Many people have found that juicing, especially with green juices, is an essential part of their diet

The health craze transitioned from being the latest diet fad years ago to marking its territory in the wellness industry. While juicing helps to add more nutrients to the body, others have found it helpful for other reasons, like detoxing. However, registered dietician nutritionist Rachel Brandeis points out the distinction between juicing and detoxing. Marketers promote juicing as a body detox, but the terms are not always interchangeable.

“Detoxing has become a very common trend in the health and nutrition world,” Brandeis told 21Ninety. “People feel like if they’re juicing, then … they’re doing a detox or cleanse to their body.”

The liver naturally detoxes the body daily. Brandeis noted that some people may need increased levels of nutrients, due to chronic conditions or other issues. However, she challenged the notion that solely juicing is the healthier route for the body.

“To say that this one juice or juicing every day cleanses you – no,” Brandeis said. “There is no evidence to support that that’s putting your body in a better state than what it was before.” 

Juicing proves to have health benefits, but drinking too many pressed fruits and vegetables can negatively affect the body. Brandeis explained that a major risk is the body losing its fiber intake when replacing its consumption of whole fruits and vegetables with juicing. 

“From a digestive and cardiovascular standpoint, we still need fiber,” she said. “If we’re not getting the fiber from the whole food, then we’re missing out.”

Brandeis mentioned that an increased intake of produce is another element to consider when juicing. The example she used was comparing a glass of orange juice to eating a whole orange. With juicing, she said a glass of orange juice could contain six or eight oranges, whereas a person would not eat that many oranges at once.

“It’s very easy to get large amounts of sugar,” she said. “Although natural sugars, you’re getting more concentrated amounts of sugar when juicing.”

She continued explaining that receiving fiber components from eating whole fruits and vegetables relieves the body of its hunger. In return, it helps a person to feel full compared to juicing it.

Additionally, consumers risk developing kidney stones when consuming many green juices. Kidney stones can result from the high intake of dark leafy vegetables often found in green juices, such as kale and spinach. Both are high in oxalates, a natural acid found in plants. However, the body’s digestion of too many oxalates can lead to the development of the medical condition.

“Because of the nature of juicing, it’s easier to get the larger amounts of oxalates,” she said. “There’s only so much spinach or salad a person can eat. Eventually, you’re going to get full.”

Kidney stones have not been proven to be directly linked to green juices. However, she warned people who have a history of kidney stones to be mindful of drinking too many green juices. Brandeis suggested limiting their juicing to one or two glasses a week instead of doing it daily.  

Other people interested in incorporating juicing into their diet, she also recommended limiting their consumption due to the increased sugars. For people with diabetes, juicing removes the protein component associated with balancing blood sugar.

“You want to make sure you’re not replacing juicing with actually eating fruits and vegetables,” she said.