Juicing is said to have healing powers for the body. Drinking fresh, raw fruits and vegetables (especially veggies) daily can cleanse, purify, detox, energize and promote proper functioning and healing within yourself. And we all know that healthy insides lead to optimal health and happiness. But, admittedly, a glass of green “garden in a glass” can be intimidating and unappetizing. That is, unless you know how to do it correctly so you get the best taste and nutrients.
So before you toss handfuls of whatever fruits and vegetables you have lying around into your juicer, here’s some advice:
Don’t mix fruits and veggies. Some people, like juiceman Jay Kordich advise against juicing fruits and vegetables together–with the exception of carrots and apples. In The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing, he writes:
Combining the natural oils in vegetables with the acidity of fruits is akin to mixing oil and water. It may cause you to experience bloating, gastric distress, and nausea. I juice apple and ginger with leafy greens to tone down the bitter taste of greens. Apple seems to go well with any vegetable.
Keep fruits to a minimum. Overly sweet fruits (like pineapple, oranges and berries) are a nice treat once in a while, but they also contain a lot of sugar. Try to minimize the sugar in your diet by sticking with more vegetables when you juice.
Do it first thing. It’s a good idea to drink your juice concoction first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. That way, the nutrients get into your system faster and it helps to cleanse your body more efficiently without other foods interfering.
Listen to your body. If you are new to juicing, it’s wise to start slowly and see what your body tolerates. Certain vegetables (like beets and kale) result in a very strong and powerful juice that can upset your stomach. Instead, start with gentler vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and celery, and then gradually add the darker ones.
Add a carrot or apple. To cut the acidic taste of vegetables, try adding a carrot or apple to your juice. It adds a nice touch of sweetness without all the sugar. A little bit of fresh ginger can also work well to reduce bitterness.
Choose foods with a purpose. If you do want a fruit-only juice, they can also work wonders for the body. In The Juicing Book, Stephen Blauer lists fruit juices for a variety of pains:
Acne – papaya, strawberry
Aging (premature) – watermelon
Anemia – cherry, grape, citrus, prune
Arthritis – apple, cherry, watermelon
Asthma – cranberry
Bladder, urinary tract – cranberry, melon, pear
Bruises – grapefruit
Cancer, tumors – grape, papaya – and see my Wheatgrass Juice for Cancer
Ear-ache – grapefruit, lemon, lime
Gall stones – cherry
Gout – apple, cherry, grape, citrus, pineapple, strawberry
Heart disease, high blood pressure – orange, papaya
Hemorrhoids – grape
Mucus membranes (including catarrh) – cherry, grape, grapefruit, citrus
Pain – strawberry, watermelon
Prostate disorders – cherry, pear, strawberry, watermelon
Thyroid gland – strawberry
Ulcers – papaya
Varicose veins – grapefruit
Drink it immediately. Once you juice, drink it right away. Letting it sit around can make it more sugary, and you can lose some of the nutrients (and the fresh taste).
Go organic. To get optimal results from your juice, choose organic fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, you’re just introducing chemicals and toxins directly into your body and bloodstream.
Keep experimenting. There are loads of juicing recipes out there, but the best thing to do is find a taste and texture that works for you. Don’t force yourself to drink something that makes you gag (otherwise you are likely to give up the whole idea of juicing before long). Try different veggies that you would never eat, play around with your own concoctions and just have fun with it.