Is juicing fruits and vegetables beneficial?

Juicing fruits and vegetables has become a popular health trend in recent years. Proponents claim that juicing can provide a concentrated dose of nutrients, promote weight loss, and improve overall health. However, there is ongoing debate about whether juicing is truly beneficial or if it’s better to simply eat whole fruits and vegetables.

What is juicing?

Juicing refers to extracting the liquid from fruits and vegetables. This is typically done by putting cut produce into a juicer or blender and straining out the solids. The resulting juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals from the produce used. However, the fiber is removed during the juicing process.

Juice made from fruits and vegetables provides a quick and convenient way to ingest produce. It takes much less time to drink a glass of vegetable juice than eat the same quantity of whole vegetables. Additionally, juicing may allow people to incorporate a wider variety of produce into their diet, including vegetables that they don’t regularly eat.

Potential benefits of juicing

There are several proposed benefits of drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices:

  • Increased nutrient intake – Juices are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They provide concentrated amounts of nutrients that would take much larger quantities of produce to obtain by eating whole fruits and vegetables.
  • Support for weight loss – Some evidence suggests juice may help with weight management. Since juice has few or no calories but substantial volume, it can aid in reducing overall calorie intake while providing satiety from the volume of liquid.
  • Improved hydration – The high water content in juice helps hydrate the body more effectively than other beverages like soda or coffee.
  • Boosted energy – The natural sugars like glucose and fructose in fruit juices can provide an energy boost.
  • Better heart health – The antioxidants in vegetable juices may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure.
  • Improved digestion and regularity – The nutrients and enzymes in juices can aid digestion. The liquid nature may also promote regular bowel movements.
  • Detoxification – Some claim that juicing helps rid the body of toxins, primarily through improved liver function and increased urination.
  • Disease prevention – The vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals in juices may help prevent certain chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Potential downsides of juicing

Despite the benefits above, there are some potential downsides to consider with juicing:

  • Lack of fiber – Fiber is removed when produce is juiced rather than eaten whole. This can increase blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Loss of nutrients – Some nutrients are destroyed by heat from juicing or exposure to air. Whole fruits and veggies may have more intact nutrients.
  • Not as filling – The liquid form of juice is not as satiating as whole produce so hunger may return more quickly.
  • Rapid sugar intake – The natural sugars in juice are absorbed more quickly without the fiber, which can be problematic for diabetics.
  • Dental issues – Fruit juices tend to be acidic, which can degrade tooth enamel over time.
  • Contamination risk – If improperly handled, juices have more potential for bacterial growth than whole produce.
  • Oxalate content – Spinach, beets, berries and other ingredients may contain oxalates that can crystalize in the body.
  • High glycemic load – Large amounts of concentrated sweet juices impact blood glucose and insulin more than whole fruit.

Differences between fruit and vegetable juices

There are some notable differences between fruit juices and vegetable juices:

Fruit juices Vegetable juices
  • Tend to be sweeter due to natural sugars like fructose
  • Provide more calories and carbohydrates
  • Offer plenty of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium
  • Usually more acidic
  • Typically more savory and less sweet
  • Have lower calorie count and fewer carbs
  • Excellent sources of antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E
  • Rich in important minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium

In general, fruit juices make a tasty beverage that provides key vitamins, while vegetable juices excel more at delivering minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that promote health. Combining both fruits and veggies can yield a juice with a balanced nutritional profile.

Best fruits and veggies for juicing

Almost any produce can be juiced, but some varieties are better suited for juicing and offer the most nutritional bang for your buck. Here are some top choices:


  • Apples – sweeten other juices naturally
  • Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes
  • Stone fruits – cherries, peaches, plums
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
  • Pineapple – adds tropical flair
  • Pomegranate – high in antioxidants
  • Mango – brightly flavored
  • Grapes – easy to juice seedless varieties


  • Carrots – sweet, nutrient-rich
  • Celery – adds crunch and fiber
  • Tomatoes – juicy and full of lycopene
  • Spinach – packs antioxidants
  • Kale – an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K
  • Cucumbers – add hydration
  • Beets – vibrant pink color, folate
  • Cabbage – vitamin C, sulfur compounds
  • Broccoli – vitamin C, calcium

Should you juice or eat whole produce?

There is ongoing debate about whether it is better to juice fruits and vegetables or consume them whole and raw. Here is a comparison of juicing versus eating produce in its whole form:

Juicing Eating whole produce
  • Makes it easier to ingest more servings of produce
  • More rapidly absorbed nutrients
  • Easier to digest
  • Enables consumption of a wider variety of produce
  • No chewing required
  • More palatable way to eat leafy greens, veggies
  • Provides dietary fiber
  • Longer satiety from fiber, chewing
  • No nutrient loss from heat, air exposure
  • Whole food means cofactors/enzymes intact
  • Lower glycemic impact
  • Promotes oral and dental health

As this comparison shows, there are pros and cons to both options. Juicing makes it easier to get more servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Drinking juice is also very nutrient-dense and more rapidly absorbed. However, important fiber is lost in the process. Chewing whole produce may provide longer lasting satiety. Whole fruits and vegetables also retain more intact nutrients, enzymes, and plant chemicals that work synergistically within the produce’s cellular matrix.

Who might benefit most from juicing?

Here are some circumstances where juicing might be especially beneficial:

  • People who struggle to consume adequate produce – Juicing makes it easier to ingest servings of fruits/veggies.
  • Those with poor digestion – The broken down form of juice is easier to digest and assimilate.
  • Anyone with mouth or dental issues – Juices require no chewing and are less irritating.
  • People who need nutrient-dense calories – Cancer patients, children, diabetics.
  • Athletes – The rapid nutrient absorption can help provide energy.
  • People wanting convenient nutrition – Juice is portable and easy to take on-the-go.
  • Individuals looking to expand produce variety – Juicing lets you enjoy even vegetables you dislike.
  • Anyone seeking more hydration – The high water content in juice is more thirst-quenching.

For most healthy individuals, both whole and juiced fruits and vegetables have a place in the diet. Combining the two can help optimize nutrient intake.

Is a juice cleanse healthy?

Some people do juice cleanses or detoxes, consuming only juices for days or weeks while eliminating all solid foods. However, there is little evidence that juice cleanses actually remove toxins. They also provide inadequate nutrition for more than a few days due to several drawbacks:

  • Lack of protein – Only juice for days can lead to muscle breakdown.
  • No fiber – This can impact regularity and fullness.
  • Potentially too low in calories – May cause fatigue, dizziness.
  • Nutrient deficiencies – Long-term juicing risks deficiencies in iron, B12, zinc, etc.
  • Weight usually regained – Cleanses are not sustainable for permanent weight loss.

While juicing may provide a short “re-boot”, extended juice fasts or cleanses are considered unhealthy and unbalanced nutrition. The deprivation involved is unlikely to help most people.

Tips for juicing at home

Here are some tips to make juicing at home simple and safe:

  • Use fresh, organic produce whenever possible – avoid wilted or old produce.
  • Wash all produce thoroughly before juicing.
  • Alternate soft and hard produce – blend up tougher skins and seeds.
  • Drink juice as soon as possible or store tightly sealed in fridge for up to 48 hours.
  • Combine fruits and vegetables to create balanced juices.
  • Save pulp to use in baked goods – it still has fiber.
  • Rinse all juicing equipment thoroughly after use.
  • Be aware that juicers are loud appliances that require cleanup.
  • Watch out for potential staining from beets, berries, pomegranate.


Juicing can be a healthy way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, particularly for those who struggle to eat adequate produce. Juice provides vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a rapidly absorbed liquid form. However, fiber is lost in the process which reduces satiety. For maximum health benefits, experts recommend combining both whole fruits and vegetables along with their juices. This balances the enhanced nutrient absorption from juices with the prolonged satiation and gut benefits of fiber from whole produce.

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