A juice myth de-bunked: vegetable versus fruit

By Ellyn Peratikou

Juicing took the UK by storm this summer, but ‘juice’ to some is synonymous with a bottle or carton of sugary fruit juice. However, making your own fresh vegetable juice at home can be incredibly beneficial for your health (especially over the upcoming winter months when you might be feeling the effects of illness being spread around). 

The British public is constantly bombarded with messages about health. Especially in the media, it’s hard to open a newspaper without a new study claiming the health risks of what people consume or the environment everyone lives in. But there is value to these messages – education is paramount to helping people make healthy lifestyle choices.

So, when a new study talks about the health risks of regular ‘juice’ (such as that in store-bought cartons), it is important to let people know about the high level of naturally occurring sugars in fruit juice. Yet, what’s equally important is that people know the distinction between this sugary fruit juice, and the kind of ‘juice’ you can make yourself, at home, and the different impacts these have on the body.

Knowing the facts

No longer a fascination of the super health conscious, home-juicing has hit the mainstream, thanks in part to Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, an inspiring documentary film aired on Channel 5 this summer.

The film chronicles the personal story of Joe Cross, who at the age of 40 was 100lb overweight and was told by doctors that he might die unless he turned his life around. Disheartened by conventional medicines, he had one option left: to try a holistic approach that would allow the body to self-heal. Joe made a decision to trade in the junk food and drink nothing but fresh juice for 60 days. What Joe drinks is predominantly vegetable juice. He recommends the ratio of 80:20 vegetables to fruit and mostly limits the fruit to one piece per juice.

This is exactly where the confusion lies. Juicing is about providing your body with a fast and efficient way to absorb the micronutrients from vegetables (and a little fruit) which every cell in your body relies on to do their job efficiently. Regular juicers cite increased energy, better sleep patterns and brighter skin and hair as just some of the benefits. So, why not put down the fruit juice carton or bottle aside and reach for the juicer instead….

Top tips for juicing

Joe Cross offers his best advice for the juicing: 

  • Invest in a good juicer. ‘I use a Sage by Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer (www.sageappliances.co.uk),’ says Joe. ‘Keeping juice cool is an important element in preserving nutrients, it has a centred feed chute and with less than 2 degrees of heat transfer, this juicer maximises the nutrition.’
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Drinking a rainbow of colours will give you maximum nutrition as well as a variety of taste.
  • Plan in advance. There are very good juice flasks available so you can make an extra batch to take juice on the run with you.

About the Author

Joe Cross’s film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is available on Netflix. Along with the film, Joe Cross has launched www.rebootwithjoe.com, a health and wellness website that provides tools, nutrition programs and community to help every day people change for good. Anyone can sign up and get step-by-step instructions on customising a Reboot programme. It is supported by a nutritionist, library of recipes, daily meal plans, research and community tools that allow you to share your stories and experiences. 

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