Almost anywhere you go now-a-days you will find someone talking about juice or someone selling it, but hey I’m not complaining! Juice, especially freshly squeezed, is one of my favorite things to drink. This Christmas Shaun’s grandma got me a juicer and I literally have not stopped using it since that day. If you are like me and are new to juicing, I have compiled some things you should know as well as some fun recipes for you to try.
First and foremost, the juicer I use is the Hamilton Beach Juice Extractor (and I highly recommend it!)
If you are not one to eat many fruits and veggies or hate taking those pesky horse pill vitamins, juicing may be a great way for you to consume your vitamins and nutrients every day. Although juicing a fruit or vegetable takes away it’s fiber content by disposing of its “pulp”, fiber can easily be added into your diet elsewhere. The kudzu root, for example, is rich in fiber so you might want to get it in supplementary form. And if you are averse to wasting so-called “pulp” there are many recipes you can find online, such as this one, that use left over pulp from juicing. Another way you can use the pulp is to add it to your garden as compost. My dogs seem to enjoy it as well.) Also, be sure to always drink your juice within the same day of juicing to get the most nutrients out of your juice and to prevent possible bacteria growth. Something else to consider before juicing is your blood sugar. Because many fruits are high in sugar, if your juice’s main ingredients are fruits rather than vegetables it is likely your juice will be filled with sugar. It is easy to consume a lot of juice, so it is important to be aware of the ingredients you are using to avoid consuming excessive sugar (as well as calories). My favorite vegetable to use as the main ingredient in my juices are carrots because of their sweetness and low sugar content.
Below I will list some of my favorite fruits and vegetables and how they benefit our bodies.
- Apples high in antioxidant called Quercetin that helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). Lower cholesterol means a lower chance of plaque build up in your arteries and therefor a lower chance for stroke and heart attack.
- Beets helps to oxygenate blood and are a good source of folic acid (needed by pregnant women), vitamins A, C, choline, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium and fiber. The greens of the beets are plentiful with iron.
- Cucumbers contain potassium and phytosterols which may help lower cholesterol. They are anti inflammatory (reduce unwanted inflammation in body). The skin contains chlorophyll (make sure the cucumber is not waxed before juicing skin).
- Grapefruits high in vitamin C and limonene (which may help protect against breast cancer)
- Grapes contains the vitamins A, B, C and folate. Contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Flavonoids found in grapes have antioxidant properties and can fight off free radicals–an uncharged molecule with an unpaired electron. Free radicals steal electrons from neighboring stable molecules in the body which can damage the body and speed up aging. Free radicals can be caused by environmental factors such as pollution (free radicals can also purposefully be created by the body to neutralize viruses and bacterias). Foods with antioxidants aid the body in destroying free radicals.
- Kale Very high vitamin K content. It is also a great source of calcium, chlorophyll, iron, and vitamins A and C. Promotes eye and skin health.
- Lemon aids in digestion/anti-naseau properties. It is also an anti inflammatory and is high in vitamin C.
- Orange high in vitamin C and aids in keeping gums and teeth healthy.
- Pineapple anti inflammatory. Contains vitamin C and iron. May aid in digestion.
- Watermelon anti bacterial and contains vitmains A and C and iron and potassium.
- Carrots contains vitamins A, B and C. help protect the body from cancers, cardiac disease and cataract and macular degeneration. Contains iron, potassium, calcium and natural sodium.
(Disclaimer: I am in no way a nutritionalist. I enjoy researching information about nutrition, take this information with a grain of salt, even research further.)
When I first started juicing it was hard for me to think up new juice recipes. That was until I realized the big juicing companies, such as LA’s Pressed Juicery, include their recipes on their website’s menu. I will include some of my favorite recipes below.
- Carrot, Apple, Kale
- Apple, Kale, Ginger
- Carrot, Orange, Ginger
- Apple, Beet, Ginger, Lemon
- Strawberry, Apple, Lemon/Lime
- Grapefruit, Mint
Have kiddos you want to have drink their fruits and veggies? Here is a fun idea… make the juice into popsicles!