InTruBeauty: The Health Benefits of Juicing & an Easy Recipe!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Health Benefits of Juicing & an Easy Recipe!

I've been hearing ad nauseum about juicing and a raw food diet and how amazing it is for you. So what else could I do but buy a juicer :) I actually purchased one for about $8 after my discounts and Kohl's cash and ended up with one of the cheapest on the market, the Black & Decker 400 Watt Juice Extractor. After I purchased this, I did even more reading about juicing verses just eating the food or using a regular blender. It's a good goal to have about 50% of the food that you eat be raw fruits and vegetables.
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Funny story. Okay, see the spout above? Obviously you do. Well I didn't see it and for my first time was putting the food into the feeder at the top and watching it come out into the compartment you see in the photo below. I was thinking this is not working at all! This doesn't look like juice to me at all. Then I turned the sucker around and noticed a counter filled with a puddle of juice. Duh. So now I actually put a glass under the juice spout and that works much much better. :)

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What are the benefits of juicing? 
  1. One benefit of juicing over blending fruits and veggies is that you get a thinner juice like consistency. I usually make pretty tasty smoothies, but oftentimes they turn out green or brownish and have a thick consistency that makes them less than visually appealing despite tasting great. Juicing is a great way to consume your fruits and veggies in a more visually appealing manner. 
  2. Another benefit of juicing for me is that I will actually juice veggies that I would never ever eat otherwise. For example, carrots and celery. Those two veggies are absolutely great to juice with and have lots of health benefits, but you will rarely see me eating those alone. This allows me to easily in a few gulps get the health benefits without having to actually much on their nasty veggie-ness.
  3. You control what goes into your juice! You may have heard a lot of controversy over Naked Juice being sued by its claims to be "Natural" while many of its ingredients are in fact genetically modified, which to me is the opposite of being natural. 
    1. Naked Juice is owned by Pepsi. Another popular "healthy" juice option is Bolthouse Farms who also makes yummy dressings. Bolthouse Farms is owned by Campbell's Soup who is reportedly against GMO labeling.  Did you also know Kashi is owned by Kellogg and they also use genetically modified ingredients? Are you going to trust your health and what is put into your food to Campbell's, Pepsi and Kellogg's or do you trust yourself more?
Commercial Juice is Pasteurized
"This process quickly heats the juice to kill potentially harmful microorganisms and then quickly cools the juice, all in a matter of seconds. This form of pasteurizing our juice allows us to provide you with a safe product, without losing the wonderful taste of the juice. Some nutrients degrade due to heat during the "Flash Pasteurization" process. Our cold fill production method enables us to limit the amount of heat treatments during bottling, so you get the highest nutritional value and freshest taste possible while still ensuring the safety of our product."
Tip: If you make your own juice, it is best to drink it right away or as soon after so bacteria doesn't grow and make you sick.
There are added sweeteners
"In our 100% juices, we only use fruit juice as a natural sweetener." Fruit juice is essentially sugar and most fruit juice is from concentrate! There are also usually multiple servings per bottle which packs a ton of sugar and calories into it. By juicing yourself you control the amount of sugar and calories you are eating.

100% Juice can have flavor packets added
According to the Florida Department of Citrus: "When oranges are processed, natural components may be separated from the orange juice. After the juice is pasteurized, these natural orange components may be added back to the orange juice for optimal flavor."

"Some juices have been stored for a year before they are re-flavored, shipped out, then sold at your supermarket. 100% juice and not from concentrate does not mean fresh!"

Natural Flavors may be added to commercial juice
Natural flavors are the opposite of natural. In fact, they've been created in a lab to mimic the flavors of real food. Your taste buds aren't use to getting just a fraction of a taste of a food, leaving you craving more.

What are the Drawbacks of Juicing

What do do with the pulp?
One draw back of juicing is the pulp that you are left with as seen in the second photo above. I was quite shocked with this and had no idea what to do with the pulp so of course I googled it. It seems many use this in compost or in other recipes whereas others just throw it away since they believe most of the nutritional benefits have already been extracted. I've seen pictures of pulp that look dry as can be and therefore I do agree that there is probably no nutrition left in the pulp besides the fiber and in those cases the person usually had a more expensive juicer. 
With my juicer which retails around $40, the pulp is still moist after and therefore I am conscious of whether I'm wasting food and money or not. I usually take the pulp and run it through a second time. I still think if I'm eating veggies I wouldn't otherwise eat, it is still worth it. I really do try to focus on veggies over fruit since I know I'll eat fruit but don't always get all my veggies in. For now I am going to just throw the pulp away after being run through a second time. I will probably alternate blending with juicing. Much of the fiber is in the skin and the part of the food that is not being extracted with a juicer. Also, food like kale, spinach, cilantro and parsley is hard to juice and get a lot out of it unless your roll it up tightly together before putting it in to be juiced.
Drawbacks of Juicing: The Mess!

One of the biggest complaints about juicing is the mess it makes. And if you have no clue where the juice spout is, you're right, this will create a huge mess like it did for me on my first try. This is why I like the Black and Decker juicer which I purchased. All the pieces easily come off and snap right back together. All I have to do is rinse the pulp off and wash with a scrubber. If I do this immediately it only takes a couple of minutes.

All in all, I totally think it is worth it and I'm loving experimenting with different vegetables and fruits to create delicious nutritious clean eating juices. Check out the recipe for my recent favorite below which makes juicing as easy as 1-2-3! Comment and let me know what your favorite juice is!

Juice recipe

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