All About Juicing
By Marilee Nelson |
With summer around the corner, some of us may be pledging to incorporate new and healthy habits. Springtime is the perfect time of the year to lighten up your diet and try juicing! Juicing process uses a hand press or an electric juicer to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. It truly can have profound health benefits because of the concentrated nutrition in fresh organic produce.
The Advantages of Juicing
It's nutrient-dense. Juicing allows us to take nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables and condense them into a refreshing beverage. Nutrients in the juice alkalize the body, strengthen bones, reduce inflammation, and support immune health and energy levels.
It helps cleanse and detoxify - At the same time, these ‘liquid nutrients’ also promote and support the upregulation of liver detoxification. Just adding fresh juice a couple of times in between meals can give the body tools to deal with the environmental toxic load we are all exposed to. Note: We recommend professional guidance if juice fasting or if you're looking to do an aggressive detoxification!
Juice can act as a meal alternative - If you’re struggling with an upset stomach, are sick, or just aren’t hungry, juicing can provide nutrients without overworking the digestive system.
It gives your digestion a rest - Juicing extracts vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, leaving the fiber behind in the juicer. This gives your digestive system a vacation from having to process the fiber.
It can satisfy sweet cravings - When you think you are hungry for sugar (aka you are craving sugar), the body is starved for nutrients. Juicing gives you instant nutrition as the body starts utilizing the juice as soon as it is in the mouth – there is no digestive energy spent. Green vegetable juices are the stars here. They can help eliminate sugar cravings!
It helps increase your intake of vegetables and fruits - If someone finds it difficult to get their daily servings of vegetables and fruits in, juicing is a sure way to condense these into a power packed nutritional punch. As an added benefit, juicing can help someone who can’t stand the taste of certain vegetables by covering up their taste with more palatable fruits.
Suggestions for Success
Moderation is key! Adding fresh juice once or twice a day between meals is a very safe way to introduce juicing. In fact, this nutrient surge can help jumpstart your health! Avoid replacing entire meals with only juice if you are not experienced or if you have chronic illness. Symptoms such as headaches, constipation, or skin rashes may occur when juicing. Without professional guidance, over juicing or juice fasting can bring on unwanted symptoms created by a “too fast” detox.
Make sure your body can handle it - Juicing concentrates plant compounds like oxalates and salicylates. Professional direction is recommended for those with chronic illness. We want to point out, for most people these compounds are not an issue.... But for others with known intolerances, these can be taxing and aggravating to the body.
Variety is the spice of life! It is important to rotate and not overuse certain vegetables and fruits.
Value the option - Juicing can be expensive, but even one juice per day or a few times per week can provide big benefits!
- If you are trying to recover from chronic illness or chemical injury, go slow and test to see how your body responds to juicing. Some people have no trouble and juicing can help speed up recovery. Others may start to detoxify too rapidly and first need to strengthen their detoxification system. They should work slowly up to more and more juicing as the body is ready. People on the verge of death have been miraculously revived and have recovered from very serious disease through a concentration on only juicing because of the easy availability of nutrition.
- If suffering from chronic illness, hypoglycemia, or diabetes start with juicing only vegetables. Make the majority of the vegetables green! Fresh, green juices quickly alkalize the body and help to cleanse the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, and intestines. When you graduate to adding a little fruit, use low glycemic fruits as the addition of fruit to juices can impact blood sugar.
- If you’re going to consume more than one juice, try and time it around a workout to mediate blood sugar spikes. It also will serve as an excellent fuel for your activity!
- When juicing, look for a glass container. Most juices have an acidic nature which can cause the plastic to leach into your healthy drink.
- Juice with either a cold press, hand press, or standard juicer. There are many options and types of juicers - do your research before purchase! Stainless steel juicers are preferred.
- Juice with either a cold press, hand press, or standard juicer. Studies have shown little difference between the nutritional content of cold-pressed juice and regular.
- If you purchase juice, read the ingredients! Avoid purchasing juices from concentrate and look to buy either 100% juice or juice on your own. Juice from concentrate is often high in sugars, preservatives, and other additives that undo the whole idea of juicing.
- Ensure the produce you’re using is organic, washed, and properly cleaned. Because juices are essentially a condensed version of the fruit or vegetable, you want to make sure the raw ingredients are high quality. If you purchase juice, ideally it would be made from organic produce and stored in a glass jar.
- Instead of coffee, try substituting for a green juice in the morning or afternoon for sustained energy.
- When healthy, abide by the 80/20 rule or compose your juice of 80% vegetables and 20% or less of fruit to keep the sugar levels in check.
- To make juicing sustainable, avoid relying on it. Instead, use it as an add-on to your current routine. For example, committing to consuming a juice before breakfast or after a workout is an excellent way to factor in juicing daily.
Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.