Juicing probably is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. However, whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing.
Proponents say that juicing is better for you than is eating whole fruits and vegetables because your body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber. They say 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.
But there’s no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself. On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing may be a fun way to add them to your diet or to try fruits and vegetables 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.
If you do try juicing, make only as much juice as you can drink at one time because fresh squeezed juice can quickly develop harmful bacteria. And when juicing, try to keep some of the pulp. Not only does it have healthy fiber, but it can help fill you up. If you buy commercially produced fresh juice from a juicing stand or store, select a pasteurized product. Note that juices from some fruits and vegetables can contain more sugar than you might realize, and this can add unwanted calories and lead to weight gain.
The best selection of juices comes in nature’s own containers: fresh fruits & vegetables. Fresh juice is loaded with cancer-fighting phytochemicals and vitamins, in a state easily absorbed by the body.
Did you know?:
1 cup of carrot or celery juice provides most of the same nutrients found in 5 cups of those same vegetables chopped up.
To begin juicing, you’ll need a juice extractor.
For those who don’t have one but looking to get one – there are so many versions sold at department stores from $20-$300.
High tech features (such as the ability to process whole, uncut fruits) are worth the extra money if you are a frequent juicer. Otherwise, a basic model will do.
There are 2 types: citrus juicers and juice extractors.
Extractors are more versatile; most have a pulp collector that pulls out the fiber (which is why you’ll still want to consume whole fruits and vegetables).
Look for a machine with components that are dishwasher safe or otherwise easy to clean.
Be sure to read through the information provided with your juicer to become familiar with how your equipment works as well as the recipes included.
Drink your juice as soon as possible after juiced. It starts to lose its nutritional value as time passes. Also, it can develop a funny color as it oxidizes(especially apple). It doesnt mean its bad, but the kiddos and spouse might look at it funny. It’s very best to drink it within 24 hours, but up to 2 days can be just fine, too (but really not preferable). Just remember that there are no preservatives in fresh juice. It can go rancid quickly.
Prepare your produce for juicing ahead of time. Whew! Did I learn this the hard way! It is so much easier to have your produce cut up the night before if you want to juice for breakfast or lunch. You wash and cut up everything…put it in a ziplock bag or storage container, pop it in the fridge, and voila! It’s ready to be juiced for breakfast or any time-crunched portion of the day. No excuses not to juice when its all ready to go!
Using the pulp is a great way to save money and get extra nutrition. If someone would have told me this when I started juicing I probably would have thought they were nuts. But its true!
Using the pulp is very neat and easy. You also feel sort of good about no waste!
Another good juicing tip is to use a glass container when storing fresh juice Another thing I learned the hard way. There was one week where I was on a carrot juice kick. I took a good size plastic container of it to work, and left it on my desk….overnight, by mistake. It exploded all over my mouse pad. If I had it in a glass container, this would not have happened. But the most important reason: its just not good to store juice in plastic. Plastic leaches chemicals, and the natural compounds of the juice just don’t do well in sealed plastic based bottles. Just reuse a glass jar you were going to throw away….you do have some of those lying around, right? ðŸ™‚ If not, keep them from leftover food packaged in glass. Also, keep it in the fridge if not drinking right away. Some find it smart to wrap it in aluminum foil if they dont have dark glass bottles so that it oxidizes slower.
Using some fruits and veggies are just not super easy for fresh juice. Sure, you can use them all but some don’t work as well. Mushy fruit, like bananas, don’t really juice (but they make great “ice cream” when you use the homogenizer or blank plate on your juicer). Berries are also mushy, but you can get juice out of them- it is just provides a lower juice yield then an apple or orange would.
Mixing too many types of produce together makes a funky tasting juice sometimes. Okay, so, we all know the advertisements for those store-bought juices that include so many types of produce. Truth is, when you fresh juice, it doesn’t taste as good. We aren’t adding any flavors. As a general rule, keep it 3 and under for variety(plus it’s easier).
Carrot — Apple Juice
3-4 medium carrots
1 medium Granny Smith apple
Carrot juice is surprisingly sweet and goes well with the tartness of the apples. When buying Granny Smiths, choose firm ones; they will produce a clearer juice.
Makes 10 ounces = 200 calories, 0g fat, 49g carbs, 4g protein
Spinach — Cucumber — Celery Juice
2 cups packed spinach (4 oz)
1 celery stalk Because celery isn’t overpowering, it allows the spinach and cucumber juices to stand out. Spinach is a good source of calcium, iron, and potassium.
Makes 10 ounces = 139 calories, 1g fat, 35g carbs, 1 g protein
Pineapple — Blueberry — Ginger Juice
1 cup blueberries
1 piece fresh ginger (1/4-1/2 inch) Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to fight certain types of cancer. The ginger aids digestion, and sets a South Pacific mood when combined with pineapple.
Makes 12 ounces = 80 calories, 0g fat,16g carbs, 7g protein