If you have read part 2 of “Juicing” you now know a thing or two about sugar content in fruit juices. Yes, drinking pure fruit juices as a regular beverage is not good for anybody. Just like drinking any sugar water it will leave you feeling hungry again half an hour later.
But what if you are not drinking fruit juices? What if you are juicing vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli and only add fruits for taste? The juice that comes out is rich and green, not pink or orange like with pure fruit juices. Isn’t that the proof that what you are drinking is healthy?
How much juice in a vegetable?
Most people do not pay attention to how much juice comes out of juicing vegetables, so one evening we conducted an experiment just for you. We set up a high yield top-end Breville juicer on our kitchen counter and brought in a pack (142 g) of organic baby spinach for juicing.
We juiced all content of the pack twice to ensure that we got the maximum yield from the spinach. Leafy vegetables are not watery, so we were not surprised to only get 2.5 tablespoon of liquid out of four cups of leaves.
The taste test did not do so well
Have you ever drank pure spinach? I think it is quite repulsive. Thank God we only juiced a small shot glass. We had to squeeze our noses closed and shut down the taste buds while taking this small foul-smelling magma.
Juicing spinach is a great idea for those who have trouble digesting fiber and are malnourished. But it is not a good idea for those looking for good taste and low cost. We paid $5 for these two tablespoons of juice which tasted like a freshly mowed lawn. I actually like eating spinach, but juice is a different game altogether. I kept on gagging on the first sip until I washed my mouth with water several times. The experiment was priceless: I would only drink this again if “my life depended on it”
How do we really drink greens?
Pure juices of green veggies taste awful and most people would not go for it. After all, health fanatics are usually not on their last legs and would consider other options before taking “fresh grass” without hesitation. But greens are healthy and we should have more of them. So what do we do to swallow down the awful greens? We add fruits!!! We did too and this is what happened.
How much orange juice to kill the taste?
We added one orange (160g) and mixed the juices together. One orange added approximately 1/3 cup of liquid. But despite such volume dominance from the orange, juice remained green and still tasted very grassy. Its palatability went up only by one notch on a scale 1-10. To me it was still at 1.
Due to lingering bad taste we opted for another orange. That made a difference to the taste, but not much to the color at all. The taste was somewhere now 4 out of 10. I would drink it now if I thought it was really healthy. Most people mistakenly do. The truth is far from it.
What happened to health?
By the time spinach juice was drinkable our concoction had a glycemic load of 8-10. That’s like ½ cup of sugar. How healthy is this: spinach juice dissolved in ½ cup of sugar. If you knew would you still drink it? I DON’T THINK SO.
This is when I shatter your dreams about juicing. Healthy juices are not tasty. Healthy juices are not cheap. Sweet tasting and low cost juices and smoothies are loaded with sugar to the point of damaging your health, promoting obesity, hunger, cravings and contributing to sugar dips and fatigue. Now it is time for a moment of truth: are you juicing for health or for taste?
Can juicing be healthy?
Juicing CAN be healthy provided it is done right. But most people don’t follow the right guidelines. Many believe that green color is a sufficient validation or proof of health value of the juice.
Stop following useless trends. Stop doing things because others do them. Start validating health criteria yourself. Health starts with awareness not with fashion. Read more, question more.
Did you know that juicing can damage your liver? That’s in part 4