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Category - Juices and Smoothies

The Juicing Lifestyle

juicing-lifestyle

Thousands of people enjoy juicing as a lifestyle and some enjoy the benefits because they are juicing for health. Either way, juicing has established a strong foothold in our food culture. Adding fresh juices to your diet has been known to lower the risks of acquiring curable diseases and with the right equipment, juicing can also be quick and fun. Remember, it may not be for everyone every day, so develop an easy habit at first. Just be consistent.

What Kinds of Juices Can I Make That Won’t Get Boring?

There are several very specific combinations that can be made daily to help combat the symptoms of disease and eventually help restore damaged cells. Beets are particularly good because they are known to help purify the blood and reduce the risk of heart health challenges. Actually, beets contain several really important compounds that can enhance health. They are a great source of nitrates, which have been shown to boost exercise performance.

Tomato based juices are also fun, especially when tomatoes are in season. They add a delicious flavor and can be crafted into sweet juice combinations or made into savory juice combinations. They are very juicy, so these fruits (commonly mistaken for vegetables) are great additions to juicing recipes when in season.

Juicing greens that contain high amounts of minerals have been known to provide dense sources of calcium and magnesium – essential to maintain healthy bones and teeth and organs. Juicing roots including turmeric, ginger, carrots and beets contain abundant nutrients that have been known to reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. Juicing citrus fruits that are known to be antibacterial and anti-fungal and contain abundant amounts of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, which are essential to keeping the immune system fortified.

Take a stroll on the internet to find different recipes that will give you great ideas for different juice combinations that suit your nutritional needs. After making a few juices during the first week, preferences will begin to emerge and customizing recipes then becomes easy. Balancing the intake of green juices to fruit juices can be tricky, just remember fruits are higher in fruit sugars than vegetables. More sugar means more calories so it is generally recommended to consume more vegetable juices than fruit juices.

What About Variety?

Take advantage of the seasonal harvest to get a variety of fruits and vegetables. Each season ushers in new fruits and vegetables that contain nutrients that benefit a healthy body. Eating locally grown foods are also nutritionally beneficial, especially if the produce is organically grown. You’ll also avoid consuming pesticides and GMO’s and get the best quality juice, if you make it at home and always buy and juice organic produce at your neighborhood market, at the closest farmer’s market or join a local community supported agriculture group (CSA).

Knowing the basics of juicing provides a more solid understanding of the health benefits possible and can be empowering to newbies to create a new healthy habit for the long haul. Good information, the right tools, and a healthy attitude about a new healthy habit, are just the things you need to feel good about the gift you’re giving your body each day. Juicing has become very mainstream and is easy to acquire. It is also a great, economical way to increase your mineral intake with food that supports good heath over time.

Juicing To Reduce Stress…Sounds Oxymoronic, Right?

stressed

Almost every adult and child alike has experienced bouts of stress at various points in their daily life. For most, this is taken in stride until it is no longer possible to do so, and when this happens it almost always affects the health conditions. It is important to reduce stress, as a state of stress produces high levels of cortisol – which can be responsible for a variety of health conditions. It is responsible for inhibiting insulin production and can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. When the health begins to falter, many have turned to juicing to reduce stress as a solution. However, just the simple act of juicing as an activity can cause stress. The cleaning, the preparing, the juicing and then the cleaning again!

So How Can Juicing Reduce Stress?

Apple, cherry and blueberry ingredients have been known to be good health boosting elements where the flavonoid can facilitate better lung functions and with this optimum breathing position the ideal amounts of oxygen is then able to be circulated well with the body system thus relieving any internal pressures felt when stress levels are high and this eventually helps to lower the stress levels.

Fruits like berries, apples and cherries contain antioxidants and can contribute to relaxing the arteries. Leafy greens contain calcium and magnesium which are both really great for proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. Citrus juices can help boost immunity and keep the body’s natural resistance fortified when bacterial and viral infections are present in the environment. When adrenaline levels increase, the body requires more vitamin C and since the body cannot produce vitamin c on its own, juicing can provide an abundant source of this vitamin.

But What About The Stress Of Making The Juice?

The process of washing, cutting and juicing fruits and vegetables can actually help reduce stress. For some, the act of cutting, peeling, and preparing can shift the mind away from life’s mundane activity to a state of mindfulness. It is well known that mindfulness plays a part in stress reduction.

Also, involving the family reduces the probability of rejection. Kids aren’t that easy to convince, but if they are involved in the process, it can be a heap of fun and a great learning experience.

Take the stress out of juicing and do these simple things to help make juicing enjoyable…every time.

1. Prepare in advance. It helps to prep your fruits and vegetables before you juice them because it will save time. Take the time to wash, peel and/or cut most of what you need for juicing and store in the refrigerator in a clean container that will protect fragile leafy greens.

2. Gather your juicing tools the night before. If you choose to juice in the mornings, gathering the necessary tools and cleaning and organizing them will be useful. It will make the process of juicing a welcome meditation. When things are clean and organized around you, it will feel less stressful.

3. Clean your tools immediately after juicing. Many people don’t like this part. It’s the messy part, but if you make a habit of cleaning your tools immediately after using them, it will reduce the “clean up” anxiety many people feel.

4. Store your juice in containers that reduce exposure to air and light. It is very stressful to spend the money on produce, and the time to clean and make the juice only to have it lose it’s nutritional value because it wasn’t stored properly, or it wasn’t stored at all. Don’t leave juice out on the counter for too long, it will oxidize and minimize the nutritional value of the juice. Keeping juice in air tight, glass containers has worked well for many and is a great way to reuse containers – which takes some stress off the planet.

What If I Get Sick Anyway?

When the body is stressed, the immune system actually becomes depressed. Including ingredients that contain immune boosting properties can be beneficial during stressful times. Consider increasing the consumption of foods and herbal teas that contain nutrients like zinc, vitamin c, calcium and magnesium to support the body’s immunity.

Of course most people try to avoid stressful situations, but sometimes stress is just inevitable. Managing stress with various foods and juices can be very effective and can be a great way to maintain good health.

To Juice Cleanse or Not To Juice Cleanse?

organic-green-smoothie

To juice cleanse or not to juice cleanse, that is the question. It has become very popular for people of all ages to consider participating in a multi-day “juice cleanse” or juice detox. It isn’t a new fad, in fact many people in the eighty’s embraced juicing and exercise as a lifestyle. Though in the past few years, juicing and juice cleanses have become very lucrative.

So Should You Juice Cleanse?

Whether you juice at home or buy juice at a local juice bar, there is no shortage of people, companies and products trying to share juicing products. With a variety of curable diseases taking the lives of millions of people worldwide, many have turned to juicing as a way to live healthier. Though there is currently no conclusive evidence that supports juicing as a proven successful method of curing any disease, many believe and have experienced the healthful benefits of juicing.

For many, juicing organic vegetables and fruits that are rich in nutrients can support the body when toxic symptoms appear. Many minerals found in fresh juice products are assimilated by the body and can replenish deficient minerals in organs that work really hard to filter out toxic matter. The organs that play an important role in filtering toxins that enter the body through food, air and water sources would include the lungs, kidneys, skin and intestines. These organs play an essential role in keeping our bodily systems clean. Their job is to remove toxic substances or at the very least, prevent toxic substances from overloading other intricate body systems.

Won’t My Body Get Rid Of “Toxins” On Its Own?

Nutrition and overall vitality can be depleted each day by the average lifestyle, average stress levels and average eating habits. There is a need to restore the body with essential nutrients that can be easily found in the variety of ingredients used to make fresh juices. Sure the lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract are all designed to help the body stay alive and in balance. However, stress and eating habits are the two main protagonists that can compromise the healthy generation of cells. This builds the foundation for the case to participate in a juice cleanse.

However, juice cleansing isn’t for everyone. There is a science to it and it can cause more problems than it solves for some people. Some people need fiber, and juice cleansing doesn’t provide much per serving. Also, some juices contain too much fruit sugar and can elevate blood sugar levels. Just be cautious and do research to find out what is best for your health and well being.

If You Decide Juicing Is For You…

Some of the ideal ingredients to use in juicing recipes for supporting the organs of detoxification include lettuce, dark green kale, carrots, beet greens, cilantro, parsley, celery sticks, spinach, dandelion greens, cabbage both purple and green and lemons. Other vegetables that add a variety of nutrients and flavor are roots including burdock, ginger, daikon and turmeric. Many of these ingredients have been known to contain properties that may help reduce inflammation and boost immunity.

Remember to have a solid, well thought out reason for juicing. It isn’t for everyone, all the time. Many people juice for a week once a quarter. Some juice every day. Find what works for you and your family.

Could Juicing Be The Next Fountain Of Youth?

berries

Nobody wants to age, it just happens. For some, it happens gracefully. For many, there are health challenges that rear their ugly heads. At almost every stage of life, it can be a struggle to add fresh fruits and vegetables at meals. However juicing for health can at the very least diminish the negative effects of poor eating for every member of the family.

What Kinds Of Fruits and Veggies Are Beneficial For The Youth and the Anti-Aging Seekers?

Juicing is a great and fun way to get nutrition into the bodies of growing children and elders to ensure good nutrition for their body’s age appropriate needs. Many elders enjoy the taste of fresh juices and many are easy to digest. Elders may also enjoy juicing because it is a great way to consume abundant sources of nutrients very easily. Young children also enjoy the taste of fresh juices and many will prefer fresh juice more than boxed and pre-packaged juices. This is great for their growing bones. For both, drinking green juices that are high in calcium will be essential for bone strength. The trick is to find or create recipes that are pleasant to drink, are also refreshing and are packed with replenishing nutrition.

Fruit, including papaya and pineapple are all really good for providing digestive enzymes and vitamins. Many vegetables also contain some protein and amino acids, and antioxidants, which are essential during the aging years.

Namely, berries, roots and green leafy vegetables are packed with anti aging and vital nutrients, so try to use these types of fruits and veggies when considering juicing for the aging. Antioxidants and substances that neutralize the free radicals in the system ideally provide the body with what it needs to slow the aging process so make sure to find recipes that embrace these types of fruits and veggies.

Changing the juices and providing a variety is definitely an attractive feature for children and they would be fascinated with the colors and tastes reflected in the variety. Once family members pick their favorite juices, serving them as often as possible without getting bored will be beneficial in many ways. Using the favorite juice as a base, may also make it possible to add on a little portion of other fruits or vegetables to further enhance the nutrient content of the juice. You can also add a basic juices to a smoothie for increased nutrition in blended drinks.

Which Juice Is Best?

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for anti aging because of their high antioxidant levels. Some popular choices may include apple juice, pineapple and carrot juice, orange juice, orange and carrot juice, pear juice and apple and grape juice, but these are fruit juices, known to have higher sugar content than vegetable juices. Try combining fruits and vegetables together with a focus on less sweet vegetables including lettuces, kale, wheatgrass, cucumbers and celery. Experiment with what your family likes but keep it balanced and you’ll keep the family excited about juicing too.

The Eight Advantages of Juicing

juices

Maybe the time has come to invest in a juicer and though there are many opinions about the benefits of juicing, personal results vary. On one side, some medical professionals have advised adding fresh foods, and plant based high water content foods daily. Many agree, adding juices can be a healthy and beneficial habit. On the other side, some scientists have not concluded whether juicing provides direct health benefits. It is best to do independent research and find the facts independently, but definitely consult your family’s medical practitioner.

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that consuming a primarily plant based diet helps diminish symptoms related to high cholesterol, obesity and other degenerative diseases and there are many people who have included a healthy habit of juicing and have experienced some life altering results. So, it comes down to these 8 commonly experienced advantages that keep people juicing or adding juice to a daily or weekly diet.

1. Juicing makes nutrients more readily available. During the growing process, plants assimilate the nutrients before they get consumed making many of the nutrients more available for absorption in the digestive track. Try juicing fruits and vegetables that are organic and that have been washed completely.

2. Juicing can be an effective way to distribute essential nutrients without putting any added stress on the digestive system from processed foods. Try replacing processed foods once a day or once a week to get the advantages of juicing.

3. Juicing is a great way to overcome any dislike for eating raw, whole fruits and vegetables. For some, combining vegetables by juicing them can make consuming them more enjoyable. Try different recipes starting with common ingredients and slowly incorporating more complex flavors or nutrition.

4. Juicing allows for menu creativity. Combining local and seasonal foods can make juices very nutritious and delicious. Visit your local farmers market or health food store to see what is in season. Mix and match ingredients and recipes to plan weekly menus around local, seasonal flavors. Try keeping seasonal veggies together when juicing, it will pack a nutritional punch.

5. Juices made fresh and consumed immediately contain essential enzymes that processed or pasteurized juices do not. Many agree that fresh is best. It’s just not always convenient. Try to create a habit of consuming fresh juice products that keep the essential enzymes alive long enough to benefit the body’s systems.

6. Juicing at home can be more economically feasible and safer than buying juice. Pre-packaged juices go through many processes that risk oxidation and contamination and can be expensive as a daily or weekly habit. Juicing at home can be less expensive and ensures quality control, so keeping appliances and surfaces clean is essential.

7. Juicing adds versatility to a daily menu. It is normal to desire a variety of flavors and nutrients so eating the same thing each day can not only be boring, but can cause some mineral deficiencies in some people. Try a variety of recipes and ingredients that suit your nutritional needs and taste preference.

8. Juicing organic, non-gmo fruits and vegetables can contain fewer chemicals and pathogens than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Reducing the intake of additional hidden GMO’s and unknown chemicals by juicing local and organic produce can be very advantageous.

So, there are the 8 basic advantages of juicing. It’s not only a way to increase the daily nutritional intake of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it’s also a way to save a little money, and add variety without GMO’s and pesticides.

Beetroot: A Good Ingredient for Juicing?

Beetroot-Juice

Beetroots, or commonly known as beets, are very popular vegetables used in a variety of meals. They can be eaten fried, steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled, pickled, and much more. However, are beetroots suitable for juicing? The answer is yes!

Advantages of Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is one of the most potent juices you can consume, as it has many health benefits. The benefits of this juice include:

  • It helps with both high and low blood pressure.
  • It lowers the risk of some cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • It has high amounts if iron, great for treating and preventing anemia.
  • It prevents cardiovascular disease by preventing calcium buildup in the blood vessels.
  • It’s great for detoxifying the liver.
  • It has a myriad of vitamins that are essential to the body.
  • It helps improve stamina during exercise.

These are just some of the main benefits offered by beetroot juice if you include it in your juicing regime. Health-wise, drinking beetroot juice is definitely recommended.

Disadvantages of Beetroot Juice

There are two main disadvantages of using beetroot juice in your juicing plan, but they are easily remedied. The first is the cost of buying beetroot juice itself. Packaged beetroot juice is around $7 per 16 ounces of juice, which is in some cases what a person will spend for a whole day’s worth of food. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can still use beetroot for juicing by buying organic whole beetroots with the roots still on and juicing them yourself at home.

The other disadvantage of beetroot juice is the taste. It’s quite difficult to drink beetroot juice on its own because of the strong taste. Don’t worry about this though because you can blend it in with other nice-tasting fruits and vegetables in the blender to mask the taste. It’s worth the effort because it’s such a superfood! Even just beetroot mixed with carrot can create a very tasty juice!

So if you are thinking about adding beetroot to your juices, go ahead and do it! You’ll get a host of healthy benefits from it that will only make you feel better on the inside. If you need to cut cost, juice your own beetroots, and add the juice to other juice concoctions to make it more palatable. Juicing can get boring after a while, but by keeping things interesting and adding new fruits and vegetables to your regime (such as beetroot), you will find it easier to keep up with your regime.

Basic Equipment For Juicing

juicer

Before you begin juicing, do some research on the basic juicing equipment needed to make juicing efficient and fun. There are many options out there in the market, many with pros and cons so just figure out what works for a juicing lifestyle. Some consider juicing as an investment in health, so buying a high quality juicer at a higher price point might make sense. Some just want to try juicing and give it up in a few months. It may not make sense to make a large investment under those circumstances. That said, you will need a juicer.

So What Are The Differences Between Juicers?

There are basically two kinds of juicers, masticators and presses. Which one is best for you? Let’s learn the differences…

Mastication juicers are more common and are usually more economical. They generally are centrifugal juicers that have metal blades at the bottom of a cylinder in the juicing well and can not only oxidize your juice before you even drink it, but can cause you to throw away most of your juice because these types of juicers are notorious for extruding wet pulp. Though you can use the pulp as well, most people discard it because they don’t know what to do with it.

The other kind of juicer is a juice press. Juice press machines are more common because of their features, but they can cost quite a bit more. Juice presses do not have blades, they produce juice with pressure – some even use hydraulic pressure. Juice press machines do not heat up as much as masticating juicers and they literally press almost every ounce of juice out of the fibers, leaving little to waste. You want to make sure to buy the juicer that best fits your lifestyle, your commitment and your budget.

Other Juicing Tools That Keep Your Efforts Organized

Having a juicer is a great way to jump start this healthy habit, but you can make juices without a fancy juicer. For example you can juice citrus fruits with a hand held juicer, melons are easily blendable and cucumbers will release enough water for juice after sitting in salt for a while, but that won’t taste that great by itself.

So, Is A Juicer REALLY Necessary?

Using blenders can also make drinkable beverages, but they will be less like juice and more like a smoothie. A smoothie will contain a lot of the fiber and can be a good substitute if the thickness is tolerable, though adding water or coconut water will make it thinner and potentially easier to consume.

Have a few large bowls, a colander, a cutting board and a good, sharp knife are all basic kitchen tools that make adding juicing as a healthy lifestyle easier.

Lastly, juicing can, and should be fun – especially when you have the right tools. When you know you can do something really positive for your health now, whether you have a health imbalance or if you are healthy in general, you can make it a lot of fun. Remember to be creative once you learn the fundamentals so that you can share juicing with your family and friends.

 

Has Green Become The NEW Gold?

Juicing at home

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.