The juicing ‘fad’ has swept America, and is now making its way to Europe. You can’t escape it, so you may as well know what you are dealing with here.
Why is drinking fresh pressed juice so much more popular now than the bottled variety from the supermarket? Well, there is in fact a HUGE difference, and it may be time to break out of an old habit and try something new that is not only good for you but delicious as well!
Juicing has become more and more popular because we are realising that we are not getting the nutrients we need from the foods we eat in today’s world, and freshly squeezed juices bring a huge kick of easily absorbable vitamins and nutrients, that we may be lacking in our 21st Century diet.
OK, so what benefit will I get from drinking fresh Juice?
To start with, it is an amazing way to detoxify and cleanse your body. Your body works hard everyday, digesting and processing all the food you consume, plus all the other stresses you put on yourself that your body has to deal with. Since fresh juices have already been pre-digested (the fibre has been removed), drinking fresh juice regularly can give your body the break it needs to focus on healing other parts of you that it otherwise doesn’t have the time or energy to address.
Juicing also gives you a mega-concentrated hit of vitamins and antioxidants that are immediately absorbed by your body – giving you instant benefits!
Juicing provides a simple and efficient way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables! With very little effort, you can drink the juice of far more vegetables than you could ever manage to eat at one time. You can even sneak in vegetables that you don’t really like, as it is very easy to cover them up with stronger flavoured fruits or vegetables. Over time, drinking fresh juices actually re-formats your taste buds, and you start to naturally feel attracted to eating a wider variety of fruits and vegetables – even the ones you previously disliked!
Try it with kids who won’t eat their veggies – you’ll be amazed!
Juicing can also help you lose weight. This happens not because you are eating less solid food, but because once your body gets the extra nutrients it has been waiting for, your cravings for the unhealthy options naturally begin to fall away. You are effortlessly drawn to foods that are good for you, and in the right quantities. It helps to change your eating habits in an easy and tasty way!
So, to re-cap, Juicing can:
- Give you a mega-shot of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
- Reduce Inflammation.
- Aid in weight loss.
- Clear up your skin.
- Cleanse your colon and other major organs.
- Give you energy!
But why can’t I just buy it ready-made in the supermarket?
Most juice you buy in the supermarket is made from concentrate, and has added sugar and countless other chemicals, preservatives and colours. If you do manage to get a 100% juice drink, it has most likely been pasteurised – a process that kills most of the vitamins and nutrients, and delivers high sugar content from the fruit itself. It may taste great, but it does not contribute to your health.
In order to get the benefit of a freshly squeezed juice you must drink it right after it is made, because after 15 minutes it starts to oxidise and the vitamins will be lost.
OK, I am interested. Where should I start?
Begin with adding in fresh vegetable juices as often as you can. Once you experience the difference in how much better you feel, how your energy levels shoot up, how your skin clears up and you feel more ‘alive’, you might want to consider doing a longer ‘juice fast, or ‘Juice cleanse/detox’. But this should only be done under the supervision of someone who knows what they are doing and can guide you in the correct way to approach such a cleanse.
If you don’t have a juice bar near you where you can get freshly squeezed juices, you might consider buying a juicer for yourself.
It is one of the BEST investments you can make for your health!
If you feel put off by the financial investment, consider this: You don’t hesitate to buy an expensive pair of running shoes, and maybe the appropriate clothing and fitness equipment. Why not invest the same (or less) amount of money in a juicer that will give you as much, or maybe even more benefit to your health?
You can think of it as part of your ‘Health Insurance’ plan – you will be ahead of the rest…
What should I make my juice with?
One of the most important things to remember is that you are juicing to get the maximum nutrients, and to detoxify your body, so it is best to choose Biological (organic), or at least non-sprayed fruits and vegetables. Non-organic foods have been sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and pesticides, which get absorbed further than the skin, so washing or peeling doesn’t always save you from ingesting the chemicals.
A good place to get an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies at a great price is your local farmers market! While not all the foods will be Certified Organic, many farmers who cannot afford Organic Certification do not use sprays on their produce. You can always just ask them directly about it!
OK, so here comes the tough news…
To gain maximum benefit, you have to focus much more on vegetables than fruit.
While fruits contain large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, they also usually contain high amounts of fructose (fruit sugar) as well. For example, you only get about a cup of juice from 4 squeezed oranges, and this juice has the equivalent of about 8 teaspoons of sugar!
It’s also best to drink your fruits and vegetables separately, as mixing them can upset your stomach due do their very different fermentation times.
Choosing your Juice:
- The best fruit choices that are OK to mix with vegetables are green apples, kiwi fruits, and pears.
- Add lemons or limes (we don’t include these in the ‘fruit’ category) to help to balance your pH levels and cleanse your stomach. They also neutralise the bitter taste of some of the green vegetables!
- Try a ‘Green Juice’, or ‘Green Smoothie’ – this usually (should) mean that it contains some dark green leafy vegetables, which are the most nutrient dense of all vegetables, and are extremely valuable to our health. And the good news is that you can also mix them with fruit (in moderation, of course).
A simple Detox Green Juice Recipe:
- 1 small green apple or pear
- 2 sticks of celery
- Half a cucumber
- A big Handful of Parsley
- 2 cups spinach
- Half a lemon
- a small piece of ginger.
Makes approx. 350ml.
Enjoy experimenting and creating your own juice combinations!
Bur remember this one important point:
While drinking fresh Juice is AMAZING for your health, it can in NO WAY be seen as a substitution for eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
You need to eat plenty of WHOLE foods, which have all the invaluable fibre, which we absolutely need in order to obtain optimal health.
A good compromise can be making Smoothies (blended drinks).
But that is a topic for another day….
Nourish Your Life!
About the Author: Prana Arnold is a Certified Holistic Health Councillor, AADP, offering online one-on-one Health Coaching worldwide. She is passionate about food and health, and believes that upgrading these two goes hand in hand in a recipe for a more happy life. She helps and supports people to become their most authentic and healthy selves through fun and exciting food and lifestyle balancing. She specialises in working with people who suffer with chronic pain, and those wishing to add more plant based and whole foods into their diet. She also works with people to assist in weight loss, healthy whole food cooking, sugar addiction, and other forms of unhealthy eating. To learn more about her work, please visit www.foodinfluential.com