Juicing fruits, vegetables, sprouted seeds, herbs and wheatgrass can provide essential nutrients which are often lacking from a typical western diet. Modern life has many pitfalls and one of those is lack of time, often forcing our choice of what food and drink we consume to be that which is the easiest to prepare - rather than what our body actually needs at that specific time. Our body is a complex machine and has to be fed certain ingredients for it to function at its optimal capacity. You will have read how professional athletes have habitual eating regimes, certain foods are eaten at specific times, food groups like proteins and carbohydrates are increased or reduced to create maximum benefit to the consumer. This is all founded on scientific research and plotted along, days, weeks and months to achieve an end goal ... but it is all based around nutrition and how certain foods react with our body. Understanding this science can add great benefit to our health. Our typical response to customers enquiring about how juicing can benefit them is by first advising them to read up and learn as much as they can about nutrition ... that is the first step to understanding how vitamins, minerals and enzymes play a role in our wellbeing. Once you have an understanding of how food becomes fuel for the body, you can plot your own path to achieving maximum health.
Many people ask why can they not just add more cooked vegetables to their diet and eat a bit more fruit? Cooking food actually destroys a large percentage of its nutritional value, altering the molecular structure, killing enzymes and vitamins. And let’s face it ... just how easy is it to eat more than an apple, a banana or an orange in one sitting? Living in the sunny old United Kingdom often sees us only getting the salad out when the sun begins to shine, usually pairing it with large portions of meat, burger buns and alcohol. Not exactly the best way for those lovely nutrients to be absorbed by the body is it?! Juicing allows us to get at all those essential nutrients without having to process all the fibre.
So can we just drink the Juice that we can buy in the supermarket?
Yes you can but there’s not really much point, it is dead juice, it has been heat-treated, pasteurised and is generally made from concentrate and fillers. Fresh juice has very little storage life as air affects the juice causing it to oxidise, so if it’s in a bottle or carton on a supermarket shelf - you can pretty much kiss goodbye to any nutritional content.
So how much and what should we Juice?
There is no set amount as to what should be juiced as it is dependent on what the reason is for juicing in the first place. There are several food groups when it comes to juicing, Green Juices, Fruit Juices, Vegetable Juices, Grass Juices, Pulses, Seeds and Grain Juices, Herbs and Spice. It is generally recommended to not juice much fruits due to the high sugar content but to use them sparingly for disguising the stronger flavours from certain vegetables. A glass a day of a cocktail of vegetables will supercharge the body, giving instant energy and wellbeing. We usually look at what we are not eating enough of and juice those ingredients, so our juices can differ from day to day and week to week. Sometimes there may be a few new goodies in the local farm shop like golden beetroot, fresh spinach leaves or kohlrabi and we’ll go to town on them for a few days. But mostly we tried to get as much into a glass as possible, rather than your bog standard carrot and apple affair.
Green juices can be very potent and can take a little while to get used to the taste or the affects, so we generally recommend starting with smaller amounts and building up gradually over weeks. Your taste buds will get used to it and what once was a few leaves of spinach and kale will turn into a glass full of the stuff. Try to get in some herbs like parsley, basil, coriander and spices like ginger, garlic, fresh turmeric and even chillies. Sprouted seeds like broccoli, mung and radish are abundant in nutrients and with a cheap sprouter like the Easy Sprout Sprouter you can make loads of the stuff relatively simply. Leave the skin on most things, the nutrients are locked away there - just give them a good wash beforehand. And if on a gorgeous sunny day you feel like a lovely glass of orange, lemon and lime - go treat yourself!
Juicing for Weight Loss
Juiceland have first-hand experience of this, both the founders of Juiceland have lost a combined seven stone in total from juicing alone. Yes it was hard work and yes it was challenging ... but was it worth it? ... damn right it was! By losing the weight naturally, it showed them how the body could cope without all that junk that it had been fed for the past few decades. After a health check up - no bread, starch, fats, dairy, meat, carbonated water and caffeine were consumed for 33 days - just pure fruit and vegetable juice, smoothies, herbal teas, filtered water and plenty of exercise to set the body back on the right track. After 33 days, a combined four stone was gone, their stomachs had shrank, their skin was clear, yes the kitchen smelt funky BUT now their bodies were crying out for salad, nuts and all manner of natural organic ingredients. They never followed any particular plan, they just read a lot about nutrition before commencing, started regular juicing and had a few trial runs lasting several days to a week. They devised their own plan and altered it as they went along as they found most of the books on losing weight using juice contained far too many fruit based recipes.
Still to this day they cannot answer as to what was the most important factor, losing the weight or the way it was lost. By losing the weight in the way they did, taught them that it was imperative to continue on a healthy eating plan, to revisit and amend this plan on a regular basis dependant on circumstance, not to be too tough on themselves and miss out on celebrations with friends, special occasions etc. To understand their bodies and how it reacts to food taught them that with moderation and continuous healthy eating, a normal healthy life could be lead without missing out on the good stuff. They still continue juicing and still do regular monthly juicing sessions for 2 to 3 days at a time with nothing but pure juice and water. There are far more famous people who have lost weight by juicing, Joe Cross made a film of it called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with a spin-off book Reboot with Joe Juice Diet which has made him millions but is still well worth a watch if you have never seen it before. It is truly inspirational and the sequel has recently been released.
Other Benefits of Juicing
Adding liquid nutrition to your daily food intake has other positive side effects. Increased energy levels, improvement in skin and dermatological related problems to name but a few. We have had many conversations with customers over the years that have seen improvements in their skin, hair and nails. We have also been informed it has also helped with IBS, ME, bloated, arthritis, rheumatism and diabetes.
Cancer, ill health and Juicing
Several foundations are available for those wishing to learn more about juicing and to incorporate it into their lives. The Ann Wigmore Institute, the Gerson Therapy, Hippocrates Health Institute. Juiceland have dealt with many people over the years who have found these retreats hugely beneficial.
To Juice or Not to Juice, there begs the Question ...
We hear it all the time, "But fibre is good for you" ... yes it is but we are not asking you to completely remove fibre from your diet, just to skip a bit to get your juicy fix of goodness. "But juicing is so expensive" ... really? A bag of kale and a few apples for around £1.50, yes organic is even more expensive but isn’t it worth it? A cup of tea or coffee is around £2.00 on the high street, a glass of juice is around £3.00 - we certainly know which one is value for money. "All that fibre is such a waste" ... don’t throw it away, start a compost bin, add it to the soil in your garden, mix it in with your pets food, make some face packs or body scrubs. "Juicers are such a pain to clean" ... how much different is it than cleaning up after you’ve cooked a meal? "Juicers are so expensive" ... yes they can be but there are price points for most people.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive or latest new fangled juice extractor, we don’t always use the most expensive ones ourselves and we’ve been juicing for decades between us. Paying more for a juicer generally means you get more juice from the produce you put in, this in turn reduces the amount you spend on produce over time. For the juicing enthusiast or those juicing to combat ill health, it is often more economical to pay more for the juice extractor up front - as these people will juice considerably more ingredients over time and when the machine extracts 20% more liquid than a cheaper model, you save 20% off your food bill each time you use it. As you can see, there are a multitude of excuses not to and only one reason to juice - Cheers to your health!