by Debbie J, MS, RD
Melissa Sandoval also contributed to this article
For a major kick-start to a healthier you, there’s no faster way to get the nutrients from a variety of vegetables than to drink them. The extra fluids can help you feel better, fight fatigue, and many people see improvements in their weight loss efforts from juicing.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to solely rely on juice for all of your nutrition, and juicing isn’t just for those who want to do a fast or cleanse. In fact, a single daily cocktail made from your favorite produce can help you to lose a little weight and improve your health.
Give it try…or a taste, rather!
Juicing is an easy and tasty way for teens and adults to get the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It can be great way for people to reach their veggie quota for the day, and to get the nutrients from vegetables that you don’t normally eat.
It is important to note that juicing is not for infants, those who are post-bariatric surgery, people with diabetes and people who suffer from hypoglycemia. People taking prescription medication need to check for any foods included that would cause interactions. So be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
Go BIG on Vegetables and easier on Fruits!
Juice is concentrated and can be sugar and calorie rich compared to fresh crisp produce. The key is to include vegetables in a 3:1 ratio with fruit to keep the sugar content down. Carrots and beets can help add some sweetness without adding the calories of too much fruit.
Another nutritional consideration is that juicing doesn’t contain fiber since the pulp is removed. Whole fruits and vegetables have the advantage of bulk to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Many people have turned to high speed blenders that can handle the fibrous parts of produce. Some power blenders can even grind skins, pits, seeds and peels, though the result is more smoothie and less “juice,” and these blenders are often a bit pricy.
TOP TIPS for Juicing:
- Choose a juicer that suits your desire for pulp removal and quantity that it can produce.
- Keep in mind the clean-up time associated with each use of the machine. All machines are not equal when it comes to ease of use and clean-up.
- Take into consideration that a smaller juicer may require you to cut more of the vegetables, thus adding additional work and time.
- Let your digestive system adjust – Start small, with less than 6 ounces of juice per day and gradually increase the amount over time.
- The nutrients are quickly broken down by oxidation, so you’ll need to consume your juice immediately or refrigerate it and drink it within a day.
- Experiment and try produce you wouldn’t normally eat by itself.
- Incorporate one green leafy vegetable per juice concoction – try kale, mint leaves, cilantro, spinach, parsley or basil.
Improving your body on the inside and outside allows you to have more energy, feel good, handle stress better, and be in the mood to exercise. So grab a juicer, several pounds of seasonal produce and juice away!
Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.