To Juice or Not to Juice?

Written with love, by Nikki Lian

Juicing is taking the pulp out of raw fruits or vegetables and turning it into a liquid. It's an easy way of getting the nutrients from these foods without having to actually eat them. For example, juicing 5 cups of Spinach will leave you with a half a cup of Spinach juice. I'd rather throw back a half of a cup of liquid than have to down five cups of this vegetable, and still manage to absorb the same amount of nutrients.

juicing recipes

In theory, this sounds great. However, all your fiber from your fruits and veggies are in the pulp. We need fiber in order to digest our food properly. So if you decide to go on a juice fast, you're absorbing the sugars from fruits but not aiding the fruit through digestion.  A couple of ways to avoid losing fiber is to put some of the pulp back into the juice once you've separated them, or to use your pulp in baked goods or solid food recipes.

If you decide you want to try juicing, juicers can start anywhere from $30 and go up to about $500 if you want to get fancy.

Here is a favorite mix of mine:

Spinach: lots and lots of Vitamin A and K that are important for skin, hair and bone health

Carrots: Beta Carotene and Antioxidant agents that are used to help fight cancer

Apples: Contain tons of disease-fighting antioxidants as well, apples are also know to decrease your risk of diabetes and lower your cholesterol

Cucumbers: Like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of 95 percent water. Cucumbers also contain polyphenols called lignans, which reduce your risk of cancer and protect your brain.

I always stick to three different vegetables to one fruit in my juice to avoid too much sugar intake. Try to only make enough juice for a day--all natural, fresh juices can easily collect bacteria if you keep them around for too long.  And always remember to replace that fiber!   Juicing makes a large amount of pulp--more than what I need at times. So if you're done baking and mixing it in with your salads, mix some of the pulp in your pet food (just make sure the ingredients you've used are pet friendly).

So there's a little insight on what a lot of people are talking about. I feel that this is something that can't hurt to try.  Have fun and be creative with your recipes...happy juicing!