The Basics of Juicing
Here is guest blogger Lauren’s take on the basics of juicing!
Fresh juice is full of nutrients that your body can use immediately. Part of the digestive process is for your intestines to separate the water/nutrients from the fiber of your foods. The juicer already does this, thus you can drink your nutrients, get their immediate effect, and give your ongoing digestive system a break. This leads to increased energy and vitality due to less energy exerted into digestion and faster absorption of nutrients. Additionally, fresh juice has a high nutrient content and low calorie content. This makes juicing ideal for weight loss. If you are a fan of liquid detox regimens, juicing is one of the safest, most nutrient rich detoxification processes. Furthermore, with many juice (and smoothie) recipes you can get all or most of your daily-recommended intake of vegetables and fruits in one drink! How easy is that?
For those who have digestive issues/diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, indigestion, and ulcers, many nutritionists recommend a liquid diet for a designated time to help heal the digestive system while providing essential nutrients. As always, if you have a digestive disorder, please consult with your primary care physician before starting a liquid diet regimen.
There are many different types of juicers, centrifugal, masticating, and dual gear. Centrifugal are the least expensive and probably the most common. I have a “Jack Lalanne Power Juicer” which is a centrifugal juicer and costs about $100. Each machine has its own requirements for what can be juiced (skin, no skin), and size of the pieces. Please be careful and when in doubt, remove the skin and/or cut in smaller pieces. Anything with waxes (cucumbers, citrus when not organic) you should be cautious of juicing.
If you are new to juicing, use this basic recipe to get accustomed to “green juice.” Cucumbers are very mild and easy on your stomach; they are also full of silica, which contributes to skin, hair, & nail health. This mineral will make your skin glow, your hair silky, and your nails strong (Murray, 1998). Cucumbers are also primarily composed of water, so this drink is super hydrating! Apples add a touch of sweet to your juice and they are full of many types of acids that are showing promising results in research regarding blocking cancer-causing effects of many pollutant agents, such as cigarette smoke (Murray, 1998). The lemon/lime adds a good dose of vitamin C and some nice tartness to your juice. The ginger is optional, but you should know that ginger will not only ease your stomach but also will boost your immune system. As you can see, the juice you will be drinking is completely raw and I cannot stress enough the importance of two things:
1.) Washing your vegetables and fruits thoroughly
2.) Buying organic when possible (thank you Space Girl Organics!)
1-2 Cucumbers (peeled if not organic….)
½ to 1 Lemon or lime
1 inch knuckle Ginger (or smaller, depending on preference)
Celery, which is full of potassium, will add a savory flavor and make this drink perfect for post-workout rehydration.
Parsley, Cilantro, Mint, Basil, great for detoxification and flavor!
If you like it sweet- kiwis or pears (a little goes a long way)
Peel the apple, add some ice, add some water, coconut water, or more cucumbers. After it is blended, you can drink it as is (with the pulp) or you can strain it into a glass to get more of a “juice.”
Once you get used to this basic juice recipe, you can add greens such as kale, lettuce, spinach, chard, etc. for an added nutrient/energy boost. The beautiful thing about juice and smoothies is that the recipes are flexible. You can make substitutions depending on your preferences and what you have available in your kitchen. I strongly encourage you to experiment with proportions and ingredients to discover your favorites and ultimately keep you motivated/satisfied on your juice/smoothie journey!
I will provide more green juice recipes as the juice/smoothie blog continues.
The next blog will discuss the basics of smoothies and some add-ins that are extremely beneficial to your health. In the meantime, juice it up!
Murray, M. T. (1998). The Complete Book of Juicing. New York: Three Rivers Press. 71-72, 146-147