Nutrition experts agree that diets rich in vegetables and fruits directly impacts your overall health. When juicing entered the scene, it caught the attention of health advocates everywhere, growing in popularity over the past few years. It seems like everyone is jumping on the health wagon these days. With promises of weight loss, additional energy, healing, and being able to quench the urge to binge on unhealthy foods—who wouldn’t want to get on board? When done properly, this is an exceptional approach to accomplishing all of those goals. However, is juicing really healthy or just a fad? Let’s explore this below.
What is Juicing?
Masticating, or slow juicers, crush and press the produce against a mesh screen to separate it from the juice. A fast juicer, aka centrifugal, pulverizes your produce, and then strains it through a mesh screen, separating the juice from the pulp. By using a juicer—preferably a slow, masticating type—the user separates and extracts juice from a variety of produce, leaving behind essential enzymes and vitamins we need to stay healthy. It’s OK to admit that you’re most likely not going to eat your daily-recommended servings. Utilizing a juicer is the best way individuals compensate for these lost nutrients.
When and How Long do You Juice?
Every person is different. Because of that, there are no hard rules for when or how long to juice. Some use it intermittently as a detox to cleanse their system of toxins that have built up over time. Some will fast for a period of three days, while others sustain it for several weeks. It is a matter of preference and how your body responds to the fast. Fasting once a week for 24 hours is truly beneficial, as it cleanses and refreshes your vitality. If you elect to fast every few months, aim for a 72-hour period to experience optimal results.
Some treat it as a daily supplement that enriches their diet with vegetables they would not normally eat anyway. By supplementing, it helps them receive a regular boost of the antioxidants and nutrients they would not receive otherwise. You could replace a meal with juice, but make sure that you include a balanced diet throughout the day.
What are the Benefits?
Juicing adds diversity to your diet while ensuring you get the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy. Some of the benefits of juicing include the following:
Weight Loss – Combined with regular exercise, juicing can aid in significant weight loss. However, it should be mainly comprised of dark leafy greens, various vegetables and low sugar fruits. Please note that this is not a recommendation to starve or deprive your body of essential nutrients in order to achieve your weight loss goals. You should never starve yourself. Always speak with your doctor. Most importantly, pay attention to the way your body responds.
Energy Levels – You will find your energy levels peaking throughout the course of daily, regular juicing. Even consuming a single eight ounce glass of vegetable juice every day will give your energy levels a boost. This is a good way to kick that caffeine addiction.
Variety – You know all those vegetables you do not like eating? You can juice them with other vegetables or fruits that will mask the flavor and you still reap the benefits from them.
Immune System – Not only does it increase your energy levels, it gives your immune system a boost with a wide variety of phytochemicals featuring flavonoids that play an important role in preventing various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases.
Optimal Absorption – A great number of people have digestive impairments in which their bodies are incapable of absorbing the nutrients from whole produce. Juicing removes the fiber, which gives you a straight infusion of nutrients that are absorbed more quickly. However, fiber still plays an important part in your diet. Do not cut fiber completely out of your diet.
Before making juicing a regular part of your daily routine, there are some precautions and important things to consider. Here are some simple tips to make the most of juicing:
Fruit Juice – Many fruits, like apples and oranges, are full of sugar and calories. You cannot juice fruits full of sugar and expect to lose weight or fully benefit from juicing. Vegetable juices lack the sugar and calories, but still pack the nutrients you need. At first green juices are potent, but you can add a single apple or a few carrots to your green juice to help it taste better until you have become accustomed to the taste. Don’t go overboard on the fruit content. It cannot be stressed enough that you need to focus on drinking green juice, not fruit juice. Fruit juice served on occasion is a delicious treat, but should not be overly consumed on a daily basis.
Complete Nutrition – You cannot expect juice to replace your meals for an extended period of time. Protein, fiber and fat are essential for a balanced diet, especially when you are exercising frequently. A diet lacking protein results in muscle fatigue, breakdown in muscle tissue, recovery time increases, and other consequences. Healthy fats are beneficial for blood cholesterol levels, insulin levels, carriers of fat-soluble vitamins, mineral absorption, and much, much more. Fiber helps you feel full and controls blood sugar levels by slowing the breakdown of the foods you consume. In fact, fiber has been shown to provide a wealth of benefits for skin health, heart health, hemorrhoids, and gall/kidney stones.
If you are going to exclusively juice for longer than three days, think about adding some protein and fat to your juice to promote health and energy. For example, you can add chia seeds or coconut oil. For fiber, stir some of the pulp back into your juice. You will stay fuller for longer periods of time. Just remember, if you cut fiber completely out of your diet, then you need to add a little of it back in at a time, otherwise you risk blockage in your digestive system. Finally, make sure to add a variety of vegetables—think about the colors of the rainbow—to your concoction ensuring that you are fulfilling all of your daily needs.
While juicing alone is not a diet or a permanent solution for health problems, it is far more than a passing fad. It is flexible enough to integrate into your diet every single day or utilize for a juicing detox. There are a multitude of recipes that are wholesome and delicious. By incorporating regular juicing into your diet, you will soon realize that rejuvenating your body with a copiousness level of antioxidants is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body.