A Guide to Juicing

How healthy is the juicing trend? Two local dietitians weigh in

FOR THOSE WHO refuse to eat a plate of kale, juices can be a sweeter way to get your greens. Jennifer Smith, a dietitian at Lifexcel Carolina, suggests drinking one as a snack but advises against using juice to replace a whole meal. “It may not provide enough calories or protein, which can lead to overeating because of feelings of deprivation,” she says. 

Juice cleanses also raise red flags for Smith. These diets involve drinking an average of six or more juices a day for one to ten days, while cutting out all solid foods. But there hasn’t been enough scientific research to prove whether cleanses are safe or beneficial. “There is no quick fix when it comes to nutrition,” Smith says. “People will lose water weight because the body gets rid of glycogen storage, which retains water. But you may gain it back once you start eating normally again.” It’s a dangerous cycle.

What’s in That Juice?

Rachael Hartley, dietitian and owner of Avocado A Day Nutrition, breaks down the potential health benefits of the ingredients found in some juices served around town. Like Smith, Hartley recommends these drinks as snacks, not meal replacements. —E.R.


Where to find it: Viva Raw
What’s inside: Kale, collard greens, romaine, pear, orange, grapefruit, lemongrass, ginger, mint, cayenne
Hartley’s take: “Kale and collard greens are two of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, so they are a really great base,” Hartley says. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, and the citrus from the grapefruit is a good source of Vitamin C, which helps heal wounds and grow and repair tissue throughout the body. Capsaicin, the substance that gives cayenne its spicy taste, can help reduce pain when applied directly to the skin. Asian cultures have traditionally used it to treat stomach problems, and Hartley adds that it can also slightly increase the metabolism.


“Awww Kale Yeah” 
Where to find it:
Green Brothers Juice Co.
What’s inside: Kale, celery, pineapple, lemon, jalapeño 
Hartley’s take: Jalapeños contain capsaicin. Loading up on vegetables, such as kale, a “super food,” and celery can never hurt. Though pineapple and lemon boost your Vitamin C intake, fruit can sometimes be high in sugars. “It is generally recommended that having more vegetables than fruits in juices is better for blood sugar,” Hartley says. 


“My Daily Salad”
Where to find it: Luna’s Living Kitchen
What’s inside: Carrot, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, kale, celery, garlic, lemon, basil, cayenne, and sea salt
Hartley’s take: “Cucumber is a good base for juice because it’s watery,” Hartley says. Garlic contains antioxidants, and when it’s raw, the vegetable is anti-inflammatory. Lemon provides Vitamin C. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A, which is key to maintaining healthy skin. “I whip up juice with carrots whenever my face is breaking out,” Hartley says. 

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