Juicing has created major buzz for some time now among diet trends. Recently, however, it made the leap from the stainless steel kitchens of health-crazed Hollywood stars to ordinary homes across America.
Juicing is supposed to combat the two things that contribute to sickness: vitamin deficiency and toxicity. It also may facilitate weight loss, increase energy levels and decrease chances of some diseases. Since 95 percent of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need can be found in raw fruits and vegetables, juicing creates an easy way to get this nutritional goodness into the bloodstream. To get the nutrients found in one 16-ounce juice, you’d need to consume two pounds of carrots, 10-12 apples or eight pounds of spinach.
The best news? Juicing no longer requires a personal chef or luxurious juice bar. We’ve gathered simple tips to get you started at home. Ready, set, juice!
How to get started
Many recommend Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer for beginners. However, if you’re juicing lots of greens and hard vegetables, a more powerful juicer like the Breville may be your best bet. First, read the juicer’s instructions, wash all fruits and veggies, and chop them up to speed up the process. Remove pits and larger seeds, too (like those in lemons and apples). Consider removing some skins.
When to do it
If possible, drink juice on an empty stomach (or an hour before eating). Try to consume it the same day it’s prepared; store leftovers in the fridge for up to 24 hours in a tightly sealed container.
What to juice
There are a number of fruits and vegetables that pack quite a nutritional punch. Here are a few:
- Spinach and kale – high in iron and folate
- Pineapples – help protein digestion
- Cranberries – help prevent UTIs
- Blueberries – high in antioxidants
- Cabbage – high water content, lots of vitamin C and folate, and low in cost
- Celery – a good source of potassium
- Cucumbers and lemons – loaded with vitamin C, which counteracts the body’s acidity
- Carrots – full of beta-carotene
- Beets – an excellent source of antioxidants
Here’s a tip: Include beet leaves when blending. These have a lot of iron, calcium and beta-carotene. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw in some wheatgrass or stinging nettles, too. Companies such as Seattle-based Squeeze make the process easier by delivering boxes of juice-worthy produce.
How to avoid the pucker face
Not every juice combination is delicious. Experimentation is the name of the game. Try different combinations of fruits and veggies until you get a taste you like.
Where to find ideas
Health magazine, juicerecipes.com or juicemaster.com all have plenty of juice concoctions to choose from, as well as their related health benefits. Also consider using local resources like Seattle’s Thrive Cafe and the Portland Juice Press blog. Cheers!