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Question:

Is it safe to juice?

I am a 41 year old male. I have smoked since I was 17. I am trying to give up. I have been juicing beets and pomegranates along with other fruits for a few months. I read that juicing helps reduce build-up in the arteries. My question is if it is safe to juice? I read a comment where someone said they were juicing and got a stroke within 2 months. He claimed the juicing caused his arteries to begin cleansing and this caused some plaque to break off and cause a stroke. Is this possible and is it safe for me to juice? Thank you.

submitted by David from Antigua on 12/19/2013

Answer:

by St. Luke's Medical Center Clinical Nutrition and Patient Food Services Director, Terry Dildy, MS, RD, LD 

Dear David,
Congratulations on your efforts to quit smoking.  It is my understanding that the damage caused by smoking takes time to repair and heal.  The antioxidants from the fruits that you get in juicing certainly have many health benefits in cellular repair and in decreasing inflammation caused by smoking.  I seriously doubt that juicing would cause plaque to break off and cause a stroke.  If someone had a stroke two weeks after they started juicing, I would not think there is a cause/effect with juicing.  

The key to a healthy diet has been, and always will be, variety of foods.  You can include juicing in your diet but not to the exclusion of other foods or food groups.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.  

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Updated December 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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