So you’ve decided to start juicing? You have just made a great decision for obtaining and maintaining optimum health. Juicing is not the latest fad diet, although it can be utilized greatly to aid in weight loss. Juicing is not some magical energy-producing concoction, but once you start juicing, eating right and exercising even moderately, I can promise you that your energy level will grow by leaps and bounds.
As much as I recommend juicing, knowing the many benefits, it also isn’t a miracle cure for obesity, smoking and not exercising. You must make the changes in all aspects of your health to realize the full health benefits from juicing.
It’s recommended that we should eat 6-8 servings of vegetables per day. Although many, and probably most, don’t meet this criteria, it is very easy to do by juicing.
Some observations to make before juicing fruits – if you have high blood pressure. diabetes or a problem with high cholesterol, you should probably limit juicing fruits, at least until any of these conditions are in check and you’ve had a chance to consult with your doctor. There are two exceptions of the fruit juicing situation, and these are lemons and limes. Both have nearly none of the sugar, fructose that can cause complications. Another great benefit of lemons and limes is they can amazingly eliminate the bitter taste often very noticeable when juicing dark, leafy green vegetables. These same dark, leafy greens are the vegetables that we get the most benefit from when juicing.
If you’re wondering ‘why’ you should juice there are several reasons. Firstly, as we touched on before, it is very easy to consume your 6-8 servings of vegetables per day. Also, when juicing, versus cooking, you’re consuming all of the nutrition the vegetable(s) have to offer, losing none to the high temperatures and long cooking times when preparing cooked vegetables. Also, there is none of the often fattening add-ons often present when cooking, butter comes to mind. Next, but certainly not last, you can add a great variety of vegetables to your diet, even those that you don’t normally like the taste of. By juicing a vegetable we also actually use much more of the nutrition because the nutrients are much easier to absorb from a liquid.
Understand that the vegetables, and fruits that you juice don’t constitute a complete meal. Noticeably absent is the much needed protein your body uses. So don’t think of juicing as a means to replace meals, but a supplement to your meals. Also, avocado, raw eggs and good forms of protein, although there are many more that you could incorporate into your juicer recipes.
If you are doing a juicing detox. or weight loss juice fast you should only use credible recipes that supply your body with the protein it needs as well as all the great nutrition from the juiced vegetables.
If you are new to juicing I highly suggest you get at least one quality book on juicing. When asked, one book that always comes to mind is ‘Green for Life’, but there are many other quality books. I suggest doing a search on Amazon.com and read some of the reviews of any book(s) that may interest you.
Most people experienced in juicing recommend to purchase only certified organic vegetables when juicing certain vegetables. Although the list may be a little different, there are some vegetables that appear on most. celery, dark greens, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots should always be organic. If it’s just not possible, wash the vegetables throughly and peel the cucumbers.
Nearly all vegetables that be juiced, but some are more palatable and some are easier to digest so are good for inexperienced juicers until they start juicing more vegetables. Usually, some of the better vegetables to start juicing include spinach, celery, red, green and Romaine lettuce, fennel and cucumbers, just to name a few. Of course this doesn’t mean that some individuals can’t start juicing nearly anything they would like.
A quick note – although cabbage is sometimes harder on some when juicing, it is also very beneficial for those with ulcers or other stomach ailments.
Just remember, some of the dark greens are very bitter, and if you don’t need to watch your sugar intake to can sweeten the juice with your fruit(s) of choice. Personally, I love ginger in my juice, and cranberries are known to have more antioxidants than broccoli. That means they are very beneficial in preventing cancer, heart disease and strokes. Also, ginger not only taste great but it is known to have great effects on your heart health, even preventing atherosclerosis, can lower your cholesterol levels, and can prevent the oxidation of your bad cholesterol, the low density lipoprotein (LDL).
Although this is just a brief, general tutorial on juicing, we should mention juicers specifically. There are several kinds of juicers with a broad range of prices. Just remember the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ has never been more true than when applied to juicers. Stay away from the ‘Juiceman juicer’ and generally those in the sub one hundred dollar price range. The lower end Breville juicers may come in a little under one hundred dollars, but generally speaking you should expect to pay substantially more. Before you get freaked out, remember, if you purchase a high quality juicer when you first start juicing, it may very well be the only juicer you’ll ever have to buy!
Personally, I bought an Omega centrifugal juicer some twenty-five years ago and have never had the first problem with it. I was looking at some of the reviews on Amazon though and they were mixed. I’m not sure if the quality has gone down or there were other factors involved, but my Omega has been a workhorse. Having said that, if I was to buy a juicer now, and I probably will soon, I would opt for an Omega single-gear juicer. If I knew then what I know now about juicers, I would have stayed away from a centrifugal juicer.
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