So you’ve heard of juicing and juice cleanses and you’ve come to wonder: what are the benefits of juicing? What are the side effects of juicing, and is juicing good for weight loss?
Juicing is the act of extracting the juice content from fruit or vegetables, retaining their nutrients but losing the pulp, as you might with orange juice. While store-bought fruit juices are often full of added sugars, the idea of vegetable juices often seems unpalatable to people. This article will show you a few recipes that are not only healthy, but designed to be tasty too, and as for all the questions surrounding juicing and its health benefits? This article will clarify those too.
Reasons You Might Try Juicing
- You don’t like vegetables but need to eat them.
- You have trouble getting all the servings of fruits and veggies each day that your body needs.
- You’re on a low-fiber or fiber-restricted diet.
- You’re trying to lose weight while increasing certain beneficial nutrients.
- You want a natural way to cleanse and detox.
Health Benefits of Juicing
Here are some of the benefits of juicing you may or may not have considered. While you can’t live on juice alone (and no one would ever ask or advise you to), making juicing or occasional juice cleanses part of your diet brings with it some particular advantages.
A Greater Variety of Vegetables
The time and effort it takes to cook and prepare one vegetable for a dinner with two to four other components is already a certain cost to eating well. If you’re cooking for a family and if you’re going to grocery stores and farmers markets regularly to ensure you’ve got fresh veggies on the table, that’s even more time spent.
So say your vegetable side for dinner is sautéed spinach? Say it’s something like baked asparagus? Both of those are simple enough, but they also both take prep time and clean-up time, and they aren’t even the main course. Moreover, those are each one vegetable when you’re supposed to be having multiple servings throughout the day, at least two fruit servings and three vegetables. Banana for breakfast, apple for lunch, a vegetable at dinner… where will you get the other two servings? Are you supposed to eat an onion like it’s an apple?
Of course, you could do something like load up a salad, but depending on appetite, time, and access, it may just be easier to buy the vegetables that are in season, bring them home, allocate some for cooking and the rest for juicing. Dark leafy greens are already great to include in smoothies, and with juicing you can get all the dark green and just leave the leaves out of it, allowing you to consume more nutrients in less time.
Better Nutrient Absorption
Minus the fiber content of fruits and veggies, you can actually gain some advantage. Of course fiber is a valuable part of your digestive health, but sometimes you need to be on a low-fiber diet temporarily (if you’re going in for a medical procedure, or if your digestive tract needs a rest due to a flare-up of IBD or Crohn’s disease).
Fiber is not to be done away with entirely, but if you’re drinking vegetable juice, you’re getting direct access to those nutrients without your body having to process through the fiber alongside it. Moreover, since you’re drinking your veggies instead of eating them, you can get the nutrient content of a lot more vegetables than you could if you were eating them fiber and all. There’s only so much room in your stomach, and with juicing you can concentrate the benefits into a space-saving liquid.
Juicing for weight loss is useful in reducing your calorie intake without starving yourself of the vitamins and nutrients that keep you healthy. While juice diets can significantly reduce calorie consumption, they might also leaving you with cravings, so know thyself and plan accordingly to combat hunger cravings, and also be sure to choose juice recipes specifically designed for weight loss (you’ll find that option in our list of recipes below).
Get a Prebiotic Boost
Prebiotic foods are those which feed the “good” gut bacteria in the digestive system, which, in turn, is a great boost for the immune system. Vegetables are some of the best sources of these prebiotics, both soluble and insoluble, and while juicing removes the insoluble content by taking out the bulk and fiber of fruits and veggies, it doesn’t remove the soluble fiber that will also benefit your gut health.
Your green and yellow vegetables tend to contain carotene, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which may help prevent stomach cancer. Not only that, for those undergoing chemotherapy who need nutrients but have a hard time keeping down solid food, juicing can be a valuable part of staying healthy.
Scientific evidence is slow to roll in on the benefits of juicing, mostly because no one wants to discourage the eating of whole fruits and vegetables, but the amount and variety of different vegetable nutrients that can be gained from juicing a portion (not all) of your daily vegetable intake is not to be dismissed entirely. The amount of vegetables and fruit that would have to be consumed per day to cause a significant affect towards cancer would be in the range of 2-3 cups of fruit and at least 3 cups of vegetables, an amount that’s difficult to consume without utilizing juicing and potent juice recipes.
Doctors and scientists are quick to tell you that the body’s true detoxifiers are the liver and kidneys, but when it comes to the digestive system, a juice fast or juice cleanse can help you clean house. Temporarily reducing your fiber intake will give your digestive tract a rest, and the right nutrients going in can help reset your gut’s microflora as well, giving it a clean slate. On top of that, the vegetables that you choose to include in your juices can help aid the liver in its detoxification work (see our beet recipes below), and keep your kidneys hydrated and working at top capacity.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
With over 100 million American adults living with diabetes according to the CDC, healthy management of diabetes is important to maintaining health. The Diabetes Council acknowledges that juicing can be helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and that drinking juices could help those with type 2 diabetes manage their diabetes while also losing weight, which is another important goal for those with diabetes.
A diet of raw fruits and vegetables is known to help lessen feelings and symptoms of depression, so whether you’re here for fruit juice or vegetable juice or you’re going to mix and match for both, know that the closer you get to the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies, the more you’re doing to improve your mental health as well.
If all that sounds good and you’re ready to get started on a more healthy lifestyle with juicing, check out some of our top juice recipes, designed with specific needs in mind.
Because processed juices you might buy in stores often contain added sugars, it’s important to know that sugar is an inflammatory that can be detrimental to your health. This green juice will provide you with vitamin C, potassium, natural sugars instead of processed ones, and hydration from cucumber and celery.
With yellow beets rich in nitrates and turmeric to fight inflammation and possibly prevent blood clots, this carrot juice recipe has heart-promoting benefits.
Naturally sweet and visually beautiful, this juice contains apple, ginger, purple cabbage leaves for cutting down cholesterol levels, and is tasty enough for the whole family.
One of our great juicing recipes for weight loss and for preventing weight gain, this pure green juice is light on sugar and high in leafy greens, to aid in digestion and provide protein that can curb hunger cravings until it’s time for lunch or dinner.
With beets and celery to aid the liver in filtering impurities from your blood, this cool juice recipe also contains the anti-inflammatory power of ginger and apple. Freeze into ice cubes and add to water when desired for extra hydration and detoxification.
Without the sugar additives of processed, commercial orange juice, this fresh juice recipe doesn’t even have the sugar of an orange! Instead it gets its orange coloring from carrots, hydration from cucumber, and sweetness from apples. A sweet-and-tart mixture with beta-carotene and antioxidants, all with a bright orange visual appeal.
With a double-punch of a fresh fruit apple and some apple cider vinegar for improved nutrient absorption, this recipe also contains celery and cucumber to help flush out your system, and beets for liver advantage in removing impurities. With five ingredients and a world of nutrition, this juice recipe will help detox unnecessary wastes from the body.
Designed to boost your workout and lower your cholesterol, this recipe also contains health benefits for improved vision and keeps you hydrated as you get fit. With green apples containing less sugar than red apples, our Beet Carrot Juice is full of medicinal properties.
With something as simple as a glass of juice, you can start turning your health in a vastly improved new direction, from taking better control of conditions like diabetes, to preventing such serious ailments as cancer and heart disease. If juicing sounds like it can be beneficial to you, check out the recipes provided above, and start sipping your way to a healthier self.