People juice for many reasons including weight loss, to live a healthier lifestyle and to help with medical issues. Our Shanti-Som Health expert gives us the Complete Juice Guide for health, energy, clear skin and weight loss.
Let’s delve in a little deeper to the benefits of juice:
1. Healthier body
Fruits and vegetables are good for you, no one is going to argue with that. Nutritional specialists suggest we eat 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day. When consumed at these levels a day we reduce the risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that most of us aren’t getting enough fruit and vegetables. Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit and vegetables recommendations according to a CDC study.
Having a juice a day makes it so easy to incorporate these daily portions into our diet.
Studies have found a potential link between certain juices and health:
- Kale juice may improve lipid levels, such as cholesterol, which affect your risk of heart disease.
- Carrot juice may reduce oxidative stress in cells in women treated for breast cancer.
- Citrus-based juices and carrot juice may reduce heart disease risk.
Bottom Line– Let’s be real, juice is not going to cure all your alignments and health issues. It’s just one way to help get our daily nutritional needs and create the perfectly balanced condition for our bodies to function how it is meant to.
2. Helps Eliminate Toxins
Through our everyday life we are exposed to toxins. Toxic intake which is not excreted properly may can cause bloating, gas, headaches, constipation, headaches, fatigues, nausea, skin problems, bad breath and bring your energy levels down. Our liver and kidney do quite a good job of filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins by drawing substances out of the bloodstream and processing them for the body to excrete as waste. A juice filled with vegetables and fruit broken down into an easily digestible form simply helps support our bodies function as they should.
Bottom Line- Despite our bodies being pretty efficient at getting rid of toxins, what’s the harm in helping give a little extra boost to cleanse and reap the benefits of a detoxified system such as more energy, better sleep, glowing skin and no more sugar cravings which lead to weight gain.
3. Weight Loss
Juice helps you feel fuller so you are less likely to reach for the afternoon snacks that are full of sugars and carbohydrates. Proponents to using juice as a way to improve health and weight loss claim the lowered calorie intake has short term benefits of losing weight but in the long-term have health consequences.
Well we aren’t suggesting you go on a juice diet and stop eating other nutrient rich solid food! On average we should all be getting a 2000 calorie rich diet. Juice can simply be one way to up your intake of nutrients, but whole fruits and vegetables should still be a part of your daily diet, together with exercise.
Bottom Line – Add a juice to your morning routine to help boost your nutritional intake and keep you fuller until lunch time. You won’t have those cravings to grab carb loaded or sugary options.
4. Improved Energy and Mood
Juice floods your body with nutrients in their natural state creating a lasting, clean energy, not the ups and downs and crashes we can get from coffee and sugar. This snowballs into a general sense of achievement, improvement in overall lifestyle and mindset. Give it 15-20 minutes and you should be feeling a nice boost after each juice.
Bottom Line – First thing in the morning, drink some juice and see how you feel. Juice is full of nutrients, vitamins and enzymes that are good for overall health. It gives people the energy they need first thing in the morning to improve their mood. Above all, having a healthy attitude to food and our bodies is the start to a more positive life.
5. Improves Gut Health
Bloated? Irritated bowels? Sensitive stomach? A juice cleanse can help reset your gut. When you drink cold pressed, raw fruit and vegetable juice, you’re greatly reducing the amount of input and stress that your gut experiences.
Bottom Line- we all know the importance of gut health so having nutrients broken down into an easily digestible form gives our digestive system a break.
6. Keeps you Hydrated & your Skin will be Glowing
More than 50% of people are dehydrated – consuming less than the recommended daily 5-6 glasses of non-caffeinated beverages. Drinking adequate fluids helps the body function more efficiently, improves energy, and helps remove toxins more effectively. Hydration also makes your skin glow.
Bottom Line- Regular hydration helps remove toxins while juicing helps increase your nutrient intake that can transform how you feel and look. Friends will soon be complimenting you on your fresh dewy glow.
Now that you’re excited about juicing! Let’s get into the Complete Juice Guide!
Bottled vs Fresh Juice
You may be wondering if the health benefits are the same if you drink bottled juice. Yes, it can be! You just need to know which type of bottled juice to choose.
Bottled juices are usually treated to kill pathogenic organisms and increase the shelf life of the product. Some bottled juices are heat pasteurized which means the heat kills bacteria but also destroys nutrients, colour and flavour. A process called High Pressure Processing (HPP) makes bottled juices a great choice if you can’t make it fresh. In this process the juice is subject to a very high pressure which eliminates the pathogens whilst also protecting nutrients and flavour. So, look for labels that read ‘HPP’ or ‘cold pressed’.
Bottom line, fresh is still the best. If you are making your own or going to a local juice bar this is the best option. However, if you are on the go then drinking a bottled juice is still better than none at all so look out for the labelling to see HPP or Cold Pressed as the next best thing.
Do note, if juice is stored for long periods it loses its nutrients. So best to buy fresh and consume straight away.
Juicer vs Blender
Trying to decide between blenders and juicers can be a real minefield. Should you go for one of the popular blenders promising to blitz fruit and vegetables and release nutrition while retaining crucial fibre, or a juicer that claims to extract more goodness from your food than rivals?
Let’s break it down.
- Provides more concentrated amounts of vitamins and nutrients
- It’s easier absorption of nutrients for the body
- Depending on how you make it, some juices contain more sugar than sodas
- The fibrous part of the fruit is removed as only the liquid is extracted
- It can require some additional time and makes a little extra mess.
- Ingredients are pulverised so you simply put the whole fruit or vegetable in with no peeling and minimal cutting is required
- Blended fruits and vegetables retain all their fibre for healthy digestion
- There is less food waste as the whole fruit and vegetable is used and there is less clean up
- The fibrous parts of fruits and vegetables fill you up and also contain antioxidants.
Ultimately what’s the difference?
You Blend for More Fibre
While juice is still a source of vitamins and minerals, straining out the pulp removes most or all of the dietary fibre, which means it’s not as nutrient rich.
Choosing fibre-free juice also means your beverage won’t be as satisfying as it could be. Fibre naturally regulates your blood sugar levels and absorbs water in your digestive tract, which means you feel fuller longer.
Fibre is essential for long-term health too. It absorbs cholesterol in your digestive tract and flushes it out of your body, which is helpful for reducing risk factors for heart disease. Meals high in fibre also keep your digestive system moving and prevent constipation.
What Ingredients to Use
Detox drinks and juice smoothies can be made with an endless variety of ingredients, but it’s generally best to include more vegetables than fruits to keep the natural sugars to a minimum. We suggest an 80:20 split. The fewer sweet ingredients you use, the less you’ll crave sugary fruits and vegetables, priming your palate for healthier foods and drinks. It’s a process!
Here are some ideas on what to include in your juice:
1. Beetroot packs an antioxidant punch that promotes weight loss, and it gives it a bright invigorating colour.
2. Celery gives subtle vegetable flavour, and naturally cleanses the digestive system of uric acid. There’s a whole movements towards the miraculous healing components of celery and people are healing from all kinds of acute and chronic illnesses.
3. Ginger helps reduce intestinal gas, and aids in the digestion of fatty foods.
4. Apples are high in fibre, are a great immune system booster, and also aid in cleaning the digestive system.
5. Cayenne Pepper acts as a circulatory stimulant, detoxifier, and supports weight loss. Just add a small pinch to get the benefits.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar might help with digestion and the elimination of pathogens and bad bacteria in your GI tract. Plus, the precious acetic acid in apple cider vinegar reduces insulin resistance and liver fat storage. It’s also a powerful ally in the battle against stubborn belly fat. Just a teaspoon will do wonders!
7. Try Using Nut Milks for flavour and to make it more filling. You can consider making nut milks such as almond or get store bought which is also great.
Here a few tips when preparing your juice:
- When you shop for ingredients, you’ll need a base, these are fruits and vegetables that produce more liquid and add volume. Carrots, green apples, cucumbers and celery make great bases. Then you need to think about what will add a lot of vitamins or colour like leafy greens, beets and other fruits. Last, you might want to add something flavourful like herbs or spices. Add some ginger for a bit of spice or mint for freshness.
- The more green vegetables you can get into your juice the better! Green juice is an acquired taste just like coffee or wine. So, if you’re brand new to juicing you might want to add a lot of fruit to your juices, but over time you’ll be able to enjoy it with less and less which reduces your sugar intake.
- You’ve probably heard that our fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Try to buy organic when possible to minimize such nasties as organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. There are so many benefits to choosing organic . Things that are safer to buy non-organic usually have a rind or peel like oranges or melons because you’ll need to remove it before juicing.
- You can store juice in airtight containers in your refrigerator. However, it’s always best to drink your juice immediately to get the nutritional benefits.
Final word- We are all so busy in our every day lives so being able to consume our recommended daily dose of vegetables and fruit can be cumbersome with lots of food prep and time required. When done correctly, a glass of juice can give you an easy and convenient way to achieving your daily nutritional needs.
If you are feeling completely lethargic, bloated and your skin is breaking out, then using juice as part of a periodic detox is also a great way to reset your body. According to Dr.Merrell, author of the book ‘The Detox Prescription’, it’s also important to combine a holistic approach including light yoga practices, basic self-care, beginning meditation and sleep hygiene to reset body, mind and spirit.