The Health Benefits of Juicing
While juicing for weight loss is a great way to lose a few of those extra pounds, it also has tremendous health benefits. Many people have credited juicing with reversing many negative health trends they had previously been seeing, such as a lack of energy, depression, and even diabetes. Juicing for nutrition and weight loss can fight inflimation, reduce stress and tension, and improve one's overall health.
Here is a great video by a New Orleans news anchor on his experiences with the health benefits of juicing.
The Pros and Cons of Juicing for Weight Loss
-Juicing can have tremendous health benefits, in addition to weight loss. Like most of us who struggle with some extra poundage, you also likely suffer with some of the additional obesity-related health problems such as chronic fatigue, inflammation, or joint pain. The way that juicing releases all of those beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals can make it easier for your body to absorb them, thus the purported health benefit.
-Jucing can help you increase your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. I know that from time to time I have struggled with getting my reccomended daily amount (or RDA) of fruits and veggies. Juicing or blending them up and drinking them can really help someone who is slightly averse to the taste or texture of a certain fruit or veggie. Typically, if you blend in a fruit with a vegetable, the flavor of the vegetable is significantly diminished, if not gone altogether.
-It can help you increase the variety of fruits and vegetables that you consume. They say variety is the spice of life, and that is certainly true when it comes to nutrition. Different foods have different amounts and types of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Juicing can help you try different types becuase you know that if you juice kale, for example, with apple, that it will have a sweet flavor of the apple.
-Fruits and vegetables can be expensive. Especially if you are juicing for weight loss, you will be consuming a lot of freggies and that can really add up, especially if you are buying them at Whole Foods or another premium grocery store. One way to counteract this is to buy vegetables and fruits only when they are in season and/or on sale. Another way to save is to consider purchasing at a farmers market or fruit stand. Usually they are the growers themselves or buy them direct from the growers, so not only do you see a monetary savings, you have the added bonus of freshness. The last idea for saving on the produce is to buy directly from the producer or, even better, pick or grow it yourself.
-Juices are not very filling. If you are drinking your meals instead of eating them, you must have a strong motivation and will to resist adding in more regular food to compensate. Remember, juice has calories, as well as nutritional benefit. See my article on weight loss motivation to assist you in beefing up your willpower.
-You may lose weight more quickly than what is reccomended. Juicing can help you lose weight, and fast. But you may want a slower pace for loss. In that case, you can still juice, but simply not use the juice to replace meals. Rather, use the juicing as a nutritional supplement.
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If you are ready to try out juicing for weight loss, here are some recipes that you can try to get you started.
From What's Cooking America:
Colorful Health Festival Juice
1 small to medium beetroot, discard greens or see below*
1 red tomato
4 carrots, discard greens as they are toxic
2 firm yellow pears
2 red apples
3 thick slices pineapple (wash before cutting)
4 brussel sprouts
4 white or purple cauliflower florets
2 arugula (rocket) leaves
6 Broccoli florets
Wash and prepare Vegetables and Fruits:
Trim beetroot ends, peel thinly, and cut into chunks.
Trim carrot ends and discard greens.
Quarter the pears and apples (don't peel, but discard all seeds).
Peel pineapple slices, discarding rind. Cut slices into strips.
Bunch up arugula (rocket) before juicing.
From the Stanford Cancer Institute:
|Pineapple -- Blueberry -- Ginger Juice|
1 cup blueberries
1 piece fresh ginger (1/4-1/2 inch)
|Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to fight certain types of cancer. The ginger aids digestion, and sets a South Pacific mood when combined with pineapple.
Makes 12 ounces = 80 calories, 0g fat,16g carbs, 7g protein
And a couple from the William's Sonoma Blog:
1/4 large pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup blackberries
30 mint leaves
2 navel oranges
3 red beets
1 Asian pear
1/2 cup cabbage
3 handfuls chard (about 11/2 cups)
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One way to juice for weight loss is through juice fasting. Just like with any fast, there are health benefits associated with fasting anywhere from 24 hours to 40 days. Some people use a certain juice blend for cleansing while they are fasting, and others simpy limit themselves to "juice only", but allow any type of juice.
You can purchase a commercially prepared juice fast, or you can make your own using your home juicer. Some of the more popular commercial juice cleanses that you can buy are made by Argo Labs, Skinny Girl, BluePrint, and Nature's Secret.
Upon finishing your juice fast, be sure to slowly ease back in to regular solid foods. If you try to eat too much, too fast, you could make yourself feel very ill.
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I hope you have enjoyed my article about juicing for weight loss. Have you ever juiced before? Leave your experiences in the comment box. I am always up for learning something new about nutrition!