5 Reasons to Juice and a Basic Juice Recipe

March 25, 2012 · 31 comments

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Freshly pressed vegetable juices are an important step in moving along with your detoxification. Juicing for health may be traced back to Ayurvedic practices in ancient India. Juicing is a 5000 year old tradition. Experience has shown that the juice of specific fruits and vegetables can help improve body functions and cleanse the body of toxins.  When you squeeze out the juice of vegetables, you receive a concentration of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Juicing is an important part of the GAPS protocol and it goes well with the later Intro stages.

You will need a juice extractor in order to freshly press vegetable and fruit juices. This is different than pureeing vegetables and fruits. The juice extractor separates the water and nutrients from the indigestible fiber or pulp. While you may add fruits, vegetables are the main course here.

5 Reasons to Juice

  1. Juicing allows your digestive system to rest, so that energy may go into elimination, recovery and healing, instead of digestion. During this time, cells can repair themselves and detoxify. Freshly pressed juices provide enzymes as well as vitamins and minerals that are easily assimilated.
  2. Juicing will help to break down the vegetables, making it easier to assimilate, so you will receive most of the nutrition.
  3. Juicing allows you to consume more vegetables than you normally would. Some people may find eating vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
  4. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetables, raw or cooked, every day. Foods should be rotated to prevent developing allergies. With juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
  5. Juicing is a great way to use of surplus vegetables from your garden or your CSA — especially the ones you don’t know what to do with. Combined with sweet vegetables, leafy greens may be used to make slightly bitter tasting juices more acceptable.

Use the best possible vegetables

Use organic vegetables and fruits when possible. Follow the list by the Environmental Working Group, which lists the dirty dozen and the clean 15. You certainly do not want to be drinking concentrated juices that are laced with pesticides. Make sure any fruit you use is ripe.

Start with vegetables you like to eat. Use some sweet vegetables with some that are not sweet. Reserve the bitter leafy greens for when you are a little more experienced with juicing.

Balance the flavors

When using leafy greens, add a half a lemon or lime (skin off, white part included) as this will balance the bitterness of the greens.

Add some fresh ginger (a 1 inch portion is plenty) if you like the taste of ginger. It will give the juice a little kick! Research has indicated that ginger can have positive effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis and preventing the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL).

Add a handful of fresh cranberries — they contain huge amounts of antioxidants and may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cranberries are also known to protect against urinary tract infections.

Drink up

Drink your juice as soon as it is made. Fresh pressed juices oxidize very quickly — as soon as the air hits the juice it will start to oxidize. This aspect of juicing makes it a little difficult to have more than one glass of juice a day. After all, it takes time to run the juicer and more time to clean it!

However, you can store freshly pressed juices for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This has to be done very carefully.

How to store your juice:

  • Pour your juice into a glass jar (quart mason jars work well for this) with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. Quickly cover the jar. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air will “oxidize” the juice and damage it. Nutrients are lost that way as well.
  • Immediately store it in the refrigerator. It is best to drink it as soon as possible, but it must be consumed within 24 hours of juicing.

Start slowly

Don’t expect to be able to guzzle a large glass of juice and feel well. Juices can have a powerful effect on the digestive system. Start with just a few ounces a day and work your way up to one or two glasses a day. It’s always best to use caution when starting something new.

Basic Juice

Ingredients (all organic if possible)

  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small zucchinni
  • a handful of lettuce
  • 1″ knob of ginger peeled (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set up your juicer and make sure it is clean
  2. Clean the vegetables and peel the ginger
  3. Cut away any dead portions of the vegetables
  4. Core the apple (unless your juicer can handle it)
  5. Juice the softer vegetables first (lettuce and leafy greens)
  6. Pass the vegetables through the juicer
  7. Pour the juice into a glass and enjoy! You may add some sea salt if desired.
  8. This will yield about 12 ounces of juice so you may want to share it with someone.

What is your experience with juicing? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Please share your juice recipes at the Detox Challenge Linky! Or at Fat Tuesdays here at the blog on Tuesdays.

This post is shared at: My Meatless Monday, Sunday School, Sugar-Free Sunday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Meatless Monday, Real Food 101, Tasty Tuesday Tidbits, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Tasty Tuesday 33, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Healthy 2Day, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Mommy Club, Creative Juice Thursday, Thriving on Thursday, Tastastic, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Foodie Friday, Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food, Seasonal Celebration

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly March 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I haven’t really ever juiced before, but I have read that it is good to mix in a little cream to ensure there isn’t a blood sugar spike and ensure mineral absorption. Do you recommend doing this?

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2 Jill March 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Hi Kelly,
Yes,that is a good idea.Also, drinking the juice with a meal helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.

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3 Mira March 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

I often find that juicing is a wonderful way to rebalance my system after vacation. One of my favorites is juicing beets and beet greens with celery, green apple, and a little parsley.

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4 Jill March 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi Mira,
That sounds good — a somewhat advanced juice!

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5 debbie March 26, 2012 at 9:10 am

I suffer from oral allergy syndrome and can’t eat most fruits and veggies raw. Any suggestions??

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6 Jill March 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi Debbie,
Have you tried juicing? Or better yet, fermented fruits and vegetables?

Reply

7 Neveen March 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

I used to drink juice for breakfast while I was on an elimination diet, not really thinking of the sugar content. I also used to juice and drink it on the car ride to work. I loved adding in a pear because it sweetened the bitter beets. If I juice more than a half a beet, my throat gets scratchy and I end up getting sick. Yet I can eat two to three cooked beets without a problem. Is there such a thing as a beet allergy? I tried looking it up but couldn’t find anything. I’m now pregnant. Is juicing still good during pregnancy and nursing? I’m afraid of releasing any toxins that may end up hurting the baby or eventually getting into my milk.

Reply

8 Jill March 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi Neveen,
you may be sensitive to raw beets — that has a lot of oxalates in it. The cooking helps break the oxalates down a bit.

It’s never wise to detox during pregnancy. That said, a small amount of fresh juice with a meal, is healthy.

Everything you are exposed to gets into the breast milk.

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9 Beth C. March 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends in several places in the revised edition of the GAPS book that you should limit fresh beet juice to no more than 5% of your juice blend. I’m not sure why, but could it be because raw beets are particularly potent medicine (think kvass)? Does anyone know? In any case, I’d reduce the percentage of beets in your juice, Neveen.

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10 Neveen March 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Thanks so much for the reply. This is the second time this week that I’ve heard the word “oxalates.” I’m not really familiar with it. The first time I heard about it was in regards to almond flour. Someone had written that almond flour contains large levels of oxalates. I’ve been making grain-free muffins using almond flour and just invested in a 5lb bag. Is the high oxalate levels in almond flour the reason you don’t really use it in your baking? If not, out of curiosity, why don’t you use almond flour?

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11 Beth March 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

When recovering from food-borne hepatitis as a teen I was given a carrot/orange juice. I thought it was bleh at first, but later on I would ask for it looong after I was well. The thing I was trying to remember just this weekend was how they made it without a juicer. I think they made it in a regular blender and strained the carrot chunks. Any experience juicing without a juicer? I’d like to support my liver with carrot juice but the ones in the store are not organic.
Thanks!

Reply

12 Jill March 26, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi Beth,
I guess blending it, as you said and straining it would work.

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13 Mindy @ Too Many Jars in My Kitchen! March 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I do love juicing, although I can tend to be rather lazy about it. My hope is that going through intro again is going to help me get that habit going again! I’m really looking forward to some fresh juice in the next day or two when I move on to stage 4.

One of my favorite blends is cucumber with carrots. Then I’ll also add in either some cabbage or celery, depending on what I have on hand. Yum!

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14 Hanna March 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

“Juicing allows your digestive system to rest”
As a student nurse Id like to point out that fruit juices act as a laxative (making your body work faster and taking in less nutrients).

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15 Beth C. March 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

You might find this helpful:
On p. 303 of the revised edition of the GAPS book, Dr NCM writes, “…juicing removes the fibre, which impairs absorption of many nutrients in fruit and vegetables and aggravates the condition in the already sensitive digestive system of a GAPS patient. The digestive system has virtually no work to do in digesting juices, they get absorbed in 20-25 minutes, providing the body with a concentrated amount of nutrients.”

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16 Hanna March 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

and if the body doesnt need all the nutrients it will over work the kidneys to dispose of it (which is why some people get bright bright yellow urine when taking vitamin pills).
I might just be a bit funny on low fibre diets at the moment due to all the research Ive done on diverticulitis for uni.

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17 Beth C. March 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

Nice post! I love throwing in a handful of cilantro sprigs (leaves and stems) for added detoxification of heavy metals. Plus, I love the taste.

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18 France @ Beyond The Peel March 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I stopped juicing when my juicer died on me, but It’s on the “grocery list” this week! SO excited to start juicing again. I grew up on the stuff (my mom loved to juice) and I sure miss it.

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19 Mindie March 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

Sounds good and great reasons to juice.

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20 Heather H. March 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Do you really have to peel the ginger and core the apples? I have never owned a juicer, but I was under the impression that you just threw them in whole….I am shopping for a juicer this weekend. I guess I should buy a heavy duty one, because peeling ginger kills me :)

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21 Miz Helen March 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

This is a great juice recipe that I would enjoy. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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22 Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry April 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

What an informative post Jill! The juice recipe sounds wonderful as well.

Thank you so much for sharing your great post on Allergy-Free Wednesdays! Be sure to check back next week for recipe highlights (including the top 3 reader choice submissions and hostess favorites).

Be Well!

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23 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network April 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I really like the sound of your basic juice and interesting to note that fresh juice oxidizes so quickly.

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