Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.
While you can certainly juice fruits, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is best to limit using fruits until you normalize these conditions.
The exception would be lemons and limes which have virtually none of the offending sugar, fructose, that causes most of the metabolic complications. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark, deep green leafy vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing.
Benefits of Juicing
There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:
- Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
- Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
- You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer. The cheap centrifugal juicers (like the Juiceman) break easily, produce low-quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss. They also don’t last very long.
My favorite are the single gear juicers which are relatively fast, less expensive and easier to clean than more expensive juicers like twin gears or even the $2000 Norwalk juicers. Here is my current favorite juicer. Many people initially think that juicing will be a real chore, but the majority are pleasantly surprised to find that it is much easier than they thought it would be.
Vegetable Juice is Not a Complete Meal
It is important to note that vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat, so by itself, it is not really a complete food. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it.
So unless you are undergoing some special fasting or detoxification program, it is probably unwise to use juicing as a meal replacement. Ideally, it can be consumed with your meal or as a between meal snack.
Important to Listen to Your Body
This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant — not make you feel nauseous.
It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Your stomach should feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should not be eating. Personally, I’ve noticed that I can’t juice large amounts of cabbage, but if I spread it out, I do fine.
Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and help you enjoy the benefits of juicing quickly:
Lesson 1: Use Pesticide Free Veggies.
It is wise to choose organic whenever possible. However, some vegetables are worse than others. Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide-loaded ones according to the Environmental Working Group.
So it would be wise to only purchase these vegetables if they are organically grown. The worst ones are listed first.
- Collard Greens
- Cucumber (not as bad if you peel the skin)