The Ins and Outs of Juicing for Health
"Juicing provides a concentrated nutrient bomb that is made up of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes delivered in liquid form to all the cells in your body."
In today’s live show with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD holistic nutritionist she answers everything you need to know about juicing. Done right, adding juicing to your routine can literally be life changing!
Watch and learn the difference between juicing and smoothies, the real health benefits of juicing, and which type of juicer is best. Plus you’ll learn Dr. Nancy’s favorite juicing tips and hacks to ensure you are getting the most of out of your juice. She’ll even show you how to make her favorite morning green juices in this special live with Dr. Nancy.
- 2:32: Juices Vs Smoothies.
- 6:44: Juicing
- 8:44: Types of Juicers.
- 16:36: Can you juice it?
- 23:17: List of things not to juice.
- 24:11: Benefits of Juicing.
- 26:58: Tips on Juice Making.
- 34:33: Green Juice Recipe.
- 40:53: Wrap Up
Juices Vs Smoothies
People often confuse juice and smoothies, but they are not quite the same thing. Juice is the liquid that is extracted from fruit and vegetables, and it contains all of the good plant stuff like anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins, minerals and important enzymes. The only effective way to make a healthy juice is by using a juicer.
A smoothie, on the other hand, is made in a blender like a Vitamix or a Nutribullet. It includes blending and mixing up vegetables, nuts, seeds, and liquids into a puree so fine that it becomes liquid and you can drink it. Besides consistency there are two major differences between smoothies and juices:
- Juices have less soluble fiber than smoothies. By juicing you are separating the juice and the nutrients and vitamins from the flesh of the fruits. A smoothie on the other hand blends them all together.
- The second difference is that by removing the fiber, juicing provides a concentrated nutrient bomb that is made up of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes delivered in liquid form to all the cells in your body within about 20 minutes after consumption. It’s one of the easiest things to digest and is directly absorbed by the small intestine, into your bloodstream where the nutrients are delivered in their purest form directly to the cells, tissues, and organs.
However, it is important to note that both smoothies and juices are great options that provide nutrients that can be very beneficial to your health in various ways.
Juicing Fruits and Vegetables
Since juicing delivers such a concentrated nutrient-dense boost to your cells, you really want to make sure that you are using a juicer that extracts the juice without damaging it with heat. The reason for this is that as soon as you apply heat to anything that you’re eating, especially if it’s live, organic and raw, then there is oxidation which causes the nutrients to deplete. Heat also destroys a lot of the natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in our foods and that’s why it is recommended to avoid pasteurized coconut water. Always try to get it raw if you can because pasteurizing kills all of the good enzymes and nutrients.
Types of Juicers
Juicers can range widely in price, from $30 to $300 or more. Like many products with large price ranges, this is a case where you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to buy a juicer, think of it as an investment in your health. Set aside an allowance for it and then spend the money to get yourself a good, high quality juicer. You will not believe the difference, and you will not be wasting your fruits and your vegetables especially in the pulp when you throw it out.
There are really two types of juicers. These are:
Centrifuge or fast juicer – These are the most popular types of juicers. Most smoothie restaurants use centrifuge juicers, but these are not the best type of juicers in our opinion. Centrifuge juicers work by quickly spinning fruits and vegetables. They consist of a blade that rotates really fast, spinning the fruits and vegetables against the screen to extract the juice. These are popular because they make juice so quickly and they’re super easy to clean. You can put it in your dishwasher and be done with it.
Centrifuge juicers also tend to be less expensive. However, the biggest drawback to Centrifuge juicers is that they spin so fast that they create heat, which damages the quality of your juice. They also don’t do a very good job of juicing dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach. This means a lot of times you end up having to remove the pulp and juice it again; otherwise you lose out on extra minerals and a lot of the juice.
Masticating or the slow juicer – Masticate means to chew. This is more like cold pressing the vegetables and fruits. It works by squeezing, grinding and crushing the juice from your vegetables and fruits introducing no heat at all, therefore making the juice more nutritious. Unlike juice from the Centrifuge, the juice produced by cold pressing has not had oxygen introduced to it. Oxygen leads to oxidation and damages the nutrients in your juice, so masticating or cold pressing juices are the way to go. If you are going to get a juicer, spend the extra money and make the extra investment in your health to get a masticating juicer.
Juicing isn’t better or worse than eating whole fruits and vegetables, it’s just different. It just provides you with a more concentrated delivery system for the important nutrients we need. That being said, you can’t juice every vegetable. Let’s talk about what can and can’t be juiced.
Can You Juice It?
- Apples – These are probably one of the most popular things that people juice to make their green smoothies just a little bit more powerful. If you’re new to juicing especially greens such as kale, chard, and those bitter mustard greens, you might want to start with a little bit of apple in there to help sweeten it.
- Pears – Yes you can juice them! Pears fall under the hard vegetables and hard fruits category, which also includes things like apples, carrots, celery, and similar foods. Fruits and vegetables like peaches, papaya, and mango are considered soft vegetables. If you feel like you can’t juice it, then it’s better off in a smoothie.
- Avocados – It is not advised to juice avocado. They do not have a lot of juice in them so if you want to use avocado in your beverage, it’s better to blend it with a smoothie instead.
- Coconut meat – It’s better not to juice coconuts. It can ruin your juicer blades if you’re using a Centrifuge juicer. The cold press juicer may be ideal for this. However, it is best to just drink the coconut water and then scoop out the meat and put it into your blender for a nice smoothie.
- Bananas - Bananas are another fruit that is better in smoothies than in juice. It’s also important to note how sweet your beverages are because the sugar can really add up as well.
- Nuts and seeds and grains – If you juice nuts, seeds and grain you get nut butter or seed butter, so these are not ideal for juicing. However, with the Centrifuge you can actually grind them to make really yummy nut butters.
- Beets – These are ideal to be juiced, and really excellent for kidney health.
List of things not to juice
Here are a couple more food items that you shouldn’t try to juice:
- Root bulb (especially if you have kidney issues or GI issues. It has oxalic acid that can actually irritate your tummy)
- Winter squash
Benefits of Juicing
Remember that healthy eating is all about balance; so include some juice and a lot of whole, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables, and an occasional smoothie in your diet. Juicing has a ton of benefits. In addition to getting a blast of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds from vegetables and fruits plus the add-ins like fresh ginger and turmeric, juicing has been shown to provide several health benefits, such as:
- Boosts the immune system.
- It improves energy levels and prevents the dangerous effects of free radicals. Juicing can help combat this and prevent damage from chronic inflammation in the body.
- It can also help pull the toxins from your cells and neutralize them.
- Juicing also improves digestion by introducing tons of healthy enzymes that make the gut work more efficiently.
Tips on Juicing
From person to person, everyone will experience different benefits from juicing. In all, you’re going to feel more energetic and healthy when you juice. Before you start juicing, here are a few tips on juice making:
- Only juice with organic vegetables and fruits. Remember, you’re removing all of the concentrated nutrients from the produce that you use. Conventionally grown produce is treated with tons of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other toxins. These harmful chemicals are often absorbed into the body after they’re absorbed into the produce once it’s grown and harvested. If your produce is not organic, then you’re essentially consuming a massive, concentrated, unfiltered dose of these dangerous toxins. It’s going to actually nullify what you’re trying to do by juicing.
- Always wash your produce. Even if it’s organic, make sure that you rinse off your produce before you juice and before you consume them. If you must juice with some conventional produce, then pick some of off the Clean Fifteen. This is the list provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of the 15 conventional fruits and vegetables with the lowest amount of harmful chemicals. Make sure that you peel your produce if it’s conventional and throw the skin away.
- Think vegetables first, then fruits. When you’re thinking vegetables, think green. We always want to use dark, leafy greens as our base such as kale, spinach, or Swiss chard, which are all nutrient dense. The reason is that fruit and even some vegetables, like carrots and beets, are really high in natural sugars, and since we are removing the fiber from the flesh, juicing fruit really introduces a ton of sugar into the bloodstream. A good example of this is the pineapple. If you juice it, it has way too much concentrated sugar and no fiber, so it’s actually a very dangerous dose. This causes a lot of issues including setting you up for a huge crash a few hours after drinking your juice. Really focus on your greens as this will keep your juice more alkaline and less acidic. It will also help to draw out acids in the body when we are in a more alkaline state. You can also use cucumbers as your base to help with this as well.
- Add ginger and turmeric into your green juice. Fresh ginger is loaded with good, digestive antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. However, a little bit of ginger will do the trick. It’s very spicy, and you don’t need much! This is very popular when combating cold and flu.
- Juice your herbs and organic citrus as well. Organic citrus are good because they are plucked, picked, and harvested at the time that they’re ripe. Oranges, limes, and lemons are also good choices. Grapefruits are a bit too bitter and can make your juice taste that way as well.
- Toss a bunch of fresh herbs right into your juice. A good example of this is the parsley, which really helps to detoxify. All of the herbs are chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, and when juiced, they add amazing flavor to your juice. So try parsley, basil, and a little bit of cilantro. Give these herbs a try and you will love them.
Green Juice Recipe
Use the masticating juicer. The good thing with the masticating juicer is that it has a forward, not backward, rotation so if it gets jammed, it can reverse and that can fix the jam. The only downside to the masticating juicer is that it takes a little bit of time, so you have to be patient.
Start with some kale, or use any other dark leafy greens like spinach. Add three stalks of celery. Add Persian cucumbers (these are a little sweeter than regular cucumbers). Add one little thumb of ginger and a finger-sized portion of turmeric. Also use half a lemon and a handful of parsley, then you can include a little bit of green apple. Make sure you remove the apple seeds out as they contain toxins that could upset your stomach. This will yield some beautiful, dark juice. It is labor intensive but you’ll get benefits from this juice you cannot get anywhere else.
This is definitely a habit that you will get addicted to. If you use carrots to make your juice, you can use the pulp to bake carrot muffins or carrot bread.
Juicing is a popular, healthy way to load up on your essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and important enzymes. Remember, juices and smoothies are very different. Juices are the liquids extracted from fruits and vegetables with the juice containing all of the good plant stuff like anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and important enzymes. A smoothie, on the other hand, is made in a blender such as a Vitamix or a Nutribullet. The blender blade crushes fruits and vegetables and mixes them into a thick liquid. Vegetables, nuts, and seeds can all be ground in a blender to make a puree with the fiber intact.
The biggest difference between juicing and a smoothie is that juicing separates the juice and nutrients from the fiber of the fruit or vegetable, making it much easier for your body to absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream and deliver them to the cells, tissues, and organs, as well as every single cell in 20 minutes.
There are two main types of juicers: the Centrifuge, which is the fast juicer, and the masticating, which is also known as the slow or cold press juicer. We recommend using a cold press masticating juicer that grinds, crushes and squeezes the juice from the produce. It also does a better job on dark leafy greens and does not introduce heat into the process, though it takes a tad longer.
Juicing has tremendous health benefits, including reducing chronic inflammation, strengthening the immune system, improving digestive health, and improving energy levels. To fight inflammation, it’s always recommended taking your Smarter Curcumin every day to ensure that you are lowering the inflammatory load on your body.
Remember, when you do juice, do the greens first. You want to make sure that greens are the base of your juice. Fruits and some vegetables have high sugar content so ensure you have greens first. Try kale and spinach and remember to always use organic produce that is free from harsh chemicals and toxins. You don’t want to juice anything that has not been washed, and avoid conventionally grown produce if it’s possible.
Don’t be afraid to play around and have some fun with your juices. Some fun ingredients that you can add include ginger, turmeric, lemon, lime, and a bunch of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and even mint. Mix it up and see what kind of healthy concoctions you come up with.