Juicing for Your Health

Strawberry-Peach-Carrot-Juice-Article

Freshly Pressed Strawberry-Carrot-Peach Juice

Have you ever tasted fresh juice? I don’t mean Ocean Spray, or even the flash pasteurized juice found in the produce aisle, like Bolthouse Farms or Odwalla juices. I mean freshly pressed juice made from freshly picked fruits and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong: store-bought juices are healthy and tasty, but there is just no comparison to the taste of freshly pressed juice! One of the main differences in the taste of raw juice is that it is much milder and crisper than pasteurized juices. (Compare, for example the taste of raw carrots vs. cooked carrots.)

Last summer I started reading more and talking with some health professionals about the benefits of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking juice from fresh fruits and vegetables gives your body essential nutrients that it can absorb easily since you are not using as much energy to digest whole foods.

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Fresh Fruits & Veggies Make the Difference

 

Every fruit, vegetable and herb has its own set of specific health benefits, so it’s important to keep this in mind as you plan out your juicing routine. Parsley cleanses the bloodstream from plaque build up and ginger is a muscle relaxer, curing aches and pains.

The benefits of juicing are real, but the actual results will vary from person to person. For instance, I recently came across a documentary called “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead,” about a man who set out to use juicing to cure himself from a debilitating autoimmune disease and inspired others to the same.

Making your own fresh juice or smoothie is something anyone can do.  You can even incorporate vegetables. I have successfully mixed combinations spinach or arugula into a fruit smoothie using my $20 blender. If you are looking for a great juicer though, I highly recommend the Omega 8003 Fruit & Vegetable Juicer. I plan to pick a lot of fruit this summer, juice it and freeze it for use the rest of the year.

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Carrot, Strawberry & Peach Juice and their Respective Pulp

Using a juicer, I found the ratio of juice to pulp to be quite interesting, with carrots yielding more pulp than juice. Carrot and fruit pulps don’t need to go to waste, though, since they come in handy as an extra boost in pancakes and quick breads. Carrot pulp actually makes an amazing carrot cake! I’ll also often add veggie pulp to lasagna or tomato sauce.

Some Helpful Tips:

  • I don’t usually follow a juice recipe,  but I try to think in color groups (oranges, greens, reds, etc) when selecting fruits and vegetables to pair together. I’ll also think of different combinations I like in salads, like pears and arugula or strawberries and spinach.
  • Gazpacho or fresh salsa are another great way to boost your produce intake. These are full of raw vegetables and cilantro. You can also make pesto with any combination of herbs and nuts as a way to boost your herb intake.
  • Drink 2/3 vegetable juice to 1/3 fruit juice to lower the glycemic index of the juice.

Strawberry Peach Carrot Smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 5 Carrots, washed & peeled
  • 1 Pint Strawberries, washed & stems removed
  • 2 Peaches, pitted
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
Instructions
  1. If you don’t have a juicer, puree the carrot in a blender or food processor with water.
  2. Add in the remaining fruit, yogurt and ice and blend well.

 

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