We have all heard the hype about the different types of fancy blenders currently out in the market. One of the primary reasons for the popularity of these blenders is due to the fact that they empower people to transform their health. And that is one of the main health benefits of juicing.
Many people have asked whether consuming juice is the same as consuming smoothies. The answer is NO!! Blending breaks down the entire fruit/vegetable to make up the smoothie. Therefore there is no separation of the pulp (contains fiber) from the liquid. Juicers extract the liquids (nutrients and water) while separating the pulp.
When I make the statement above, people tend to assume that drinking a smoothie is better than juice as smoothies contain fiber. But hold on! The body needs fiber; however, fiber will retain specific nutrients and/or slow down absorption. Since juice does not contain fiber, you will absorb up to 100% of the nutrients after you consume the juice. Juicing is essentially the next best option to intravenously receiving nutrients. This is usually why people tend to have strong reactions to juicing such as upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, gas, etc. Do not be worried about these! Your body just needs some time to adjust to this new way of extracting nutrients!
Let me tell you more health benefits of juicing:
- It is way easier to drink the juice instead of eating all of the vegetables!
- Juicing will boost your immune system by supporting your gut bacteria which plays a large role in immune system functioning
- Gives you an instant energy boost
- Helps make your salivary pH alkaline which means less disease!
- Can use it to detoxify
- Helps with weight loss
Wow! That sounds amazing! But are there any disadvantages to juicing?
Yes. Let me explain.
- Juicing is time consuming. Preparation (washing and cutting) and the actual juicing can take awhile. You will notice you will become time efficient with experience.
- Cleaning up can be difficult. This depends on your juicer! My juice (Omega 800 series) takes me 2 minutes to clean.
- Juices need to be refrigerated if they are not consumed immediately. The nutrients in the juice are depleted over time which is why you want to make sure you look into how long you can store the juice you make (this depends on your juicer again)
- Juicing can get expensive. This depends on what produce you are using and the availability of produce. Of course we recommend organic produce.
What should I juice?
- Green vegetables!
- Organic produce!
but NOT high carbohydrate vegetables.
One big mistake that people tend to make is juicing with high carbohydrate vegetables such as red apples, carrots, beets. You can argue that these are natural sugars, but this can still result in insulin sensitivity (link). If your goal is to detoxify or lose weight, you cannot have any of these high carb vegetables in your juice whatsoever.
How often should I juice?
This depends on your health goals. Here are some examples:
- Weight loss: Two to three meals are replaced by juices and this is done consecutively for three days a week. This can be repeated biweekly.
- Detoxification: this depends on how often you need to detox! I recommend this at least once a month. If you have eating poorly, do this more often to reset your body.
- To be healthy: juice for one full day once a month
What else should I keep in mind?
- You need to eat healthy when you are juicing or else you are wasting your time and money!
- For certain medical conditions (chronic disease – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc) juicing should be supervised by a healthcare practitioner as it can be dangerous to your health
- You need to stay hydrated! Drink alot of water while you are juicing (your body weight divided by half equates to the amount of ounces you should be consuming daily)
It is okay to snack in between. I recommend snacking on high fat (GOOD FATS only) foods such as almonds or cashew.
Now that you know the basics of juicing, start doing research on different types of juicers.