Squeezing out the benefits

Wellness world

Squeezing out the benefits

The focus seems to have shifted from packaged fruit juices to raw juices in recent times. It is the latter’s power to ‘cleanse’ and ‘detox’ that has got most people, especially youngsters, hooked to them. However, experts and nutritionists point out that these juices must be consumed in a proper way, so as to avoid any health complications.

Diet, nutrition and wellness consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy, says that raw juices are high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. “They provide good hydration but lack fibre. Nowadays, we don’t get adequate fibre because of the increased consumption of refined foods,” says Sheela. She points out that sugar must never be added to raw juices. “Most people look at consuming raw juices as a solution for weight loss, but I would not recommend it because a meal can never be replaced by a juice.

This would lower the immunity and make the body susceptible to infections,” she adds. Vegetables are best when eaten in a cooked form, says Dr Hema Aravind, dietician and nutritionist at Ramaiah Memorial Hospital. Noticing the trend of consuming raw vegetable juices among youngsters, she says, “Vegetables tend to lose their fibre when you blend them together. They are best consumed in the form of a soup, especially for children,” advises Dr Hema.

She also points out that sugar and salt must never be added to raw vegetable juices. “Vegetables have a natural salt content, so there’s no need to add more salt. Youngsters tend to add sugar to vegetable juices but this is also not a good idea as it increases the sugar intake which can be harmful to the body,” adds Hema. 

Others like Dr Sandhya Singh S, clinical nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, warns that raw juice can only be a supplement to a main meal and never a meal by itself. “There are different food groups and every food has its speciality and benefits. I would recommend that all fruits and vegetables be consumed in small quantities, to ensure the right balance. You can only mix certain vegetables together when you make raw juices. By doing so, one misses out on consuming other vegetables,” she says.

She adds that raw juices don’t offer the body enough protein. “The lack of protein weakens the immune system which could lead to adverse effects. Raw juices must always be made a part of bigger meals,” she adds.

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