Juicing is an excellent way of infusing your body with vitamins and minerals, which protect your cells against a variety of diseases and premature aging.
Unlike the majority of store-bought juices, freshly pressed juices contain no added sugar or additives, and are not pasteurized. It is well worth spending the time to prepare fresh juice and to drink it regularly.
Fresh juice contains a range of vitamins and minerals in a concentrated and highly bioavailable form. Although fiber is an essential nutrient in our diet, its presence can impede digestion and nutrient absorption. Fiber is extracted during the juicing process, so nutrients are available to the body in optimal levels, and are able to flood the bloodstream with their healthful properties. Additionally, juices contain raw fruits and vegetables, so these do not go through heat-induced enzyme damage, destroying vital compounds, like when they are cooked.
What to Juice
The key to making a healthy juice is to make vegetables, especially green vegetables, the bulk of the drink. Green vegetables won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin level like fruits can, which are naturally high in sugar. Sweet vegetables like carrots and red beets can also have the same effects when eaten in large quantities.
This is not to say that you can’t juice fruits, carrots, and beetroot. Fruits and sweet root vegetables can be healthy additions to your drinks, and they’ll definitely add sweetness and flavor. You just want to make sure that they never make up more than one-third of each glass that you drink.
Leafy green lettuce such as romaine lettuce is one of the best green vegetables that you can juice. Other examples of green vegetables that can be juiced include spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, and any other dark green vegetable that you might steam before eating. Celery, wheatgrass and parsley also make nutritious juices.
To add another layer of flavor, you can add a tiny slice of lemon (including the rind for its flavonoids) to your vegetable juices. Small amounts of garlic or ginger also help to add extra zest to the juice.
Fruits such as apples, pears, oranges, grapes, melon and pineapple add sweetness to the juice and make it more palatable.
How to Juice
After washing your vegetables and fruit to juice thoroughly in water, cut them up so that they are small enough to fit through the feeding mechanism of your juicer.
Juice soft vegetables like leafy greens first, as they can be harder to push through the juicer than firmer vegetables like carrots and celery. Firmer vegetables like carrots and celery can also help to push any bits of softer vegetables through the feeding tube of the juicer.
With leafy greens, it is best to roll them up before feeding them through the juicer. This helps prevent a single leaf from getting stuck between the feeding tube of your juicer and the plunger that you use to push the vegetables down.
Fruits can be added near the end, as they are usually easy to push down through the juicer.
Fresh juice should be consumed straight away for maximum nutrient goodness, but it can also be stored for up to 48 hours in the fridge.
The Best Juicer to Buy
There are many types of juicers available, with varying quality and price. Before buying a juicer, decide what you will be using the juicer for most, for example, some juicers are not capable of juicing wheatgrass.
There are many websites that compare and review the different kinds of juicers available. If you’re serious about juicing, it’s worth investing in a premium cold-press juicer, which will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term.
I personally have, and would recommend the Matstone 6-in-1 cold-pressed juicer. It does not heat up when juicing, unlike conventional centrifuge juicers, so the juice retains much more nutrients, and it extracts more juice. It is also the cheapest cold-pressed juicer, but there are more efficient juicers around, if you are willing to pay more.
Whichever juicer you choose, the important thing is that you start juicing. Just this one simple addition to your lifestyle will improve your health, increase energy levels and give you an overall feeling of wellbeing. So what are you waiting for?!