JUICING: Why Do I Need It?

JUICING:  Why Do I Need It?
Posted by Dr. John

Congratulations!  By visiting this page, you have actually opened your mind up to the possibility of juicing.  At this point, you are probably thinking…Why do I need to juice?  I eat healthy.  Is it worth the extra work and effort?  Will it even taste good?  Well, these are very common questions and I will answer each one of them for you.

Question 1:  Why  Do I Need To Juice?

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with necessary micronutrients   A micronutrient is a substance required by the body for normal growth, development and repair of cells.  Some examples of micronutrients include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, as well as biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin.  When you heat foods or worse, process food, these micronutrients are destroyed.  Also, cooking and processing food can alter the shape and chemical composition of these micronutrients, preventing them from being utilized by your cells.

Virtually every health authority recommends that we eat 6 – 9 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits per day, to maintain a healthy body and ward off illness.  Let me ask you this, “When was the last time you ate even 4 servings of vegetables and fruit in one day”?  My point is, the average person finds it very difficult to meet these recommended guidelines.  As a result, we see an astronomical number of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the U.S.

For these 2 reasons alone, juicing should be a regular part of your dietary intake.  Consuming 1 – 2 glasses of fresh made juice (predominantly vegetable with only small amount of fruit) will allow you to achieve 4 or more of the recommended servings per day of fruits or vegetables.

Question 2:  I eat healthy.  Is It worth the extra work to juice?

I applaud you if you have refused to consume the SAD (Standard American Diet).  You are aiding your health tremendously, which will reveal itself later when you watch the vast majority of your family and friends develop chronic diseases and illnesses, while you walk around with the blood work of a 20 year old, and even better…you may still feel like a 20 year old even though you’re in your 40’s.  With that being said, it would still be in your best interest to juice.  Remember, if you are cooking the majority of your food, many nutrients are being damaged or completely destroyed.  So, you may not be getting as many nutrients as you might think.  Also, if you suffer from any GI symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation, acid reflux, or worse) your body will have a difficult time absorbing the nutrients you are consuming in your food.

Digesting solid food is a complicated process that requires enzymes like pepsin or hydrochloric acid (HCL) in order to break down nutrients for absorption info the intestines.  The more complex the food, the longer it takes to break it down.  If your digestion is impaired, your body will have a difficult time liberating the micronutrients for delivery and use by the cells.  This is  not the case when you drink raw juices.

Drinking raw juice requires very little digestion.  The body has the ability to very quickly absorb the micronutrients, and deliver them to cells for healing and repair.  The juice of organic vegetables aids your liver with detoxing unwanted chemicals, as well as, supplying yourbody with enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can be quickly absorbed.  Supplementing your diet with raw juicing is extremely beneficial, regardless of how healthy your diet may be already.

Question 3:  Will juicing taste good, especially if I hate the taste of vegetables?

YES!!!  The beauty about juicing, especially if you don’t like the taste of vegetables, is that it is very easy to hide the vegetable taste with just a small amount of fruit added.  Not all juicing recipes will appeal to the same person.  Be adventuresome!  Play with the recipes and tweak them to adapt to your palate, however, do not go overboard and turn the juice into primarily a fruit juice.  You should always have 2/3 or more vegetable content to 1/3 or less fruit content.

Benefits of Juicing

There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

  • Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables.This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

  • Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner.If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.

  • You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

  • Juicing protects you from diseases. The nutrients and enzymes that your body is able to utilize, through juicing, that otherwise it might not help protect you against cardiovascular disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and many inflammatory diseases.

  • Juicing aids with detoxification. Juicing provides essential minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that are critical to effectively aid the liver, kidneys and colon to excrete the toxins.

If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer, like Dr. Mercola Healthy Chef Juice Extractor, Champion or Omega Nutrition juicers. The cheap centrifugal juicers (like the Big Boss, Hamilton Beach Big Mouth, Breville Juice Fountain) break easily, produce low-quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss. They also don’t last very long.

Quick and Easy Juicing

If you are new to juicing and have a history of GI problems (gas, bloating, acid reflux, Gerd, Crohn’s, Colitis, etc.), start by juicing vegetables that are easy to digest and tolerate.

If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, avoid juicing beets, carrots and apples.  These are high in fructose and with the fiber removed with rapidly spike blood glucose levels.  You can use lemons, limes and cranberries for a sweeter taste without spiking your glucose.

Here’s a handy list to help you get started in juicing, and even some tips for those who have been juicing for some time.

  • Start out by juicing vegetables that are easy to digest and tolerate – I recommend celery, fennel (anise), and cucumbers as your starting base. But everyone’s system is a bit unique. So, “listen” to your body when you first start juicing.

  • Give organic veggies a priority because they can save you time – With most organic vegetables, you don’t even have to remove the skin (like cucumbers). Plus, organic veggies have been grown without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

  • Try other veggies when your system is ready – Once you feel you’re tolerating celery, fennel, and cucumbers, you can begin adding other leafy vegetables like kale, collards, parsley, dandelion greens, cabbage, endive, lettuce, and most any other dark green leafy vegetable.

  • Be sure to start with small amounts as most of the above vegetables can be quite bitter.

  • If you need to make your juice more palatable, juice-in a half lemon or whole lime – I recommend avoiding carrots, beets, or apples because of their high fructose content. Adding lemons or limes can help make the juice easier to drink. If you really need more flavor, certain berries (especially cranberries) contain low amounts of fructose.

  • Save time and prepare your juice once for the entire day – If you’re planning on drinking your juice multiple times during the day, you can do everything at once to save time. But I recommend you pour the juice into a glass Mason or Ball jar filled to the top to avoid oxidation. Place it in the refrigerator right away. This will help to potentially retain the nutritional value for the next 12-24 hours.

  • Get organized when you’re ready to juice – MOST IMPORTANT STEP!  Get all the vegetables washed and ready to go. Don’t peel or slice anything you don’t have to. With most organic veggies, you can just go ahead and juice them without peeling. Some experienced juicers have the entire process (including cleanup) down to about 10 minutes. If they can do it, so can you.

  • Save time in cleanup – If this becomes too big a chore, you’re probably not going to juice. So, find a juicer that’s easy to clean and has the majority of its juicing parts specified as “dishwasher safe.” That way you’ll only need to hand wash a few pieces. Cleanup shouldn’t take much time at all with a high-quality, mostly “dishwasher-safe” juicer.  I, personally, like Dr. Mercola Healthy Chef Juice Extractor for an entry level juicer.

Don’t Throw Away The Pulp

The pulp leftover from juicing has many nutritional benefits, so make use of it.  Pulp acts as a prebiotic for your probiotic bacteria in your GI tract.  This means that it acts as food for your good bacteria – Probiotics.  Here are a few things you can do with your leftover pulp

  • Place in food dehydrator. Once dry use as a topping for salads, soups, really anything.

  • Add balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar, sea salt and herbs of your choice and eat as a side dish.

  • Use as additional fiber in baking gluten free muffins or bread.

  • Great to add to soup stock.

Juicing Recipes

Here are some juicing recipes that I know you will enjoy.

JUICE ENERGIZER

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into quarters

  • 2 organic apples*

  • 2 organic carrots*

  • 2 organic sticks of celery*

  • 2 inch ginger piece, peeled

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled

    *Dirty Dozen

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Juice all the ingredients and serve right away.

 

POMEGRANATE DETOX TEA

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp dried horsetail

  • 1 tsp dried mint

  • 1 tsp dried anise

  • 1 ½ cup water, spring or filtered

  • 2 pomegranates

  • 1 organic lemon, cut into thin slices

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring water to boil into a kettle, then add the horsetail, mint and anise, cover with a lid and remove from the heat.

  2. Let infuse for 20 minutes, filter with a strainer to remove the plants and set aside to cool.

  3. Extract the seeds from the pomegranate and crush them using a mortar and pestle

  4. Remove the pulp and pour the juice over the warm tea.

  5. Add the lemon slices into the serving mugs or glasses, and pour the tea evenly.

  6. Serve warm.

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE Detox Drink

Serves: 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small beet, cut into chunks

  • 1 small cucumber*

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries*, organic

  • 1 lemon, peeled

  • 1 lemon, cut into slices

  • 3 cups sparkling water

  • 2 tsp organic raw honey (optional)

  • 2 mint sprigs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Juice the strawberries, beet and lemon. (sample the juice, if not sweet enough-go to step 2)

  2. Add honey to the juice and mix to combine.

  3. Transfer juice into a pitcher and add sprigs of mint.

  4. Add the sparkling water and lemon slices, mix to combine.

  5. Garnish with fresh mint and serve.

*Dirty Dozen

GINGER ZEST

  • 2 stalks celery*

  • ½ cucumber*

  • 2 inch ginger root, fresh

  • ½ cup parsley

  • ½ lemon

  • 1 green apple*

  • 2 cups spinach*

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Juice all the ingredients and serve right away.

*Dirty Dozen

Fresh Start

  • 2 stalks celery*

  • 1/2 cucumber*

  • 1/2 lime

  • 1 cup cilantro

  • 1 cup kale

  • 1 green apple*

  1. Juice all the ingredients and serve right away.

*Dirty Dozen