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
- 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.
- Juicing will help to break down the vegetables, making it easier to assimilate, so you will receive most of the nutrition.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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)
- Set up your juicer and make sure it is clean
- Clean the vegetables and peel the ginger
- Cut away any dead portions of the vegetables
- Core the apple (unless your juicer can handle it)
- Juice the softer vegetables first (lettuce and leafy greens)
- Pass the vegetables through the juicer
- Pour the juice into a glass and enjoy! You may add some sea salt if desired.
- 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.