Juicing has become the latest craze. From the small juice shops popping up everywhere, to talk of cleanses that last from days to weeks, I get questions regarding juicing on a daily basis. I love juicing and am a big advocate— if it is done properly. Here are 5 reasons to incorporate juicing into your diet:
1. Pre -Digests Food and Increases Nutrient Absorption
Many of us know that fiber is needed in our diets to maintain a healthy colon and digestive system. Fiber acts like a brush that cleanses the stomach and intestines by scraping and pushing food and waste through the digestive system. Although this is an action that is required to keep the body healthy, there are times when fiber can be irritating for people in certain states of health. As an example, fiber can be very irritating for those who have compromised digestive systems or a thinning stomach lining. This is especially true with fiber that comes from raw produce, which can literally scrape your lining and cause more damage, making it difficult and close to impossible for your system to recover and heal thoroughly. Having a compromised digestive system can limit the type and amount of nutrients your body can absorb which causes deficiencies. This is one of the reasons juicing is extremely helpful as well as healing, depending on the juices you choose to make. I recommend staying with green juices and limiting fruits. Adding fruit increases the sugar content and can make it harder to stabilize blood sugar.
2. Easily Increase Your Vegetable Intake
Juicing is the easiest way to virtually guarantee you will reach your daily target of at least 6 servings of vegetables. This is important to obtain all the wonderful antioxidants and phytochemicals that we can only obtain from plant foods. Juicing helps us increase our intake of these protective and anti-aging nutrients.
3. Alkaline Forming
We need a balance of acidic and alkaline foods for an ideal body PH. The problem is that the American diet is heavily concentrated around acidic foods (sugars, starches, processed foods) and not enough alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables). Although not all acidic foods are “bad”, animal foods typically fall under this category, despite them being perfectly healthy. There does however need to be a balance when it comes to PH. Disease typically flourishes in an overly acidic environment. This is why juicing is extremely helpful for those suffering from chronic illnesses; it allows for easy absorption of nutrients and helps the body lean towards a more alkaline state.
4. Gain More Energy and Lose Weight
The less the digestion system has to work, the more immediate the assimilation of nutrients and the faster increase in energy levels. This means that juicing is the closest thing to a natural energy drink there is. You can’t get any more real than intaking nutrients from food your body recognizes and can use immediately. Some people can lose weight if they incorporate green juices into a whole foods diet that limits starch and controls blood sugar. Because the body is more nourished the weight can come off easier as it becomes healthier. It’s important to focus on the quality of food versus the amount when it comes to lasting weight loss.
5. Add A Wider Variety of Vegetables To Your Diet
Produce you wouldn’t otherwise eat can be a perfect option for juicing. Take for example dandelion leaves or handfuls of parsley. Don’t forget to add some fat to your juices to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins found in many veggies, but also make sure to slow your absorption if you feel any signs of the juice affecting your blood sugar. To name a few, watch for shakiness, headaches, and sweet cravings. All of these can be signs of low or high blood sugar. In this case adding coconut milk, or coconut oil to your juice can help.
Liver Loving Green Juice
Amount can vary to your liking. Start small with the greens and increase as your taste buds accustom to the bitterness. Use more lemon, ginger or apple if needed.
*Organic ingredients are best
Handful of Dandelion
Handful of Beet Greens
1/2 a Granny Smith Apple
1/4 inch or more Ginger
1/2 – 1 whole Lemon
Toss into a juicer and enjoy!
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