Pack in Those Nutrients
When you eat the standard American diet of sweets, white carbs and red meat, you are barely getting the nutrients your body requires. According to Julie Morris, author of Superfood Juices, “As much as two-thirds of the average North American’s caloric intake is sourced from unbeneficial fats, sugar, and refined flour” (1). Your tummy may feel full after eating these foods, but you are satisfying short-term hunger and will soon feel hungry again. Pay attention to your body’s needs rather than your stomach’s, and consider the benefits of adding fresh juice to your diet.
In only one or two 8–16-ounce servings of fresh low-calorie fruit/vegetable juice, you will get many of the essential nutrients your body requires and the energy you need for the day. These concoctions will fill gaps in the diet, and offer easily digested nutrients with no bloated belly, no empty calories and no quick-returning hunger pains. It would be tough to eat as much produce in one sitting as you can drink in a homemade juice.
Juicing is an easy way to get the suggested serving of eight fresh fruits and vegetables a day, which is highly recommended by the American Heart Association. Even if your diet is already balanced and clean, juicing will only improve it even more. Fruit and vegetable juices contain nutrients in their most natural form, including vitamins, minerals, fibers, chlorophyll and live enzymes, which speed up chemical reactions and makes for smooth digestion that will help maintain a healthy weight, support healthy brain function and mood, decrease food cravings, increase your energy and many other benefits!
Bottled, canned and frozen juices are available, but many are pasteurized for a longer shelf life and, therefore, may not offer the same amount of fresh enzymes and nutrients as a fresh homemade juice (2). As Michael T. Murray, N.D., says in The Complete Book of Juicing, “The fresher the juice, the greater the nutrients” (2).
Feeling Is Believing
With juicing, feeling is believing. “Drinking juice is an easy, delicious way to get your nutrients—and you feel the results quickly and powerfully,” say the authors of Juice: Recipes for Juicing (3).
The liquid nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are more quickly absorbed and digested because they do not require your digestive system to break them down in the same way as food (e.g., extract water, take out the nutrients, remove the fiber). Think of juicing as “reducing your system’s workload” and accomplishing some of these steps ahead of time (3). This is one reason why the positive effects of juicing can be felt right away.
Moreover, liquid nourishment is said to support cellular health and the immune system, and it “simply makes us feel amazing” (3).
Be Fun and Creative
While juicing, you get to explore your creativity and get the chance to pick all the produce and other ingredients to create a perfect juice with just the taste and nutritional components you are looking for (4). Juicing is far more than just apples and oranges. Here some fun tips for getting creative and to help you explore the juicing artist inside of you:
• Have you ever thought about juicing beets? Their color is not the only great thing about them. Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains that provide reinforcement for your body’s detoxification and antioxidative processes. Beets are known to help flush the toxins from the kidneys and liver. Also, beets do not need to be peeled before being juiced, but they do need to be well scrubbed. It is highly suggested to progressively add beets to your juice because they have a pretty strong taste.
• Don’t be afraid to juice vegetables that you would have never thought of before as a “juice” component, such as kale, sweet potatoes, chard, cucumber and so forth. Add fruit to mellow out strong flavors. Juicing is all about creativity!
• Add spices and special ingredients to your juices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon and herbs for flavor and to boost health benefits.
• Get your juice(s) for the day ready in the morning and drink them quickly. Or, store juice in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (filled to the top) to prevent oxidation and refrigerate immediately. If you would rather sleep in the morning than make fresh juice yourself, check your favorite health food store’s offerings of freshly made juices.
• If you need more substance to feel full, try adding flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemps seeds, quinoa or even oats to your juice. WF
Additional Consumer Bulletins are available at www.wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/consumer-bulletin
1. J. Morris, Superfood Juices (Sterling, New York, NY, 2014).
2. M.T. Murray, The Complete Book of Juicing (Clarkson Potter, New York NY, 1997).
3. C. de Castro, H. Gores and H. Slater, Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, & Living Well (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 2014).
4. J. Colquhoun, L. ten Bosh and E. Sgourakis, Food Matters: The Recipe Book (Permacology Productions, 2012).
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2014