How to get the most out of your Juice
Written by Simone Bourner, APD
Purchased juices or homemade juice bullets and ninjas are all the rage at the moment but just how do these drinks stack up nutritionally?
Including fruit in our diet has many benefits including fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but can you have too much? Ideally we should aim to have 2 serves of fruit per day and by juicing or whizzing it up a juice or smoothie can be an easy way to help meet your needs. Unfortunately there can be some downfalls that we see all too often in practice
- Processed fruit juices – These are generally packed with carbohydrates and sugars with some being made only from concentrates rather than real fruit juice. The actual amount of fruit in a processed fruit juice varies greatly between brands, blends and styles of juices. One glass (250ml) of orange juice equates to approximately 4 oranges in energy! Try to minimise these juices and as always aim to drink water as your first choice of liquid.
- Having too many ingredients – Sometimes juices or smoothies can pack as much energy as a whole meal itself! This may be a convenient option if you are time poor or on the run but if used as a side to an actual meal or snack, take a step back and ask yourself whether it’s necessary and whether you would sit down and eat all of the ingredients going in. Some juices contain over 3 cups of vegetables and over 2-3 serves of fruit per serve- these can all add up very quickly and become a very high source of energy.
- Adding unnecessary ingredients – One of the main culprits here is protein powder. If your drink already contains milk or yoghurt you will most likely already be hitting your protein needs. Save your wallet (and waistline) and skip the protein powder or substitute milk/yoghurt for the protein powder. If you are looking to gain weight, skim milk powder has a similar nutritional profile and can be added in for a fraction of the cost.
- Compensating for a poor diet – Is your diet low in vegetables, fruit, diary or carbohydrates? Ideally consuming a high nutrient rich meal with a variety of colours is a great way to get your nutrients in for the day but some think that by having one ‘super green’ smoothie they are getting in all that they need for the day- False! You require 5+ serves of vegetables daily and you are much better eating them as whole food rather than as a processed liquid. Down side of juicing your vegetables/fruit means that your body uses less energy digesting as they are rapidly absorbed.
If you think that your diet is lacking of nutrients and would like some ideas on how to include and improve the overall quality of your intake then you may benefit from seeing an Eat Smart Dietitian.
- Use only 1 serve of fruit per serve
- Pop in some veggies or another source of fibre such as oats or psyllium husk to help keep your bowels moving
- Don’t forget to add a source of protein such as low fat milk or yoghurt if it is for a meal
- Don’t be afraid to get back to basics and just eat a good old piece of fruit. You may find it’s just (if not more convenient) and helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Here’s 2 recipes for you to try:
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
1 tsp honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup low fat milk
2 medium carrots chopped
1 celery stalk
1 green apple chopped
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
½ cup water