A common question I get asked daily is on the value of juicing. I tell you, if you want to get a nice, constant and non-stimulant burst of energy, there is nothing like a nice squeezed fresh veggie juice. Try it and you will see what I am talking about.
The Downside of Juicing:
- It’s an acquired taste ( so is diet soda’s and lots of people drink diet soda – which is sooo nasty.) It’s worth getting used to.
- Can be a pain in the behind to clean the machine when made at home
- Can be expensive (anywhere between $7 to $9 of a 16-ounces juice)
The upside? Read on….
Juicing is a cornerstone treatment in many natural cancer therapies. Juicing provides cells with live enzymes and oxygen rich fresh food. It provides concentrated enzymes and nutrients that help detoxify the body and allow it to heal sufficiently to get rid of stored toxins.
- Rapid absorption. Juicing helps you absorb a large amount of nutrients and plant chemicals nearly instantaneously since the fiber is left behind in the pulp. Wait a minute, isn’t fiber important? Yes it is, however, the purpose of juicing is to get rapid aborptions of nutrients and therapeutic plant chemicals to flood your cells. You can ( should and will) get plenty of fiber from the consumption of whole fruits, vegetables and grains.
- Efficient consumption of vegetables. With one glass of vegetable juice you probably consume more vegetables than most people do in one week.
- It may help fight and prevent cancer. There seems to be hundreds of protective phytochemicals (plant chemicals) in all plants. Proanthocyanidins and caritnoids are just some of them. For example; broccoli contains indole -3 – carbinol that seems to have protective properties against prostate cancer. That is just one out of over one hundred protective chemical discovered and studied. Why wait for all phytochemicals to be discovered? Juice up and protect yourself.
- Gives you energy. Juicing is better than coffee or over the counter energy products for long-term sustained energy. Plus it helps you with the first 3 points of this list unlike energy products, which have detrimental effects.
Juicing is not all you need
Juicing has very no essential fat, no protein and no fiber. Unless you are doing a juice fast, you still need to eat wholesome meals. You can drink a fresh squeezed juice either before or after a meal.
If what your juicing is too concentrated (like wheat grass , for example) it can be nauseating. You should feel good and experience more energy within a short-time.
Use Organic whenever possible. Farmer’s market produce is also good. Make sure to wash well. If organic and farmer’s market produce is not available use produce that are LEAST contaminated with pesticides.
If you cannot buy all your juicing vegetables and fruits organically – these are a must to buy organically: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines (imported), grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blue blueberries, potatoes ( not for juicing either way) – In other words, AVOID for juicing unless they are organic or not from famer’s market.
NOTE: produce from farmer’s market is typically organically cultivated but they do not announce it because there’s a hefty price for the organic stamp from the USDA. They simply often do not want to pay the extra cost.
Juicing for starters
To enjoy juicing start with vegetables that are more pleasant tasting: Celery, cucumbers, carrots (not more that one or two sticks at time), apples ( not more than one apple) – all organic.
After you get used to juicing add: Red leaf lettuce, Green Leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Endive, Escarole, Spinach, parsley, bok choy, cilantro.
Bitter vegetables to juice: Kale , Collard Greens , Dandelion Greens , Mustard Greens (probably the most bitter). Just two or three sticks should be enough
To make it appetizing: add lemon, lime half an apple and a small piece of fresh ginger (gives it a kick).
Do not store your juice for more than 24 hours. Instructions on storing fresh squeezed juices:
- Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. Mason jars work just great. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen will “oxidize” and damage the juice.
- Immediately store it in the refrigerator and consume it through out the day. It is best to drink it as soon as possible or within 24 hours of juicing.
Making the juice vs. buying by the juice made
Either way is fine. Finding a reliable health food store that makes fresh, organic juices can be challenging in some places. If doing it yourself there are three main concerns: Buying a reliable juicer that is durable and juices well. 2. Finding one that is easy to clean. 3. One this is affordable. Good juicers run between $200 to $1000. I find the best ones to be around $300 or so.
If a juicer is a pain in the (beeeep) to clean – you’re likely not doing it.
I have two favorite juicers: Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer or the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor ( like this one slightly more)
I like these juicer’s for a few reason’s:
It makes juice at low temperature which helps retains enzymes and nutrients
It’s relatively easy to clean
It’s relatively inexpensive for the quality