Pros and Cons of Juicing
YOUR MAIN SQUEEZE
What Juicing Can (and can’t) Do for Your Health
Yep, we’ve all been told it’s important to eat our veggies. But what about drinking them? Move over, munching, juicing is here.
Juicing is great to get your daily allotment of veggies. And, of course, it’s healthy. It’s made from veggies, after all. But it’s no magical weight-loss solution and it’s not for everyone.
Juicing for Health
Cooking veggies ensures some loss of nutrients. Juicing them raw with whole fruits keeps all that vitamin-mineral-phytonutrient goodness intact in a form that’s easy for the body to absorb. All that healthy stuff can lead to increased energy, weight loss, a better mood, improved digestion and even clearer skin.
The first step is to find the right juice extractor for you. There are two main types: centrifugal, which uses a fast-spinning metal blade and mesh filter to separate the juice from the flesh, and masticating juicers (also known as cold press), which crush and then press the juice out. Kinda like chewing, which is what masticating means, anyway.
Now to the pros and cons. Centrifugal juicers are quite loud, while cold press juicers require the produce to be cut up into smaller chunks. Choosing the one that works best for your lifestyle is important.
Choosing the right juice is also important. When you think of juice, your mind probably thinks fruit, right? But a healthy juice diet consists largely of green juices made from vegetables, with far less juice coming from sugar-laden fruits.
Start with a cup of juice once a day on the veggie-heavy side. Adding a little fruit, especially lemon, lime or apple juice, can help relieve some of the bitterness of the vegetables. Also try carrots, which are a sweeter veggie, and maybe a sprig of mint. Three or four ingredients is all you really need to start.
You can keep your juice in the fridge in an opaque container for up to 48 hours, but even better? You can freeze it and thaw it as you need it.
Juicing is beneficial, it’s true, but juices that are too fruit-heavy can induce sugar levels that are dangerous to people with certain health conditions like diabetes. And the calories in fruit-heavy juices? Yeah, forget about losing weight. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet.
And even if you’re into juicing, don’t stop there. Your body needs other stuff, too, like protein, for example, or the fiber that whole fruit provides. It’s all about getting a balanced diet. If you have headaches or feel fatigued, your body may be trying to tell you that it’s not getting something it needs. So listen to it.
Popular Produce Picks
Not sure where to start? The most commonly juiced fruits and veggies that are easy to work with and offer optimum nutrition and taste are apples, beets, carrots, chard, collard greens, cucumbers, fennel, ginger, kale, lemon, lime, parsley, radishes, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnips.