Oh you thought I meant steroids? No, juicing is not about adding extra hormones in your body, this is about increasing your energy levels, improving your immune system and being healthy. OK. Lets start over. Recently, I decided to start adding juicing into my regular diet. I had heard the benefits of juicing but wasn’t clear on ALL the benefits it had and what it could do to my body. So, me being me, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it. The first juice I had tasted like roadkill. No seriously it tasted that bad but again, me being me, I was able to force it down. Over the next few weeks I tried several different types of juices and found some miraculous things. My energy levels were boosted, my workouts were better and I felt healthier (a relative term but I acutally feel this way).
Not only do I feel better but the taste of organic kale, beets and other vegetables has improved dramatically. So you may be asking why would you start doing that? Or how can you stand to drink that stuff? And probably you are asking what are the benefits? Well, I want to cover all of these topics. Lets start with what juicing actually is.
Juicing is typically done through a juicer, whereas combinations of different fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) are put into a machine that mixes it together and creates a “juice.” What is lost through the juicing process is the fiber. Most juicing purists argue leaving the fiber out of the juice allows the body to absorb the nutrients faster, I tend to believe this as well because fiber naturally slows down digestion. It does take a lot of vegetables/fruits in order to get a sizable amount of juice (this is why I buy the juice instead of doing it myself). Locally, I have bought juice from the Lexington Juicery and also found a brand of juice at Whole Foods called Suja that acutally has an expiration date longer than juice made at the juicery. This is helpful to me so I do not have to go to the juice store everyday.
OK JB. What are the health benefits?
Well there are many. Here are a few:
1. Digestion- very little energy is needed to digest fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus, juicing increases the effectiveness of our digestion system. This is important when considering how long it takes to digest a pound of lean beef.
2. Cancer- I do not need any research to know that fresh fruits and vegetables help fight answer. However, there are tons of articles and research to back those claims up. I encourage you to read those (remember my blog is not about research and funky words rather a place to learn new information for you to expound upon it yourself). Simply put, cancer exists in an acidic environment and is eradicated in an alkaline environmen. Fresh fruits and veggies supply the alkainity that your body needs to fight cancer cells and improve its immune system. For years (again without any scientific backing) I have believed that we can fight any disease with our nutrition.
3. Liver Cleanse- I am asked alot about cleasing and what is the best cleanse. I will answer the same every time, green vegetables. Your liver acts as your detoxifying center, it rids the body of things it deems harmful (alcohol, caffiene, drugs). In order to heal it and help it do its job at a high level you must cleanse it through using organic green vegetables. Because your thyroid hormones are processed in your liver, if you have liver issue it can affect your metabolism.
4. Energy- With very little energy needed for digestion, guess what happens to your energy. It EXPLODES. Are you sick of being tired all the time? Are you frustrated by the fact that you always need to sleep? Try juicing. It will make you more energetic than a 3 year old toddler on Red Bull.
5. Weight Loss- Naturally, fresh fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense (low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals) so by eating them more you reduce your calorie intake. BUT the most important part is you become healthy. Internal organs will thank you (liver, kidneys, heart). Calories in versus calories out does not work for everyone, its that simple. You HAVE to be healthy to lose weight, period. Juicing helps you achieve that.
There are an infinite amount of benefits to juicing. However do not get it twisted, all it is is an easier way to add fresh, organic vegetables and fruits into your diet. It will never be the end all be all, however it is a great start and the fact that a guy like me has added it to his diet and feels outstanding from it, should speak volumes.
Next up the benefits of the ingredients!