Have you ever felt like you just can’t chow down another piece of raw spinach or another piece of baby carrot, no matter how great the salad dressing or the dip was? And how about trying to eat a bowl of beautiful healthy salad on the go, and hopefully not make a mess? Yes, we have all been there. We try our best to be healthy eaters but life always gets in the way. But no, we are not going to give ourselves excuses and guess what?! Juicing to the rescue!
Summer is a great time to keep it cool and light when it comes to meals and meals preparation. Not having to turn on the stove is good. Having more time to spend outdoors than in the kitchen is also very good. I especially love having my meals on the go during summer because I tend to spend more time enjoying the good weather outside. But I still want to eat healthy and light and not have to get a heavy sandwich or do restaurant take-outs all the time.
When I started juicing and making smoothies, that’s when I realized it is absolutely possible to eat healthy while on the go! Check out my other article about smoothies “The Love for Smoothies” for another healthy alternative.
What is Juicing
Juicing as the name suggests, is the extraction of the liquid nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables to create a drinkable cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Because we tend to be able to drink more than we eat, for a lot of us, juicing just feels like an easier way to consume a lot of nutrients that we would otherwise not be able to.
The digestive science behind juicing also supports the claims that in liquid form, some nutrients become more easily absorbed by our bodies. Although some people may argue that juicing fails to capture the nutrients in the skins of fruits and vegetables and loses quite a lot of fiber from excluding the pulp, it is undeniably still a very healthy lifestyle choice, especially for those of us who have more sensitive digestive systems.
So regardless of what you think about juicing, a glass of your favorite greens is always a healthier choice than a processed, sugar-laden snack or drink. Juicing can no doubt be a great addition to your everyday diet to make it healthier and more balanced.
Is Juicing Good for you?
Juicing is not only a fast and easy way of consuming essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables, it is also an efficient way for your bodies to absorb all these wonderful nutrients. We all have busy crazy schedules these days and our bodies are always working in overdrive, trying to catch up on much-needed rest and sleep. Juicing is a good way to cut your body some slack in the digestion department; making nutrients more bioavailable so that your digestive system can skip the work of breaking down your food into absorbable nutrients in your body.
Juicing as I found, also makes it easier for me to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables without having to think about whether I should steam them, or add them to a stew or sauté them etc. That is too much work for some of us.
Consuming a wider variety of fruits and vegetables and consuming them on a more regular basis can only bring about happy outcomes for you and your body.
Now, more than at any time in history, our bodies are forced to absorb thousands of man-made toxins. This is the primary reason for the epidemic rise of disease, including cancer. Our body has an internal cleaning system to clean out toxins, but what happens when there are more toxins going in than being removed.
Years ago, organic fresh, chemical-free produce was the norm. Today we breathe, eat, and drink so many toxins, preservatives, and additives thanks to the FDA standards that we experience more toxins coming into our body than going out. The fallout is DNA damage and cells that are unable to function properly, causing premature aging, chronic low energy, a foggy mind, depression and a host of other health issues.
Scientific Benefits of Juicing
There are numerous claims showing that juicing can help those with many health ailments such as:
- Digestive problems
- Fatty liver
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Weight gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Skin and hair problems
- Headaches and migraines
- and much more
Benefits of Juicing
1. Fast and easy absorption of nutrients by your body
Nutrients in liquid form are easier for your body to digest because it has already been broken down into absorbable compounds for your body. Your digestive system can skip the step of breaking them down, of course, it is happy!
2. Increase energy levels for you
A body with the right amount of balanced nutrients will definitely function more effectively and efficiently. There’s no doubt about that and definitely translates into greater energy levels for you.
3. Healthier outward appearance and overall glow
The increased intake of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is definitely going to make you feel healthier from within and is bound to show on your outward appearance in terms of better-looking skin, nails, eyes and a healthy glow.
4. Strengthen your immune system
Your body needs all the help and ammunition that it can get to fight off the free radicals, toxins, and pollutants that it is exposed to each and every single day. A healthy diet that contains a wide array of nutrients will give your body just the right soldiers it needs to do all of that good work.
5. Improve the control you have over your appetite
When your body is satisfied with what it has been given to do its work of making sure all your organs function properly and in harmony, it will not crave for things that are not good for you. In other words, a healthy diet will ensure that your brain gets the right messages about your satiety and gives you better control over your appetite.
6. Improve your digestion
Juicing over time will gently help your body detox, rid it of toxins and thereby improve the overall functioning of your body’s digestive system. Also, once the pulp is removed in the juicing process, this saves the energy required for digestion and allows your body to rest while detoxing or cleansing between meals.
7. Hydrate your cells
Since your cells consist mostly of water, you should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Unlike other beverages such as coffee, tea, soda or alcohol, raw juices help to replenish the water your body needs. In addition to the necessary water provided, all juices include loads of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals. That’s double good reason to juice! 
8. Promote alkalinity
All vegetables and fruits have an alkalizing effect on the body and help to raise the body’s PH. This is different than acidifying foods such as sugar, processed foods. animal proteins, wheat products, and alcohol which have an acidic effect on the body and cause less than ideal PH levels. An optimal PH level of 7.4 can improve health conditions such as inflammation, heart disease, osteoporosis, nutrient deficiencies and even prevent cancer.
9. Powerful cleanser
Because of the extraction of the fiber from the juice, it can have a laxative effect on your body. This can help to rid your digestive system of undigested foods and toxins. A juice cleanse for a period of a few days can give your internal organs a break and cause your metabolism to become more efficient.
10. Chlorophyll boost
The plant kingdom also delivers another remarkable plant pigment called chlorophyll. Among some of the miraculous health benefits of chlorophyll is its role to increase detoxification, improve digestion, help with weight loss and even provide anticancer effects. That’s truly a wonder-food!
Fresh or Bottled Juice
Nutrients from freshly juiced fruits and vegetables will always be more bioavailable than pre-prepared juices that are conveniently found in supermarkets these days. Fresh produce loses their nutritional content over time and the rate of nutrient loss is accelerated when they are broken down into liquid form.
Therefore, do choose to make your own juices at home if you can. Make your own fresh juices with a wide spectrum of organic fruits and vegetables that are easily available at your local markets today, and you have everything you need to stay healthy and full of vitality, despite the increase of environmental toxins.
Try to buy produce that is in season because their nutritional value and taste are at their very best when they are in season. Within minutes or seconds, if you have a really powerful juicer, you can have a really healthy drink that is full of amazing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protective phytochemicals.
However, if you are like me and sometimes have to travel a lot, bottled juices are not bad alternatives. Just make sure you read the food label to ensure that there are no added sugars, preservatives or color additives in the product. There are more and more fresher options on the market these days, with very short shelf lives. And these are definitely very desirable and convenient options when you cannot make your own juices. See…you really have no excuse not to switch out that soda for a healthier fruit and vegetable juice.
Tips for Juicing
If you have never tried juicing at home, below are quick tips to help get you started.
1. All juices are not created equal
Vegetable juices are nutrition powerhouses. Fruit juices, although an excellent source of vitamin C, are high in naturally occurring sugars and should be consumed less often especially if you are managing other health conditions such as diabetes or weight issues. Try adding apples, pears, lemon, or ginger to help make your vegetable juice more palatable.
Slowly work towards a 3:1 ratio – three vegetables to one piece of fruit.
2. Be adventurous with your produce selections
One of the biggest benefits of juicing is that it allows you to consume a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. The next time you shop, choose something you’ve never juiced before and try it out.
3. Choose high-quality produce
Going organic can be more expensive but it’s a health investment that pays off long-term. Don’t skimp on this one. Why put more toxins into your body?
4. Get a good juicer
There are many inexpensive options out there. A juicer that is easy to use and clean will make you want to use it more.
There are generally 3 different types of juicers – centrifugal, masticating, and twin-gear.
- Centrifugal juicers are usually the cheapest and the easiest to clean, but the speed of the processor can oxidize nutrients faster, causing your juice to lose some of its nutritional value before it gets to your glass.
- Masticating juicers, on the other hand, extract more juice because they operate at slower speeds, so you get more nutrition per glass. Also, nutrients don’t oxidize as quickly; therefore, juices can be stored in a well-sealed container for up to 24 hours.
- Twin-gear juicers are the most powerful but also the most expensive. The advantage they have over the other 2 types of juicers is that they can also be used to make nut butters and ice-cream. Juices can stay fresh for up to 72 hours, once refrigerated in a well-sealed container.
My favorite juicer and one I highly recommend is the Breville juicer which you can easily find on Amazon.
5. Drink it fresh
Fresh juices can develop bacteria rather quickly, so to be safe, don’t wait. The quality of the vitamins and minerals deteriorate over time with increased exposure to air and light, so to get the most nutritional benefit from your juices, enjoy them right away.
6. You cannot live on juice alone
Juicing is a great way to add extra nutrients and minerals into your diet, but there is usually very little protein and healthy fats present. So be sure you are also eating enough food to keep your body running effectively and efficiently.
7. Make use of the residual pulp if you can
Instead of throwing away your leftover pulp, consider putting it to good use as garden compost, or into your favorite dishes using some creative recipes.
If you would like to get started on your own juicing ritual, stay tuned as I continue to add more healthy juicing recipes on my website. Here are a few to get started.
The time is right!
I hope by now, you can fully understand and embrace why making your own fresh juice is valuable. Need help working juicing into your daily nutritional plan? CONTACT ME today – I have many ideas to share beyond this article to make sure you catch the wave on this one!
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1. Comparison of antioxidant potency of commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United States.