Dr Rashmi Shetty is a leading expert in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. The Mumbai-based derm has won a slew of awards for aesthetic medicine. She’s even authored a book, Age Erase. We ask her to weigh in on the juicing trend to find out if it’s good for our skin.
I’ve heard so much about the benefits of juicing. Does it work?
Dr Rashmi Shetty: Juices are beneficial, but not as effective as people think. There are people who take a kiwi juice shot in the morning thinking it gives enough vitamin C — an essential antioxidant for skin health. That’s not true. The body requires 1,000mg of vitamin C per day. You need to consume 1kg of kiwis to get 1,000mg of vitamin C.
You need to have a wholesome meal: Eat and drink something rich in vitamin C and then consume a supplement on top of that. You can’t negate the fact juices are good — they are good. You should consider if what you’re consuming is enough.
What about those juice fasts — are they worth the sacrifice?
Dr Rashmi: It’s okay if you’re looking at something for weight loss. Just fruit juice may not be enough, juices only have vitamins and you’ll end up with a glucose spike. It’s good that it comes naturally, but it’s still glucose at the end of the day.
Too much glucose, or sugar, will result in advanced glycation end products, abbreviated as AGEs. The glycation process hardens protein, including collagen, making skin brittle, aging it faster.
Vegetable juices are okay. You’ll get vitamins and antioxidants, but zero fat. A little bit of essential fat is very, very important every day to absorb the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables you’re consuming.
Fats are one of the most important things to ensure skin and hair are supple and soft.
A juice-only diet has its short-comings.
Do we lose out on fiber when we blend our fruits and veggies?
Dr Rashmi: Even with blended juices you still get a little bit of roughage (fiber from fruit and vegetables to aid digestion), so you’re not going to become constipated. If you choose to steam your veggies instead, sauté them with a little bit of olive oil, ghee or any sort of essential fats. Oil is required for hair and the absorption of nutrients for the skin.
What are the biggest mistakes people make with their diets?
Dr Rashmi: The no-oil diet, as mentioned previously, is a big no-no for skin and hair. And so is the no-carb diet. One thing is that you don’t get much roughage, so you won’t move your bowels well, which can affect your skin. In addition, protein requires certain carbs to be digested and absorbed well for general health and wellbeing.