You’re about to discover why juicing is so popular! The benefits of fresh juiced fruits and vegetables are amazing, the taste just can’t be beat, and with a new generation of juice machines it’s quicker, easier and more affordable than ever before!
First, let’s address two common questions: what’s the difference between juice and a smoothie, and can I make juice with a blender?
Special juice appliances separate the juice from everything else which is known as the pulp and comprised mostly of fiber. Pulp adds calories so juice is a favorite for weight loss and cleansing. By contrast a smoothie is everything – juice, skin, and all, and thus a favorite for detoxifying and as a digestive aid with its higher fiber content.
Smoothies are made with a high powered blender. Your home blender won’t do the job unless you don’t mind a grainy mess that tastes more like an uncooked soup than a delicious drink! However, if you have the time, you can use your blender and then pour the blended liquid thru a coffee filter. Whether juice or smoothie both are fantastically healthy.
More and more people are turning to fresh juice to improve their health. In my travels abroad I’ve even noticed a franchise known as “Joe & The Juice” that’s as popular as Starbucks in Europe. And speaking of Starbucks, rumor has it that they’re soon to add fresh juice to their menu!
Over a thousand scientific studies show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables, such as the Mediterranean Diet, reduce the risk of developing many illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Certain combinations of fruits and vegetables are now known to effectively treat certain diseases such as Type II diabetes. And for those like myself who find it difficult to get all the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, juicing is the perfect solution because just one glass is over a pound of produce!
And that’s not all. Juicing can even save you money. You can stop buying multivitamins and other nutritional supplements because fresh homemade juice gives you all your daily nutritional needs and more!
Even the best brand of bottled juice doesn't come close to delivering all the nutrients found in homemade juice, because any juice sold commercially must by law be heated – a process known as pasteurization – which kills many nutrients. Store it and you lose even more nutrients. Plus many juices add sugar, colors, stabilizers and other additives which also kill nutrients.
Are There Any Dangers?
There are some issues if you're on medication so be sure to speak with your doctor before juicing especially if you're on thyroid medications - certain foods interfere with your medication. And too much of the more powerful foods can upset your stomach such as greens and beets. For a detailed discussion of these concerns please refer to my article for a complete review.
Juice or Raw
There are benefits to drinking your daily recommended serving of veggies and fruits instead of eating them as solid raw foods. Liquids are absorbed by the body more quickly and completely, because absorption of the many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients starts right away as soon as they enter your mouth. Solid food takes a slower path of absorption through the stomach and intestines, and unless you chew your food thoroughly, you don't get as much nutrition from raw as you do from its liquid form.
Juice or Cooked
Cooked food kills many nutrients. For instance, enzymes play a key role in metabolism and are chiefly found in raw foods, but most are lost when cooked, processed and preserved. Enzymes are particularly important for those trying to lose weight as they help the body burn more calories. Interestingly, some nutrients are enhanced by steaming such as lycopene in tomatoes, so if you're after certain nutrients to fight an illness contact me and we'll see if the ones you're after are best steamed.
Increased energy and weight loss are not the only benefits of fresh juice. Recent research suggests that drinking fresh juice can also delay the effects of aging. Specifically, fresh fruits and vegetables contain compounds known as antioxidants which neutralize free radicals in your body. Free radicals are chiefly responsible not only for aging, but also for many degenerative diseases such as cataracts, high blood pressure and even cancer.
Let's explore how juicing fights one of our most common and chronic diseases: diabetes. Recent research indicates that certain raw fruits and vegetables nourish the body while stabilizing blood sugar levels in ways that cooked food cannot. In the past, doctors cautioned people with diabetes to stay away from sugar of any kind, even those found in fresh fruits and vegetables. That recommendation has been proven wrong.
Researchers have found that specific nutrients such as vitamins A, B, E, and the minerals iron and potassium which are abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables aid in naturally managing this disease. Vitamin B7 which is found in mangoes, nectarines, and peaches aids in digestion and activates enzymes, which are particularly helpful for diabetics. Additionally, manganese which is found in celery, garlic, carrots, cruciferous vegetables, parsley, spinach, and beet greens, helps reduce insulin resistance overall and improve the metabolism of sugar.
You can't go wrong juicing fruits and veggies that you like. You can find great juice recipes here and at Juicing-Secrets.com. For recipes that target specific illnesses based on the latest nutritional research I recommend Ultimate Juicing Recipes & Tips 5th Edition. When I started juicing I discovered entirely new sections of my local supermarket, and produce I had never seen before! So start your juicing adventure today!
What’s the best machine? You can easily begin with an inexpensive juicer sold online or at your local kitchen supply store. Any juicer or smoothie machine will do, but if you're interested in what's best among the hundreds of models available refer to my article on juicer reviews. I highly recommend the new generation of machines known as ‘slow’ juicers because they reduce the amount of heat and oxygen in your juice - factors that kill nutrients. They are also easier to clean and durable. I bought one - the Hurom 100 - when it first came out several years ago and I use it daily and it runs like new!