So you have decided that one of your resolutions this year will be to eat healthier foods. You may have read that juicing is one of the great things you could incorporate into your current diet.
Many advocates of juicing believe that beneficial micronutrients become damaged when you heat foods. Cooking and processing food destroys these micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition.
I know when I decided to start eating healthy all my Doctors were suggesting that I incorporate more vegetables and fruits per day. I don’t know about you but one of the hardest things for me was this…how was I…a person who was already eating what I thought was enough vegetables…incorporate even more? I had heard many people talk about juicing. I decided to research more about the benefits of juicing.
Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.You can definitely juice fruits too but, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is best to limit using fruits until you normalize these conditions.
The exception would be lemons and limes which have virtually none of the offending sugar, fructose, that causes most of the metabolic complications. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark, deep green leafy vegetables.
Why should you juice?
There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your daily meal plan:
- Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables.Some of us do not have the best digestion due to not making the best food choices over the years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
- Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner.Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
- You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Maybe you are like me and find yourself eating the same vegetables daily, you are not alone. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day by doing this you fail to have regular food rotation and it increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
Eat food in addition to juicing.
I’m not a proponent of juicing by itself. I think it is an important aspect of your daily diet. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it. Vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat, so by itself, it is not really a complete food. So unless you are fasting I would suggest to use juicing as a meal replacement. Ideally, it can be consumed with your meal or as a between meal snack.
Juice what you enjoy eating
This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy. The juice should taste pleasant not make you feel nauseous.
It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Learn to pay attention to your body. Your stomach should feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally you feel unpleasant, you probably juiced something you should not be eating.
Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and help you enjoy the benefits of juicing quickly:
Lessons on Juicing:
- If you are new to juicing, try starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate:
- Fennel (anise)
These three aren’t as nutrient dense as the dark green leafy vegetables but in the few days to weeks it takes you to adjust to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable but less palatable vegetables into your juice.
- When you’ve acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables:
- Red leaf lettuce
- Green leaf lettuce
- Romaine Lettuce
Note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.
- When you’re ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well:
You need to be cautious with cilantro, as many cannot tolerate it well.So start off with a few sprigs and work your way up from there.
4.The greens listed below are bitter:so start with smaller leaves at a time and be sure and balance it out with lime or lemon.
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Mustard Greens (bitter)
How to make juice taste great
If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements:
- Lemons and Limes:You can also add one half to a whole lime or lemon for every quart of juice. You can actually juice the skin if you want to avoid the hassle of peeling them
- Cranberries:You can also add some cranberries if you enjoy them. Researchers have discovered that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. In addition, they are full of phytonutrients, and can help women avoid urinary tract infections. Limit the cranberries to about 4 ounces per pint of juice.
- Fresh ginger:This is an excellent addition if you enjoy the taste. It gives your juice a little “kick”! Researchers have found that ginger can have dramatic effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis, lowering cholesterol levels.
Drink your vegetable juice right away, or store it very carefully.
Juicing is a time-consuming process, so you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, “I wonder if I can juice first thing in the morning, and then drink it later?” This is not a good idea. Vegetable juice is very perishable so it’s best to drink all of your juice immediately. However, if you’re careful, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This is really helpful if you are bringing your juice to work with you so you can consume it during the day. How to store your juice:
- Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top.
- Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready. It is best to drink it as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours of juicing.
Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule, please feel free to choose whatever meal works best for your lifestyle.
Note on juicing
Question: I do not have a juicer, should I go ahead and buy one? I say do what works for you in your present moment. What did we do before juicers and blenders and all these gadgets? We ate them straight from the ground or trees.
You can still use a blender and sieve to obtain the juice. In fact you can also just go ahead and use your blender to make smoothies. I think there are such great benefits to smoothies, for one you retain the fiber which is so beneficial to your body. I’ll talk more about smoothies in a post regarding the benefit of adding smoothies to your diet.