All About Juice, Juicing, and Smoothies
There is a lot of information out there regarding juicing, smoothies, and vegan raw diets. Some of it is sound in its basic science, but most of it lacks any sort of medical study data. This state of affairs is likely to continue as the funding necessary to run medical studies is just not out there for this type of study.
One thing that is well known is, that the average American diet does not come close to having enough fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommendation is 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. Juicing, smoothies, and vegan raw diet techniques and recipes are three methods of improving the nutritional problem of too little green in the diet.
As much as the food industry would like this to not be true, bottled juice does not count as fruit servings. Bottled Juice, even the stuff in the refrigerated section, is either pasteurized to give it a longer shelf life, or it contains preservatives, or both. Either way, the parts of the fruit juice that make it living food, the enzymes, antioxidants, and other nutrients take a beating or are inactivated entirely when they are exposed to heat (and light) above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
This pasteurization, while keeping the juice from spoiling as fast, exposes it to heat greater than this, and so much of the benefit of the juice is lost. On top of that, the fiber is filtered out, which is another big part of the nutritional benefit of fruits and vegetables.
Juicing vegetables and fruits freshly removes this heat treatment from the equation, and very quickly delivers juice in its raw form to the digestive tract in the fastest time possible, retaining the enzymes and antioxidants. Juicing does, however, remove the insoluble fiber, and various experts have a wide range of opinions on whether that is bad or good. Some insist that this insoluble fiber-free approach is the fastest delivery method for antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes.
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