Juicing has been a part of our daily regimen for several months now. A while back I posted about some of the documentaries and books I was really influenced by.
So I bought a new juicer – a slow-churn masticating juicer – after reading about how hi-power juicers like the one I had can destroy enzymes in fresh fruits and vegetables. And something about oxidation. And have been happily juicing ever since.
Why juice you may ask? Why not just eat fruits and vegetables? Well, my answer to that is that while I do love fruits and vegetables, I don’t eat as many as I should. And juicing is a fun and fantastic way of getting your daily dose of healthy plants. Plus getting enough of them to heal your body of the damage we do to it by eating an over-processed, weird-sugar, chemical and hormone-filled American diet.
Here’s a section of an online article on the benefits of juicing:
Fresh juices are a tremendous source of enzymes. In fact, the “freshness” of juice is one of their key features, because enzymes are destroyed by heat. When you eat cooked foods, whether its meal, grains, fruits, or vegetables, if the food is cooked at temperatures above 114 degrees, the enzymes have been destroyed by the heat. Since fruits and vegetables are juiced raw, the enzymes are still viable when you drink the juice.
Coincidentally, many of the phytochemicals that nutritional researchers are focusing their attention on are either enzymes, or more often, they are substances that help build or activate enzymes that play essential roles in protecting cells from damage.
In addition, fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of the traditional nutrients. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, etc.) provide healthy portions of vitamin C. Carrot juice contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. A number of green juices are a good source of vitamin E. Fruit juices are a good source of essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine, and magnesium, which are bound by the plant in a form that is most easily assimilated during digestion.
Plus, since juicing removes the indigestible fiber, these nutrients are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the piece of fruit or vegetable was eaten whole. For example, because many of the nutrients are trapped in the fiber, when you eat a raw carrot, you are only able to assimilate about 1% of the available beta carotene. When a carrot is juiced, removing the fiber, nearly 100% of the beta carotene can be assimilated.
One of the great things about the juicer I bought is that it’s not loud, so it doesn’t scare my children. In fact, Holden loves to juice. The second he hears it, he comes running in with his little blue chair to help.
He’s very serious about it. I find that I juice 4 types of juice most regularly. Here they are named by the color they come out looking like:Orange Juice
- 8 Carrots
- 2 Apple (or 1 large mango is great too)
- 1 Large Yam
This orange juice is our favorite. The combination is so delicious and sweet and earthy. It feels good to drink it.Green Juice
- 1 Head of Broccoli
- Some Bok Choy (I’m pretty imprecise when I juice)
- 2 Cups of Spinach (I think)
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Tomato
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Apples
- 1/2 Head of Red (Purple) Cabbage
- 1 Red Beet
- Bunch of Kale
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Zucchini
- 4 Carrots
- 2 Apples (or whatever fruit you want to throw in. Mangos and Pineapple are great. Peaches don’t provide much juice for me).
Each of these recipes serves 2 adult servings plus some for the kids. Fitz loves juice. Holden loves most juice but sometimes needs a little persuasion in drinking it. He does a great job though.
I also really like juicing oranges and grapefruits too. Especially first thing in the morning. BTW I stopped buying juice for my kids because they wouldn’t drink my fresh juices if there was store-bought in the fridge. And even “fresh-sqeezed” juice has been sitting in a vat somewhere for 9 months and has a scent flavor added to it. So I don’t think it’s nourishing by any means.
I think you should eat fruits and vegetables, even if they are conventionally grown but I tend to buy organic. Even though it’s more money, I feel better about eating vast amounts of them if they are untreated or treated with fewer pesticides. My favorites are things I grow in my own garden. But for a list of foods you should buy organic, check this out. It also lists foods you don’t need to buy organic (usually those with thick skins like grapefruit).
What are the benefits: My nails are stronger, my hair looks better, my acne is clearing up, I never feel bloated. Ever. Even during my time of the month. I feel happier. I don’t feel tired until it’s time to go to bed. We haven’t gotten any colds or sickness at all since we’ve been doing it. And it’s fun!