Essential Vegetable/Fruit Juicing Tips:
There are a lot of people watching infomercials selling juicers that look exciting and fun. To be quite honest, responsible juicing is a little bit more mundane, but still very rewarding. Juicing allows you to get the nutrition your body needs efficiently, rather than trying to chew an unreasonable amount of comparable vegetables all day.
A glass of juice can have up to 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruit in it. Drinking juice conserves energy for an overworked body uses for digestion, giving your immune system and blood cells a chance to repair and rebuild. Juicing is great preventative medicine. In summary some of the many reasons to start vegetable juicing are:
- Vegetables are fundamental to good health.
- Easy digestion of of pre-digested vegetables.
- Get daily requirements by extracting more high quality nutrients
- Detoxify your body
- Normalizing the Alkaline PH of your body.
- Improving cardiovascular and heart health.
- Increased energy levels.
- Rebuild blood cells.
- Build immune resistance.
Use Organic/Pesticide Free Vegetables and Fruits
It is always best to go with organic whenever possible. Supermarket produce typically has an unsavory past of chemical sprays and synthetic fertilizers that are harmful to your health. With juicing properly done on an empty stomach you are almost immediately digesting the nutrients as well as those pesticides! Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide loaded according to the Environmental Working Group, with the worst ones listed first.
- Collard Greens
- Cucumber (not as bad if you peel the skin)
The most contaminated fruits are:
- Imported Nectarines.
When to Juice is Very Important
Fresh juice should really be consumed on an empty stomach to allow the vitamins and minerals in the juice to go straight to your bloodstream. Having fiber or a meal already in your stomach prevents your body from quickly absorbing the nutrients from the juice.
Listen to Your Body
It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Look for changes in how you feel before and after juicing. Pay attention to how your gut feels and if you have body aches after you juice. Your body will tell you if you have drank something that is not good for you or that is causing a detoxification reaction. For example many people drink too much wheatgrass when trying it for the first time and then get a headache.
Your juices should only have a small percentage of fruit
This kind of smacks in the face of the imagery most infomercials are trying to create, But for most people fruit juice is not the way to go. Ideally 80-90% of your juice should come from green leafy vegetables. The reason for this is that juiced carrots for example and fruit juice will spike your bloodstream with high levels of fructose.
When we eat raw fruits and vegetables the fiber attached helps keep the fructose from being absorbed too quickly, so it’s not a problem for most. Also many people just do not absorb fructose very well even in small quantities. Keep the fruits to a minimum and be sure to use lots of leafy greens and that sugar spike won’t be a problem.
Drink your veggies right away – or store it very carefully.
With prep and cleaning juicing is a time-consuming process, so you you might be tempted to make a lot at once and store some for later. Unfortunately vegetable juice is highly perishable so it’s best to drink all of your juice immediately. But if you must, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. Place your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top or use a food vacuum pump to avoid the degrading effects of oxidization
Drink your juice slowly
I know I now sound like your mother, but even though we are “drinking” juice it should not be gulped down. In fact you should swirl each sip of the juice in your mouth .for a few seconds before swallowing it to build saliva that contains important digestive enzymes to efficiently process the nutrients.
Vegetables are not a complete meal
Unless your intention is to do a well researched juice cleanse, than a green vegetable juice is not a meal replacement. Vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat so by itself it is not really a complete food. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it.
Rotate your greens and other cautions
Of course when you drink the exact same variety of green leafy vegetables, your body is always getting the same nutrients. Each variety of plant you mix in will give you different nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. But the big reason you need to rotate raw leafy greens is that they carry a small amount of toxins as a defense mechanism. If these toxins are consumed for long periods of time, they can build up and harm our thyroid hormone function.
Some symptoms of alkaloid buildup are tingling in extremities, nausea and fatigue. If you however switch between different types of green types, your body’s immune system is actually getting a boost (like cross-training) because it is working on different alkaloids all the time. So rotate a variety of leafy greens like spinach, kale, romaine, herbs and carrot tops. Last thing is, when juicing citrus, remember to remove the peels.