Doctors recommend at least six to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day in order for us to get the dietary requirements that we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.Very few people are able to include the recommended servings of produce because there are other food options that can leave them feeling full or satiated. The solution? Juicing your fruits and vegetables.
Juicing is the process through which you extract juice from the tissues of plants such as vegetables and fruits. It allows the nutrients from these plants to be extracted and made into a drink that will allow a person to get their daily dietary needs without having to consume entire bowls of fruits or vegetables. For people who don’t particularly like the taste of certain nutrient-dense produce, juicing allows them to reap the benefits from these produce by combining them with other produce that matches the taste preference of the person.
It is also easier to digest fruits and vegetables that have been juiced because the indigestible fiber is removed when you juice your produce. This is the reason why it is easier to drink an entire watermelon in its juice form versus eating an entire watermelon. Juicing makes the absorption of nutrients easier since it does not have to go through the usual digestive methods that food usually has to go through. Because exposing food has been shown to kill micronutrients found in fresh produce, juicing is a viable option for those who are following the raw food diet.
Juicing is a great way of incorporating fruits and veggiesnintonyour diet.
You can juice virtually any produce that you can get your hands on. Green leafy vegetables are the first ones to come into people’s minds when it comes to juicing because they are also the least likely to top anyone else’s food list. Because you are able to combine kale, spinach, and the like with fruits, it actually makes them more enjoyable and a lot less intimidating.
Because there are some produce such as bananas and avocados that do not excrete a lot of juice, the best recourse for them is to freeze them and blend them with other produce that you can juice more easily. It is also a great way of using up produce that you bought too much of as you can freeze your excess and use them for blending later on. This is a great zero-waste alternative for those who like to buy in bulk because freezing produce do not alter the nutrients in the vegetable or fruits.
The difference between juicing and blending is that when you juice a produce, you extract the juices and do not get any of the fiber from them. On the contrary, blending retains the fiber found in the produce which makes it a little more difficult to digest than drinking it them as a juice. It is also worth noting that when you juice or blend produce, the best thing to do is to use a slow juicer because when you blend or juice too fast, the centrifugal force or the pressure from the juicer can create some heat which can affect the nutrient density of the fruit or vegetable.
There’s a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that you can use for juicing but there a few that stand out because of how nutrient dense they are, and how amazingly they compliment all the other produce that they are added to.
Kale - this vegetable has been growing a cult following and for good reason. This amazing green leafy vegetable is so nutrient dense which makes it a great option for those who want to control their calorie intake because it’s also low in calories. Considered as a superfood, this leafy green is taking center stage in the health and fitness community because each serving contains 3 grams of protein, a good amount of omega 3 fatty acid, and as much calcium as a glass of milk.
Cabbage - this delightful and surprisingly sweet green vegetable is a great option for juicing because it is loaded with health benefits. This vegetable is high in vitamins and minerals that are sure to amplify the immune system’s capacity of fighting off common diseases and infections. It is high in sulfur and silicon, minerals which greatly benefit the skin and helps flush out toxins that leaves the skin feeling and looking dry. The antioxidants found in cabbage not only fight free radicals, they also support liver functions.
Carrot probably the most famous vegetable juice, carrots are filled with antioxidants that fight free radicals and cell damage due to oxidation. It is known to contain a lot of Vitamin A which supports strong vision, and the beta-carotene found in carrots not only support the role of Vitamin A in maintaining a strong immune system, it also supports brain function and reduces the oxidation of brain cells that causes cell damage, nerve signal malfunctions, and cognitive disturbances. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and Vitamin C.
Kale is incredibly nutrient dense and has low calories
Cabbage is a good source of antioxidants
Carrot juice is a popular choice because of its natural sweetness
Pineapple is tropical fruit that is loaded with nutritional benefits
Pineapple - is one of the most refreshing fruits to juice. It is packed with magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, manganese, bromelain, and dietary fiber. The amount of nutritional content in pineapples makes it a great anti-inflammatory drink that also has cancer-preventing properties, is heart-friendly, can aid in digestion, and has antioxidant properties that fights free radicals. Pineapples are one of the best fruits to juice because of how nutritionally dense it is and how well it lends its flavors with other fruits to make a delightfully delicious drink.
Tomato - although people think that lycopene is best drawn out of tomatoes through cooking them, you can actually get just as much lycopene from tomatoes by juicing them. Lycopene is an important antioxidant that supports cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of some types of cancer, and some metabolic diseases. It also contains sulfur and chlorine which helps in detoxifying the body of harmful toxins that have accumulated in the body overtime. While the sodium content in tomatoes are helpful in maintaining healthy nerve functions and regulating blood pressure, too much of it can cause an imbalance in your body that can reverse the potential benefits of tomatoes that’s why it is best to drink them in moderation and with other fruits and vegetables.
Papaya - this delightfully refreshing and delicious fruit is known for having high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that keep the body healthy and incredibly strong. It contains the the digestive enzyme papain which aids in digestion, reduces inflammation and bloating, and helps in addressing certain allergic reactions. It is also known to support a strong cardiovascular system and promotes healthy blood flow that protects people from stroke, and is a great way or promoting healthy and regular menstrual cycles in women.
Tomato juice is a heart-friendly beverage option
Papaya is naturally sweet and refreshing
Love it or hate it, there's no denying how healthy beets are.
Beets - this bright colored and sweet vegetable has a distinctive taste that people either really love or really dislike. But despite the disagreements on whether it’s a crowd favorite or not, this vegetable serves a lot of nutritional value that cannot be ignored. It contains dietary nitrates that help in lowering blood pressure. It is also a great source of folate which is very important for women and their babies especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is low in fat and low in calories, and it contains powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients that help in detoxifying the body and in maintaining a healthy immune system.
As mentioned, starchy fruits and vegetables don’t juice well because they are not able to release as much liquid therefore, the next best thing would be to freeze them and turn them into a smoothie.
Avocado - this fleshy fruit that is great on its own or as accompaniment to other drinks or dishes, are incredibly delicious and nutritious. A crowd favorite within the health and fitness community, it is a popular choice for those who are into the ketogenic diet because is a great source of good fat. It is loaded with fiber, it has more potassium than bananas, and it helps in nutrient absorption. It also helps in maintaining health vision, and it also helps in lowering cholesterol.
Banana - this fruit is a go-to snack and breakfast option and with good reason. It is rich in potassium, Vitamin C, and B6 which not only support the cardiovascular system, it also prevents stroke, preserves muscle mass, and helps in lowering cholesterol. Since it is a high fiber fruit, it also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels even with those who suffer from diabetes. Bananas also contain the amino acid called tryptophan which plays a huge role in the brain’s memory preserving function and is a great mood enhancer.
Potato - popularly eaten fried, in stews, or in casseroles, this vegetable which identifies as a starch, is loaded with nutrients that makes it even more delectable. It contains thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin which are essential in maintaining healthy brain functions, supports the nervous systems, and helps in keeping the liver healthy. It also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals that promote a healthy immune system. Just be mindful that you do not eat potatoes that have green spots because these would contain solanine which can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.
Avocado is a great source of healthy fat
A banana isn't only filling, it is also nutrient dense.
Potatoes are high in antioxidants but are quite tricky to juice.
Broccoli is high in antioxidants and fiber
Broccoli - this popular vegetable is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of the body thus reducing blood cholesterol levels. The fiber found in broccoli also aids the body’s digestive system, and is a great food option for those looking to lose weight because it is low in calories. It is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids that not only support brain functions but also helps in reducing and preventing inflammations and allergic reactions. Broccoli is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C which support a healthy immune system and fights oxidizing free radicals.
Healthy Gut - juicing allows the prebiotic bacteria found in vegetables and fruits to full the digestive system and ensure a healthier digestive track. When your gut is healthy, it boosts your immune system and helps keep your body in top shape and performance to fight off diseases and infections.
Great Energy Booster - because it is important to drink juice on an empty stomach, it also serves as a great source of energy to start your day with. Raw food, especially ones that are nutrient rich, does not leave you feeling bloated or sluggish and instead leaves you feeling alert and rejuvenated. Because juicing your produce makes them easier to digest, you are able to reap the benefits from the fruits and vegetables right away.
Juicing is a great way of detoxifying your body.
Dietary Fiber Supplement - although juicing removes the fiber content from your produce, it can still be retained and supplemented through blending. This means that you get to have readily absorbable nutrients from the produce that have been juiced and you also get the fiber from the produce that you have blended. This is a great way to lose weight because your body will feel fuller for much longer without having to sacrifice its nutrient needs.
Detox - because of the presence of all the nutrient rich food and digestive bacteria present in raw fruits and vegetables, you actually help your body in detoxifying itself from all the chemicals that it has accumulated through the years because of an unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices. Juicing also goes extremely well with intermittent fasting because it’s a great way of breaking your fast without surprising the body with a huge amount of food.
Juicing, while it is good and healthy, should not be considered as the only source of nutrients because there is still some good in cooking food when necessary. A diet that consists of 80% raw food, 20% cooked food is ideal. It is also worth remembering that juicing your fruits and vegetables is not a cure for illnesses but should be treated as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risks of getting sick due to a strengthened immune system.
On the same note, juicing is a great way of including fruits and vegetables in your diet but eating your produce in its whole form is still ideal because you are able to include all of the dietary fiber that it has to offer. Fruits should also be juiced together with a predominantly green and leafy recipe because fruits contain more fructose. Focusing too much on fruits may cause your blood sugar to sky rocket because of its sugar content.
Because you will be consuming the produce raw, the best way to have them is to go for organic produce to avoid artificial fertilizers and harmful chemicals that might have found their way into the food. This also ensure that you will always get high quality and nutrient dense produce each time. When it comes to juicing, quality is the rule of thumb because you can never go wrong with good and fresh ingredients when it comes to providing yourself with the best and healthiest options.