While fresh, whole forms of produce are often best for our bodies, there are times when you might not be able to chow down on mixed veggies. For example, during times of illness or stress, appetite and digestive patterns can change, rendering our bodies less efficient at digesting and absorbing nutrients. That makes juicing an ideal way to nourish your body with the important nutrients found in nature’s bounty.
Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. However, whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fiber, which can be lost in the process of liquefying, especially if you remove the skins from fruits and vegetables.
Juicing can provide a healthy quick fix for busy mornings or eating on the run. When it comes to kids, juicing can be a fun and tasty way to get them to eat foods they tend to push off the plate. For all ages, juicing is an alternative to taking a multivitamin, provided there is variety in your selection of fruits and vegetables. As always, try to use organic products.
You can find many juicing recipes online and in books. Or, experiment with mixing up your own combinations of fruits and vegetables to suit your taste.
When juicing, keep some of the pulp. It contains healthy fiber and can help fill you up.
Many juicing recipes use only fruits and/or recommend adding additional forms of sugar – be it honey or agave. It may be best to first taste your juice for sweetness and blend in sweetener, if needed.
Many prepared juices and juice smoothies may contain more sugar and calories than you realize; these extra calories can contribute to weight gain. Read labels.
Mayo Clinic. “Is Juicing Healthier than Eating Whole Fruits or Vegetables?” January 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020
New Health Guide. “Benefits of Juicing.” Accessed June 2015. http://www.newhealthguide.org/Benefits-Of-Juicing.html
Van Straten, M. Super Juice: Juicing for Health and Healing. (Whitecap Books, 2003).