Juicing your fruits and veggies has become the new health trend in recent years. I personally love juicing and I have been incorporating freshly pressed juices in my diet for over a year now, and I have to say that it really works for me. I love the taste of the juices, I love the fact that I am getting more nutrients and consuming more fruits and veggies, and I feel better than ever.
The opinion about juicing is quite divisive. Some people claim they have experienced great results in their health and appearance after they started juicing, while others are rather skeptical and declare that a juice can never be as healthy as the whole food. As you will read in this post, balance is the key to achieving optimum health.
So before you try it for yourself, let’s see what juicing is all about.
What is Juicing?
Juicing is the extraction of juice from whole (raw) fruits and veggies. There are a number of different methods in juicing, the two most common are through the old-school “cold-pressed” and the more mechanized “centrifugal” method. I will dedicate an entire post to the comparison of these two methods, and explain why I prefer the cold-pressed method, but first let’s get down to the basics.
Benefits of Juicing
Store-bought juices are incomparable in quantity and quality with freshly pressed raw juices made from whole organic fruits and veggies only. The juices you find in your store have been pasteurized. Pasteurization kills the vast majority of the healthy nutrients from the fruit and veggies inside the juice. (Cold-pressed) juicing allows for the preservation of the natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes of the raw produce.
Every health authority recommends getting 6-8 servings of vegetable and fruits per day. Unfortunately very few people actually get that serving daily. Juicing is a fun and easy way to guarantee you are reaching your daily target of fruit and vegetables.
Here are four reasons you should consider incorporating juicing in your diet.
- Juicing can aid the digestive process and give it a little break. A lot of people suffer from indigestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. Poor digestion limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from foods. Although you lose the benefits of consuming fiber when drinking your produce, it takes less energy to digest food in liquid form. This is why I recommend incorporating (breakfast) smoothies, when considering going on a juice detox. Heating and cooking vegetables also reduces or destroys some of their enzyme content, which some say can impede digestion. With juicing it’s believed that not only are these food enzymes preserved, but your digestive system has less work to do and therefore expends less of your body’s energy levels.
- Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of fruits and vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are not a big fan of raw fruits and veggies, and you know you are not consuming enough vegetables and fruits on a regular basis, juicing is a great solution to get your healthy serving.
- Juicing allows you to add a variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Do you often end up choosing the same salad, same veggies in the same shop? Changing up your food intake is actually very important to make sure you get a variety of nutrients from different foods. When juicing you can easily add a vegetable you normally don’t eat to get its nutritional benefits. If you don’t like a particular veggie (beetroot for example), you can combine it in a juice with other veggies you do like. This would give you a juice containing all of beet’s healthy nutrients (potassium, iron, vitamin C) while making the experience enjoyable and above all tasty.
- Incorporating fresh juices in your daily routine can also help you improve your alkaline-acidic balance, which can help protect you from various diseases. See my article about the alkaline-acidic balance here.
Balance is the key for optimum health
Juicing is a great way to help break unhealthy eating habits, and free you from cravings. It will give you a sense of accomplishment.
However, jumping on a juice fast too quickly and unprepared might have undesirable effects. If you have been consuming too much meat, cookies and other processed food on a regular basis, you should first prepare your body for the juice fast.
A juice fast, in which one consumes only juice and no solid food for a day or more, can have healthy benefits, and it will certainly be a major will-power training as well. Not everyone is suited for extended juice fasts (especially if you haven’t been eating healthy lately). I find half a day or a day of a juice fast once a week works great for me, and I have personally seen only the positives. I do a three to five day juice Detox two to three times a year.
Incorporating green juice with a regular, healthy diet will create good results as well. Make sure you drink your juice on an empty stomach and make sure it’s as fresh as possible. Always listen to your body! Do not go for extreme measures unprepared as this can create more imbalances than benefits. If you decide on trying a juice fast, then make it short and do it for a maximum of 5 days. It is not healthy to restrict your body for weeks from the other nutritious food it needs.
Not all juices are the same
If you make your own juice, than you know what you are getting. Use preferably organic produce for your juice. If you decide to buy your juice from a shop, than read the labels carefully and pay attention to the juicing method!
I have some exciting news in store for you so make sure you stay tune for my next few posts!