As a child I’ve been often told by my parents that if it tastes bad then it’s good for your health.
They say that to encourage me to eat more vegetables because as a kid I love eating meat, ice cream and junk food.
I’ll be honest
Oh how I loathe eating vegetables especially bitter dark greens like bitter melon and mustard greens.
If I could swallow them whole I would but I’d just stuff it in my mouth, chew a little and rinse it all down quickly with a glass of water.
Having a family changes everything
Now that I have my own family, I have a better appreciation on how important these dark greens are.
But even so I still have trouble eating more than 6 servings of fruits and vegetables which my body needs to be healthy.
Experts recommend at least 6 to 8 servings. So there is a gap to fill and juicing can help fill that void.
I’m sure you’re on the same boat. Read this article unless you’re an athlete who can consume four to five thousand calories from a balanced diet. And at the same time burn it off during intense workouts.
For regular folks like you and me, we all struggle getting enough greens and fruits in our diets.
What are the benefits of juicing?
Here are some of the benefits of juicing that’ll help you live a healthier lifestyle. Make sure to also check the juicing mistakes article to help you avoid the pitfalls that can oftentimes is life threatening if we’re not careful.
1. More nutrient absorption because the gut doesn’t need to digest all that fiber
Don’t get me wrong fiber IS important because it also contains nutrients and helps digestion. But bear with me I’m talking in a practical sense here.
How many of you realistically can eat two to three pounds of vegetables each day?
Juicing makes this possible because this process involves extracting juice. And leaving off the pulp which takes digestion off the equation and introduces nutrients directly to the blood stream.
Since you’re drinking rather than eating, you’re able to take in more vegetables thus absorbing more nutrients without stuffing yourself too much with a lot of fiber.
In short juicing allows you to consume more vegetables efficiently
Remember that majority of the ingredients in a recipe should be vegetables and minimize high fructose fruit like apples and strawberries. A good ratio to follow would be 80% vegetables and 20% fruit.
Our body only needs 15 to 25 grams of sugar so you can get that from other food sources.
For people starting out, it can be tough because drinking vegetable juice isn’t palatable.
Add a bit of lemon
Experts say to counter strong flavor of dark greens, mix in a fruit like a lemon that has low fructose content to mask the bitterness.
But if it’s too bitter then add an apple. Of all the varieties of apple, green apple has the lowest sugar content which makes it a good option. It takes a few weeks to get assimilate to the flavor of green juice and once you have, try to lessen the amount of fruit to the bare minimum.
2. It allows you to consume a wider range of vegetables which allows your body to get more nutrients
How many different types of vegetables do you cook in a week?
In our home I’d say we cook around one or two types of vegetables per meal so it adds up to around 7 to 10.
BUT we don’t cook for every meal because more often than not there are leftovers. And we usually eat out on weekends.
So no matter how we try, we limit ourselves in terms of variety.
Juicing helps us here because we can add a lot more variety in every juice we make.
You have lots of options in terms of recipes and limited only by produce available in the grocery store.
If you juice before every meal, you can use 5 to 6 different vegetables per day that may include dark leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables. You see where I’m getting at? This allows you to add more variety and with that more nutrients.
Speaking of nutrients, Julie Daniluk discusses the nutritional benefits of each of the colors in the rainbow spectrum…
Evita Ochel interviews Farnoosh Brock about the benefits, practical tips and resources…
3. It feeds good bacteria to the gut
Most of us don’t know this but a third of our immune system is located in our digestive track and countless research shows that the key to a health body is a healthy gut. Hippocrates in fact said 2000 years ago that “All disease begins in the gut”.
What does juicing have to do with this?
In a study done by Gemma Walton PhD, they found that eating food rich in prebiotics such as in leeks and bananas increased good bacteria in the gut by 133 million.
Vegetables are one of the best sources of these prebiotics. To give you proof here’s a list of foods rich in prebiotics.
Ginger is another ingredient that aids digestion and heals upset stomach plus it has numerous other benefits.
All this simply states that one of the ways of improving digestive health is adding the right amount fruit and vegetables to your diet through juicing.
4. It helps fight cancer
Cancer treatment involves chemotherapy that takes a toll on your body and bank account. And a lot of people have turned to alternative medication which includes juicing to fight this dreaded disease and there are some people who have won the battle!
Just look at these stories…
- What if I told you carrots cure cancer?
- I beat cancer with a raw diet and holistic lifestyle
- Carrot Juice Cures Stage 4 Cancer
Take these stories with a grain of salt.
I’m not saying that juicing will cure cancer but it’ll help keep the body nourished during the process of chemotherapy.
Even if there isn’t concrete scientific evidence that proove that juice is better than eating whole fruit and vegetables, juicing will allow you to consume more vegetables because it’s easier to swallow and nutrient absorption is almost instant.
When is juicing beneficial?
Pundits may say that we need fiber. But there are instances where juicing is beneficial.
Cancer patients is a good example because these folks will have trouble swallowing food so eating large quantities is not practical.
This enables them to keep their bodies nourished during a physically draining procedure like chemotherapy that kills blood cells.
Prevention is better than cure
By eating more fruits and vegetables will nourish will help arm your body with anti-cancer nutrients that will help fight off cancer cells.
Like what I’ve said in point number 2, juicing helps you consumer more because your digestive system will not have to work as hard as it needs to digest.
Since the vegetables we eat now are less nutritious than it was 50 years ago because of a number of factors like over farming that depletes nutrients from the oil, we simply have to eat more to compensate for this.
Dr. Brian Lowenta says that in order to reduce the risk of cancer we have to eat 2-3 cups of fruit and over 3 cups of vegetables everyday!
I don’t think I’ll be able to eat that much fruit and vegetables and this is where juicing comes in.
5. It helps lower high cholesterol
Lowering your cholesterol involves more than just juicing.
You’ll have to totally change your diet.
In my case, my ALDL or bad cholesterol is over the border. And the doctor advised me to remove fried food from my diet.
Avoid saturated fat
Yes, no saturated fat, no beef or pork and replace that with more veggies, fruit, oats, seafood and chicken.
Juicing helps me consume more vegetables that help lower cholesterol like capsicum, dark greens, cucumber, celery, ginger, bitter melon and lemon to name a few at higher doses because I can’t imagine myself eating a whole stack of those.
So in essence to lower cholesterol, you need to radically change your diet (yes avoid fried and fatty food), exercise more and eat more greens and fruits.
Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses the benefits of juicing and how to concoct your own recipes
6. It helps detoxify our bodies
A few decades ago our lives are much simpler.
The absence of the internet and mobile devices permitted us more time to cook our own meals.
A slower paced lifestyle means less stress and a home cooked meal often times is healthier than fast food.
Today it’s the opposite.
Technology should make our lives easier but the opposite has happened.
Have you noticed that the pace of our lives is moving faster and faster?
So fast paced that we hardly have time to cook our own meals and have to rely on fast food for our body’s nourishment.
And stress from work takes a toll on our body over time. So we need to detox.
Detoxing rids the body of toxins that accumulate over time because of poor diet choices, lack of exercise and a generally unhealthy lifestyle.
Who needs to detox?
Well most of us do.
One great way to detox is through a juice fast.
Remember that this is different from drinking a smoothie because smoothies still have the pulp that our gut needs to digest.
The goal of a juice fast is to rest our digestive system, nourish it with nutrients found in fruits and vegetables then flush out toxins.
The key to a successful juice fast is to know what to expect, how to prepare your body and how to break a fast.
7. It helps lower blood sugar levels
Another sad reality in the era of commercialism would be the rise of people who have diabetes. And a lot of them are in their 20’s and sometimes teenagers.
With the growing number of fast food chains, the allure of cheap food served within minutes is hard to resist. And our health is paying the price for that convenience.
According to cdc.gov around 26 million Americans have and an estimated 79 million have pre-diabetes!
That number is staggering!
Fortunately by changing your diet, that means eliminating fried food, pork, beef, sodas and anything sweet, you can lower down your blood sugar levels.
Eating foods like ginger, broccoli, spinach, celery, and onion as well as acidic fruits like lemon, grapefruit, pomegranates and oranges will help lower bad cholesterol.
How does juicing come into the picture?
Juicing these vegetables help you consume more without overloading your digestive system.
Remember to limit the amount of sweet fruits in the mixture to just the bare minimum – only use it as a sweetener. If you like fruit, it would be best to eat them whole with the fiber to slow down the release of fructose to the bloodstream.
8. It helps us get better skin
You have probably heard the term “you are what we eat” at some point in your life.
This also applies to our skin.
If we eat nothing but greasy junk food, our skin will most likely be oily and have a lot of breakouts.
I was like that during high school and college.
My diet consists of burgers, fries and sodas and my skin reflected that diet. I usually had acne breakouts that literally covered my entire face.
Yes you could say that hormones played a part. But I could have at least minimized the break outs if had I minimized junk food.
Juicing helps us getting better skin not only by allow our bodies to absorb more nutrients that our skin needs. It also helps suppress our appetite for not so healthy meals like chips and fried chicken.
I’m sure you’d agree with me that sipping a cup of fresh cucumber + beet + carrot juice is much better for your skin compare to drinking a cup of Frappuccino.
What juice recipes are good for the skin?
9. Improves Athletic Performance
While green leafy vegetables can give your body a nutritional boost that other foods cannot, there is one particular vegetable (a root crop) that can improve athletic performance naturally without having to resort to performance enhancing drugs.
What is this vegetable?
It is beet. You can eat this velvet root crop raw with a salad. Or if you want immediate nutrient absorption then add it to your juice recipe.
World class athletes from runners to cyclists swear by beet root juice. Studies have shown that drinking pure beet root can shave off minutes from your running time.
How does Beet help?
Beet improves oxygen and blood circulation inside the muscle thus improving muscle endurance.
Experiments where done to refute those claims but only using low intensity workouts.
But the number of world class athletes who swear by beetroot are increasing so it’s hard to deny that fact.
New studies mention that while beet juice may not enhance blood flow, it can “de-stiffen” blood vessels – this eases the workload of the heart.
To Wrap Up
Juicing isn’t a gimmick but a beneficial practice that will help you improve your health when done right.
Drinking juice before a meal is a great way to suppress appetite so you’ll eat less. When you eat less, it helps prevent weight gain. And drinking a cup of green juice is way healthier than drinking a can of soda.
Since there is no pulp, nutrients are absorb almost instantly and this makes it beneficial to people who have weak digestive systems. People who’ve gone through chemo or surgery can use juicing to help their bodies absorb nutrients when they’re unable to eat.
People who have high blood and high cholesterol can also benefit from this. If you have any questions please comment below. Please do share this in social media channels like Facebook or Twitter if you find this helpful.