10 important things you need to know before you start juicing. Juicing is about a changed lifestyle that you choose, towards a new and healthier you.
Let’s get you prepared for a lifetime journey to successful juicing. This page is for you if you are new to fresh fruits and vegetables juicing.
Once you understand the true benefits of juicing as I have led you through in the other pages, you are ready to begin. Take heed of the following juicing basics to see the marvelous effects juices will have on your overall health:
Lesson # 1: Important—Your current health
Firstly, let’s get this right: True, fruit juice causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. In a normally healthy person, fresh fruit juices would not pose a problem as the sugars in fruits are easily assimilated and digested. If you are a generally healthy person eating healthily, you’ll never get diabetes from drinking juices.
It’s not true that children or people become obese from drinking fruit juices. Obesity and diabetes are caused by faulty diets that lead to faulty organs, not because of fruit juices.
However, if you are even borderline diabetic or suffering from candidiasis, or are prone to suffer from thrush, please refrain from consuming fruit juices. But, know that you’re diabetic because of your faulty diet. If you want to reverse your condition, begin to eliminate these harmful foods from your dietary, then come back to juicing. Opt for vegetable juices.
If you suspect that you may have a yeast infection in the digestive tract, check with your doctor before you embark on a fruit juicing diet. This advice also applies to those with low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia), or if you tend to put on weight easily.
Vegetable juicing when done correctly, however, would not be a problem in these cases. And there are many green juices combination that you can try out which would taste as delicious. Well, I hear you … some of you don’t like to eat your greens but it’s really not that bad.
If I told you that green juices may improve your blood and health condition, will you even consider drinking it? I’ll show you how. It’s really not that difficult. But first, you’ll need to consider investing in a good gear juicer that is best for juicing vegetables. Some other tips/advice on buying a juicer if you’re a beginner, or never owned a juicer before.
Lesson # 2: What to expect when you improve your diet
When you start consuming superior quality foods (fresh fruits and vegetables that are nutrient-rich), your body gets to work by ridding the inferior material and tissues to make room for the superior materials to make new and healthier tissues.
For example, when you stop taking your daily stimulant “fix” such as coffee, tea, chocolate, or the like, headaches or migraines may occur. This happens when your intelligent body discards toxins like caffeine or theobromine from your tissues and transporting them in your bloodstream.
As these toxins travel on its way to their final destination for elimination, these irritants register as pain. It could be a headache, or a joint pain, or weakening of a limb, etc.
Another letdown that can occur in your body during this time—when you choose superior quality over inferior quality food—could be a slower heart action which your mind may translate as lethargy, or a decrease in energy.
When you encounter these symptoms, do not give up. Your body is going through a regeneration process, which on average may take about seven days to a couple of weeks, depending on the toxicity level in your body. Take this period to rest, as your body recuperates and prepares for better health ahead.
During this time, especially if you’re drinking a lot of juices, (or if your body is highly toxic,) you’ll experience various healing reactions, even though you’re not really juice fasting. An increased volume of superior foods in your body does this. Read about healing reactions/crisis so that you are not caught unaware.
Be persistent and wait out this period. When these symptoms happen, know that your choice to improve your diet is the right thing to do, and that a renewing is happening within you.
Your success starts here, as you understand the process, knowing that you are on the way to a healthier and new you.
Lesson # 3: When to drink your fresh juices
The best time to drink your fresh juices is on an empty stomach—at least half an hour before a meal. This is when your stomach hungers for food and would absorb anything you consume.
When you drink a nutritious healthy fresh juice, your body quickly absorbs all that you consume, wasting nothing. Likewise, when you eat something harmful on an empty stomach, it would all be as quickly absorbed. So choose wisely.
You may have been told not to eat a citrus fruit or drink its juice on an empty stomach in the morning, because of its acidicity. Not to worry, although citrus fruits taste acidic, they’re really alkaline-forming foods. I suggest you try a little bit and see if it does give you any problem.
I can assure you that once your stomach is conditioned to drinking fruit and vegetable juices, you should not encounter any problem taking citrus juices. In fact, I feel that the optimum absorption of the vitamin C does wonders to my skin!
As a general rule, drink fruit juices mostly in the first half of the day, or at the start of your day as it provides the complex carbohydrates to fuel energy. For the later part of the day, drink juices that are less sweet, like partial or full green juices.
Lesson # 4: What to juice
If you are new to juicing, start juicing with the fruits you enjoy eating. This way, your body would already be familiar with its pleasant taste.
Step 1: Start with the more common produce first which are easier on your stomach, like carrots, apples, oranges or watermelons. They are gentle and mild on your taste bud and on your stomach.
Step 2: After juicing these a few times, you may feel ready to add something new to your menu. I like to use carrots and green apples as my base in most of my juices and add other items to it to make great-tasting and healthy juices. This is when you begin to add some vegetables.
Vegetable juices may not be palatable to some people in the beginning and takes some time to get used to, but their health properties are immense.
Here are some quick and helpful tips to make nice tasting green juices.
On days that I’m feeling lazy, I like to simply juice one carrot, one apple, one tomato and one orange altogether. These have all the best ingredients that when combined, provide a synergy of the nutrients which are powerful in keeping me in my peak. And they taste delicious.
I try to add at least one or two medium-sized beetroot per week in my juicing diet. Beetroots are both powerful cleansers and builders of the blood and kidneys, therefore, its consumption should be limited to no more than one/week if you’re just starting.
Step 3: The greener the vegetables, the more nutritionally valuable they are, and less palatable. When you think you are ready for green vegetables, remember your base (carrot and green apples). Add any greens you fancy: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc. The more greens you have, you may want to add more green apples (up to 2-3 depending on how much you’re juicing), and 1/4 or 1/2 slice of lemon to go with it for taste. By the way, lemon is a superfood that will not only help detoxify your system, it also multiplies your nutrients absorption rate by up to 5 times. Juice it with the peel for its bioflavonoids and essential oils that make it a super immunity booster.
Step 4: You are well on your way when you have achieved Steps 1, 2 and 3 above. You may now start to experiment with all other kinds of fruits and vegetables. Check out this list of fruits/vegetables and their health benefits and add any other vegetables that you may have in season.
Lesson # 5: Rotate fruit/vegetable juices intake for best results
To maintain and promote optimum health, our bodies need adequate amounts of the following:
- Essential amino acids
- Essential fatty acids
We need all these sufficiently, constantly, and variedly in order to help accelerate and enhance the process of restoring nutrients to your nutrient-starved tissues.
When we regularly eat a mixed-variety of these fruits and vegetables, the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and all the abundance of health-building elements from these juices work together in a synergy. The results of these combinations on your health can be simply amazing!
While we may not get all the above-mentioned essentials from fruits/vegetables alone, there are some other healing foods that you may add to your dietary to ensure balance.
Some suggestions of other healing foods that you can add to your dietary:
Protein: If you’re juicing regularly and eating a well-planned and thought out vegetarian diet, you would be getting sufficient plant protein. If not, I do not agree in getting protein from milk. Consider eating legumes, nuts and seeds for best bio-available protein. Check out other sources of protein here.
Cod liver or fish oil: The green vegetable juices that you drink is abundant with vitamin K which helps to “stick” the calcium to your bone matrix. But, in order for this to happen, you need some fats (from cod liver or fish oil) to assist with the vitamin K absorption. For vegetarian options you may consider other essential fatty acids.
Chlorella and spirulina: Fruits and vegetables contain very little or no vitamin B. You may add chlorella and/or spirulina in tablet/powder form as a supplement. These two algae have very high content of vitamin B.
Seeds and nuts: Many seeds and nuts contain protein and fat that is needed to fuel the body. They also contain important amino acids for the brain and the immune system. These can be eaten as they are, or ground and added to your juices.
Lesson # 6: How safe are fruit juices?
The concerns I am going to mention below are not major concerns. We have come this far and understand that the abundant health benefits of fruits far outweigh these little-understood issues.
A common nagging question for most people who want to start a juicing lifestyle is, “how safe is it to drink fruit juices?” I’ve been there too, so I can understand these concerns.
Concern 1: The sugar
Of course, if you don’t fall into the category of those suffering the conditions I mentioned in Lesson # 1 above, there is simply no need for you to avoid fruit juices.
I’ve often been asked if a person could get diabetes from drinking fruit juices. The answer is “NO”. No one ever gets diabetes or any other diseases from drinking fruit juices.
A dietary consisting of processed and high-fat foods is often the culprit to most chronic diseases. See list of harmful foods here. These harmful foods interfere with the absorption of the sugar. The sugar is trapped coated with fats in your blood, leaving the sugar lingering in the blood system for a longer period. The trapped sugar ferments and turns acidic, also causing blood sugar level to be high. So, if you do have diabetes or other health conditions mentioned above, your body may have trouble processing fruit juices, therefore, sweet juices are to be avoided, until you begin to eliminate those harmful foods.
Read my stand about fruit juices: Is Fruit Fructose Evil?
In a normally healthy person, the natural sugar in fruits is easily assimilated and digested, unlike table sugar which is toxic to the body. If you generally don’t eat healthy (a diet that is full of processed and fried foods), then there is a high likelihood that your body may not take well to fruit juices.
When giving any fruit juices to young children, always dilute them with water. For very young kids, do not give more than half an apple as apples have a natural laxative effect that too much may cause diarrhea.
A word of WARNING, though:
After drinking fruit juices, rinse your mouth.
Do not brush so as to prevent corrosion
of your teeth enamel from the fruit acid.
Concern 2: The pesticides
We know that commercially-grown fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. This is not something that we can avoid, as not all of us are blessed with easy access to organic or pesticide-free produce. If you can afford it though, organic is always the best choice.
One way I’ve found to remove these toxins from fruits and vegetables is to soak them in clean water with a mixture of a small capful of apple cider vinegar and some sea salt. But this only remove the pesticides from the surface, not within the fibers.
Vegetables tend to catch more of the pesticides. When preparing them, tear (not cut) them up from their bunch and soak them in this solution.
Soak it for about 10 minutes and you will start to notice the water smell. This means the pesticide has come off. Rinse the vegetables a couple more times and it’s ready for juicing. Do the same thing for fruits and brush with a soft fruit brush.
To ensure you minimize the pesticides and chemicals in your juice, invest in a good gear juicer. See how a gear juicer can eliminate much of the toxic chemicals from your juice.
Concern 3: The wax
What about the wax on fruits, like apples?
Apples naturally produce a thin layer of wax that coats and protects the skin. However, before they are packed for distribution, they are sprayed with vegetable based, edible oil to contain their moisture, prevent them from shriveling and weight loss.
In most fruits, nutrients are most concentrated just under the skin. I usually leave the skin on when juicing, and peel the skin when eating it.
The decision is up to you, but in this case, neither option is harmful. Using a masticating juicer may help expel the wax in the pulp.
Lesson # 7: What about the pulp?
The pulp, or the fiber, is also known as roughage or bulk. These are the parts of the fruits/vegetables that your juicer retains behind when it separates the juices from the plant foods.
There are two categories of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber. Your body needs both of these. When consumed, these fibers do not get digested but pass through your digestive system unchanged. On its way to being eliminated from your body, it adds bulk to your stool and soften it, preventing constipation.
What I’m encouraging here is “juicing for health”. There is a difference between juicing and blending. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. This site is, after all, about juicing for health, teaching you the means of juicing for health reason. If you want to improve your health or trying to reverse a certain health condition speedily, then juicing is the way to go. In fact, I would even suggest juice fasting/feasting.
Blending includes the pulp (fiber) and is like eating. Enzymes and energy are being expended when there is pulp involved. It takes more effort for nutrients to be absorbed and less nutrients are being assimilated. This means healing is slower, compared to juicing. So you decide what you want. To read more about this debate, go to this page that details Juicing versus Blending.
Lesson # 8: Listen to your body
Juicing should be a pleasant experience. The juices should taste pleasant and not nauseating. I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of listening to your body.
After drinking juices, your stomach should be calm the whole day long, not churning and growling and leaving you with a queasy feeling. If this happens, your body is telling you that you have probably consumed something which your stomach is not accustomed to. You can condition your stomach by taking the same thing in smaller amounts in the future, and gradually increasing the amount.
How much to drink? Drink as much as you want, as much as you can comfortably drink. All the time listen to your body. Your body is intelligent enough to tell you what it wants, but you just have to train it to want the healthy stuff. When you crave juices, drink away. When your body has got enough, you will know, for it will feel “forced” when you’re drinking it.
Be aware of changes to your body when you start eating superior foods. Although this article on healing reactions is for one who is juice fasting, it also applies to you if you’re drinking juices in an increased amount compared to your normal diet. Know what to expect so that you understand what’s going on in your body and not give up on juicing.
Lesson # 9: Drink your juices right away
With a good juicing equipment, preparation of fruits, cutting them up, juicing and washing up should take only about 15 minutes (not including the fruits “de-pesticide” soaking time).
Once juiced, juices do not keep as long as its natural whole form. When it gets exposed to air, it starts to lose its nutrient rapidly and quickly spoil, so must be consumed almost immediately after being juiced.
There is a difference in how long you can keep your juices, by the method you use to extract the juices. If you use a centrifugal juicer, the high speed spinning causes exchange of +ve and -ve ions that rapidly oxidizes your juice. Oxidized juice is in effect spoiled juice. You know it’s spoiled when it’s turned color and has a metalic taste of “rust” in it. Some produce don’t oxidized so quick but you will still have to drink it up quickly (within minutes) before it oxidizes. See this tip to delay oxidation.
On the other hand, if you use a low speed juicer, a.k.a. masticating or gear juicer, the juices are extracted without disrupting the cellular structure of the fruits/vegetables, thus preserving the enzymes and nutrients. This type of juice extraction prevents oxidation for a longer period as the juice extracted is more stable, rich and concentrated. With this kind of extraction, you can store the juice for up to 24 hours.
To store juices for ‘later’, carefully pour the juice into a thermos flask, or an air-tight glass jar while the juice is still cold. Fill the juice to the brim, leaving very little space for air as the oxygen in the air can oxidize the juice. If using a glass jar, wrap the glass jar in aluminum foil to block out the light, and store it in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours. Light destroys enzymes.
Lesson # 10: Clean your juicer properly
One of the more important factors when you choose a juicer, is that it must be easy to assemble, dismantle and clean. If it takes you 10 minutes to juice and another 15 minutes to clean up, you will not enjoy juicing. I own a few masticating juicers, the Alpha Juicer (Omega J8003 equivalent) and the Green Power Kempo. They all take only under 2 minutes to wash-up, and I simply love them.
Fruits/vegetables residue left behind on your juicer can easily contaminate with mold growth. To prevent this microbial proliferation, clean your juicer as soon as you can, after use.
To clean, dismantle the juicer parts and rinse it under running tap water. For the strainer, use an old toothbrush to get the remnants out. When you juice citrus fruits, the juicer tend to have a slight oily feeling. Simply clean this with a mild detergent solution. Rinse well.
Learn how to care for your gear juicers and get the most out of it.