Juicing can add some variety to your diet while helping you get the necessary nutrients from fruits and vegetables. You can make juice at home with a juicer, try a trendy juice bar, or purchase freshly squeezed juices at the supermarket. Get all the facts about juicing and learn if it’s right for you.
Juicing typically requires using a machine or equipment in order to turn raw fruits and vegetables into a liquid. Home juicing machines may cost anywhere from $30 dollars to more than $300 dollars. By using special blades, most juicers chop up your fruits or vegetables into tiny pieces and spins them in a way to separate the juice from the pulp, which eliminates the majority of the fiber. You can ask around at local stores or consult Consumer Reports to find the juicer that’s best for you.
There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, and it’s a great way to add nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat. Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.
However, beware claims that juicing is the only way to stay healthy, that you should avoid solid foods, or that juicing is a substitution for a medical diagnosis or treatment. There’s not much research out there that proves that juicing is healthier than eating the whole fruits and vegetables; however, juicing does makes them easier to consume on a regular basis.
Some advocates for juicing may claim that your body absorbs more nutrients from juices than the whole fruit because the fruit’s fiber gets in the way. However, there isn’t much research out there that supports that claim. Your digestive system is designed to handle fiber and extract nutrients from a variety of foods. Plus, fiber is important for digestive function and has a multitude of health benefits.
When making your own juice, try to make only as much as you can consume at one time. Juice that isn’t consumed right away can harbor bacteria and cause food poisoning. Exposure of the drink to air, bacteria and other pathogens can not only make you sick but threaten the nutritional value of the juice as well.
Also, before using juicing your desired fruit, you should wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticides or bacteria. Make sure your cutting board and utensils are clean as well. E. coli is a very dangerous bacteria that can live on your fruits and make you sick. The problem is that it can only be killed with heat, which can also damage the nutritional content of the juice. If you don’t want to boil your juice on the stove, you’ll have to wash the fruit thoroughly before juicing. Learn more about the best ways to wash your fruit.
If you decide to pursue a diet that predominantly consists of juice, like a juice cleanse, make sure you consume at least 2000 calories or more per day depending on your metabolic needs. Don’t starve yourself! It’s important that your body gets a sufficient amount of calories, vitamins, nutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Also, make sure you eat fiber, to keep your digestive system working smoothly. You can add dissolvable fiber powder to your juices or supplement with a suitable number of fiber-rich solid foods (like prunes or pears) to compensate.
Get some easy-to-make, delicious juice recipes here. Happy juicing!