Did you know that the juice of raw fruits and vegetables contains 95% of the vitamins and enzymes your body needs? Though juicing probably isn’t any healthier than eating your produce whole, one 16 oz. glass of juice can give you the same amount of nutrients as 8 lbs of spinach, 10-12 apples, or 2 lbs of carrots. Juicing helps your body absorb all of the beneficial nutrients fruits and vegetables supply, giving your digestive organs a much-needed rest. This is due to the concentration of the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, which allows them to enter your bloodstream more rapidly.
If eating lots of fruits and vegetables is not your thing, juicing can be a fun way to incorporate them into your diet. Try using veggies and fruits you normally wouldn’t eat. You can find many juicing recipes online or mix up your own combinations of fruits and vegetables to suit your taste. Try to eat at least three to four vegetables and two whole fruits a day. Using a variety of colors will also ensure that you get a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
When to Juice
It’s best to drink your juice the same day it is pressed. While it’s true that the nutritional value is compromised as soon as any air hits the juice, you can slow the oxidation process down by storing your juice in a tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator. You’ll get the most out of your juice if you drink it at least an hour before eating a meal or on an empty stomach. This helps your body absorb the maximim amount of nutrients. But even if you can’t drink it right away, fresh pressed juice is still loaded with health benefits no matter when you drink it.
Juicing and Illness
Research has shown that juicing is full of healing properties. Not only will juicing give you a glowing complexion and strong bones, it also strengthens your immunity, gives you more energy, and facilitates weight loss. It may also reduce your chance of heart disease, stroke and cancer, three of the leading causes of death. Most vitamin supplements are synthetic and were simulated in a laboratory, and a vast amount of research suggests that these type of synthetic supplements do not help prevent chronic disease. Vitamins and minerals that are natural and plant-based are absorbed more easily and completely by the body.
You Still Need Your Fiber
Juicing machines extract the juice and leave behind the pulp, which has all the fiber. When you are juicing, you don’t get much of the nutritional fiber provided by eating your fruits and veggies whole. It is wise to save some of this rich fiber and add it back into your juice or use it in cooking. Try adding it to muffin batter, or to make broth for cooking soup, rice, and pasta.
Bottled vs Fresh
Fresh juice not only contains greater nutritional value, it contains life. Fresh pressed juice is filled with natural antibiotics, antioxidants, essential minerals, and living enzymes which are vital for optimal health, while most bottled juice goes through pasteurization where they are heated and processed, which can kill important vitamins and minerals.
Blender vs Juicer
Juicers can cost a pretty penny, ranging up to $400, so don’t feel you have to have one to start juicing. It is true that the more expensive juicers will break down a lot of the fruit by grinding the seeds, rind, and even the core, but it is still possible to use a blender for most whole fruits or vegetables and still keep the fiber. Add water if it becomes too thick. You’ll want to remove the skins, rinds and seeds before drinking.
Choose Organic When Possible
Organic farming uses methods that minimize the use of toxins while building soil quality and protecting water quality. Buying organic helps support pesticide and chemical-free growing practices that are healthier for our farmers and for our planet. Plus organic foods have more intense and delicious flavors.