Juicing Safely: 18 Avoidable Hazards of Fruit and Vegetable Juicing

There is so much juice recipe information and nutritional advice on the internet, and it can be hard to sort out what is legitimate from what is not. Everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegetable juices can be powerful “medicine” for a range of diseases, but not everyone knows that those people who have health conditions or diseases need to take care when juicing.

Finding reputable information sources and checking with a healthcare professional before juicing is recommended. Juicing is generally safe and healthy but it’s important to consider some of the potential hazards so that you can avoid them.

1. Certain raw fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with food-borne pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella. However, this is much more rare than such contaminations in animal products. To be safe, fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly scrubbed before cutting or juicing, and people with compromised immune systems or who are pregnant should stay away from especially susceptible foods such as sprouts.

2. Blood thinners such as Warfarin can have their effectiveness reduced if the patient consumes too much Vitamin K. Because of this, people on blood thinner should avoid consuming the juices of broccoli, carrot, wheatgrass, cranberries, kale, and other fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin K.

3. Garlic is considered a blood-thinner. Very high doses should not be consumed by pregnant or recently postpartum women, nor by any patient before or after surgery.

4. Onion and pomegranate can also amplify the effects of anticoagulant medications, so individuals taking these medications should consult a healthcare professional.

5. Garlic can also interact with medications including but not limited to quinolone antibiotics, hypoglycemic medications, antihypertensive agents, and calcium channel blockers.

6. Cauliflower is not recommended for individuals with gout or high levels of uric acid due to “purine” content, a natural substance that leads to excess uric acid. Large amounts of cauliflower as well as raw cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts should not be consumed by people with hypothyroidism. They are goitrogenic foods that may cause an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone and potentially a goiter in people with thyroid disease.

7. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who take birth control pills should consult a doctor before consuming larger than normal quantities of alfalfa sprouts. Avoid alfalfa sprout and bean sprout juice if you have a hormone-sensitive condition such as certain cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, etc.

8. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid bitter gourd and wheatgrass completely. Pineapple juice is not recommended in high doses for pregnant women as it may cause uterine contractions

9. Diabetics should carefully monitor their blood glucose when consuming large amounts of alfalfa as it may lower blood glucose.

10. Bitter gourd and blueberries may cause hypoglycemia in diabetics so they also require monitoring. You may find juice recipe information indicating other concerns about juicing for diabetics, and your doctor or nutritionist may have important advice regarding how to juice safely.

11. People with kidney problems should avoid asparagus and eggplant juice.

12. If you are on a low-potassium diet, consult your doctors before consuming large amounts of pear juice.

13. Those with kidney stones should avoid large quantities of beets, eggplant, concord grapes, kiwi, plum, other vegetables and fruits high in oxalic acid.

14. Cranberries can cause excess uric acid and calcium in the urine, increasing the chance of calcium-oxalate stone formation.

15. Spinach should be avoided by people with hepatitis, rheumatism, intestinal inflammations, gallstones and kidney stones. Strawberries and excessive amounts of sweet potato should be avoided by people with gallstone and kidney stones, as well.

16. If you suffer from gallstones, have a bleeding disorder, or take a blood-thinning medication (including aspirin) do not consume ginger before consulting a doctor. It can contribute to the thinning of the blood.

17. Grapefruit is notorious for interacting with a number of medications. Rather than making the medications less effective, in many cases grapefruit increases their efficacy which can lead to overdoses. Grapefruit interacts with statins, some chemotherapy agents, Buspar, certain beta blockers, fexofenadine, carbamazepine, certain anti-retrovirals, some immunosuppressants, sertraline and cyclosporine.

18. You can easily avoid whichever juices might cause bad reactions for you. Search for juice recipe information for fruits and vegetables you know you can safely consume, and then combine those fruits and vegetables creatively. Delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetable juices are just moments away.

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