Think about your morning juicing routine for a moment. Does it involve a tall glass of orange juice? Or maybe something a little more exotic with blended pineapples and mango? Those “fresh” juices you get at the grocery store tend to be packed with sugar. They might also be pasteurized, not to mention more expensive.
For me, I want to have a clear idea of the ingredients in the juice I’m buying. I don’t like the potential for added sugar and other additives hiding in the fine print of the label. You are better off juicing DIY—you have full control over what goes in and there is so much room to showcase your creative side, too!
So Many Reasons to Juice!
Health advocates promote juicing as a solution for treating conditions like high blood pressure and eczema, and preventing cancer. Juicing can also help you lose weight by removing toxins from your body. And you can get the most of the fruits and vegetables by consuming larger amounts when you drink them, making juicing excellent for people who find it difficult to get adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diet. (Five to 10 servings a day can be a challenge with a busy lifestyle!)
Juicing works for me, and I have been trying many combinations. Here are three to try; maximize the health benefits by using organic produce.
1. Red Juice: Celery, Carrots, Beets and McIntosh Apple
The combination of celery, carrots, beets and apple provides a little bit of everything for your body. Add a little lemon to kick up the flavor and antioxidants while you’re at it. This juice gets its bright red color from the beets and the ingredients are great for cleansing your liver, the workhorse of the body where all toxins land. Every component of this juice contains antioxidants like vitamins A and C, and the fiber pectin in beets can help flush toxins from the liver.
2. Green Juice #1: Kale, Cucumber, Green Grapes and Granny Smith Apple
Green smoothies are popular, so what about green juices? The combination of kale, cucumber, green grapes and green apples is high in vitamin C. The nutrient is known to help protect your cells from free radical damage, which can help reduce the risk of cancer. The recommended amount of daily vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women, which are amounts you can get easily from juicing. One cup of kale contains 53.3 mg of vitamin C and kale also kicks in the added benefit of vitamin K. Two core benefits of vitamin K include bone health and related osteoporosis protection.
3. Green Juice #2: Spinach, Celery, Cabbage, Dill and Lemon
Here is another green juice with a different flavor of fresh greens with dill and lemon. The combination provides vitamin C, vitamin K and plenty of dietary fiber, and may be effective against inflammatory ailments, joint and skin conditions, given the high levels of vitamin C. Another added benefit is the sulfur compounds in cabbage will help flush the free radicals and uric acid from the body. The celery in the mixture is good for regulating blood pressure, and lemon and dill will add extra flavor and antioxidants to the mix. Lemons contain flavonoids, which are known to have antibiotic effects. Dill has monoterpene phytonutrients which can activate glutathione, another antioxidant known to protect against free radical damage.
Really, you can’t go wrong!
Juice can help you on your path to better health, so make the most of what is in season at your local market. Part of what makes juicing so great is that you can decide what works (and tastes) best to you.
Murray, M., et al., The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods (New York: Atria Books, 2005), 116.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 98, 154, 206, 220, 711, 794, 800.
“Benefits of Juicing: Your Keys to Radiant Health,” Mercola.com website, Nov. 13, 2011; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/13/benefits-of-juicing.aspx.
Herrington, D., “9 Surprising Health Benefits of Cabbage,” Care2 Healthy Living website, Feb. 2, 2014; http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-suprising-health-benefits-of-cabbage.html.
Nakauchi, L., “Beets detoxify the liver,” NaturalNews.com website, July 18, 2011; http://www.naturalnews.com/033025_beets_liver_function.html.