Should I Be Juicing?

Orange_juice

What is juicing?

Juicing extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables using a juicer or a blender.

You may have heard that juicing fights cancer. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight cancer. This may be why some people believe an “all juice” diet may help with cancer prevention or treatment. While juicing does offer several health benefits, people with cancer or those undergoing cancer treatments should not follow an “all juice” diet.

Always remember, juicing is a great way to add fruits or vegetables to your diet, but should not be used to try to meet all of your nutrition needs.

Why should I consider juicing?

  • To increase your intake of essential vitamins and nutrients.
  • To manage swallowing difficulty caused by cancer or treatments.
    • Juicing will provide you with essential nutrients from vegetables and fruits in an easier to swallow form.
  • To follow a low-fiber diet post-surgery or during treatment as instructed by your doctor.
    • Juicing extracts the juice from the pulp and skin. The pulp and skin of fruits and vegetables provides fiber.
    • For people on a low fiber diet, juicing provides the nutrients of fruits and vegetables without the fiber from the skins.

What are the risks of juicing?

  • Juicing is not meant to be your main diet.
    • Although juicing is a good way to add nutrients to your diet, it cannot fulfill all your nutritional needs.
    • If you are consuming an “all juice” diet, you are missing out on specific food groups your body needs.
  • Juicing does not provide the protein you need.
    • Although some vegetables have small amounts of protein, you need to make sure your body gets enough protein to keep you healthy and energized during cancer treatment.
  • Juicing could potentially provide too many calories.
    • While juicing is a good source of nutrients, it can also pack in a lot of calories depending on the foods you juice. 
    • Fruits tend to have a lot more calories than vegetables. Juices with more fruits have more calories. 

How can I juice in a healthy way?

  • Meet your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables first.
    • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily in addition to your juice supplement.
  • Choose more vegetables than fruit for your juice.
    • Vegetables are lower in calories. They will provide you with the healthiest juice.
    • Try using just one fruit to sweeten your juice.
  • Don’t forget the protein.
    •  If you are planning to juice for breakfast, add a source of protein for a complete, balanced meal.
    •  For example, try having a boiled egg or a cup of Greek yogurt with your juice.
  • Choose a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
    • Different vegetables have different nutrients and vitamins.
    • The more types of vegetables and fruits you use in your juicing, the greater the nutritional benefit.
    • If you limit yourself to only a few types, you are limiting the amount of nutrients your body can absorb.

To learn more about eating well, read I Have Cancer. What Should I Eat?