The benefits of juicing (and blending)make getting all the veggies and fruits our bodies need a bit easier. Photo by Vinh Dao.
With the everyone and their mother constantly finding a new way to get healthy, or hopping on to the next fad diet, there is always a rock-solid health option in juicing. Or is this truly the case? Is juicing your favourite fruit and veggies everyday really that great for you? Or is it just another Atkins diet that will be laughed at in the future?
Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can drastically help in the reduction of cancers and other life-threatening bodily issues. A healthy, well-rounded diet also assists in keeping extra weight and fat off of the body, and heightened energy levels.
It can be frighteningly tough getting the recommended levels of fruits and vegetables worked into your daily regimen. Five servings of each a day is the recommended amount from the NHS. We all know that unless you’re basically eating a giant salad with fruit for dessert at every meal of the day, you’re probably not meeting the requirement.
That’s where juicing can come in to help supplement all of the vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients that our veggie friends love to provide our bodies.
Although juicing makes it convenient, the fiber that is lost from just taking the juice from your favourite fruits and veggies leaves out some of the good stuff that helps our body regulate. Either way, juicing is a fantastic addition to a healthy diet.
Nutritionists largely agree that juicing can offer a low-fat, nutrient-rich jolt of energy when added to already healthy, balanced diets—but as far as the cleanse-for-weight-loss meal replacement trend? Skip it. Juice digests quickly, and can cause the type of extreme hunger that leads to overeating and binging.
Picking the right ingredients is of utmost importance. Certain vitamins are more easily absorbed as juice, like vitamin C and Bs, while others, like vitamin A, E, K are best taken through the full digestion process, says Cohn. And some vegetables, such as tomatoes, actually provide more nutritional value when cooked,
Keeping all this in mind, these best bets that will maximize nutrition: leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, mustard greens), kiwi, papaya, grapefruit, red bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, asparagus and garlic.
Cherie Calbom, MS, CN, author of The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies also favors parsley, blood-pressure-lowering beets (combine with carrot or apple to enhance taste), inflammation-fighter ginger root, potassium-packed cucumbers, and antibacterial lemons.
Find the perfect mix. Warning: Vegetable juice might not knock your socks off at first, so you’ve got to experiment. Plot how you’ll keep a variety of produce stocked, then have fun with it.
Start with two cups of greens, which can taste bitter, balanced by one piece of fruit. Then, play around with the ratio, adding cayenne pepper or cinnamon for extra seasoning if desired.
You have to consume fresh juices essentially the day that you create it. A lot of scary stuff can get your body into a bad situation if you’re pre-batching your favourite kale and carrot juice blend a week in advance.
If you’re looking to pack on some extra calories in the morning or as a snack in the middle of the day, maybe hit the sweet spot between a regular meal and juicing and start blending your favourite foods into tasty shakes.
A nice, clean protein powder with some coffee, banana, peanut butter and a cup of ice will get you started in the morning. Or go the extra kilometre and start with a ginger, kale, garlic, and orange juice shake.
Whether you’re juicing or blending, make sure that you are using these as additions to a healthy diet, and not letting them replace a well-balanced dinner.