‘Like plenty other trends and meal plans and diets, is juicing just a passing fad or is there really something to it?’ ‘I consume a couple of fruits and cooked vegetable every day, do I really need to juice in spite of it?’ ‘Does juicing really help accomplish better health, more energy, beautiful skin and so on?’
I have been juicing for about 3 years now, and I have taken it to a completely different level about a year back. Juicing has completely changed my life and not a day goes by without me consuming a glass full of vegetable juice every morning!
Before coming to the benefits I have experienced through juicing, let me first address the question as to why one must include a daily glass of juice into their diets.
Health authorities state that an adult must consume 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. How many of us really achieve this target? It is almost impossible to consume so much fruit and vegetable in a single day. For starters, juicing helps achieve this daily target and that too in a single serving. The process of juicing basically involves the juicer extracting the juice from the fruit/vegetable and separating out the fibre. What you therefore consume is freshly squeezed juice with abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients without the fibre obstructing the flow in the bloodstream.
This juice is digested much quicker (as less as 20 mins) because of the fibre being extracted. Your body is therefore instantly energized.
Moreover, several micronutrients present in vegetables are destroyed while cooking at high heat. Juicing helps retain all the goodness present in the fruits and vegetables.
Juicing is the most convenient for people who are not too high on daily consumption of fruits/vegetables because of their taste buds not getting impressed by the earthy taste of fruits/vegetables (don’t most of us belong to this category 😉 ). A glass full of vegetable juice can taste really good by adding some sweet/tangy tasting fruits like apples, strawberries, ginger and herbs like mint. You therefore not only get to consume your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables through a juice, but also a pretty decent tasting one!
Incorporating juicing into my daily diet has definitely helped boost my immunity. I always feel energetic, my craving for sleep has reduced and I feel fit like never before. It also helps eliminate toxins from the body and is a much needed relief after a toxic night of partying! I experiment with various fruits and vegetables to get the desired health benefits such as improved immunity, beautiful skin, detox, digestion, cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory benefits, prevention of heart diseases etc.
If you are ready and convinced to get onto the juicing bandwagon, then here are some things you should keep in mind:
1) When juicing you should ensure you put in more vegetables and less fruits. This is because of the high natural sugar content present in fruits. Filling your juice up with strawberries, kiwis, carrots, raspberries etc will shoot up the sugar content which doesn’t do you much good. Hence include vegetables like spinach, kale, collards, chards, beet root, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber (try including more and more greens). I usually add an apple/ cucumber and/or carrot to sweeten my juice and give it a good refreshing taste. Also, I love adding mint and add a small piece of ginger to add some spice. To gain some tips on how to create a wholesome juice you can refer (here).
2) When putting in fruits/vegetables into your juice, ensure the quantities are only so much that can be consumed immediately and not left for later (not even a few hours). Juice that is kept open (or even in a refrigerator) tends to get oxidized which is harmful for the system due to the formation of bacteria.
3) Always always wash the fruits and vegetables properly. It is said that cooking at high heat tends to kill the bacteria and therefore with juicing you have got to be extra cautious as you are consuming raw/uncooked vegetables and fruits. A great tip for washing fruits and green leafy vegetables is – taking a spray bottle, adding in 1cup vinegar and 3 cups of water. Shake it well. Now just spray the fruits and vegetables with this solution and then quickly give it a rinse. This is known to be a very effective method to wash the produce that goes into juices and smoothies.
4) Drink up your juice (especially green juice) first thing in the morning. This is the most effective time to consume a glass full of juice as the vitamins and minerals are straight away absorbed by the bloodstream. Follow it up with breakfast after 20 mins. If you are not able to consume it in the morning then wait for at last 2 hours after a meal to have a glass of juice.
5) Try and rotate your recipes, especially green juice recipes as much as possible. It is not advisable to over consume any fruit or vegetable even if it is a green vegetable. I usually alternate my greens every week. For example – Week 1 : Kale & Collards. Week 2: Spinach & Chards
Juicing is a wonderful addition to ones diet and also helps reduce cravings. The one investment you may have to make is on purchasing a good juicer. Remember, a blender/mixer present in your kitchen does not make juices but smoothies. Smoothies are also a great beginning to a healthier lifestyle. Read (here) about differences between juices and smoothies.
Need help with some beginner recipes, click (here) and get started!