If we took all the possible healthy things to do and put them in order from easiest to most difficult, what would rank most difficult? It probably depends on the person, but for me… training for an ironman would be pretty hard.
Where would juicing fit on that scale? For sure it’s harder than drinking water. Maybe it depends on the effort/benefit ratio? Let’s chat about it and then decide.
Raw, fresh-squeezed juice is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and water that are easily and quickly assimilated into the body. In Pat Crocker’s “The Juicing Bible,” she asserts that one glass of fresh juice a day will strengthen bones, the immune system, and the skin, while increasing energy, and lowering risk of disease. We know fresh juices can be a tonic to the digestive tract, clearing out waste, and strengthening the organs and systems.
Various juices can be used therapeutically to tackle specific health issues and intentionally flood the body with certain nutrients.
Additionally, freshly squeezed juices are “living” food, bringing life to the body (as opposed to the dead, pasteurized, sugar-filled juices you find on store shelves).
While eating fruits and vegetables is always an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it can be nice to include fresh juices as a way to increase your nutrient consumption without having to chew quite as much.
How to Juice?
Get a Juicer
The first hurdle to overcome is getting a juicer. There are different types of juicers for different types of foods. There are different brands of all those types of juicers. I’ll admit, this is the type of stuff I get stuck in.
In my opinion, there are a few things to consider: What do you plan on juicing? How much juice do you want to make at a time? What are your thoughts on cleaning it? How much money do you want to spend?
I did a simple search online, read through product descriptions and reviews, and ultimately went with the Breville Juice Fountain. It’s a centrifugal juicer, meaning it shreds the produce with a spinning basket and the juice passes through a strainer into the collector. I have used it with many different types of produce, including apples, oranges, lemons, celery, ginger, beets, kale, spinach, carrots, grapes, cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc. and it’s certainly done the job.
The other type of juicer I saw was masticating, meaning it squeezes and crushes the produce, pushing the pulp out in one area, and dropping the juice in another area through a strainer, into the collector. From what I read, masticating juicers seem to be more effective than centrifugal when it comes to leafy greens and herbs.
Choose the Produce
This, of course, depends on your goals. If you’re just going for general health, feel free to juice whatever sounds good! The more variety you choose, the more nutrients you will get. When first starting, make sure to be aware of your sweet to not-so-sweet ratio. If you just do a bunch of cabbage and celery, it will not be palatable! Stick to two or three fruits per vegetable and go from there. For example, if you want to juice some brussels sprouts, make sure to add a couple apples or an orange to it.
If you have a specific health concern, a quick search on the internet will give you plenty of ideas. Consider searching something like, “Which fresh juices help with ______” (insert your issue).
There are also many juice recipes out there to target specific issues. “The Juicing Bible” gives multiple recipes for supporting every organ and system in the body.
When I first started juicing, I was having a pretty bad gallbladder attack every morning. I knew beets are great for the gallbladder, so I started incorporating a whole beet (with the greens) in my morning juice. Within a few days the gallbladder attacks resolved and it hasn’t been a problem for me since.
Prepare the Produce
According to “The Juicing Bible,” you want your produce to be as fresh as possible. Ideally, you would pick up the produce the same day you plan to juice it. For me, this is not feasible. I pick up produce once or twice a week and hope for the best!
When preparing to make juice, I put all the produce I plan to use on the counter. Then I wash it, cut off any yucky stuff, and make sure it’s the right size to fit into the machine. If you plan to save your pulp to use in other recipes, you’ll need to peel and seed your produce. Otherwise, it’s fine to just include it all! Definitely include any green tops (such as on beets, carrots, etc.) to get those nutrients in your juice.
All that’s left is turning it on and beginning!
Drink the Juice
They say it’s best to drink within two hours if possible to get the most nutrition out of it, and discard after 12 hours. I like to make juice first thing in the morning and then enjoy it as I prepare breakfast.
What About Fiber?
First off, did you know there is fiber in freshly squeezed juice? Obviously there is not as much as in a whole piece of fruit, but that’s also the point of juicing. With juice, you are able to consume a lot more of these specific nutrients than you would be able to if you relied on the whole produce alone. While fiber is important and you should continue to eat produce daily, juice serves a different purpose. With less fiber, your body is more easily able to assimilate the vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and get rid of junk, while not having to work hard on digesting. This is especially good to remember when you are sick – load up on the fresh juices!
Another thing I learned early on is the benefit of “chewing” your juice. Simply swish the juice in your mouth a couple times to mix it with saliva. This helps begin the digestion process and prevents an unwanted spike in blood sugar. I’ll link to a great little pdf I got from Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy Newsletter below that teaches more about all this.
The Bottom Line
Freshly squeezed juices are a great way to strengthen every organ and system in your body, packing in the nutrients in a tasty way. Don’t get too caught up in all the details. Just pick a juicer, pick some fruits and vegetables (you can even add in herbs!), and give it a shot. You really can’t go wrong.
Back to our difficulty ranking… what do you think? Honestly, especially considering all the health benefits, it seems like a simple add in. You don’t have to break a sweat. You don’t need to leave the house. You can easily include everyone in the family. The hardest part for me is remembering to do it!
Do you have a favorite juice recipe? Let me know and I’d love to try it!
About the author
Hey! My name is Brittan and I live in Utah with my husband and one adorable toddler. I love finding holistic and natural ways to care for myself and my family. I particularly enjoy learning about nutrition, herbal medicine, the emotional, spiritual, and energetic aspects of health, and anything else that contributes to complete wellness. Thanks for joining me!
I am not a doctor. Everything I write about is from my personal experience and perspective. Consult a physician if you have questions specific to your health.