Fruit juices are the cleansers of the human system…Vegetable juices are the builders who revitalize the body – Dr. Norman W. Walker (Pioneer in the field of vegetable juicing and nutritional health)
It’s no secret that our lifestyle and diet greatly impacts the way we feel. Drinking fresh natural juice is one of the best ways to improve your health and is also enjoyable.
Drinking fresh juice isn’t just a taste experience. It enhances the quality of life.
Fruits and veggies are the best medicine we can give our bodies and juicing is a natural supplement that only offers benefits if done right. When drinking juice made from fresh produce, we get all the nutrients immediately. They are absorbed directly into our bloodstream because our body doesn’t need to digest it first. Drinking raw living juice is better for your health and energy than any placebo drink on the market.
Eating large quantities of fruits and vegetables in one go is not always humanly possible, never mind time consuming. Drinking juice allows us to consume loads of nutrients in one go, which makes this a very effective way of staying healthy.
Fibre and Roughage
Juicing and dietary fibre is greatly misunderstood. Many people know it is important, but not much more than that. Soluble fibres slow down digestion, leaving you fuller for longer. This type of fibre is usually found in starchy fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and bananas. Insoluble fibres are mainly found in whole grains and green vegetables. These fibres facilitate the gut and help prevent constipation.
When making juice in a juicer, you are only removing insoluble fibres found in vegetables and fruits.
Besides making it ideal for weight loss, it allows our bodies to soak in large amounts of nutrients immediately; without the need for digestion. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are meant to supplement a healthy diet and not replace one, consuming more insoluble fibre is unnecessary.
The goal of drinking fresh juice is to increase the amount of nutrients, antioxidants and disease-fighting compounds we consume, not fibre. The fibre that is being removed is non digestible, so you’re not really removing anything your body wont remove eventually anyway.
GETTING JUICED FOR THE FIRST TIME
Making a great tasting juice is as simple as making a salad. It’s about mixing together ingredients that compliment each other and taste great. Focus on fruits and vegetables that are in season when juicing and discounts in supermarkets. Farmers markets’ are great places to go when you want fresh quality for often a better price than supermarkets.
Steer Clear of These Rookie Mistakes:
- Too Much Sugar
- Combining the wrong ingredients
- Not Enough Variety
- Replacing Solid Food
- Not Washing Your Produce
Too Much Sugar
A fresh fruit juice sounds very innocent and although it’s full of healthy antioxidants and vitamins, it is also high in sugar and calories. When fruits are juiced and the fiber is removed, the sugar will be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This could cause a spike in blood sugar and raise your risk for diabetes. Not only that, it could lead to unnecessary weight gain.
A pure fruit juice every now and again is perfectly fine. However, use vegetables as your primary ingredient and use small amounts of fruit as a natural sweetener instead. Fruit is still a very important part of your diet. Eating them whole will give you less calories as you won’t be consuming as much in one go. They are also far more digestible than vegetables.
Combining the Wrong Ingredients
Putting together your juice ingredients should be treated like cooking. Some foods work well together and other foods do not. Using fruits to sweeten up your juice is perfectly fine, but there are only a few which work well.
Putting the wrong ingredients together may cause digestive stress. This happens because different enzymes are digesting at different rates. Vegetables require different enzymes for digestion than fruits. It’s best to avoid a chemical over reaction as one of the most common side effects is tummy ache and flatulence!
So here are a few good tips to remember:
Fruit generally shouldn’t be juiced with vegetables. However, this rule does not apply to:
- Apples (which is a fruit and vegetable)
- Carrots (which is a root and a vegetable)
- Bananas – better used in smoothies (which is a fruit and an herb)
- Cucumber (which is a fruit and vegetable)
These fruits can be mixed with vegetables to sweeten up your blend without causing a chemical reaction. However, when blending these fruits with starchy vegetables such as beets, it might spark your blood sugar levels. A good ratio to remember is 4:1.
Greens are different from vegetables. They are easily digested and go well with most raw fruits.
We all suffer from this now and again. Keeping up with your efforts is important if you want to reap the full benefits. Our body needs at least five to nine servings of vegetables a day to keep up with dietary requirements.
Replacing Solid Food
Juice shouldn’t replace meals unless you are on a fast that has been approved by your doctor. Juice should be a bonus, not a replacement for eating whole vegetables. The whole point of drinking fresh juice is to give your body more instead of restricting. Instead of taking your daily supplements, take a juice instead.
Not Washing Your Produce
Many people over look the importance of washing their produce before use. Most vegetables and fruit will have pesticides present on the skin unless bought organic. However, even organic produce needs washing as it will be touched by numerous hands.
- Only use a small knob of ginger in your blend. Ginger helps balance the flavor.
- Use the pulp! The pulp doesn’t need to be thrown away; you can use it in soups, quiches, pancakes and casseroles. You can even use it for compost and grow your own vegetables!
- Avoid using over ripe produce in your blend as the pulp will clog up the juicer faster.
CAN I USE A BLENDER?
You don’t need a fancy machine to be able to enjoy juicing.
A simple, easy way to juice is to use a blender and a sieve. Many prefer a blender and a sieve over a juicer as it’s easier to clean as well.
Blender + Sieve = Juicer
Many juicers prefer to use cheesecloth instead of a sieve as it gives a thinner consistency. Blend as if making a smoothie, and then squeeze the liquid out. It’s cheap, takes a fraction of the time compared to most juicers and all you have to clean is the blender, the cheesecloth and your hands!
Cut two 24-inch-long pieces of cheesecloth. Completely unfold each piece and then stack the pieces on top of each other. Fold the double stack in half so you have a 4-layer stack of cloth. Line a large bowl with the cheesecloth and pour the contents of the blender into the center.
Gather the edges of the cloth together in one hand and use the other hand to twist and squeeze the bundle to extract all the juice from the pulp. Wear a pair of rubber gloves if you don’t want the juice to stain your hands.
I’ll raise my glass to that… enjoy!