Holistic nutritionists believe that every person is unique in their biochemical composition and therefore, unique in their nutritional needs. In short, not one diet fits all.
This concept applies to juicing versus smoothies. They can both be extremely healthy, but they deliver different benefits. Depending on your situation, one may be a better dietary solution to help you reach your goals.
Let’s talk juice first – we will cover smoothies in my next blog.
I personally do not juice (I prefer smoothies), but juicing is a great way to get concentrated amounts of vitamins/minerals from a variety of fruits and vegetables in one small glass. Extremely high in antioxidants, juicing can help boost the immunity and offers great nutritional support during times of illness and detoxification.
Juicing gives your digestive system a rest and makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients and it is a great option for those who are picky eaters. If you wish to purchase a juicer, a single gear juicer is best. They are generally less expensive and run at a lower speed, which lets you to preserve the quality of the vegetables and fruit.
On the flip side, juices lack protein and fibre — two KEY nutritional must-haves in which most people are deficient. Juicing also creates a lot of waste as many people don’t know what to do with the leftover pulp. You can creatively incorporate them into baking, but you must take the time and effort to do so.
Many people don’t realize that fresh juices are highly perishable. They lose their nutritional value quickly and must be consumed immediately to reap the antioxidant benefits. This means, you must juice yourself if you want the maximum health benefits. Store bought juices are simply high in sugar, despite their marketing claims. Finally, you can’t maintain a juice diet for long periods of time. It is too low in calories, protein and fat, and could slow your metabolism.
If you do decide to pursue juicing, what should you be putting in your cup? ORGANIC, pesticide free vegetables are best. The goal is to increase antioxidant status, not increase toxins. Some juice-friendly combinations to consider
According to Dr. Mercola, celery, fennel and cucumbers are an easy combination for “beginner juicers” to digest.
Leafy greens such as lettuce, endive, spinach, kale, collard greens, dandelion are the next step. While they can be bitter tasting, they deliver a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, calcium and potassium.
Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, bok choy) can be a bit upsetting to the digestive, system, so use sparingly if experimenting. Cruciferous veggies offer cancer-fighting compounds, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, as well as vitamin C.
Herbs such as parsley or cilantro are rich in antioxidants, beneficial oils and vitamin C.
Add taste! A quarter of a lemon or lime will help reduce the bitterness of greens while work to alkalize the blood. Fresh ginger will help fire up the metabolism and improve digestion while lowering cholesterol and increasing your circulation.
- Use apples, carrots and beets sparingly as they are high in fructose. While they add great taste, lemon/lime will deliver bigger benefits with less sugar.