Don’t write it off as a “fad” diet, but do believe in the hype. Juicing could be the answer to your health ailments and could drastically improve your quality of life. The following will walk you through the necessary steps that will turn you from juicing novice to pro and will provide all the necessary information to get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
What is it Juicing ?
First off, what exactly is juicing? Juicing is the processing of various foods, usually fruits and vegetables, through a specialized machine with a rapidly spinning blade. This process extracts the vitamin and mineral-rich juices and pours them into a container while separating and spitting out the fiber-rich pulp and rinds.
One of the main goals of juicing is to boost your immune system health by increasing your vitamin and mineral intake. Raw juice is easier to digest and is absorbed into your body much more efficiently.
Another goal is to decrease the amount of oxidation. When juice sits out in the air it oxidizes, which compromises its nutritional quality. Juicing is great because you are able to drink the juice right out of the machine, which ensures that all nutrients are intact and are as effective as can be.
Another goal of juicing that it achieves for many people is its alleviation of serious health problems. In many cases, daily juicing has transformed lives and helped people with various ailments cope with their symptoms and live better. Before getting deeper into the health science side of things, let’s get into the basics.
Picking out a Juicer
There’s a common misconception that all you need to juice is a decent blender, possibly the one that’s collecting dust on the top shelf of your kitchen cabinet. However, that is not the case; juicing requires a specialized, high-powered machine that extracts essential vitamins and minerals.
The best comparison to buying a juicer is to purchasing a car: you pay more for better gas mileage and safety features just like you pay more for a juicer that is more efficient and durable. The first step to juicing: ditch that old blender and invest in a brand new juicer.
Juicing vs. buying
One of the many great things about juicing is that it is sustainable to the environment and your wallet. Depending on the seasonality of certain produce based on your location you can get by spending very little on produce.
It can actually be absolutely free! After an initial investment in a decent juicer, grow a garden and the juicer you have purchased will pay itself off just in the difference of the produce you would have juiced.
Spending money on expensive bottled juice is wasteful for many reasons but from a cost perspective, you can pay much less and make much more juice.
In addition to the violent and caustic bottling processes that decrease juices nutritional quality, bottled juices usually contain additives. Some are natural, some are not, and some are labeled ‘natural’ when they are far from it. The additives are usually used to lengthen shelf life but compromise the quality and integrity of the product and secretly sidestep the ‘natural’ label that many of their bottles wear.
Recently, PepsiCo’s popular Naked Juice settled a class-action lawsuit, paying out around nine million dollars. Although the juice contains genetically modified soy, inulin (soluble fiber substitute), Fructooligosaccarides (fruit sugar-based alternative sweeteners [try saying that out loud]), and fibersol – 2 (soluble corn fiber), the bottles were printed with the attractive “all-natural” label. This is a huge example of “natural” label fraud and could be the first of many because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has yet to define terms such as “natural” or “organic.”
Juicing Health Payoff
Juicing does take some work and some time, but the health payoff is ultimately worth it. Just take a look at Joe Cross, the star and subject of the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” which is currently streaming on Netflix. To summarize, it’s one man’s journey from fat and unhealthy to fit and happy, overcoming both dietary and physical issues along the way. Oh, and he drinks juice, lots of juice.
In this documentary, Cross, an Australian businessman who suffers from a variety of health ailments including obesity and high blood pressure, travels across the U.S., juicing and ingesting whatever local produce he can get his hands on. In the process, he loses a ton of weight and proves all of his success is linked to juicing. This is great for helping those with common health issues like high blood pressure or obesity deal with their issues.
For those who are already maintaining a healthy body, juicing can be a simple way to boost their immune health to kick a cold. For those with more specific, chronic health issues, juicing might be a way to overcome those issues or at least to deal with them.
Tips to get you started
- Make it a routine. Juicing everyday will boost your immune system and keep it regulated. Also, fresh juice is much better for you because after becoming oxidized, the nutritional value of the juice drops significantly. If you’re short on time store your juice in the refrigerator and if you’ve got one, put it in a sealed glass jar.
- Use as many different colors as possible. An easy way to ensure you are getting a well-rounded mix of nutrients, when you’re shopping for your juicing materials get a green, an orange, a purple, a yellow and whatever other color you can find. This ensures that you’ve covered all your nutritional bases and, well, it’s fun to watch the bright colors mix as they swirl in your glass.
- Buy local produce. This one’s simple: support your local farmers by buying produce from them. It will help your local economy and the closer to you your product is grown, the better it will be for you.
- Continue to eat a healthy diet. Fruit and vegetable juice is great and all but should not be treated as a complete meal. Even if you are doing a juice cleanse, the juice you are creating should complement your diet instead of replacing it and should accompany foods with fiber, carbohydrates, and most importantly, protein.