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Is Juicing Good for you? An Ayurvedic Perspective
Lately is there has been quite a trend around raw pressed juices: celebrities are photographed left and right walking out of yoga class with one of those apple-kale-cucumber concoctions, your friends are doing juice cleanses, and you are starting to wonder if juicing might be the magic key to weight loss, vibrant health and a clear mind. But are we going a little too far with this fad? Actually, Is juicing good for you?
If there is one thing that Ayurveda teaches us is that nothing is all good or all bad for anyone all the time. Depending on your dosha and your state of imbalance, juices might help or hurt. As Dr Claudia Welch says in an interview with Nadya Andreeva “There is no one diet routinely prescribed for all people. Cleanses are at least initially depleting to the body and should be undergone with care and caution. First of all, we would want to consider which is stronger: the person’s constitution, or their disorder. Raw food and juice cleanses could be beneficial for folks who are pretty strong to begin with, and under appropriate guidance of an experienced health care practitioner.”
In terms of energetic effect, juices are lightening, cooling, clearing and energizing at first. By their very nature juices increase the Vata dosha, and the intense sugar rush can create a cycle of highs and lows that sends you crashing if you don’t also include protein and warm and nourishing foods in your diet. Unless you digestive fire is very strong, drinking a lot of cold and sweet juices will lower your agni, depleting your capacity to properly digest your food when you do get back to normal eating. So doing a juice cleanse might help you lose a few pounds in the short run, but if you have any amount of vata dosha (as most of us do) it could create even more imbalance in your body and mind.
If you are a healthy, strong and reasonably balanced person, a juice once in a while could be an enjoyable and healthy meal replacement. Adding fresh ginger or turmeric and making sure to drink your juice at room temperature can make a big difference in their digestibility. But if you are looking for a magic fix in a bottle, you’ll propably miss out on discovering what a life of balance can mean for you.