Do you remember sitting at the table pouting because you couldn’t get up until your broccoli was gone? If you were raised to not leave the table until you finished your vegetables, then drinking them down quickly in a juice may sound quite appealing to you!
Juicing and juicing diets are growing more popular, and it’s easy to see why. Eating, or drinking, your fruits and vegetables has so many benefits, including:
- glowing skin
- shiny hair
- a slim waistline
- more energy and;
- so much more!
With so many recipes out there, you can pack more than your daily need of fruits and vegetables into a colorful, deliciously sweet drink. Even the fittest of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba praise the diet staple. There are, however, some juicing do’s and don’ts that will have your digestive system, and waistline, thanking you!
First, you need the right tools
Juicers can be expensive – ranging anywhere from $50-$400. While you can certainly get by with a blender, only a true juicer will get you the consistency of the store bought green juices. And that’s where things get tricky…
Juicing machines extract the juice from your ingredients, leaving behind the pulp, which holds most of the fiber benefits. Fiber helps keep you fuller, longer, and aids with digestion. So, if you are using your juice as a meal replacement, you may be having hunger pains just a short while later. To avoid this, add some of the pulp “waste” from your juicer back into the juice, shake well, and drink up.
It’s also best to drink any juices you make within the same day or two to be sure you aren’t losing more essential nutrients. Using a blender allows you to preserve the fiber-rich skins of the fruits and vegetables.
By adding water to your mixture while using a blender, you can lighten the consistency of your juice.
And just why should you do all of the work yourself, instead of buying the convenient store brand juices? One word: Sugar. Most store bought, pre-bottled juices are loaded with added sugar. In addition, most of the ingredients are pasteurized, meaning they were heated to kill off any bacteria. This process of food preparation also happens to kill most of the nutrients of the fruit or vegetable. So, you’re really paying for a bottle of green sugar! While the process of making your juice and cleaning your juicer or blender can be time consuming, it’s your healthiest option.
People juice for different reasons, but one of the main goals is weight loss. This trend was inevitable with the number of slim celebrities toting around bright green drinks. If the sole ingredients of your juice are fruits and vegetables, this plan may backfire. Without a significant amount of protein or fiber, using juices as a meal replacement will likely leave you wanting more. With a lack of protein, you may start to lose muscle mass, too. While you’ll look and feel skinny, skinny doesn’t always mean healthy!
Another motive behind juicing is to cleanse your body. However, there is no research or reasoning behind this “benefit.” Juice or no juice, your kidneys and liver take care of cleansing your body.
Quite possibly the best benefits of juicing is that it is an easy, fun way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.
What to Juice?
You should aim to consume 2 whole fruits and 4 vegetables daily. The more colorful your produce selection is, the more benefits your body will see!
Some of the best vegetables to incorporate into juices include:
Fruits add a tasty sweetness, try:
Adding some protein, like flax seeds or almond milk, will help make your juice a well balanced snack.
Keep in mind that juices can and should be incorporated into an overall healthy diet, but they are not a quick fix, weight loss trick, or cure all! Have some fun browsing through healthy juice recipes, keeping in mind you should make them as colorful as possible. As with any food, portion sizes are important. One serving of juice should be kept close to 8 ounces. Adding juices to your diet as a supplement to the other essentials (whole grains, protein, etc.), rather than a replacement, will help you look and feel amazing!