Juicing: Is it healthy or harmful?

Health Smart
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A lot of people struggle with eating enough fruits and vegetables daily.

That’s why some people are not eating them, but drinking them instead.

It’s called juicing -- drinks made with fruits and vegetables with nothing added.

Erica Motley says juicing has changed her life for the better.

“I fell in love with how I felt. The energy, unbelievable energy,” she said.

After juicing consistently, she was no longer taking medication for chronic diseases.

“My blood pressure went down, my cholesterol, no more pre-diabetic, I lost weight,” she said.

“My vision went up 2 percent, which is huge,” she added.

Motley was so encouraged by the results that she opened her own juice bar in Greensboro as part of her business EM Creative.

It was a similar personal experience that inspired George Memory to open Organix Juice Bar in Winston-Salem.

“The demand has far exceeded my expectations,” Memory said.

He has type 1 diabetes and a few years ago his wife was diagnosed with stage-one breast cancer.

Memory says it was during that time they learned the importance of eating healthy and explored juicing.

After watching documentaries and doing research, he’s sharing what he has learned to help customers.

“Through this process they have actually been able to take themselves off some medications,” he said.

Dr. Chan Badger, a Novant Health family medicine doctor, says juicing overall is a healthy way to incorporate fruits and vegetables in conjunction with proper food choices and portion control.

“I think it's a nice supplement, but it shouldn't be used as a sole way of dieting,” he said.

Badger also mentioned that with juicing you don’t receive the protein or fiber from the fruits and vegetables and therefore it’s important to add those nutrients either in the drinks or another way.

Badger says people assume juicing automatically means weight loss, but overconsuming fruits to make drinks sweeter in some cases could cause weight gain because of the natural sugar in fruits.

Lastly, he says that people should be cautious of some “detox” juicing claims as the kidneys and liver are designed to naturally clear the body of waste.

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