Chronic disease, arthritis, migraines, digestive disorders, acne. These are just a number of ailments that plague us all. If you were to visit your doctor, you would likely receive a prescription to alleviate the symptoms.
Ever wonder if there’s a better way than taking a pill that disguises the symptoms?
Enter the limitless world of juicing!
Juicing is essentially nature’s multi-vitamin.
Far from buying a bottle of apple juice from the store rack or even claimed “fresh-pressed” juices in the health section’s refrigerator, juicing at home extracts the nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a juice form. This results in high-quality, nutrient-dense juice that wards of diseases and ailments with the swish of a glass.
Sound intriguing? Just wait until you hear how the benefits can transform your health!
Health Benefits of Juicing
Most people know that eating a rainbow of vegetables is important to a balanced diet.
For most of us, however, that’s easier said than done. Kale rarely calls our name after a stressful day at the office. Broccoli doesn’t replace the bowl of ice cream on Netflix and Chill night. Strawberries are more enticing when covered with chocolate and delivered in a bouquet. It’s hard to shrug off cravings and eat balanced meals.
Juicing helps fill the nutrient gaps in our modern American diets. There many benefits to juicing, but here are a few highlights:
1. Efficient nutrient absorption
Juicing introduces vitamins and minerals directly to the bloodstream. You get the immediate benefits and perks of countless nutrients without needing to digest all the fiber.
It’s hard to miss the boost of energy, longer attention span, improved mood, and other remarkable benefits you feel almost immediately after drinking a cup of fresh juice!
2. Juicing encourages consuming a variety of vegetables… which means a variety of nutrients
There’s dozens of highly-nutritious vegetables many Americans avoid or never consider eating. Juicing is an easy way to consume the essential nutrients our bodies need while skipping the nasty taste or texture.
- Kale: Vitamins A, C, and K, plus antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease
- Beets: manganese, potassium, folate, and nitrates lower blood pressure and improve brain health
- Spinach: Vitamins A, C, K, E, and B, along with amino acids, potassium, iron, and iodine which fight cancer and arthritis
- And others like cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, Swiss chard, celery, and carrots are full of vitamins and minerals that improve your health and fight disease
But what’s even more surprising, you might find your taste buds change to actually like the vegetables you used to disdain. This well-documented phenomenon is an unexpected benefit and can help transition to a healthier lifestyle by enjoying consuming raw vegetables.
3. Juicing helps prevent disease, ailments, and inflammation
While many blogs and books share true stories about fresh juice healing cancer or autoimmune diseases, this may not be the case for everyone. However, juicing is excellent at preventing disease.
The plethora and variety of vitamins and minerals in fresh juice strengthen the immune system to ward off invaders. The wide range of nutrients in juicing can help aid:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- and plenty more!
Sites like Pinterest have pages of juicing recipes for gut health, heart disease, inflammation, detox, energy boosts, and more!
It keeps going…
There are many more benefits to juicing, like boosting the immune system, increased energy levels, weight loss, gentle detox, clearer skin, improved athletic performance, and others.
Juicing may seem too good to be true. What do the critics have to say?
Isn’t Juicing Controversial?
Opinions on juicing swing back and forth like a pendulum. The benefits are often squashed under dismissive misinformation and research from when juicing is taken to extreme measures.
Juicing diets and fasts were all the rage a few years ago. These diets replace all solid foods with fresh juices, proudly proclaiming rapid weight loss and alleviation of many ailments.
Unfortunately, these diets are neither helpful or sustainable. The human body needs more than the nutrients provided in juicing. It needs protein, fat, cholesterol, dairy, and more in order to be healthy. As a result, headaches, dehydration, low blood sugar, and kidney stones can result from a strict juicing diet. After completing a juicing diet, the weight comes back and ailments soon return.
However, juicing is substantially beneficial when consumed in appropriate amounts and alongside other nutrient sources. In fact, it’s one of the best and most efficient way to consume all the nutrients nature has to offer!
How Do I Start?
Are you ready to easily improve your health and prevent disease with the nutrient power-punch of juicing? It’s simpler than you might think.
First, you need a juicer! A quick Google or Amazon search yields hundreds of results ranging from $50 to $300 or more! But don’t be fooled by the price; the quality of a more expensive juicer may not be worth the cost. The juicer market is highly competitive, so a juicer in the middle or low price range does the job just as well as higher-end juicers.
Next, you need produce. The sky is the limit for juicing, although recipes can be helpful for beginners or if you’re trying to aid a certain ailment. Aim for a variety of vegetables, especially ones you don’t gravitate towards.
Finally, get juicing! Make sure to thoroughly wash all produce and cut off the ends and yucky parts. Use and clean the juicer according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Most importantly, drink the juice as soon as possible! Due to oxidation (the process of oxygen breaking down molecules), fresh juice is the most nutritious when consumed within 20 minutes after extraction.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Juicing
While juicing is pretty straightforward and fool-proof, there are a few tips to improve your juicing experience.
Do… sip the juice!
A rookie mistake when drinking fresh juices is to chug. This happens especially if you’re in a hurry or don’t like the taste. However, our brains need time to catch up with what goes into our stomachs!
Imagine munching the whole pound of carrots that’s represented in the juice sitting in your glass. You’d be really full! Juicing allows you to ingest tons of nutrients without the bulk of fiber, making you feel qualitatively full with less quantity.
Sipping the fresh juice allows your brain to process all the nutrients. You’ll find that the juice satisfies your nutrient needs, which leaves you feeling full.
Do… buy organic produce (when you can)
Buying organic produce adds up quickly! But for the purpose of juicing, it’s pretty important.
Juicing separates the juice from fiber, and the pesticides used in conventional farming end up in the juice. That means you’re ingesting all the chemicals and nutrients together without the fiber that helps moves them through the digestive tract.
While it’s best to buy organic, sometimes it’s just not feasible. If that’s the case, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of juicing. Try abiding by EWG’s Dirty Dozen+ list. It’s a quick guide that ranks what produce contains the most pesticides; try to buy these fruits and vegetables organically.
Don’t… replace all your fruits and veggies with juice!
Don’t believe the lie that juicing is the loophole to consuming fruit and vegetables in their natural form.
The fiber in fruits and vegetables is essential to digestion and moving stool through the bowels. Don’t replace all your nutrition with juice or you could suffer from constipation or diarrhea. Alternatively, you can use the collected pulp in baking, or add some into your juice for improved digestion.
On the positive side, juicing unpleasant vegetables gives your taste buds exposure to vegetables you never would have tried. This develops good taste buds for consuming them in their raw or cooked form!
Don’t… juice only fruits!
As tempting as it might be, don’t shock your system by juicing only fruits! This intense sugar rush isn’t beneficial and could leave you feeling nauseous.
Instead, leverage your juices to consume nutrient-dense but rather unpleasant raw vegetables like kale, bitter greens, and Swiss chard. Use fruits in small amounts to slightly sweeten the juice to make it more enjoyable. (And remember, although they’re a vegetable, beets are sweet!)
Embrace something new
It’s never been easier to get a cup full of power-packed disease-fighting goodness! Juicing is one of the most efficient ways to glean dozens of powerful nutrients in a single glass. Together, let’s toast to health!