Proponents of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables believe that a variety of health benefits that can be derived when incorporating this into the daily diet. In a study of children who had 100% consumption of fruit juices in the diet, the result showed an associated increased consumption of key nutrients and better diet quality in children (O’Neil et al, 2010). The advantage of juicing is that you have the opportunity to extract the nutrient-filled nectar from raw foods. Heat destroys some nutrients. According to Michael Murray, N.D. who authored the book titled “The Complete Book of Juicing : Your Delicious Guide to Youthful Vitality“, cooking vegetables can destroy up to 97 percent of vitamins B and C, and up to 40 percent of vitamins A, D, E and K.
Eating raw foods adds the benefit of “getting adequate cancer-fighting phytonutrients like free-radical-scavenging carotenes and alkalinizing chlorophyll and anti-viral flavonoids“, says Murray. He further adds that “Fresh juices are an excellent way to get a concentrated shot of plant-based nutrients in an absorbable form.”
Juicing can be daunting to some people for a number of reasons:
- Excuse no. 1: There is no time. As the saying goes “There is always a time for everything“, making it a part of your daily routine easily slips into part of your daily activities. The best time to drink fresh juice is in the morning because it helps cleanse your system. So rev up your juicer in the morning, and make extra for the afternoon. You can always refrigerate the extra juice. Besides, this helps you save time when you have other tasks to complete during the later part of the day. Washing your vegetables and fruits ahead of time can help you manage your time too.
Others may find that the reason there’s no time because it can be hard to do it every day. Experts suggest not to overwhelm yourself by starting up small by juicing initially during weekends and then build up on the weeks that follow.
- Excuse no. 2: Juicing hurts the pocket. Some books suggest that organic fruits and vegetables, other than being free from harmful pesticides, may contain about 30% higher levels of antioxidants. So spending a little extra may be more cost-effective for your health in the long-term. Moreover, juicing fruits and vegetables with the skin is much more safer with organic produce.
- Excuse no. 3: It’s a lot of waste. Juice experts advice that you can always run the pulp through the juicer to obtain about 2 to 4 extra ounces of juice. After you squeezed the pulp dry, you can choose to add the pulp to your compost pile or make a soup stock.
Here is a word to remember. Albeit many claims about juicing point to the preventive and curative powers of such food source, you need to recognize that this should not be used to totally replace your regular diet. To date, there is no solid scientific evidence yet to show that juicing is better than consumption of whole fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, you may take the pleasure of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables listed in the table below and see how it works for you.
Fresh Vegetables and Fruits to Juice
|Beets detoxify the liver and purify the blood||Apples help remove toxins.|
|Broccoli boosts immunity.||Blueberries decrease inflammation.|
|Carrots delay the signs of aging and fends off cancer; also aid digestion and promote eye health.||Blackberries boost heart health.|
|Celery helps lower blood pressure.||Grapefruit staves off cancer.|
|Fennel soothes digestive spasm.||Lemon detoxifies the liver.|
|Kale strengthens bone density.||Oranges fight infection.|
|Parsley eases digestion and detoxifies.||Pear relieves constipation, boosts liver and bladder health.|
|Romaine lettuce lowers blood pressure.||Raspberries lower risk of breast cancer.|
|Spinach improves mental functioning.||Strawberries may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, allergies and high cholesterol build-up and enhance sleep.|
|Wheatgrass eases eczema, ulcers, anemia, arthritis and high blood pressure.|
Neil, Carole E. et al (2010) “Improved Diet Intake and Diet Quality 100% Fruit Juice Consumption on Children: NHANES 2003-2006“. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/24/1_MeetingAbstracts/561.3?maxtoshow=&hits=20&RESULTFORMAT=&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&displaysectionid=Nutrition+Epidemiology%3A+Children+and+Adults&volume=24&issue=1_MeetingAbstracts&resourcetype=HWCIT
Nelson, Jennifer K. “Is Juicing Healthier than Eating Whole Fruits or Vegetables?” Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/juicing/AN02107