If you are mistaking juicing for the latest useless “fad” diet, you are wrong! Juicing is not a fad, or a “diet!” Many of us have heard about juicing, and know that there are many benefits. But, do you know why juicing is such a healthy option?
If you take a vegetable, chop it up, and eat it, and then take that same vegetable and put in a juicer, and then drink it, you still have the same vegetable. So, you will receive the same nutrients and minerals from a juiced vegetable as you would from a non-juiced vegetable.
That is not the concept behind juicing. According to the Mayo Clinic, the idea behind juicing is that “your body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber.” Also, it was found that juicing “can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help you remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight.”
Another fringe benefit of juicing is that many people begin making healthier choices, and start consuming more wholesome nutrition. You will probably buy and consume more fruits and vegetables when you are juicing, than when you are not juicing. You can’t put potato chips in a juicer. So, hopefully, you will begin to replace unhealthy food with healthier choices.
You do not have to be a vegetarian or vegan to reap the benefits of juicing. Anyone can benefit from juicing– young, old, sick, healthy, men, and women are all candidates for juicing. However, those with diabetes or other blood-sugar related illness may need to consult with a physician before beginning a juicing regimen.
Juicing is a more efficient way to consume fruits and vegetables because your digestive track stays clear, and your body is able to remove toxins on a continual basis. Also, juicing is perfect for those people who do not like the taste of particular fruits and vegetables.
If someone doesn’t like cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, or anything else from the cruciferous family of vegetables, then, obviously, his body will not receive the nutrients he needs from them.
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical only found in cruciferous veggies that “can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells,” according to WebMd. Sulforaphane is not a cure for cancer, but it is definitely a step in the right direction against protecting yourself from harmful oxidants and free-radicals. The more antioxidants, the better.
But, if said person can tolerate drinking cruciferous vegetables, in a quick manner, like taking a “shot,” then voila, problem solved! Juicing has created a pathway for someone to receive important disease-fighting nutrients.
Another reason why eating raw and juicing are great, nutritional options is because the various processes we use to cook our food generally deplete the majority of nutrients in them. So, while you may get some nutritional value from eating steamed broccoli, if you eat it raw, you really get way more bang for your buck!
According to livinggreensjuice.com, “95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables…” Livinggreensjuice.com states that “We would need to eat 2 lbs of carrots, 10-12 apples, or 8 lbs of spinach to get the same amount of nutrients you receive in one 16 oz juice. When you drink juice, highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes rapidly enter the bloodstream absorbing all of the nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables and giving your digestive organs a much-needed rest.”
In sum: “There is lots of research that shows the healing properties of juicing. Not only will juicing facilitate weight loss, increased energy levels, strengthened immunity, strong bones and a glowing complexion, it may also reduce chances of heart disease, cancer and strokes, three of the leading causes of death. A growing body of research suggests that most vitamin supplements don’t help prevent chronic disease. A synthetic vitamin or mineral is a laboratory simulation of the real thing. Natural, plant-based vitamins and minerals are more easily and completely absorbed by the body” (livinggreensjuice.com).
Juicing should not replace meals. Juicing is meant to be a supplement. You should drink your juice about thirty minutes before your meal– on an empty stomach, to reap maximum benefits. Doing a juice cleanse or juice “detox” every so often is ok, but juicing does not need to replace meals.
There are four different kinds of juicers: the manual, the centrifugal, twin gear, and single gear. All-about-juicing.com states that “centrifugals are quite good,” but, “nothing compares to the technology of the single and twin gear models.”
There are factors to consider when buying a juicer. Obviously, the most important factor is your budget. Aside from that, consider these things:
- style & look (upright or longer body, color)
- versatility & type
- ease of cleaning
Once you choose your juicer, you have to go grocery shopping! If you want to reduce the level of oxidants in your body, which is the whole point of juicing, you will want to get as many certified organic fruits and veggies as possible. You don’t want to defeat the purpose of juicing by ingesting pesticides and chemicals.
Next, you will need to prepare your produce for juicing. Make sure to wash everything thoroughly. Some fruits and veggies will need to be peeled; others you should keep the peel on, as it increases nutritional value. The size of the chute in which you put the fruits and veggies differs on different machines. So, you will need to cut your produce in chunks that are the appropriate size for the chute.
Make sure you read the directions that go with your juicer! Also, you should drink your juice as soon as possible after you juice, preferably within 24 hours. When juice is made, the oxidative process immediately starts, meaning nutritional value slowly decreases. Keeping your juice in a tightly sealed glass container can help to combat the oxidative process.
If you are purchasing juice, make sure that it is fresh, organic, and does not contain any added sugars.