I’m so excited to finally share this post with you all since juicing was what started me on eating consciously, shopping responsibly, and living in a way that’s more connected to the natural world. It’s was my way of getting back to basics and becoming more connected to the mind, body, and soul. All though it was once confined to the earth smelling health food stores, local co-ops, or the rare vegetarian restaurant; juicing has now hit mainstream America. I am so excited that it is finally getting the recognition it deserves. In this post, Beginner’s Guide To Juicing, I will give you a rundown of how and why adding juices to your diet can and will benefit you. It will also include a step by step how-to guide, in addition to some of our favorite juice recipes. Once you know the basics of getting started, it will be easy to apply it in your daily life.
Beginners Guide To Juicing
- What is juicing?
- How can juicing benefit my overall health?
- Are there any side effects to juicing?
- What juicer should I buy?
- How do I store my juice?
- What type of vegetables and fruits can I juice?
- What are the best juicing recipes?
What is Juicing?
Juicing is simply “drinking your food.” Well really, it’s much more than that. I’m not talking about commercially made juices that are full of sugar and artificial flavoring. I’m talking about the juicing that involves a process where the natural liquids are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables, leaving you with a juice that is loaded with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and phytonutrients, an abundance of goodness.
Benefits To Juicing
I can go on and on about all the benefits of juicing but to sum its all up, drinking fresh raw juices is the easiest, fastest and most economical way of putting a healthy amounts of a wide range nutrients into our bodies.
Fresh vegetable juices, supply you with a huge amount of nutrients that your body needs. The nutrients from juicing are more easily and readily absorbed into your blood stream, and feeds all the cells in your body. This helps every single organ perform at their best.
People often report that when they started to include more juiced into their diet, their body began to undergo a transformation. I sure felt this. Here are just a few examples of what many people experience when juicing.
- Mental clarity
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Less stress
- Clear, glowing skin
- Weight loss
- Thick shiny hair and nails
- Better digestion
- Less headaches
- Alkaline body (balanced the body’s pH)
- Improved immune system
- Less joint pain
How does juicing work?
When you juice, the cell walls of the produce are broken open and release all the nutrients into a quickly absorbable form making the process of digestion much easier on the body. All the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, antioxidants and much more becomes instantly available for your body to use without all the work.
When you consistently drink fresh, raw juice, your whole internal environment changes.
Juicing For Weight Loss
Now, many people do report drastic weight loss when starting to incorporate more juices and smoothies into their daily life. For many, this is what leads them to juicing to begin with, but it’s important to understand why this is. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and have a high concentration of nutrients, which binds to toxins and helps carry them out of the body. After the body releases enough toxins, it can easily let go of fat cells that your body created to store all the toxins as a way to protect delicate tissues and organs.
You’ll be able to get more nutrition than you ever have all while consuming far fewer calories. Yes, you can burn those calories through exercise, but most of the excess weight is unusable toxins and waste that your body is storing and can easily be eliminated through the bowels. Yes, that’s right you can poop your way to a smaller waist.
Our bodies are designed to naturally detox every day. It’s part of the self-regulating cleansing process our bodies have. However, we are exposed to a huge amount of toxins on a daily basis, through the food, water, air, and even the products that we put on our bodies. And for some people the detoxification process is slower due to a higher exposure to toxins. Therefore, the detox mechanisms becomes slowed and sluggish causing a chemical imbalance that can throw off your whole body. Juicing is a great way to assist and speed up this process of elimination, and bring it back into balance.
Symptoms Of Detox
- body odor
- acne breakouts
- mild rashes
Having symptoms really depends on how your body eliminates the toxins. If your body eliminates toxins via the skin, then you may temporarily get some acne breakouts or mild rashes. These symptoms are typically not an allergic reaction to the fruits/vegetables, but actually a reaction caused by using healthy to force out unhealthy. These symptoms typically only last the first couple days of the detox, so don’t worry.
It’s estimated that we have an average of have at least 5 to 10 pounds of accumulated toxins in our cells, tissues and/or organs. There are many chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, drug residues, food additives and a long list of toxins from our environment that are affecting us on a daily basis. Regular juicing can help improve your body’s ability to detoxify and repair on the cellular level. Doing a juice cleanse can bring immediate weigh loss and other significant benefits to your overall health, but continuing to maintain a regular juicing routine, even after the cleanse, will be what gives you the long lasting heath results you desire.
What about fruit juice?
This is a question I get often from people beginning their juice journey. The purpose of juicing is to learn to liquify green and vegetables on a daily basis and juice fruits and sweet tasting vegetables in moderation. Why?
The truth is that fruits and sweet vegetables when digested are broken down and turn into glucose and other simple sugars. This isn’t too problematic when you eat the whole fruit with the fiber intact. The fiber will slow down the process and doesn’t spike your insulin (a hormone that regulated sugars in the bloodstream). The sugars in fruit juice, if not used right away will spiking your insulin. If it happens continuously it will throw off your metabolism, causing weigh gain and/or blood sugar related illnesses.
If your are overweight or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, be even more careful about adding sweet fruits to your juices. Starting out I recommend people to use fruits with the intention of slowly minimizing.
Buying A Juicer
If you ever felt the challenge to eat enough veggies, making a small investment in a high-quality juicer is one of the best steps you can take toward your health. There are a number of different types of juicers offered in today’s market. Unfortunately, there is no one juicer that can do it all. With that being said, you have to first get clear on the qualities you’re wanting. If you’re anything like me, you want to make sure it is good quality, yet affordable and that it comes with a good warranty. From fast-spinning centrifugal juicers to slow-moving masticating juicers, there is a wide range of differences to consider. Check out this post in my kitchen tools series on Kitchen Tools: Buying A Juicer.
How To Store Your Juice
I usually juice in the morning, since fresh is always best. But occasionally, when I’m super busy, I juice the day before. This is perfectly OK. Usually, juice will last up to 72 hours after it has been juiced. If you keep it longer than that, it may still taste OK, but it will have lost enzymes and other essential nutrients that are the key health benefits of the fresh juice.
To store your juice, use a glass jar and fill it to the very top then seal it with an airtight lid. The less oxygen in the jar, the less likely your juice will “oxidize” and be damaged (have less nutritional value). You can also use lemons and other food saving ingredients in your juice to help it last longer. Storing the juice properly will help with maintaining all of the bountiful nutrients and make juicing part of you daily routine.
How To Make The Perfect Juice
Slow down and take a breathe. Juicing is a kind of mindfulness training. It’s an act of handling your food deliberately; from washing it, cutting it, and smelling the aroma of flavors, to then watching it transform into a flood of colorful juices. Juicing for me is an act of self care, a time to slow down and get quite. When picking my produce I often listen to what my body is wanting. You can pretty much juice all different types of vegetables and fruits. There are endless combinations you can use to juice. Here are my 5 simple steps to creating a tasty, power house of fresh juices.
01. Start with your base.
(Use ingredients that are easy to digest and have a high water content)
- bok choy
- romain lettuce
02. Add in some greens.
(This adds more nutrients)
- collard greens
- herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint ect.)
- swiss chard
03. More veggies please.
(Use vegetable that are naturally sweet)
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- bell peppers
04. Natural sweetener.
(Only add a small amount, if any)
- green apple
- fuji apple
05. Detoxifying extras.
(This makes your juice even better)
- aloe vera
*It is ideal to have a higher ratio of vegetable than fruit. Vegetables are the most nutrient dense thing you can put in your body.
Looking For More Juice Recipes?…
Check out some of my favorite juice recipes on the blog here.
I hope this juicing guide has helped you with understand the benefits of juices. As I continue on my juicing journey I will be adding more information and updates for you as well. What other guides would you like me to cover? Comment & share below, I’d love to hear from you and as always, stay tuned :)