The juicing trend is as strong as ever in 2015 and new juiceries continue to pop up in markets where other juice shops already exist as people are looking for an easy way to supplement their fruit-and-veggie-poor diets. But is drinking your vegetables and fruits really the best thing to do? Just like most nutrition-related topics, it isn’t a simple yes or no answer.
Fresh juices can provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, which for people who do not consume adequate amounts of plant foods on a regular basis, it will certainly have them feeling better (no surprise). Fruit and vegetable based juices can be a healthy addition to any diet, but let’s consider some juicy facts first.
1. Juicing shall not replace meals.
I would never, ever, ever recommend a juice “cleanse” (i.e. only drinking juices for several days in a row) or tell you that juice should replace eating whole fruits and vegetables. Rather, juicing should be a supplement to your daily diet–a way to squeeze in additional vitamins and minerals. Juice is lacking in fiber, protein, and fat, which are all essential for a healthy diet so don’t think that juice will provide your body with everything it needs. But if you plan on replacing that afternoon candy bar snack with a fresh pressed juice, well then that’s an upgrade!
2. Vegetables should take center stage.
Juice, even though made with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, still contributes calories to your diet. How many calories it contributes depends on what you decide to juice. Fruits naturally contain fructose, a form of sugar, so as they are juiced and stripped of any fiber, the amount of fructose per serving becomes more concentrated (i.e. more calories in a smaller amount). Consider how much sugar is in a 4 ounce serving of 100% orange juice and you’ll have a better understanding of how quickly those calories can add up. Juicing primarily vegetables–think leafy greens, celery, cucumber–and adding a small amount of fruit for sweetness is the better way to go.
3. Juicing can be costly.
Let’s be honest, juicing is not the most affordable way to get your fruits and vegetables in for the day. Whether you decide to buy pre-bottled juice from the grocery, fresh made juice from a local juicery, or make your own at home, be ready to spend some extra cash. But if you really enjoy fresh juice and you have the extra dough to spend, then maybe it’s time to consider investing in a household juicer. Worried about whether or not it’s really worth owning your own juicer? Let’s crunch some numbers….
A quality household juicer can cost anywhere from $100-$400 while the cost of produce used for juicing will vary based on what you decide to juice and how often you juice. I spend about $20 a month on ingredients–carrots, kale, green apples, ginger root, pineapple, cucumber, and celery are typically what I juice–and make juice once or twice a week (16 ounce portion).
Using the Juicer Payback Calculator (a Nutrition Adventure original!), I was able to calculate my monthly and annual cost-savings based on the juicer I own, how often I make juice each month, and how much I spend on ingredients.
You can see that my payback period is just over 12 months and I’ll have an annual savings of $252.00 with my current at-home juicing pattern. I’d say that’s pretty darn good!
Want to see if it’s time to take the plunge and buy a home juicer? Download the Juicer Payback Calculator and enter your own values! I hope that this tool will be helpful to you and please let me know if you have any questions or comments!
On Friday, I’ll be sharing one of my juice recipes so stay tuned!
And don’t forget to download the Juicer_Payback_Calculator_v1.0