Juicing is tasty, easy, and beneficial for your health. Moreover, juicing fruits and vegetables is a great way to rebuild your immune system with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. Juices help your boy cleanse, heal, and rejuvenate.
Juices are also great for detoxing and cleansing because they require very little energy to be used by your digestive system because a majority of the fiber is removed during the juicing process. This gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber and allows you to better absorb nutrients. The nutrients are fast tracked into your blood stream, which detoxifies and cleanses your system by removing toxins. Other health benefits of juicing include healthier skin, hair, and nails, better sleep, decreased risk of developing certain cancers and help in getting the 8 recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Products such as Naked and Odwalla are full of sugar and other chemicals not good for your body. These sugar filled “juices” also lack in vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients and health benefits that you can only get from fresh fruits and vegetables. These juices are not suitable for my low sugar diet, which is why I’ve started making my own.
I also like to make my own juices because it allows me to pick and choose my ingredients. Choosing alkaline fruits and vegetables is vital for fighting against inflammation and candida, two things I am dealing with.
Here are some tips – and a recipe – to help you get started with juicing!
- Go organic. Studies show that the nutritional profile of organic produce is always better than its non-organic counterparts, sometimes drastically so.
- Wash produce thoroughly. Unwashed produce can be contaminated with pesticides and bacteria (do you know how many people at the grocery touched the food before you did?) so this is an important step in the juicing process, especially if you do not buy organic produce.
- Focus on vegetables, but include some fruit. I’ve found that one small apple, or other fruit, makes a huge difference in flavor. Try to keep it 75% vegetable to 25% fruit. I like to add an apple or pear for sweetness, but the best fruit to use is papaya because it contains an enzyme called papin, which is extremely helpful in aiding digestion.
- Include 1-2 root vegetables–such as carrots or beets–to add additional flavor, sweetness, and antioxidants. Including carrots or beets tend to contribute a bit more sugar and sweetness (like the fruit).
- Add at least one leafy green vegetable. Kale, spinach, broccoli, chard, and cabbage are all loaded with nutrients. These are also very powerful so don’t go overboard; start slowly and add more as you go.
- Include at least one watery vegetable. Cucumber, celery, zucchini, and other watery vegetables help dilute the too-strong flavors of the previous 3 ingredients. This can make a big difference in drinkability, while adding some nice flavor and additional vitamins.
- Avoid fruits with low water content. Bananas and avocados are the two main fruits that are pretty dense and very low in water content. Such fruits do a lot better in the blender. I don’t juice with bananas, rather I cut them up and freeze them to use in smoothies. Bananas and avocados are great for thickening smoothies, adding a creamy texture without having to add dairy or extra fat.
- Start slow with the celery. Celery has a strong flavor and if you put in too much it will be overpowering. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Start with less, and you can always add more until it gets to be too strong.
- Juice the skins, peels, pith, tops, and stems. Peels and skins are loaded with antioxidants. Avoid juicing the skins of oranges and grapefruits. The pith (the white stuff between the peel and the pulp) and other white membranes of citrus fruit are a great source of nutrition. But avoid juicing the skins of oranges and grapefruits.
- Rejuice your pulp. Once your produce has been passed through the juicer, check to see if your pulp is still damp (it usually is). If yes, pass it back through your juicer and you’ll be able to get more juice from the leftovers! I do this every time and I am always amazed by how much more juice I get!
- Don’t forget a garnish. A small amount of a strong flavored item such as ginger, lemon, mint or other herb can make your juice a real pleasure to drink while adding extra antioxidants and health benefits. Fresh lemon juice is a key ingredient in homemade juices, enhancing the flavors of almost any combination. An added bonus – I was recently told that lemon juice can also help balance the acid levels in the body and reduce inflammation. Don’t actually run the lemon through the juicer; instead, squeeze it into the finished juice. Similarly, fresh ginger will bring out the natural flavors of the fruits and vegetables you use. Start with a very small amount, adding more as desired.
- Drink your juice as soon as possible. For optimal nutritional value it is best to drink them right away. When juice is exposed to the air, it starts to lose its nutrients rather quickly, and there are no preservatives to keep it from spoiling. You can keep juice stored in the fridge for up to 24-48 hours.
Jessica’s Green Juice
- Kale, 3 or 4 leaves
- Celery, 3 stalks
- Apple, 1 small
- Cucumber, 1 medium or large
- Zucchini, 1 small or medium
- Lemon, one slice
First, clean your vegetables and fruit. Place everything in the juicer, except for the lemon juice, and juice it, twice! Squeeze the lemon, stir, and enjoy!
What’s your favorite juice recipe? Share below!