The Healing Properties of Juicing

Juicing can add some variety to your diet while helping you get the necessary nutrients from fruits and vegetables. You can make juice at home with a juicer, try a trendy juice bar, or purchase freshly squeezed juices at the supermarket. Get all the facts about juicing and learn if it’s right for you.

 

green-juice

 

 

Juicing usually requires using a machine (juicer like Breville) in order to turn raw fruits and vegetables into a liquid. Home juicing machines may cost anywhere from $30 dollars to more than $300 dollars. By using special blades, most juicers chop up your fruits or vegetables into tiny pieces and spins them in a way to separate the juice from the pulp, which eliminates the majority of the fiber. Refer to Consumer Reports or Amazon for reviews to find a juicer that is best for you.

Joe Cross’ 3-Day Juice Cleanse/Challenge July 20-22

Joe Cross is the creator of the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen his documentary, it’s a must see!  It is very powerful! Check out Juice Challenge info here on the Facebook group page.

 

Juice Cleanse

There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables.

it’s a great way to add nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat.

Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals called phytonutrients that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases i.e. rheumatoid arthritis.

Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.

Note: Beware of claims that juicing is the only way to stay healthy, that you should avoid solid foods, or that juicing is a substitution for a medical diagnosis or treatment. There’s not much research out there that proves that juicing is healthier than eating the whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing does make them easier to consume on a regular basis.

Some advocates for juicing may claim that your body absorbs more nutrients from juices than the whole fruit because the fruit’s fiber gets in the way. However, there isn’t much research that supports that claim. Your digestive system is designed to handle fiber and extract nutrients from a variety of foods. Plus, fiber is important for digestive function and has a multitude of health benefits.

Juicing Safely

When making your own juice, try to make only as much as you can consume at one time. Juice that isn’t consumed right away can harbor bacteria and cause food poisoning. Exposure of the drink to air, bacteria and other pathogens can not only make you sick but threaten the nutritional value of the juice as well.

Also, before using juicing your desired fruit, you should wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticides or bacteria. Make sure your cutting board and utensils are clean as well. E. coli is a very dangerous bacteria that can live on your fruits and make you sick. The problem is that it can only be killed with heat, which can also damage the nutritional content of the juice. If you don’t want to boil your juice on the stove, you’ll have to wash the fruit thoroughly before juicing.

If you decide to pursue a diet that predominantly consists of juice, like a juice cleanse, make sure you consume at least 2000 calories or more per day depending on your metabolic needs. Don’t starve yourself! It’s important that your body gets a sufficient amount of calories, vitamins, nutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Also, make sure you eat fiber, to keep your digestive system working smoothly. You can add dissolvable fiber powder to your juices or supplement with a suitable number of fiber-rich solid foods (like prunes or pears) to compensate.

Get some easy-to-make, delicious juice recipes here. Happy juicing!

What is the difference between blending and juicing?

Several of my clients have asked me what the difference is between blending and juicing.  In this first post, we will discuss the differences.   In my second and third post, we will discuss the differences between a blender (VitaMix), a juicer (Breville), and an extractor (NutriBullet), and we will compare brands.

Blending

Blending is a technique that creates a smoothie out of a number of fruits and vegetables.  You can include as little as two or three, or add more. Blending liquefies and emulsifies the ingredients you throw in the blender, creating a relatively thick, homogenous and voluminous beverage. While technically you could throw anything in there, the more ingredients you add the more important it is to keep an eye on complementary flavors and textures, or you’ll end up with a weird tasting, weird looking, and texturized drink. With blending you should cut fruits and vegetables in smaller pieces, remove skins and pits, and be careful not to overload the blender. High speed blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec are hardly sensitive for such ailments. The smoothies made with a blender can be made more nutritious by adding ingredients such as yogurt, flaxseeds, avocado, coconut oil, protein powder, etc.

Juicing

Juicing is the extracting of juice from fruits and vegetables. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients end up in the juice, while the pulp and the fiber is removed and discarded. This makes for a very liquid and smooth drink. By separating the pulp from the juice, it is also a very concentrated beverage. This can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. The level of concentration makes it easy to consume a large quantity of fruits and vegetables. People juice because all of the nutrients get assimilated into the bloodstream straight away, your body gets to use it all without having to digest food first. Juice is also a very clean drink, containing only juice from freshly juiced produce.

Reasons to Blend Fruits and Vegetables

These are some of the reasons why blending is not only a convenient way to get your greens, but also a superior way:

Quantity:To get the most out of eating leafy greens, you need to eat a LOT of them.  This is actually a time consuming task, and unless you love greens more than any other food in the world and plan to eat several large salads a day; you aren’t likely to eat them in the quantities that will deliver serious health benefits.  You may find that you are able to consume up to three times as many greens in a smoothie as you are in a salad or steamed dish.

Taste:Thanks to our modern processed diet, many of us have a hard time appreciating the flavors of greens.  Some of us love them, but for the many more who don’t, hiding greens in a smoothie is the perfect way to eat them without tasting them.

Benefits of Raw:  There is a lot of evidence pointing to the benefits of eating raw foods.  Most plants, when cooked, tend to lose their nutrients and digestive enzymes to varying degrees, depending on the temperature at which they are cooked, the method, etc.  Anything heated over the temperature of 118 degrees is considered cooked.  Raw Foodists use this temperature as a baseline.  Since the greens in your smoothie are always raw, you get the benefit of all the nutrients in their purest whole food state.

Digestion:  Greens are called roughage for a reason; they can be pretty rough on our intestinal tracts.  And when we chew, we don’t always get all the benefits of the food.  According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, longtime advocate of achieving nutritional excellence through the consumption of a plant-based diet: “When we simply chew a salad, about 70 to 90 percent of the [plant] cells are not broken open. As a result, most of the valuable nutrients contained within those cells never enter our bloodstream.”  He considers what he calls a “blended salad” a “powerful and delicious way to maximize your intake of nutrients.” Since the food in a smoothie has already been mostly pulverized from going through the blender, your body will digest the food much more easily, and assimilate the nutrients much faster.  Once the nutrients are in your system, you often feel the difference in terms of energy and well-being immediately.