Many have asked me about juicing, if it’s a healthier way to consume veggies and fruits, or why some are so crazy about it. Ditto for smoothies, why not just eat a salad? Well, there are reasons, but if a salad is what you want, my all means, please, eat a salad!
Juicing. There are some significant benefits to juicing produce. In many cases, micro nutrients are destroyed when they are cooked: a bunch of points scored for raw produce! We get TONS of enzymes from eating fresh raw produce. Enzymes? what be those? you ask. The quick answer: enzymes are required for every single metabolic (i.e., chemical) reaction in the body. Want more energy? get more raw veggies in your diet. Simple, easy, done. That said, the greater quantity of these produce gems we can get, the greater support we are giving our bodies. Juicing reduces the produce to an extremely easy-to-absorb form. It’s a glass full of fresh, real, nutrients with a direct, free pass to the cells of our body. Juicing is also a great way to add a wider variety of vegetables to your diet. Most juicers come with recipe books. Or grab what looks good to you and have fun with the different combinations.
My morning juice. Grapefruit, lemon, beets, celery, and carrots.
Juices, however, should generally not be considered a whole meal, since there is no protein or fat in juices. (Cleanses/detoxing, however, is another topic.) The downside to juicing, we lose the fiber. However, a savvy juicer will use it to make crackers with tasty seasonings, and ground nuts and seeds. Use it all and waste nothing.
Smoothies are a quick and easy meal. They are also a great way to get a massive amount of nutrients (although, not as much as juicing will render) plus all the fiber! Not much downside to this option. It does beat out salads for nutrient density, however. A salad will have maybe 2-3 cups of vegetables, and a smoothie can have up to 4-6 servings (and less prep work). If I’m having a smoothie as a meal, I make sure to add in a fat, such as an avocado, fresh ground flax seeds, coconut milk, chia seeds, almond butter, for example, to balance the macro nutrients. This also aids in metabolizing the fat soluble vitamins. Gulp it down, good.
Salads: always a brilliant choice. Anyway we can get fresh produce into our systems is a good way. The chewing process is good for stimulating digestive juices. Chewing the veggies also benefits the health or our teeth (and whiteness).
A few guidelines: always wash the produce before juice/blend/chomping it. Use organic vegetables when possible. Conventional produce is often genetically modified (body knows real food best) and always coated in various ‘cides (insecticide, pesticide, herbicide, etc.). At least choose organic for the Dirty Dozen, since juicing and blending will render any chemicals immediate access into your blood stream and instantly create a toxic load on the body.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Do you have a favorite smoothie, salad, or juice combination you love? Do you do something different every time? Do you use spices to mix it up?