Is Juicing Healthy For You?
Juicing is an easy way to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. Before you get started with juicing, you should know a few things about what to juice and what juicing can do for you. If you are not a big fan of eating whole fruits and fresh vegetables, juicing is a perfect way to include them in your diet. Choose different colors to get a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
Focus mainly on green juice, not fruit juice
This is an important point, if your juice contains too many fruits, it will be higher in sugar (fructose) and calories. You can add few berries, an apple, or a kiwi to give the juice flavor, but the bulk of it should come from fresh organic green vegetables such as celery, kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc.
Unfortunately, because of the green color and a stigma for tasting bad, many people try to avoid vegetable juice. You may find it a little difficult at first, but green juice actually has a very pleasant flavor, and you can change the combination of vegetables to suit your taste. Start with mild-tasting vegetables, like cucumbers and celery. From there you can work your way up to romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, escarole, spinach, parsley, and cilantro.
Greens like collard, kale, dandelion, and mustard greens are quite bitter, so start slowly with these vegetables and add just a few leaves at a time. You can add cranberries, limes, and lemons, and fresh ginger to improve the flavor and taste.
Benefits of Juicing
- Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients: Most of us have compromised digestive system as a result of eating unhealthy foods for a long time.
- Juicing helps to pre-digest the vegetables, so you will receive most of the nutrition.
- Juicing allows you to consume sufficient amounts of vegetables: Healthy adults need 6 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables and juicing ensures that.
Juicing machines extract the juice from the fruits and vegetables and leave behind the pulp, so you don’t get the fiber of whole fruits and vegetables. You can add some of the pulp back into the juice or use it as an extra ingredient for cooking. You can use it to make broth for cooking soup, pasta, and rice or add it to muffin batter.
Good quality juicers can be expensive, ranging from $100 to $400. Some more expensive juicers can break down a lot of the fruit by grinding the rind, core, and seeds. You don’t need a juicing machine to make juice. You can use a blender for most fruits and vegetables to keep the fiber and make your juice healthier. Add some water if the juice is too thick and remove rinds, seeds, and some skins. Once your juice is ready, drink it as soon as possible to get the full health benefits. Wash your juicer or blender thoroughly after juicing.
Watch your calories
The calorie count depends on what you juice. If you are juicing mainly fruits, the calorie count will be high, but if you juice mainly vegetables, the calories are a lot less. You can make the juice more balanced by adding protein. Some good sources are Greek yogurt, almond milk, flaxseed, and peanut butter.
Juicing for weight loss and cleansing
Juicing might seem like a very easy way to lose weight, but it can backfire. On a juice-only diet, you may not get enough protein or fiber to make you full and your body will rebel. If you are maintaining a juice-only diet, you will be tempted to eat extra calorie foods such as a cake or doughnut because you are restricting yourself from eating anything that makes you feel full.
The bottom line is, juicing to lose weight is too extreme and the results aren’t likely to last. Another popular theory is juicing as a way to detox or cleanse the body. However, there is no scientific proof that juicing helps your body to detox. Your liver and kidneys are enough for detoxing your body naturally.
Other health claims
Eating a plant-based diet can indeed lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. But there hasn’t been a lot of research on juicing to prove that juicing can actually prevent diseases. If you are taking prescription drugs, then check with your doctor before doing a lot of juicing to avoid any potential problems. For example, vegetables like kale and spinach are high in vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinner medications.
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