Juicing is very hot these days. You read about it everywhere, everybody is drinking (green) juices as they are said to have many health benefits. 

is juicing bad for you?

It is true there are a lot of live enzymes, vitamines, minerals and antioxidants in raw juices juiced using a slow juicer. For a lot of people it is good to drink them on a regular basis. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind when making the decision to start juicing. Because it is better to know these things before you buy an expensive juicer. Next to all the benefits, I give you 5 reasons why juicing is bad for you. This is good to know for every one of you, but especially for people who like me suffer from an autoimmune disease and have weakened immune systems. I suffer from hypothyroidism which means my thyroid is working too slow to manage all the normal systems like digestion, breathing and thinking. I take medication, but I also had to completely change my habit of drinking raw juices. I tell you why I had to stop and why maybe it is affecting you too:

5 reasons why juicing is bad for you

1. Juicing is done with raw vegetables

Many people cut up fruits and vegetables completely, skin and all, and juice it. This means that since the fruits and vegetables are not cooked, they can contain bacteria. Some people who juice raw a lot, have an increased chance in getting a bacterial infection in their gut or stomach. While most people have a strong immune system, and good bacteria in the gut to fight these harmful ones, people who juice all the time, and people with a weakened immune system or a chronic immune disease should be careful. When you have a bacterial infection in your gut, some experience discomfort. But also when you think everything is o.k., you can suddenly experience panic attacks out of nowhere. A healthy gut and stomach is important for a sane mind, as they are linked to one another. So make sure you take in enough good bacteria during the day to balance the bad ones out that you will likely get in your gut at some point during the day. You can do this by taking a daily probiotic, or by eating yoghurt, fermented vegetables or other fermented foods. That’s why I prefer to cook my vegetables and choose a warming soup over a juice these days. Also if you juice, always make sure you go for organic veggies and wash them thoroughly. This will give you the least chance of getting harmful toxic chemicals in your juice that are sprayed on (conventional) veggies and fruits to make them grow better and withstand bugs and diseases. You just don’t want these toxic chemicals in your juice and in your body.

2. A lot of fruits and vegetables contain sugars

When you juice them, you remove all the fibers which are good for your gut and digestion, but you drink a lot of pieces of fruit/vegetables at once, which means a lot of sugar. This is not great for your teeth obviously, and it can give you a spike in your sugar levels. Not to mention drinking many calories at once, although they are healthier calories.

3. Grapefruit juice acts as a an amplifier to your body

It increases the efficiency of whatever you ingest around the same time you drink grapefruit juice. So some health freaks drink grapefruit juice before a meal, so the nutrients get absorbed better. But this also means it affects medication that you need to take for your health issues, and it especially affects chemotherapy. Grapefruit juice is said to increase the impact of medication and chemotherapy. So discuss with your doctor the medications you are taking and only drink grapefruit juice when you are safe to go, to avoid a medication overdose.

READ MORE: Grapefruit juice

4. Juicing can affect your daily medication

A lot of people swear by fresh lemon juice in the morning on an empty stomach to detox and start the day bright and clear. But if you are like me and suffering from a chronic disease, you don’t want to do this in the morning if this is also the time you take in your daily medication. It does affect the way your body absorbs the medication if you drink certain raw (citrus) juices around the same time as when you take your medication.

5. Juicing can negatively impact chronic diseases

f you suffer from a disease like myself, you also need to rethink eating or drinking raw foods. Many green juices contain kale and/or spinach, and raw kale and raw spinach are said to be slowing down the thyroid due to the presence of “goitrin” which is said to interfere with the normal thyroid function. So if you already have as slow working thyroid, you might want to avoid raw kale, spinach and other raw cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and more.

I am sure you never thought about juicing this way right? Now you do. :)

READ MORE: That time I did a 1-day juice cleanse

Basically, if you suffer from a disease, I suggest you discuss your diet with your doctor, and research more online about juicing, and certain foods in general, and how they affect your health. Even small intakes of certain raw foods can affect your health. 

Love, Lonneke

First published on February 25th 2015, updated in 2020