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Juicing for Diabetics – Just a Myth or Can It Really Help You?

Juicing works amazingly well for all sorts of conditions. It can help add nutrients, increase overall caloric intake, and helps stomach problems. But, can juicing really help diabetes? This is a question that we’re going to answer.

For most people, they don’t have to worry too much about the finer details of juicing. They don’t have to worry about how many carbohydrates they take in, and can juice whatever they want to.

Diabetics, on the other hand, have to be very concerned with a number of sugars they take in. And unfortunately, juicing tends to concentrate sugars. So, diabetics really need to pay attention to the type of juices they use and the quantity.

Diabetes Type – Can Juicing Cure Diabetes?

When done right, all types of diabetics can use juicing. They just have to pay very close attention to the sugars and the way they feel. The different types of diabetes can often dictate just what type of sugar intake they can have.

Juicing for Type 1 Diabetics

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the person to lose their pancreas function because of the autoimmune system attacks and destroys the islet cells that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes most often occurs between the ages of 4 and 10, but anyone can be affected by type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes cannot be cured.

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Because type 1 diabetics do not have pancreas function or have very minimal pancreas function that’s declining, they have to rely on an external source of insulin. For every sugar molecule they take in, they have to inject a corresponding amount of insulin. We won’t go into how much insulin it takes because every person is different.

So, when juicing, type 1 diabetics have to know how many sugars they will be taking in. That way, they can take an appropriate amount of insulin to metabolize the sugars.

Juicing for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle condition that is caused by a person consuming too many sugars for too long. The pancreas has worked so hard for so long, that it is worn out. The over-consumption of sugars has also caused the body to become resistant to its own insulin and this condition is known as insulin resistant diabetes.

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Fortunately, until the very late stages, type 2 diabetes is completely reversible. It takes time, dedication and hard work.

Juicing works very well for type 2 diabetics, as long as they pay attention to the amount of sugar they are consuming. Because type 2 diabetes is caused by the lifelong over consumption of sugar, the only way to reverse it is to limit sugar intake. When you juice, sugars are concentrated, so you need to be very careful and very meticulous about the type of juices you use and how you consume them.

Juicing for Type 3 Diabetes

Debate rages back and forth whether Alzheimer’s disease is truly another type of diabetes or another condition altogether. Right now, nutritionists are leaning towards calling Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes. The degradation of the neural connections in the brain seems to be greatly affected by sugars, with a reduction in degradation when sugars are reduced in the diet.

Benefits of Juicing for Diabetics

The biggest benefit of juicing as a large amount of nutrients juicing releases. It is also a very good way for diabetics to get their required amount of vegetables in for the day.

Certain juices are also known for helping to reduce insulin resistance and creating a natural production of insulin. We’re going to cover some of those juices in a little bit.

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Juicing is also an amazing way to have a quick grab-and-go meal or snack. The juice will allow you to concentrate a lot of healthy foods into one convenient and portable container. You can then snack on the juice when you need to.

Side Effects of Juicing for Diabetics

Juicing can absolutely cause diabetes if it is not done correctly. That’s because there are a lot of sugars in juices. When a person relies on juices over food, they tend to overwhelm their body with sugars.

Fruit juice is probably the biggest culprit in causing diabetes. Fruits are very high in sugar, but they taste fabulous.

You also want to be very careful about where you get your fruits and vegetables. If you don’t choose good, organic sources, you could run the risk of overwhelming your body with pesticides and herbicides. Just as using concentrated sugars, it can also concentrate these toxins.

Juice Therapy for Diabetics

Homemade juices are best for diabetics. They provide the highest amount of nutrition and taste the best. But, if you can’t make juices at home, there are plenty of options online and in local health food stores that you can purchase juices.

Sugar-Free Juicing for Diabetics

The one thing you will notice about juicing at home is that there is no such thing as sugar-free juices. There is no sugar added, and artificially-sweetened, but you cannot remove the sugars from natural juices. This is a long and complicated chemical process or it requires a lot of heavy equipment.

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So, we’re going to focus on juices that have lower amounts of sugar or have specific health benefits that diabetics might need. We’ll cover some of the more common uses and why it’s a good idea for diabetics to use them.

Green Juice Recipes

Rather than giving you specific recipes, we’re going to give you the basic outline of how to make a green juice. That way, you don’t have to search for collard greens in the middle of winter, or spinach in the fall. You'll be able to use whatever is available when you make your juice.

Green juices usually follow the following recipe:

  • 1-2 serving fresh greens
  • 1-2 serving fresh fruit
  • 1-2 serving other sweet fruit for a sweeter juice or vegetable for a lower sugar juice

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Greens typically are a little bit more (or a lot more) bitter, so people add more sweet fruits and vegetables in order to counteract the bitterness. Many recipes also call for adding a sweet fruit juice or sugar directly.

Personally, I don’t follow the green juice recipes, because I don’t like overwhelming sweetness and I don't like the overwhelming bitterness. So, what I do is make up my own juicing recipes, using fruits and vegetables that I enjoy. Then, I’ll add in a serving of greens. The resulting mix only has a hint of bitterness, and it’s still something I quite enjoy.

This is my latest recipe:

  • 1 carrot
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes (they are in season right now)
  • 1 serving raspberry & blackberry
  • 1 serving chicory leaves
  • ½ chili pepper (I like the heat in juice, but not my food)

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This type of juice is a very earthy juice. It is not overwhelmingly sweet nor is it bitter. Since the chicory leaves are in season they don’t have any bitterness to them. You don’t have to add the pepper, it’s just something I found I like.

This juice is also incredibly high in antioxidants. The peppers and tomatoes at a tremendous amount of anthocyanins. The chili curcumin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory. The carrot adds lots of vitamin A.

And even though the tomatoes and berries have sugars, it’s not a high sugar juice. In total, we may only be looking at 20 grams of sugars.

Apple Juice and Diabetes

Apple juice is one of the most popular kinds of juices, but it’s not the best choice for diabetics. It is incredibly high in sugar and not as high in nutrients as some other juices.

Apples, as a whole food, are very high in nutrients. Those nutrients, however, are found in the fibers. If your juicer does not keep the fibers within your juice, you are losing most of the nutrients. It’s one of the biggest problems about store-bought apple juice, most of the nutrients are already gone.

Are green apples good for diabetes? This is a question we hear a lot because green apples tend to be a little bit more tart. There’s very little difference between green apples and red apples. There are few phytonutrients that are different, but those differences are very slight.

Carrot Juice and Diabetes

Carrots are very high in sugars but have a very low glycemic load. Carrot juice, on the other hand, has a higher glycemic load. Fortunately, when you juice carrots, you get most of the nutrients. Unlike the apple, the carrot’s nutrients are not as bound up in the fibers and juicing liberates most of them.

We don’t recommend using a full serving the carrots when you’re diabetic. We recommend using a quarter to a half serving. That way, you still get nutrients from the carrots and you can keep your sugars lower.

Celery Juice and Diabetes

Celery is a low sugar food, to begin with. So, we highly recommend you use celery in your juices.

It is not really a juice you want to drink by itself. It can be bitter and unpleasant. This is definitely one food you want to mix with others.

There is some research that shows celery is very good for diabetes. It can help modulate sugar, reduce inflammation, and help your body use insulin more effectively.

Aloe Vera Juice and Diabetes

Aloe vera juice has been shown in research to help modulate blood sugars. It is used in many supplements and really does work.

You do need to be very careful with aloe vera juice. Aloe vera is also a moderately strong laxative. If you take too much of it, it will cause diarrhea and could cause dehydration. It can also upset your stomach and irritate any ulcers or other stomach problems.

We recommend not using aloe vera every day, and using less than half a serving in your juices. The good thing is, aloe vera is not high in sugars, so you can add it to your drinks without adding many carbs.

Okra Juice and Diabetes

About once a year, you’ll see okra juice floating around the internet as a cure for diabetes. It is not a cure for diabetes.

Okra is a low sugar vegetable that has a small impact on keeping your blood sugars low. Some of the extracts has been studied and shows promise at helping insulin resistance.

Here’s one of the biggest reasons why it’s not commonly used: it is very bitter and tends to turn your juices slimy. There are a high amount of mucilaginous chemicals in okra. This causes the slippery and slimy feeling.

In some forms of cooking, this is great. It adds to the dish. But, we not found okra to work well in juices. But, if you are feeling ill with a stuffed up nose, this could help get things moving again.

Wheatgrass Juice and Diabetes

Some people absolutely love wheatgrass, but science actually shows us it’s not the healthiest food out there. It’s high in chlorophyll, but that’s about it. We go into the different nutrient content of wheatgrass in this article .

As part of your juices, since you want to keep the carb count low and the nutrient count high, we would recommend using other types of greens. Wheatgrass just doesn’t have the nutrient profile in order to justify using it as part of your health routine.

Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd or Karela) Juice and Diabetes

Bitter melon is one of the first and best vegetables you can juice and use for diabetes. It is well known for helping reduce blood sugars in diabetes sufferers. It is a very low carbohydrate squash with a slightly bitter, slightly cucumber-ish taste. There are several studies to show that this squash works to reduce blood sugars.

We highly recommend using this vegetable in your juices. It can often be found in specialty sections of various grocery stores. But, it is bitter. It has a very strong flavor and it can overwhelm an entire juice. 

If you have bitter melon, we recommend you try using it in a juice. If you enjoy it, continue to use it. For everyone else, and those who did not like it, we actually do recommend using the supplement *.

Lemon/Lime Juice and Diabetes

The juices of lemon and limes are surprisingly low in sugars. While there are some, they are very low. In fact, it’s actually recommended you use lime juice and lemon juice in your water throughout the rest of the day.

Having a glass of water with lemon juice in it first thing in the morning can help stimulate your digestive system and lower your sugars throughout the rest of the day. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best.

You can use the lime juice and lemon juice in your juice mixes, but the flavors will get overwhelmed. Plus, they will add to the acidic tang of your juice, which may interact badly with other bitter flavors.

Cranberry Juice and Diabetes

On one hand, cranberry juice works well for diabetics. On the other, it is high in sugars.

When you have diabetes, making sure your kidney function remains at optimal levels is important. Cranberry juice can help with that. It helps keep your kidney functions working well and helps reduce the chance of a kidney, bladder or urinary tract infection.

It is a very strong juice. It can be bitter and acidic. We recommend you use less than one serving, in order to avoid the negative taste and high sugars.

Pomegranate Juice and Diabetes

Pomegranate juice is very high in phytonutrients. It is also high in sugars. We want you to be careful with pomegranate juice.

If you use just the juice, you will run very high in sugar. Some juicers, will actually crush the seed and expel the oils. These oils * are very high in nutrients and recommended for diabetics.

Weighing the benefits of pomegranate juice versus a number of sugars and the work it takes to get just a little bit of juice, we think this is one juice that if you use it, use it as an occasional treat.

Prickly Pear or Nopal Cactus Juice and Diabetes

In many grocery stores, you can find this cactus fresh. It is a staple of Mexican diets. It’s good for diabetics because of the high fiber and pectin content. It has a slightly lower carbohydrate count than other juices, so we recommend using prickly pear juice.

Noni Juice and Diabetes

Noni juice comes from the highly stinky fruit of the Morinda citrifolia tree of Southeast Asia and Australasia. It’s become one of the more popular plants to be traded in Europe and America. It is currently very expensive to purchase the juice and even more expensive to obtain fresh fruit. It also has no scientific backing to show it is helpful to any medical condition. Traditionally, it was used as a laxative.

Acai Berry Juice and Diabetes

You don’t often find this berry fresh. It is most often found in the dehydrated or already juiced form. It is not a berry we recommend, as it tends to be high in sugar, at 26g of carbs in 100g of berries. If you do choose to use this berry, use it sparingly and as a treat. It’s not worth blowing your carb count for the day just for a few antioxidants.

Grapefruit Juice and Diabetes

When used in moderation, grapefruit juice can be very good for you. It’s a little bit higher and sugars, but very balancing when it comes to acids. It can actually help your stomach when you aren’t feeling the best. Of course, grapefruit juice is best when fresh, but that can be something difficult to get when you don’t live in a warm area.

Gogi Berry Juice and Diabetes

This is another high antioxidant berry that is often recommended for diabetics. However, this berry is also very high and sugars and is rarely found fresh. Traditionally, in China, the berry, leaves, and bark of the Goji tree were used to help various conditions including diabetes. However, there have been no studies to show that the berry alone will help reduce diabetes. The few studies that have been conducted have been done on animals, have mixed results, and use concentrations of the berry that would exceed 500 grams of sugar per day for a human.

Jinga Juice and Diabetes

Jinga Juice (trademarked brand name) is made of pure wheatgrass and guyabano. Guyabano, or soursop, is a fruit that has been touted to have strong anti-cancer properties but has not been studied to show it has any health effects at all. We recommend you use caution if you use this juice at all.

Mosambi or Sweet Lime Juice and Diabetes

There is not much information about this fruit available. It is considered a high sugar fruit and not recommended for diabetes. Since we are unable to find much information about it, it is doubtful that you will find it fresh.

Prune Juice and Diabetes

Prunes are wonderful laxatives, but they are extremely high in sugars. It is one of the most concentrated doses of sugars you can get within a dehydrated fruit form. It is not recommended for diabetics to consume prune juice.

Coconut Juice and Diabetes

There are two types of coconut juice. The first is coconut water or the sweet fluid that is found when a coconut is first cracked open. The second is water that has been soaked in the flesh of the coconut and then strained. Both of these have a moderate amount of sugar, a moderate amount of electrolytes, and minor amounts of nutrition. While it is touted as a health drink and there are many ‘health gurus’ that focus on it, there is little scientific evidence to show that it will help diabetes or is a healthy electrolytic drink.

Watermelon Juice and Diabetes

This is one of the biggest conundrum in the diabetic world. Generally, watermelon is  good for diabetics, having several vital nutrients that improve insulin resistance. However, the pure juice is high in sugar and can reduce your body’s ability to manufacture insulin. We recommend you eat watermelon, but leave the juicing to other fruits and vegetables.

Pineapple Juice for Diabetics

This is another conundrum. Pineapple juice is high in sugar, and also not recommended for diabetics. However, it is one of the richest sources of bromelain in the fruit world. Bromelain can help reduce inflammation and pain, will also having a side benefit of helping insulin resistance. Bromelain itself has been studied and shown to help diabetics. So even though the juice is high in sugar, we recommend you use it sparingly in order to help your body.

Sugarcane Juice for Diabetes

Sugarcane is where we get sugar from. Sugarcane juice is basically a sugar water. It contains merely trace amounts of most vitamins and minerals, yet it has a whopping 76 grams of carbohydrates in a 100-gram serving. It is not recommended for diabetics.

Tomato Juice for Diabetes

Tomato juice is a hard juice to pin down. The typical juice is found in the grocery stores are concentrated, and they are very high in sugar. Homemade tomato juice tends to be lower in sugar and higher in water. Homemade juices are also much higher in nutrients.

On the other hand, tomatoes are very high in acids and nutrients which can help improve digestion, reduce heart issues, and improve overall blood chemistry. While we recommend using tomato juice, do use it carefully. Be very aware of the sugar content of your juices and adjust accordingly.

Tart Cherry Juice for Diabetes

We have a great recipe for tart cherry juice here. You can find recipes, nutritional information and why we recommend tart cherry juice for diabetes.

Mangosteen / Xango / Zango Juice for Diabetes

There have been no studies on the mangosteen for diabetes. There are several websites that claim this fruit can help diabetes, citing various nutrients that are found in the fruit as helpful to diabetics. The single study we found on the mangosteen focused on inflammation but was such a seriously flawed study that it has been dismissed by the scientific community. This is a fruit that if you choose to use, use with caution. It is a high sugar fruit and commercial juices tend to be blends, not pure juices.

Kale Juice for Diabetes

Kale is easy to grow in your own backyard and very easy to juice. It’s highly nutritious, exceptionally good for diabetes, and provides overall health benefits. The biggest problem is most people don’t like the taste. We recommend using kale in your juices whenever you make your juice, however, keep it small. Kale is a very strong flavor and can be very bitter.

The kale found in the grocery stores and what can be ordered online * tends to be the more bitter varieties. They tend to ship better and store better. If you choose to grow your own, there are over a dozen different varieties of kale that you can grow. Most of these tend to be much more tender, less bitter, and much more flavorful. We actually recommend you grow your own and try the different varieties until you find the one you like.

Energy Juice for Diabetics

Most of the energy juices for diabetes are nothing more than sugar waters. You have to be very careful with these, as they can raise your sugar levels to dangerously high levels. Check out other energy drinks as well. Most of them contain different types of sugars and very little energy. We recommend staying away from energy juices if you are diabetic.

Juicing for Diabetes Prevention

Being pre-diabetic can be one of the better places to be. It allows you to use some of the more high-sugar fruits to create better-tasting juices. As you introduce more nutrients, more fiber, and eliminate processed foods, your body can begin to reverse the effects of prediabetes.

What we’re going to do is give you a template to use and then you could use the juices that taste best for you.

  • 1 part sweet juice
  • 1 part weak tasting vegetable (ex: zucchini)
  • 1 part yellow or orange vegetable
  • ½ part leafy green
  • 1 part herbs and spice mix (ginger, bitter melon, turmeric)

This provides you with a juice that is incredibly nutritious and still has a good taste. If you need to sweeten your juice up a little bit more until you get used to the more subtle flavors, increase the sweet juice. But, be sure to reduce the sugars in the rest of your diet to make up for it.

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Juicing for Diabetes and Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the biggest things you could do if you are diabetic. Maintaining a normal weight helps reduce the load on your body and reduces your need for insulin. As you use juicing to control your diabetes, you will increase your nutrition, decrease processed foods and sugars, and automatically help your body to achieve a healthy weight.

Juicing for Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

In the short-term, juicing may increase blood pressure. That’s because the increased nutrients and increase fiber can place a strain on your digestive system. Add your body becomes used to the higher fibers, more vegetables, and better nutrition, your body will start to heal issues that could cause high blood pressure.

Juicing for Diabetics with Cancer

It’s unfortunate that many times these two diseases go together. Fortunately, as you been juicing for your diabetes, you introduce the nutrients and foods that have been shown in various studies to reduce cancer. Nearly all of the fruits and all of the vegetables we mentioned here are beneficial to people with cancer. The more healthy nutrition you put in, the easier your body can heal itself.

Fortunately, when you juice, you gain the nutrition without having to eat a lot of food. People with cancer tend to have a lower appetite as the various chemotherapy drugs and treatments wreak havoc on their bodies. Focusing in on several of the green vegetables will help you increase magnesium, which has been shown in several studies to help the body heal from treatments and repair damage caused by cancer.

Diabetes Juicing Cleanse

As a diabetic, you should never attempt a cleanse or detox without being under the direct supervision of a doctor or a nutritionist. There are too many factors to calculate and too many risks involved.

Conclusion

As a diabetic, you can juice and help heal your body. You just have to be vigilant, know your sugar intake *, and focus on proper nutrition. Working with a nutritionist can help.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below for any questions. Thank You!

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jaime April 1, 2017, 9:50 pm

    Great article! Bot diabetic but I loooove juicing. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all of the harmful chemical products in your life with organic ones. It’s completely changed my life and how I feel everyday 🙂

    You can read a good review of Everyday roots here: http://reggiesreview.weebly.com/everyday-roots-review.html

    • Dave April 11, 2017, 2:45 pm

      Hello, Jaime!

      Thank you for the recommendation and sharing with us Everyday Roots eBook. I’m very happy it helped you!

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