along with being able to make ice cream or soup or almost anything you can imagine.

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3 Sarah October 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

If you need to pick one, I would go with a blender. They are both beneficial and both have their places but I use my blendtech way more than my juicer. I buy green juices just so I don’t have to clean my juicer or buy pounds of produce that take up my whole fridge.

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4 Ryan June 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Hi raq,
If you’re interested in a blender, but don’t want to break the bank, I’d suggest a NutriBullet. I’ve had mine for about a year and absolutely love it. Mine costed me about $100, and it has been well worth it. It’s seriously so easy, and it also keeps the fiber. I’m actually drinking a green smoothie right now, and it’s exactly that. Smooth.
Cheers,
-Ryan

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5 Tamara October 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm

From what I understood from your guest speaker when she said “Drink your food, and chew your drinks”, she was advocating chewing thoroughly and swishing around juices/smoothies before swallowing. Not necessarily drinking your meals. I think all this may have been a misunderstanding, possibly.

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6 Anna October 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Agreed. I know from following BexLife, that Rebekah doesn’t juice all of her meals… I mean, I think she eats eggs pretty regularly and she just posted an avocado sandwich recipe and mentioned (I think in this or another video) how you should eat your fruit before your carbs/protein throughout the day. I don’t really think the video or she, herself, advocates doing a long-term juice fast to lose weight.

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7 Renee October 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I think this was well written. I too am more of a fan of smoothies rather than juices. I think there’s a lot of hype around juicing being the “healthiest thing out there” to do for yourself, when it’s really not. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but I don’t think liquid cleanses are the answer to everyone’s “I need to lose the last 10 lbs!” problem.

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8 Anna October 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thanks for all the info! I like to both juice green juices and blend green smoothies (usually I reserve juicing for harder-to-blend veggies & fruit – like carrots, beets, apples, cucumbers, celery). Sometimes I even juice the harder veggies/fruits and add the juices in with my green smoothies. I use them to supplement my diet, usually as a mid-morning pick-me-up (~3-4 days a week). They’re energizing and help me get more nutrients. And do, surprisingly, keep me satiated.

I’ve also heard that if you don’t mix up your greens in the smoothies, that you can amass “alkaloid buildup.” I never used to mix up my greens before (it used to be spinach, always), but now rotate between kale and beet greens. I never had any side-effects or whatnot from not switching it up before, but thought it was a good idea to do so in order to get a variety of nutrients.

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9 Tricia Coniglio October 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I love alternating fruits and veggies to get a better variety of nutrients. I do have my favs and sometimes have to remind myself to mix it up!

I used to sneak spinach, cilantro and other greens into smoothies, shakes and other meals and after I was ‘caught’ I no longer sneak it :)

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10 Tara@PNWRunner October 31, 2013 at 12:37 am

I have not juiced myself yet, but I want to do one as a colon cleanse mostly. Not to loss weight, but to get rid of the build up as people would say in your digestive track. I am sure juicing would help and incorporating a juice everyday or a few times a week would help.

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11 Livi October 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

I love drinking my nutrients, but it’s about balance! I hope no one is thinking they can drink juice all day and sustain themselves!

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12 Hazel November 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Great topic. I always gain weight and feel worse when I’m away from my beloved Vitamix. It’s so much easier to fill up on fresh, raw nutritious vegetables when you can throw them in a blender, take it with you and drink on the go. Not only is blending better for keeping the fiber, it’s easier clean up and more filling.

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