In the last few years juicing has become one of the fastest growing healthy trends in the world. This year, the juicing trend has produced a multi-million dollar market for “at-home” juicing and the overall juice market has reached billions in revenue. Many small businesses from your local mom-and-pop shops to large franchise operations offer vegetable based juices on the menu. It’s become, in a sense, the new “GOLD” and also a convenient way to add abundant nutrients to any meal plan – meat eater or not.
There are so many options these days to procure juice. Whether purchased from one of the many varieties found in most grocery stores, or your local juice outfit or simply made fresh at home, juicing is here to stay and so are the thousands of people promoting green juice as a healthy habit.
Yet, getting started with a juicing regimen can sometimes be the hardest part. Starting a new healthy habit requires commitment, consistency, and basic information BEFORE making any dietary changes, because it’s these simple principles that can make or break your juicing success.
In fact, many have turned to juicing for a plethora of reasons. Some people seek to lose weight, some want to improve health and some want to just jump on the next healthy habit bandwagon. There are a few things to remember when choosing a reason. Here are a few tips…
1. The most important thing you need to remember if you are juicing for weight loss is to make sure to balance your juices with fruits AND vegetables. You’ll want to stay clear of too many extra calories from the sugars in the fruit and focus on vegetable juices – they’ll be slightly lower in calories too. Just remember, individual results may vary based on other dietary and lifestyle factors. So, it’s less of a myth than it is logic that if you maintain a healthy balance of minerals, fiber and low calorie juices, some weight loss is inevitable.
Excess weight is often a result of taking in too many calories and not burning them off. Combine that with over consumption and poor diet and you get pounds that stay on for the long haul. When you juice, it is a common theory that the cells in the body have an opportunity to release extra toxins and excess fat that has accumulated over time. Even if you just juice once a day, or once a week, your body has a chance to take in more alkaline minerals that help drive toxic build up out. Just know, that your lungs and liver do a good job of purging the stuff your body doesn’t need each day. Juicing gives your body that extra boost it might need.
2. If you are juicing to restore health, it is best to speak with your health care provider first. There are some combinations of juices that can adversely affect specific health conditions, so you want to make sure you will be doing your body good, not doing more damage. There are many pharmaceuticals that can have contraindications with a variety of vegetable compounds, so be sure to ask your doctor about what ingredients support bringing the body back into balance.
Juicing can be a great way to restore the body after being sick as well. During the many phases of sickness, the body might require abundant amounts of a specific nutrient and juicing can be a great way to incorporate that nutrient in abundant amounts to a daily regimen.
3. If you’re juicing to be “cool”, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Juicing is cool. It’s a healthy habit that can have a positive effect on diminishing energy levels so juicing vegetables that support the kidneys and adrenal glands is essential. Juicing can also have a very positive effect on the appearance of the skin, eyes, hair and nails. Many people experience skin outbreaks after eating processed foods, so once the intake of processed foods is diminished, the skin and some underlying irritations can be improved.
Lastly, for the average adult, the process of starting a new and healthy habit can have a positive mental effect. Just the idea of doing something positive for your body and health can produce healthy hormones and feelings of accomplishment. Starting a healthy habit for whatever reasons can be very motivating and satisfying.
So then, wouldn’t juicing at home be a good idea?
When juicing at home, one can enjoy the benefits of being able to consume fresh juices that contain essential minerals and necessary enzymes. Juicing greens and vegetables deliver abundant quantities of minerals essential to good, balanced health like calcium, magnesium and phytonutrients. Another benefit of juicing at home is having the flexibility to choose and customize juices based on personal preference.
Lastly, making juices at home allows for close control and quality during the juicing process. There is a flip side as well. Juicing at home requires an initial investment in money for the equipment, and in time for the time it takes to prep, juice and clean. One caution : If choosing to juice at home, make sure to consume as soon as possible or refrigerate immediately to preserve freshness and nutritional quality.
What About Pre-Made Juices At The Store?
Purchasing pre-made juices are extremely convenient for most working people and parents. Since consuming fresh juices has become very trendy, it is widely available in most health food stores and there are many varieties to choose from – now more than ever before. Pre-made juices also tend to last longer than a juice made at home, which makes taking juices on the go convenient. However, pre-packaged juices sold into stores are required by law to be pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.
Unfortunately, the heat produced during pasteurization also kills many of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Pre-made juices also can tend to degenerate in flavor and nutrients more quickly because they are exposed to light and heat during the distribution process. One additional caution : When purchasing juices from a juice bar, there is no way to know for sure whether organic produce is being used, whether the ingredients have been washed properly, or whether the equipment is clean and properly functioning.
What Exactly Should You Drink?
When you begin juicing it is important to remember to consume a balanced ratio of both fruit and vegetable juices. Naturally, fruit and some vegetables are high in sugar content and may not be the right choice for you if you are seeking to lose weight or are working to control blood sugar levels. Green vegetables are often high in minerals and can be bitter, but balancing bitter flavors with the mild sweetness of apples and cucumbers make great juices. Also, use complementary fruits and vegetables together to balance the nutritional profile of your juices.
As juicing spreads around the world as a habit endorsed and practiced by working folks and celebrities alike, it seems like juicing is here to stay. One really important thing to remember when getting started juicing, is to consider your personal reasons for adding this healthy habit. Many people want to juice because they want to take control of their health. Others want to jump on the juice bandwagon because it’s a popular trend. Either way, there are many benefits of juicing and knowing your personal reasons for adding this healthy habit to your lifestyle may help you achieve your wellness goals.