With the air pollution and frequent food safety scandals in Shanghai many expats might want to try juice cleansing to remove the toxins from our system.
In recent years several expat entrepreneurs have started detox juicing companies, bringing you the convenience of English language service and home delivery in Shanghai. We have a list of suppliers of healthy juices in Shanghai at the bottom of this article. To skip to the list click here.
These companies will deliver the juices to your door daily or weekly according to the program you choose. Many of them make their juices with the cold-pressed method, which retains much more of the nutrients from fruits and vegetables than standard home mixers or mass-market store bought juices.
Jacqueline Zhan Fraise, a nutrition consultant in Shanghai, gives expats her advice on the advantages and dangers of juice cleansing:
Raw, cold pressed juice cleansing has recently become such a craze that it has attracted a large customer base around the world, including in Shanghai.
Cold pressed juice companies have created fancy products; 3-day to 7-day detox juicing plans, and make claims like weight loss and body detoxification.
Juice cleansing, however, like any fad diet, overdone or going extreme, can be detrimental to one’s health.
For Shanghai expats who eat lots of animal products and not enough plant-based foods, juicing can be a good way to add a wide variety of fresh produce of all colors into your diet.
And it is a nice way to supplement nutrients like minerals, vitamins, chlorophylls and antioxidants which are typically missing in our daily diet and food supply in Shanghai.
But on the other hand, if you rely solely on raw juices as your main source for energy and nutrients in the hope to detoxify and prevent diseases, juice cleansing can become dangerous, especially for those who are diabetics, undergoing chemotherapy, and/or challenged with nutritional deficiencies.
Even though raw juices add a tremendous amount of valuable micronutrients and phytonutrients to one’s diet, they still miss important macronutrients like protein, fat and valuable dietary fibers.
Excess sugar is another one of the dangers of juicing, especially from mass-market processed fruit juices. The average juice drink that can be found on any store or supermarket has between 60 – 100 grams of sugar. This is about the same as 2-3 cans of Coke.
And it takes about 4 medium oranges to make one 8-ounce glass of orange juice. It is rare for someone to eat 4 oranges in any one sitting, but no one thinks twice about throwing back that same amount of sugar (or more) in the form of juice. It adds up to a lot of sugar.
Juicing also skips the first step in the digestion process: the mechanical breakdown of food via chewing as well as the chemical breakdown via saliva.
When drinking juice, the liquid spends very little time in the mouth so the chemical process is bypassed completely. When a person lives on a juice-only diet bloating and gas can occur, along with an increased risk of undigested food particles fermenting in the gut, causing indigestion and GI issues.
And like most fad diets, detox juicing is not an effective way to keep weight off. At first, some people do lose weight with juice fasting –a result of the restricted calories.
Long term, however, juice fasting can permanently lower the body’s metabolism as the body incorrectly assumes it’s starving. You will, therefore, likely gain the weight back.
Fasting can also add additional stress to our bodies, and stress is yet another form of toxin that our bodies have to process.
As for juice cleansing’s detoxification claim, people are attracted to it as they see it as a quick fix to their inappropriate lifestyle and/or to tackle the effects of environmental pollution in Shanghai.
The truth is, our body does an excellent job of detoxifying on its own: our liver, kidneys, and intestines filter the unwanted items we ingest and expel them through our urine, bowel movements, breath, and sweat.
If weight loss is needed to reach optimal weight, then replacing one meal a day with a vegetable-based juice can be beneficial, as long as the other “chewed” meals are well balanced.
Raw cold-pressed juices are an easy, practical, and excellent daily whole food supplement, better than any man-made synthetic multi-vitamin pill!
They are now available in Shanghai to help expats stay healthy.
Jacqueline Zhan Fraise is a US certified nutrition consultant and member of the American Nutrition Association.
Based in Shanghai Jacqueline is the nutrition consultant at Shanghai Delta West Clinic and chief-nutritionist at FS Juice (Favourite Squeeze). FS Juice offers a daily made wide selection of cold-pressed juices and nut milks.
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