“Never drink juice without the pulp!” It seems cliché now to think of the late Jack La Lanne hawking his whisper quiet home juicer on late night television infomercials. Then again, the man was one of the healthiest ninety-five-year-olds in history, so perhaps there is some truth behind the sales pitch. Juicing, as part of a balanced diet, enhances health and well being. This article provides juicing guidelines to maximize your nutrition.
Fruit and vegetable juicing is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body – in the right quantities. Like everything in nature, juicing should be done in moderation because too much fruit juice – due to high sugar content – can have detrimental effects on your health. Most doctors recommend no more than sixteen ounces of fruit juice a day for any adult and eight ounces for children three to eight years of age.
Whenever possible, avoid buying store-bought juice. No store-bought juice can compete with the nutrition of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. In reality, some store-bought fruit juices are nothing more than high fructose laden sugar water. Bottled vegetable juice is equally lackluster and is usually high in sodium. Retail juice rarely retains the pulp, which is where a good deal of the nutrition and fiber reside. Fiber also helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which prevents blood sugar spikes.
Should you juice all fruits and vegetables?
Not all fruits and vegetables are deemed worthy for juicing, some taste downright awful when liquefied. You are probably asking yourself which produce is best for juicing. Carrots are rich in beta carotene and minerals, plus their mild, sweet flavor blends well with other fruits and vegetables. The only downside is a higher sugar count. Apples perform a similar function on the fruit side of the fence. Other good vegetables to juice for nutrition include:
- Leafy Greens
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
Fruits are usually used to add flavor and sweetness to the mix, below are the nutritional powerhouses:
- Tomatoes (treated as a vegetable, but classified as a fruit)
Juicing as part of your diet is an excellent way to provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. However, knowing the ideal fruits and vegetables to juice is only part of the equation.
Juicing Fasts: Helpful or Harmful?
Although opinions vary from expert to expert, stand alone prolonged juice fasts should be approached with extreme caution due to vitamin malabsorption, poor digestion and blood sugar issues. Malabsorption can occur because vegetables (specifically leafy greens and brightly colored produce) contain the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. If you consume these vegetables without fat, you will not absorb these essential vitamins. Be sure to add flax oil, coconut oil (heated gently if solid), or olive oil to the veggie juice to avoid vitamin depletion. You may also add a pinch of Celtic sea salt for an added boost of trace minerals.
Juicing fruits or vegetables high in sugar can also spike your blood sugar levels. That spike can be minimized by eating the pulp of the fruit or vegetable with the juice.
Digestion begins in the mouth; it fuels the logic behind the saying “Chew each bite one hundred times.” Amylase is the digestive enzyme in your saliva that initiates the digestion process. Amylase is responsible for breaking down starch into sugar. When you drink juice, in order to ensure proper digestion, you should “chew” your juice slowly before swallowing.
Juicing as part of a healthy diet is a great way to regain lost energy and vitality. With increased levels of pollution in our air and water, it should be no surprise that people are overrun with toxins. Anyone can have unhealthy levels of toxic build up in his or her body – even an individual following an organic diet. These toxins can build up and remain stored our livers, eventually weakening it. Give your organs a daily internal scrubbing with freshly extracted juice; you will feel amazing. In the words of the infamous Jack LaLanne, “That’s the power of the juice!”