The Benefits of Juicing Fruits and Vegetables

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Juicing is the latest health craze in the country for the last 10 years or so. You can find a juicer in every household and juicing/smoothie bars are popping up in every neighborhood. Freshly-squeezed juice is a favorite way for us to get the health benefits of our favorite fruits and vegetables without actually having to chew them. Many claim that juicing has “cleansing” and “antioxidant” properties. How true are these claims and can you really become healthier by juicing? The answer: It depends.

Juicing requires a home juicing machine or equipment to turn fruits and vegetables into liquid. Vegetables can be juiced by hand or you can buy a home juicing machine that costs anywhere between $50-500 (as we learned from this site), depending on the quality. The best juicers have powerful spinners that can cut your fruits & veggies into tiny pieces and spin them at a fast rate while separating the juice from the pulp. This removes the fiber and leaves you with a tasty beverage. What are the benefits of juicing fruits and veggies, and is it equally as healthy as eating them raw? Let’s look into the details.

Juicing Benefits Over Raw Consumption

Juicing has certain benefits over consuming fruits and veggies raw. The main advantage is that the body doesn’t have to spend time stripping down the food in your stomach but you’re consuming it in liquid form and getting the nutritious benefits immediately. For instance, if you have to dissolve broccoli in your stomach and convert it into nutrients it may take the body anywhere between 30 minutes up to 1 hour. However, if you drink broccoli juice the body only needs a few minutes to absorb it. Juicing allows the body to consume healthy nutrients in a matter of minutes.

The main counter-argument to the health benefits of juicing is that you lose out on a lot of essential fibers. These fibers (the hard shells/properties of the raw food) are stripped out during the juicing process and discarded in the machine’s waste disposal. If you juice to get your nutrients, you’ll also have to think about how to get fiber in the body and supplement your juicing with high-fiber foods (ex: potatoes).

Benefits #1) High In Nutrition

The main benefit of juicing is that you can mix multiple fruits and veggies at once. When we eat raw veggies, we only consume one or two veggies at a time. Juicing allows us to mix the most nutrient-rich foods on earth and get the benefits of all in one single mix. What are the most nutrient-rich juices that help you by strengthening the immune system and improving the overall functioning of the body? The answer is vegetable juices.

If you mix the most nutrient-rich foods such as kale, broccoli, and spinach you get the highest intake of nutrients possible in a single meal. These veggies contain properties that are excellent for the internal functioning of the body and they’re also low on calories. Keep in mind this is not very economical as you’ll have to use a larger amount of veggies to make a glass of juice than you would if you were eating them raw. The upside is that you’ll get a higher degree of micronutrients.

Benefit #2) Absorb More Nutrients

Studies have shown that juicing allows you to absorb more of the essential nutrients from the vegetables. For example, if you steam or fry veggies in olive oil you’re going to lose out on a lot of nutrients contained in the vegetables that simply evaporate in the air during the cooking process.

This doesn’t occur when you’re juicing because you’re essentially chopping down a raw vegetable. Juicing allows you to get all the nutritious content of the vegetables in your body. While cooking your vegetables still provides lots of nutritious value for the body, consuming them in liquid form is far superior.

Benefit #3) Cleanse The Body

Juicing can help you cleanse the body of toxins – especially if you consume food high on antioxidants such as kale. The liver and kidney are responsible for removing toxins out of the body. If you want to support the liver and kidney, the best way to do that is to consume nutrients from fresh foods. Juicing provides both as it’s a beverage high on nutritious content that your liver needs to remove toxins from the body.

Bottled Juices Vs. Home-Made Juices

The benefits of juicing are clear, but what about the way the juice is prepared? Is it healthier to purchase green juices from the store or juice at home? While bottled juices are advertised as healthy and nutritious, they’ve actually undergone a process of pasteurization. This means that in the factory the juice has to be heat-treated in order to kill the bacteria in each bottle.

The downside of pasteurization is that this process can affect and degrade the most essential nutrients in the juice. Whereas when you juice at home you get all of the nutrients in the juice. What’s more – stored/frozen juice tends to lose nutrients the longer it’s stored. The only exception is tomato juice that actually benefits from the heat of bottling.

Final Conclusion

Juicing is an excellent way to supplement your daily nutrition – however, it is not a replacement for all nutritious needs. For a healthy adult on a 2000 calories/day diet, juicing 1-2 cups of vegetables per day will provide all essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to function optimally. However, you still have to consume raw food in order to get the fibers your body needs. Supplement your juicing with an organic source of fibers for maximum health benefits.

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