Monday, December 29, 2008

Benefits of Juicing

I find it curious that since I have made my interest in holistic nutrition known, several people, friends of mine, have asked me if I am doing anything crazy with my diet. My response is "if eating more vegetables and fruit is crazy, then I guess I am." And in my quest to add more whole plant foods to my diet, I have been juicing which provides not only an easy way to consume large amounts of vegetables and fruits, but has numerous health benefits.

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to do something good for you body, consider the health benefits of juicing. Juicing is preparing and drinking fruit and vegetable juices, and the many health benefits of juicing far exceed those of eating solid fruits and vegetables.

For one thing, the body can quickly absorb larger amounts of nutrients from juices than from solid foods because the process of digestion that is necessary when you eat whole foods is bypassed. Raw fruits and vegetables contain many substances that enhance health, and juicing benefits the body by providing the most concentrated and readily absorbed source of these substances.

Another one of the major health benefits of juicing is that it is an easy way to get beneficial enzymes, which are primarily found in raw foods, into the body. Enzymes in fresh fruits and vegetables have the vital role of converting food into body tissue and energy. Enzymes are also involved in metabolism, so one of the more valuable health benefits of juicing is that it can increase metabolic rate. Juicing also ensures that the body is getting sufficient amounts of phytochemicals, substances in plants that are considered among the most powerful ways to fight disease. While most people do not eat enough raw fruits and vegetables to obtain the amount of phytochemicals that would make a difference, it is relatively easy to drink enough juice to obtain sufficient amounts of these powerful nutrients. In addition, antioxidants and other immune enhancing properties are concentrated in juices.

Juicing can therefore help to accelerate recovery from illness. In fact, juicing with specific combinations of fruits or vegetables can target particular conditions and improve or alleviate symptoms.

Among the most interesting health benefits of juicing are its anti-aging benefits and its potential for alleviating symptoms of depression. The effects of juicing on depression are accomplished by providing a concentrated source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and folic acid. Deficiencies of these nutrients are associated with symptoms of depression.

Further, the concentration of antioxidants in juices combats the damaging effects that free radicals have on skin and muscle. Juicing can help keep skin free from wrinkles and muscles well toned. In addition, increasing the intake of antioxidants by juicing can slow the onset of age-related illnesses.

In conjunction with its positive effects on health, the benefits of juicing also include the fact that it is relatively cost effective and convenient, especially if you prepare your own juices. By staying healthy as a result of increasing your intake of fresh juices, you can also reduce the need for expensive medications. Since there are no side effects associated with juicing, you can drink as much juice as you are able to tolerate, thereby maximizing health benefits. There are many tasty combinations of fruits and vegetables, and the variety of juices that can be prepared are likely to keep you in the habit of juicing once you realize the many health benefits that doing so can provide.

Juicing Tips

1. Use organic vegetables whenever possible. If organic is not available, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before juicing.

2. Drink fresh juice right away in order to receive the maximum nutritional benefits. Nutrients begin breaking down immediately. Juice can be stored in an air-tight container filled to the top for up to 24 hours if necessary.

3. In general a pound of produce will give you a cup of juice.

4. Rotate the types of vegetables you are juicing to receive the maximum health benefit.

5. Celery, cucumber, cranberry and watermelon can help reduce water retention.

6. Green leafy vegetables are highly recommended. Try Red leaf lettuce, Green leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Chard, Parsley and Cabbage.

Happy Juicing - Shannan



inneedofgrace said...

I've been juicing a little over a year and can't tell you how much I love it. I usually do two or three juices a day - mostly vegetable.
I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am very interested in natural cures and healthy living.
Have a great day!

Shannan and Karla said...

Wow, good for you! Two to three glasses a day is my goal.

Thanks for sharing and we are so happy you found us!!


Shannan and Karla said...

Awesome post Shannan! Santa brought me a juicer and I'm really enjoying delving into this new area!

Kristen's Raw said...

Love love love juicing! (I call it Plant Blood for fun.) I have both the Green Star and a Breville machines and I love them both.

I just scored a separate juicer for wheatgrass that I'll be trying out very soon, too (although my Green Star juices wheatgrass, I'm trying this little guy out anyway. Plus, it could be great for travel).

Happy Holidays,

Shannan and Karla said...

Karla and I both have Brevilles. It works great for me. I just did apple, cucumber, celery, collard green, broccoli juice today. It was great!


GirlonTour said...

Wow, what a perfect post. I have juices every morning and it has become a ritual with my boyfriend and I even if I don't have to get up for work. I really look forward to them and enjoy coming up with some interesting concoctions based on what is left in my fridge.

As for washing fruit and veggies, I live in an area which struggles to get good quality organic produce and I read somewhere you could wash your fruit and veggies in baking soda to neutralise the chemical. Do you know anything about this? As when I do my tomatoes in baking soda they sometimes explode?

Great blog! Got it off Kristen's. I'll definitely be coming back for more!

mikaljains said...

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This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.