The Health Benefits of Juicing Regularly
There are a number of benefits to regular juicing. I juice about three to four times a day. One of the main reasons for my "habit" is the high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that the body gets in one shot.
About ninety percent of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables are found in their juices. Since it is a liquid, the body is able to absorb all of the nutrients much more quickly than actually eating the veggies and fruits. Plus, you’d have to eat quite a few veggies and fruits daily just to get a fraction of the nutrients you get from drinking on glass of the homemade stuff.
It also makes a fast and easy snack that helps to quench that sweet tooth, and fill you up (I actually juice for all my snacks now, it really helps with cravings and is quite filling).
One of the main things I found after juicing for awhile is the change in my palate. Foods that aren’t organic or natural taste like processed junk (for lack of a better term). We used to buy typical juice from the store all the time. The store-bought stuff is full of sugar, and doesn’t have half of the nutrients found in natural juice. I’ve also found that store-bought just doesn’t taste right anymore. The artificial sweeteners used they use have a nasty aftertaste.
With natural juice, the sugar is fructose, a natural sugar your body can easily break down because it sees it as glucose. Glucose is a sugar that the body uses for energy, and everything we eat gets converted into this sugar. Fructose is a very similar molecule to glucose in its chemical makeup, so the body has less work to do. It also doesn’t have the acidic aftertaste caused by artificial sweeteners like saccharin.
Most of the foods we eat daily are riddled with preservatives, chemicals (like insecticides) and other toxins that can wreak havoc on our bodies. All of these chemicals and toxins create free radicals in our blood stream. Free radicals are responsible for the aging process, autoimmune diseases, and even cardiovascular disease.They cause cells to break down and die and slow the healing process considerably.
Antioxidants are the antidote so to speak. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C among others. In juice form, these antioxidants go straight into the blood stream and neutralize these free radicals preventing cell damage and death.
More on Juicing
The fact that the body doesn’t have to work very hard to digest juice, allows the energy saved from the digestion process to be used for other essential activities like building muscle or clearing out toxins already in adipose tissue (fat cells).
Many people also notice that they have quite a bit more energy after they start juicing. I’m one of those people. My energy levels drastically increased after about the third day of juicing. Of course, I had the same effect when I went vegan.
Animal products, specifically the animal protein casein, are very difficult to break down, taking up to 72 hours to digest, and they also create an acidic state in the body known as metabolic acidosis. This causes the body to strip calcium from the bones to neutralize the acidic state. This can cause osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
A juice fast, or even just drinking it several times a day, and limiting your intake of animal products (or removing animal products all together) will allow the body to reverse this acidic state and start replenishing its calcium stores.
The Juice Fast
The juice fast really jumpstarts the process of cleansing the body. It also helps you burn away all those fat stores. Many people do the it for three, five, or seven days. Some people go much longer, up to 60 days in some cases. These longer fasts are called reboots and they allow the body to burn fat, cleanse toxins and repair previous damage. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before starting any type of fast or diet. I checked with my doctor who said it wouldn’t be a problem and “you’re getting plenty of nutrients.”
The first three to 5 days are the hardest. You feel sluggish, and horrible. But this is the body “resetting.” Many suffer headaches and withdrawal from caffeine and sugar for the first week.
But as the time goes on, all this changes. You’ll have a spring in your step, and you won’t feel loaded down by excess fat, salt and other toxins. You won’t have constipation; in fact you’ll be quite regular because of all the fiber. This can help to lower the risk of colon cancer.
Since I’ve been juicing, I’ve tried several different combinations of fruits in my Breville juicer. I’ve listed my favorite below along with the nutritional content. I’ve been playing with veggie combinations, but have yet to find one I really like.
Tip: To add sweetness to any juice, add two to three apples or pears. They neutralize acidity and make vegetable juices much sweeter.
Dragon Fruit Juice Ingredients
- 2 Navel Oranges, peeled
- 2 Mangos, peeled and stone removed
- 1 bag Red Seedless Grapes, cleaned and vine removed
- Grapes can be difficult to juice, especially if you’re using a centrifugal juicer. I put one orange in add half the grapes and then push the fruit down into the juicer. This helps to get the most juice from the grapes. Otherwise they bounce all around in the centrifuge and much of the juice is lost.
|Serving size: Makes six 8 oz servings|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 32 g||11%|
|Sugar 25 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Vitamin and Mineral Content for Dragon Fruit Juice
For more recipes, check out my blog.
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