Juicing on healthy diets


Juicing is an interesting and still developing part of many healthy diets. New research and studies are finding very interesting facts about fruit & vegetable properties, and their effects on our bodies.

Fruit and vegetable juice is a great, easily absorbed source of a huge amount vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. It can boost your energy, enhance your immune system, and more. Vegetables naturally have a lower sugar content than fruit, which means fresh cold pressed homemade vegetable juice is lower in calories than fruit juice and can be helpful in improving digestion and detoxing your body.

On the other hand fruit and vegetable juice is lacking fibre, and has a large number of calories and high sugar content.

Lacking of fibre and high number of calories in  fruit and vegetable juice.

The problem with fibre is very easy to solve, just add some of the pulp back into the juice, or use it in cooking for making soups, pancakes, sides, desserts, etc. I personally prefer my juice with bits and pieces in.

Many healthy diet experts are saying that the number of calories is not a    big deal unless you are also on a particular type of diet for losing weight. Some even think there is no link between calories and weight loss.

"Cellular nutrition is vitally important to the human body. It is the key component that maintains the trillion of cells in the system allowing the body to function effectively."

The high sugar content in fruit juice.

The high sugar content is a different matter.  For many years we were told that fruits, berries and juices are very beneficial for our bodies. Nowadays, many functional medicine experts believe that the natural sugar in juices and fruits does provide energy (at least short term), but it may help bad bacteria and yeast (e.g. candida) to overgrow and thrive.

It is all getting quite confusing sometimes. What to do if you like juicing, like I do? Never give up!!!

Discuss with your nutritionist or doctor and adapt the juices you drink! I am sure you can find some that are tasty and beneficial for your body, whatever healthy diet you are following.

GAPS diet fruit and vegetable juice recommendations.

The GAPS fruit and vegetable juice making principle is simple: 50% vegetables and 50% fruit from the list of allowed GAPS foods. You can make these fruit and vegetable juices with some yogurt, diluted with water or drink them as they are. For the best results drink your juice on an empty stomach, either first thing in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon. It is important to drink it slowly, for better digestion.

I usually do not put too many ingredients in my juice. Sometimes, I add some herbs to my juice, like: parsley, dill, basil, or mint.

My favourite fruit and vegetable combinations for healthy juicing are:

Carrot and Apple

Carrot, Pineapple and Beetroot

Carrot, White Cabbage, Celery and Apple

Carrot, Celery, Beetroot and Lemon

Carrot, White Cabbage, Celery and Orange

Carrot, Spinach, Celery and Pineapple

Carrot, Celery, Rhubarb and Kiwi

Carrot, Spinach, Celery

Carrot, Celery and Rhubarb

Carrot, Celery and Cranberry

White Cabbage, Celery and Apple

White Cabbage, Celery and Orange

White Cabbage, Celery and Grape

White Cabbage, Celery and Spinach

White Cabbage, Celery and Kale

Red Cabbage, Celery and Apple

Red Cabbage, Beetroot and Pineapple

Lettuce, Spinach and Apple

Lettuce, Spinach, Celery and Apple

Lettuce, Spinach, Celery and Kiwi

Lettuce, Spinach and Rhubarb

Lettuce, Celery and Cranberry

Lettuce, Kale and Kiwi

My personal experience with juicing has not been straightforward and I had to change the ingredients I used to make my fruit and vegetable juice with. I like all kinds of fruit juice and smoothies. I really enjoy them and always tried to have them as much as I can, especially mixed tropical fruit juice like pineapple, mango, and orange; at that time I had not known that it is better to mix fruits with vegetables. I also drank carrot and apple juice, for over 15 years almost every day. As you know to make fresh homemade juice on a regular basis one needs discipline and determination, because of the time involved to make it and in clean the equipment; sometimes it gets on your nerves and you stop for a while. Anyway, to cut a long story short in August 2014 my blood sugar levels were high and my practitioner recommended to reduce fruit intake to 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. I still had carrot and apple juice (link) regularly.

In December I did more blood tests and my blood sugar levels were still high. From January 2015 my practitioner recommended me to use a low FODMAP (IBS) diet as a guide to fruit and vegetable intake. I have excluded all fruit from my diet and my blood sugar test in March showed improvement. I have replaced apples with celery and lemon (link). I also make Paleo green vegetable juice with kale and spinach (link). Theoretically, followers of a low FODMAP (IBS) diet are allowed to have many fruits which will be great for juicing: bananas, blueberries, cranberries, clementines, grapes, melons (Honeydew and Galia), kiwis, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, passion fruits, papayas, pineapples, raspberries, rhubarb, and strawberries; but not me.

I am going to introduce rhubarb and cranberries into my juicing in April, and one sweet fruit per day from this list into my diet in May-June 2015, depending on my next blood sugar test result.  

Do you need a juicing machine to make fruit and vegetable juice?

You do not need a juicing machine to make most of the fruit and vegetable juices, you can use a blender for most of the whole fruits and vegetables to keep the fibre. Dilute them with water if necessary.

There are two main disadvantages for me in using a blender instead of a juicer machine:

1. When you use a blender you will have to remove all the core, seeds, and some skin every time. When you use a juicing machine you have a choice as it will remove the pulp and into a separate container for you, and therefore you then only need to prepare the fruit and vegetables if you wish to use the pulp for further cooking.

2. You have to buy a very powerful blender which probably costs more than a juicing machine.

Juicers may be quite expensive, but they are usually very good value for money. I still use a Moulinex which I bought in 2006 when I just moved to England, and my mum has used the same model from about 1995. More about how to choose the best juicer machine (link).

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