All You Should Know About The Right Way To Juice

All You Should Know About The Right Way To Juice



Why is juicing so popular?

Juicing is the simplest and easiest way to get essential minerals and vitamins and other important nutrients you might lack from your diet. This is the simplest explanation.

For quite some time I wanted to write an article about juicing, exploring in details the right and the wrong way (approach) to juice, mainly because the popularity of natural, cold-pressed juices brought so many questions that should be answered and explained, and because I do enjoy juicing and juice often.

Why juicing?

Is there a wrong way to juice?

What fruits and vegetables should I juice?

What essential nutrients do I get?

Which fruits should I juice and when?

What about green juices?

 

Whoever wants to get all the benefits from these delicious juices should know more than just how to make one.

Some of you might be wondering why we juice fruits and vegetables when we can consume them fresh thus receive important nutrients from the whole food. This is a good question.

The answer lies in our eating habits.

Some of us simply don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables and juicing is a perfect way how to receive raw, live nutrients our bodies need.

When it comes to juicing vegetables, many would rather juice a cucumber then eat it raw or juice spinach then cook a delicious vegetable soup. It’s also the question of time. Sometimes we don’t have time to prepare a healthy, nutrient-rich meal.  For many of us, juicing vegetables is also a habit. A habit or not, as long as we consume important nutrients, we are on the right way to receive what we need.

Juicing fruits and vegetables is a good solution to improve our nutrition, but it’s not the solution, because we still need to eat fresh food. Juicing is known as the simplest way to energize, detox, alkalize and rejuvenate our body and mind, event to repair damaged skin and slow down aging process and reverse gray hair.

But, juicing should not replace whole fruits and vegetables, but rather it should be a supplement to your diet, a good way to get more vegetables that you lack from your daily nutrition.

 

What are the benefits of juicing?

family with a kid making fresh fruit juice from oranges

First, juicing will have great benefits for your overall health.

One study showed that those who consumed 20 ounces of beetroot juice saw reductions in blood pressure after one hour. Another notable study concluded that people who drank fruit and vegetables juices more than three times per week were 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Many studies were exploring the benefits of juicing, but we could stress the most important:

  • Boosting immune system
  • Increased energy
  • Weight management and weight loss (although, juicing can backfire)

 

How?

Your body will absorb all the nutrients from vegetables and (most from) fruits.

Most people make poor food choices, which limits their body to absorb all the nutrients it needs.

You will consume an optimal amount of vegetables and fruits in a more efficient manner.

Some people find eating vegetables difficult, but a quick glass of vegetable juice can compensate for that.

You will add a variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Do you eat the same vegetable salad every day? This might increase your chances of developing an allergy to a certain food.

Juicing will help you consume a variety of vegetables and fruits you might not normally enjoy eating or consider including in your diet.

 

What should you know before you start?

The first thing to consider before you start juicing is the state of your current health.

If you have been eating processed food (and cooked food) for years, it’s likely your body has serious nutritional deficiency.

If you are exhausted and tired all the time, this might indicate that you have a serious toxicity in your body. When you start drinking juices, your body will go through a detox reaction, so you might feel muscle weakness, headaches, or fatigue, but you need to know that this is temporary.

The detox period might last from seven days to a couple of weeks, and during this period, it’s best to drink a lot of water and rest, while your body and organism get used to a new diet strategy.

If you experience frequent problems because of detoxification, reduce the amount of juice you are drinking, or even stop if you are feeling sick. It’s crucial to be patient, as this is a sign you need to change your diet.

 

However, what is the right way to juice?

Woman and kids making fresh fruit juice

Canned, bottled, frozen and commercially produced juices are pasteurized, which means that the juices were exposed to high temperatures that killed many of the vitamins and enzymes. When you make your own juice, you get to use a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs of your choice.    

But, the most common concern regarding juicing revolves around two main questions:

What about natural sugars?

What about fiber?

 

Fruit juices, for instance, cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, and for a healthy person, these sugars are easily digested, thus won’t pose a threat. However, if you are taking prescriptions, you need to be careful. Large amounts of vitamin K (kale and spinach) might interfere with warfarin, a medication used to treat blood clots.

Moreover, some are of the opinion that those who have diabetes should not consume fruit juices. Certain fruits and vegetables might improve the body’s response to insulin and control diabetes, but people with diabetes need to be cautious when consuming juices high in natural sugars, as they need to control the blood glucose levels to avoid complications.

But juicing isn’t all about fruits. Vegetable juices are more beneficial and health-driven drinks. When you do it correctly (mix fruits and vegetables correctly), vegetable juices shouldn’t be a problem.

 

How to include fiber?

Fruit is rich in antioxidants and many beneficial enzymes, and fruit juices do contain fiber, but soluble fiber present in the form of pectin, gums and mucilage, which help lower down the cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and promote good bowel bacteria.

But when you juice fruits, you will not get the fiber that’s in whole fruits (this goes for some vegetables as well). Juicing machines extract the juice, but leave behind the pulp, which has fiber, so in order not to miss the beneficial fiber, you can add some of the pulp back into the juice.

This is where we come to the most important question:

 

What to juice?

fruits and vegetables

As I’ve already pointed out, fruit juices can be very high in sugar (mango and pineapple are so delicious, but contain almost 8 teaspoons of natural sugar). Tropical fruit is especially high in sugar, green apple, on the other hand, is very low in sugar.

Opt for organic, raw green vegetables and organic fruits for maximum nutrition. Non-organic fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals you don’t want in your body.

One study, funded by the European Union, found that organic vegetables and fruits contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants and have higher levels of beneficial minerals, iron and zinc.

Another study done at John Hopkins University revealed that in organic produce there are:

  • 21 percent more iron
  • 29 percent more magnesium
  • 27 percent more vitamin C
  • 13 percent more phosphorous
  • 15 percent fewer nitrates

 

Cruciferous vegetables are goitrogenic, which means they contain substances that suppress thyroid function if consumed raw, so you should avoid juicing raw cruciferous veggies. Moreover, they might also cause gas, upset stomach and bloating in some people (which might not be the case with you). Spinach, chard and beet greens contain oxalic acid that can irritate intestinal tract. However, these vegetables offer many benefits, so you should not miss them, thus, use these vegetables sparingly.

Then what are the best vegetables to include?

  • Cucumbers, for cleansing and skin health
  • Celery, as it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and alkalizing food said to lower blood pressure.
  • Beets, for liver and rich amount of iron
  • Carrots, for eyesight, and liver (caution: carrot juice is high in sugar)
  • Spinach, for iron and skin health
  • Wheatgrass, for detoxification and alkalizing
  • Fennel, for digestion
  • Romaine lettuce and red bell peppers, for vitamin C
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro (for heavy metals), and ginger (for digestion and cleansing)

Remember, though, that juices should not be a substitution for a meal, they are an accomplishment to a meal, or great for in between meals.

 

How to start juicing?

If you are new to juicing, it’s best if you start with the fruits you love and enjoy eating.

This way, your body will be familiar with the taste. Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, and watermelons are mild on your stomach and gentle on your taste bud. After a week or two, depending on how often you juice, you can start adding more exotic fruits, for example lemon, a powerful vitamin C booster .

If you like oranges or apples as your base ingredients, you can slowly start adding some vegetables such as carrots, celery, or cucumber. The best is if you slowly start adding something new to the menu because vegetable juices are specific, and some people might not enjoy the taste. You need to think about how your body will react to different foods. The easiest way for you to take advantage of vegetable benefits is to mix them with something you love.

After experimenting with vegetables and getting your body and organism used to new food, start adding more green vegetables because the greener the better.

Green vegetables are rich in many nutrients but less palatable, so you will need to get used to the taste. It’s easier to start with your base (green apples, for instance) and to add green veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and more, there’s plenty of options to get the daily dose of important vitamins and minerals.

After you get used to vegetable juices, you can start experimenting with other vegetables and fruits, especially herbs.

 

When to drink juices?

when to drink juices

The best time to drink a healthy fresh juice is on an empty stomach, that is, at least a half an hour before a meal. This way, your body will absorb important nutrients quickly. 

It’s best if you drink fruit juices in the first half of the day, or at the start of the day, to energize your body, because fruit juices provide complex carbohydrates. The rest of the day, you can drink juices that are less sweet – green juices.

One of the common concerns is whether we should drink citrus juice on an empty stomach. Citrus fruits taste acidic, but they are alkaline-forming food. You should not experience any problems drinking citrus juices; moreover, citrus juices are rich in vitamin C so you should include lemons, oranges and pomegranates in your diet.

If you happen to have a problem with upset stomach, it may happen because you have a food intolerance to a citrus fruits (but you should already know about it). In such situation, it’s best not to drink it at all.

What you should know is that when juice is exposed to the air or light, it starts loosing its nutrients and begin to spoil, so it is best to consume fruits and vegetable juices almost immediately after you make them. Although it is not a general rule, but juices should be consumed within 20 minutes, slowly. Make only as much as you can consume, juices that aren’t consumed right away can even cause food poisoning.

Furthermore, before you begin juicing, and pick your desired fruits and vegetables, you need to wash them thoroughly to remove dirt and bacteria (and pesticides). The dangerous E. coli bacteria can live on fruits so you need to be extra careful.

If you want to keep it for later, you can use a thermos flask or an airtight glass jar leaving as little space for air as possible, because the oxygen in the air can oxidize the juice. You can place the juice in the refrigerator for a day, and once you take the juice out, do not drink it if it’s too cold, leave it for 15 to 20 minutes before drinking it. However, depending on what type of produce and juicer were used, some jarred juices can last for up to three days in the refrigerator.

 

How to juice correctly?

We all have fruits and vegetables we love, and we usually eat them every day. However, this is not particularly a good habit if you only eat the same food. What you need to always bare in mind is that variety of food is the key to health.

While spinach and kale are excellent health boosters, it’s not good if you use them all the times. Adding different fruits and vegetables is the key to juicing correctly, as well as it’s the key to avoiding hormonal stress. Remember that you need a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals, thus you need to rotate the greens each week, moreover, to prevent building up oxalic acid that can affect thyroid gland.

It’s great if you have your favorite juice and drink it every day, but you need to think about how to consume an adequate amounts of different essential nutrients:

  • Essential amino acids
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Enzymes
  • Fiber
  • Water

 

The above listed nutrients is what we need to maintain the optimum health. When we regularly eat fruits and vegetables, do we still get all we need? No, we don’t. To ensure you are getting everything you need, it means you also need protein (legumes, nuts, and seeds), fats to assist the absorption of vitamin K, and vitamin B.

Above all, the important thing is to listen to your body. Juicing is a pleasant experience if you follow some simple rules, such as food rotation. After you drink a juice, your stomach should not experience discomfort or leave you with a queasy, unpleasant feeling.

If you do feel unpleasant, tired or anxious, this is your body telling you that something is wrong and that you might have consumed something that your body (stomach) is not used to. You need to change the ingredients or to drink smaller amounts.

The fact that you can drink as much as you want doesn’t mean you should. Cold-pressed juices are made to be an easily digestible drink that is rich in beneficial nutrients, but no matter how healthy the drink is, if you don’t balance your intake of healthy nutrients, it can do more damage to your organism than aid in strengthening your body and boosting your health. Listening to your body’s reactions will lead you in the right direction.

 

What kind of juicer do you need?

juicer

Image by Food Thinkers/flickr.com

Juicing can be costly, a good juicer and fruits and vegetables that need can be expensive. Moreover, for some people juicer and blenders may seem to be interchangeable, but they are not. With blender, fruits and vegetables are chopped up with pulp included.  With juicer, you extract the liquid and nutrients leaving behind the pulp. So, what should you get? Most households have blenders, and to enjoy juicing you don’t have to wait to get an expensive juicer. You can start juicing with blender and make fruit and vegetable smoothies (out of pineapple, strawberries, apples, lemon, orange and other vegetables). Furthermore, combining smoothies and juices means you are getting a wide range of produce and a rich variety of nutrients.

With your wallet in mind, you can still get a solid, less expensive juicer to start juicing. When choosing your juicer, it’s good to think about the one that is easy to assemble, dismantle and clean, because, the most important thing is to clean your juicer as soon as you finish. Fruits and vegetable residue can be easily contaminated with mold, but centrifugal and gear juicers are easy to clean and use.

Finally, it’s time we talk about recipes. 

I have already pointed out that you should start with fruits and vegetables you like, but what should you drink first? Here are some recipes you can start with.

 

#1 Orange juice (boosts immunity)

orange juice

Image by JESHOOTS/flickr.com

For one serving, you will need:

 

2 small oranges

3 carrots

1 or 2 cucumbers

1 yellow bell pepper

1 piece of ginger

 

Wash all produce, peel oranges and add all ingredients in the juicer. If you wish, you can substitute orange with grapefruit, cucumber with zucchini, carrots with beets, and pepper with red pepper. If you don’t like ginger’s flavor, you can add turmeric.

This is a powerful antioxidant juice, sweet and spicy, with high amount of vitamin C and many carotenoids.

 

#2 Kale and beet juice (promotes cardiovascular health and protects against inflammation)

For one serving, you will need:

 

6 – 8 kale leaves

2 lemons

1 green apple

2 small or 1 medium beets

 

As usual, wash all produce, peel the lemons and add all ingredients through juicer. You can substitute kale with spinach, apple with pear, and beets with carrots. This simple, yet very powerful juice, protects the cells from damage and prevent chronic diseases.

 

#3 Citrus and pineapple juice (for pain relief)

staying hydrated drinks

For one serving, you will need:

 

¼ pineapple

½ grapefruit

6 kale leaves

2 celery stalks

1 lime

1 handful of basil leaves

 

Wash all produce, peel grapefruit and add ingredients through juicer. You can substitute kale with spinach, pineapple with apple and basil with mint. This sweet juice is a very powerful drink for pain relief. Pineapple is great for reducing swelling and bruising.

 

#4 Tomato and greens juice (for energy and immune system)

For one serving, you will need:

 

4 tomatoes

2 celery stalks

2 rainbow chard leaves

8 romaine lettuce leaves

2 Swiss chard leaves

1 large handful of parsley

Pinch of sea salt and pepper

 

Wash all produce, chop and add all ingredients though juicer. You can substitute tomato with red pepper, celery with cucumber, romaine lettuce with other lettuce varieties, parsley with mint or basil and chard with kale or spinach. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, and greens are packed with minerals and vitamins. The juice is great for boosting energy and protecting the immune system.

 

#5 Apple and cranberry juice (easy urinary tract problems)

For one serving, you will need:

 

2 cups fresh cranberries

2 apples (green or red)

2 pieces of ginger

2 kale leaves

 

Wash all produce, core apples and juice. Cranberries are rich in phytonutrients and vitamin C and is said to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

 

#6 Green detox juice

green juice

You will need:

 

1 handful of spinach

½ head of Romaine

2 kale leaves

10 sprigs of cilantro

2 apples

½ lime

 

This is a simple detox juice, which combines powerful health-boosting greens and vitamin rich fruits, apple and lime. It’s a great treat for the morning that boosts energy for the rest of the day.

 

#7 Wake-up juice

For one serving, you will need:

 

3 medium-sized cucumbers

A handful of spinach

1 green apple

1 lemon

A handful of parsley

 

Wash all produce carefully because you don’t have to peel apples and cucumbers, though you will have to remove stalks from spinach. You can also squeeze the lemon. Add cucumbers first, then spinach, apple, parsley, lemon, and juice.

 

This is a great wake-up juice, given cucumbers are diuretics and most ingredients are great for hydration. It’s a perfect combination of fruits and vegetables your body need in the morning.

 

#8 Berry Juice (for energy and immune system)

berry juice

Image by Food Thinkers/flickr.com

You will need:

 

2 cups strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1½ cups raspberries
apple

 

Juice strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apple (core the apple). Although berries are a little mushy for juicing, don’t miss out their powerful antioxidant properties. Moreover, this juice is both delicious and very healthy.

If you want to lose some weight, you can check out these recipes and see the list of the healthiest juices  to include in your diet.

 

So, what’s your favorite juice? 🙂




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