In the context of diet, juicing refers to the practice of making fruit or vegetable juices by squeezing or blending fresh fruits and vegetables, and perhaps adding oats or yogurt to them to make smoothies. The idea behind juicing is that it serves as a part of a detox diet; you avoid solid foods and processed foods, and instead drink juice made from fresh, raw ingredients.
Most people take to juice diets in an attempt to lose weight and “detox”. The idea is that if you are drinking smoothies you are probably consuming fewer calories than you would by eating traditional foods. In addition, by cutting normal food out of your diet you consume less fat, fewer sugars and less highly processed items. This gives your body a chance to flush toxins out of your system, leaving you feeling refreshed, clean, energized and healthier. There are many people that swear by the practice of juice fasting, but the benefits are questionable if your diet is already fairly good.
The Benefits of Juicing
That’s not to say that there are no benefits to adding a juice element to your diet. If you are not a fan of fresh fruits and vegetables, then drinking them is probably going to be a much easier way to get your recommended daily intake than eating them. However, if you already eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, then you may not see much nutritional benefit from drinking juice.
Some people make juice in bulk and then add it to broth and use it in muffin batter and in other areas of cooking. This is a great way to fortify your meals, and could help you to ensure that a child who hates vegetables still gets a good diet.
The benefits of juice fasting, such as rapid weight loss, improved complexion and greater energy levels, come almost as much from what the dieter is not eating as they do from the juice itself. Drinking juice ensures that the dieter is getting enough calories and that they are getting some essential nutrients, but a similar detox effect could be achieved with any very short-term fast, so it is not necessarily worth spending a lot of money on an expensive juicer if you are healthy and already eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Popular Juice Recipes
You can use almost any whole food in a juice recipe. The kinds of ingredients you use will depend on whether you are trying to lose weight or simply want to juice for health reasons. If you are on a weight-loss regimen, then you should stick to juice recipes that involve relatively low levels of sugar. One popular recipe, the mean green, includes apples, cucumber, celery, kale, lemon and a dash of ginger. If that sounds a little too green and sludgy for you, then why not try something a little sweeter? The “Beets and Treats” juice recipe is made from pineapple, beetroot, carrot, orange, spinach, red cabbage and lemon.
The above recipes are fairly low in calories while still being rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. If you’re feeling more adventurous and don’t need to watch your calorie intake at the moment, there are many other juice recipes that may suit you. People who are looking to cleanse their kidneys often favour a juice recipe that includes watermelon, blueberry, lime, basil and cayenne pepper. This recipe is made primarily with watermelon, so it is very thin and refreshing, and the cayenne pepper adds a nice kick and strong aftertaste to it.
If you want a juice recipe that could help to refresh your skin, try the “eye opener”. This juice drink is made from four parts carrot to one part apple and one part orange. You can also add peach or lemon for a nice twist to the taste. This is an affordable and nutritious juice recipe.
Juice drinks are a great way to boost your energy levels. Did you know that if you have a good juice machine, you can make a drink that is a lot like V-8 in the comfort of your own home? V-8 is essentially two parts tomato to one part celery, cucumber, carrot, parsley, pepper and spinach. This drink is crammed full of essential vitamins and minerals and will give you a great boost to your energy levels. Another good energy booster is the creamsicle, which, contrary to popular belief, contains no cream. The creamsicle is made of apple, pears, celery, oranges and sweet potato.
Juicing and the Paleo Diet
Drinking freshly made juice fits the Paleo lifestyle quite well. Paleo diet followers avoid processed foods and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to begin with, and most juice drinks contain foods that are “Paleo approved”. There is no need to go on juice fasts if you follow the Paleo diet, but you could add juice to your diet as a natural ?supplement?. It is certainly a lot easier to drink a large amount of blended fruits and vegetables than it is to eat the same amount raw.
However, if you do decide to drink juice, try to drink ones that were made in a blender rather than a juicer. The fibre from the pulp of fruits and vegetables is important, and you lose that (plus a lot of nutrients) if you drink filtered or pressed juices.
If you are following a strict Paleo diet, try to choose drinks that are made primarily from vegetables rather than fruits, and look for fruits that are currently in-season. In addition, pay attention to the glycemic index and the glycemic load that the fruits in the recipe offer. This will help to ensure that you don?t end up drinking something that contains an excessive amount of fruit sugars. Fruits are good for you in moderation, but in some respects they are just like sweets, and it can be easy to trigger cravings or have your energy levels spike and then crash if you over-indulge.