Fact is, we normally don’t get anywhere close to the recommended daily intake of between 5 and 13 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Study after study indicates that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables can contribute to reducing cancer risks and the occurrence of heart disease. It can also help to keep age-related degenerative diseases at bay and make weight management easier.
A juicer may be one of the best tools available to easily improve the stats with regard to fruit and veggie consumption.
Unfortunately juicing myths, lies and half-truths abound; it has been exasperating to hear some of these for most of the 20-odd years I have been juicing!
So, before we go any further, let’s first turn 5 of the most maddening myths about juicing on their heads!
It is true that you do lose the insoluble fiber during the juicing process, but you don’t lose the soluble fiber such as pectin and gum.
It fills you up to some extent and slows down digestion and the metabolism of carbs, all playing a role in healthy weight loss. What makes soluble fiber particularly important is the way in which it can help to lower cholesterol. It can also play a role in blood sugar control, by slowing sugar absorption in your body.
Insoluble fiber fills you up and speeds up the movement of food through your digestive system. Insoluble fiber is crucial for keeping you regular.
And, of course, you will still be eating your regular meals with plenty of whole fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, etc. This will ensure that you get enough fiber in your diet.
Steer clear of buying bottled, pasteurized juices, though. These are unlikely to give you the same benefits.
This doesn’t have to be the case. If you have a juicer that is easy to use and quick to rinse clean, juicing doesn’t require that much time. In fact, I have timed myself!
This includes the whole process, from taking the goodies out of the refrigerator to having everything cleaned up again afterwards. Not bad for getting in a whole plateful of fresh fruits and veggies… The recipe I timed included red bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, pear, cucumber and ginger.
Now, just imagine how long it would have taken me to prepare a salad with all these ingredients, or to cook the whole caboodle…
More than 10 minutes? You bet! And who would have eaten all that before work, anyway? Yes, even if you have to rush off for work, it should be possible to invest 8 to 10 extra minutes in your health, don’t you think?
Okay, if you juice for a family of 3 or 4, it might take around 30 minutes. In my book that is still not asking too much for the pay off in terms of possible health benefits.
So, not even considering the longer term benefits such as getting more nutrients that offer cancer protection or protection from age-related degenerative diseases, it is well worth every minute invested in juicing.
And, if the whole family joins in the fun, it can become a highly satisfying family activity that can teach everyone more about nutrition and healthier living.
First off, this is simply not true. In fact, researchers have found that more than 90% of the antioxidant activity is in the juice, not in the left over pulp.
In fact, the exact opposite of this myth is true. Normally a huge percentage of the nutrients in fruits and veggies remains trapped in the tough plant fibers. These move through your digestive tract, without your body gaining any benefit from them. What juicing does is to extract all this goodness, making it available to your body in a form that is extremely easy to take up.
So, by the time your juicer ejects the pulp, virtually all the nutrients have been removed from it. All that is left, is the insoluble fiber.
Secondly, you gain access to more nutrients in another way. Many of us have digestive systems that don’t function optimally for a variety of reasons.
This is particularly true for older folks. When you run fruits and vegetables through a juicer, the machine pre-digests it in a sense. I like to think of fresh veggie juice as ‘intravenous food’ for your body…that is how easily it is absorbed, even if your digestion is impaired in some way.
There are research studies indicating that blood levels of certain antioxidants could be higher after juicing, than after eating the raw or cooked vegetables.
A third way in which you will be gaining in terms of nutrient intake, is by being able to juice parts of the fruits and vegetables you would normally not think of eating! Many extremely valuable nutrients are found in the skins and seeds of produce, or just below the skin. This is often lost when eating the whole fruit or veggie.
For instance, did you know that you can juice kiwi fruit with its skin? Or that watermelon can be juiced rind and all? This gives you much better value for money.
Just think about how much you are wasting when eating only the sweet red flesh of a watermelon, for example…
The inner, whitish part of watermelon rind is an excellent source of the amino acid citrulline. Your body turns citrulline first into another amino acid called arginine and then converts the arginine into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to lower blood pressure, improves and protects artery health and improves blood circulation.
Here you have 3 solid reasons why juicing will actually ramp up your nutrient intake, rather than reduce it!
This is probably true if you are drinking store-bought fruit juices. However, vegetable juicing is not the same thing.
At first you may opt to start with juices that contain more fruits, but as you progress and get used to the tastes, it will become easier and easier to up…