Juicing offers another way to enjoy your fruit and vegetables

Juicing is the process of extracting juice from plant tissues such as fruits and vegetables, either by squeezing fruit by hand or by using a juicing machine. By extracting the juice from produce, the pulp and skin are left behind, which removes the benefit of the fiber and results in fewer vitamins and minerals.

The benefit of juicing comes from increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet, which is linked to a stronger immune system and a lower risk of heart disease or cancer. However, juicing is not recommended for weight loss, as it may be difficult to achieve nutritional adequacy.

There is currently a lack of scientific evidence that juicing your fruits and vegetables is better than eating them, but juicing may be a desirable option for those who cannot tolerate fiber or consume adequate whole fruits and vegetables.

Another alternative similar to juicing is blending or extracting fruits and vegetables to preserve the seeds, pulp, and skins. This creates a more nutritionally complete smoothie. Commercially available equipment includes the Vitamix, NutriBullet, MagicBullet or any other high-powered blender.

With blending or extracting, you can also include ingredients high in protein to make a more balanced juice, such as using milk, Greek yogurt, flax seed, or peanut butter.

Use caution when consuming commercially prepared juices and smoothies, as they are often high in added sugars. Read labels, and stay informed.

While eating whole fruits and vegetables is ideal, juicing or extracting provides a creative way to increase fruit and vegetable intake in your diet.