Green Juicing 101

What Are the Benefits of Juicing?

Raw vegetable juices furnish your body with live enzymes, bio active vitamins, and minerals that are otherwise decreased and destroyed by cooking.Another thing to take into consideration is that it's pretty difficult to receive these micro nutrient gems from raw veggies, because of our inability to fully masticate (chew) raw plant fiber. Therefore, a lot of vitamins, proteins and minerals stay locked in the plant fiber as it moves through the intestinal tract. Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, and very few people, even healthy eaters, actually achieve that. Juicing is an easy way to guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.

Top Reasons to Juice

There are many reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits our ability to break down and absorb nutrients. Juicing literally helps to pre-digest them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. How many of us can realistically and consistently incorporate a wide variety of plant foods (6-8 servings) into our daily lives? Not many. It can become time consuming and frustrating, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetables or salads every day. Also, wonder foods like kale and dandelion are tricky to prepare, and don't really taste that good. So if you are a picky eater, or texture is a deciding factor, juicing provides you the opportunity to include a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

Juicing helps reduce over acidity in the blood and improves your pH. Due to many years of poor dietary habits, most people tend to be on the acidic side. Meat, dairy, processed grains, sugars, sports drinks, soft drinks, alcohol, etc. are all very acidic. Vegetable juices are highly alkaline and improve your blood's pH. This is why so many feel energized after drinking vegetable juice. It's like a shot of oxygen which helps to maintain balanced pH for optimal health. Balanced pH is key to optimal health.

Juicing can help reverse disease. Alkalizing minerals from vegetable sources help to restore the alkaline and mineral balance in the cells. They speed the recovery from disease by supporting the body's own healing response and cell regeneration. The added oxygen and micro nutrients also help to rebuild the blood, especially if juicing with wheat grass.

Kids can fall in love with juices. There are a million ways to make vegetable juice, and usually with the addition of fresh fruit, a child's pallet can be rewired. Adding beets also masks the green look, so it will seem less like "swamp in a glass".

Green Juice

Here are a few favorites, and a few steps to creating your own Green Juice

Greens Ingredients

Arugula - spicy, grassy
Basil- sweet, spicy

Celery- zesty, hydrating
Chard - grassy, sweet
Cilantro - sweet, fragrant
Collard - greens grassy
Cucumbers - hydrating, sweet/sour
Endive - bitter
Fennel - zesty
Green - apples very sweet, tart
Green - grapes very sweet, tart
Green onion - zesty, spicy
Green pears - very sweet
Honeydew - sweet, hydrating
Jalapeno - spicy, zesty
Kale - grassy, dark
Kiwifruit - tart, sweet, zesty

Romaine - mildly grassy
Limes - sour, zesty
Parsley - grassy, zesty
Spinach - grassy, dark, pungent
Wheatgrass - very grassy
Zucchini - mildly bitter
Mint vibrant, minty, cooling

assorted - Non Green Ingredients
Pears - very sweet
Apples - sweet/tart
Ginger - very spicy

Orange - zesty, sweet
Lemon - tart, zesty (remove seeds)
Pineapple - zesty, very sweet
Carrots - sweet, thick
Grapefruit -sweet/tart, mildly bitter

Blueberries - sweet, thick

Jicama - thin, mild, cooling

Radish - zesty
Beet - sweet, dark
Garlic - zesty, spicy
Tomato - sweet, zesty

Other Add-in's
Black Pepper - spicy
Spirulina - seaweed/nutrient
Cayenne - spicy

Green Juice

More Recipes and Green Juice combos to try

leafy greens/cucumber/mango
basil/tomato/celery/black pepper/cayenne

bell pepper/romaine/apple/lemon

Get Creative and discover what Green Juice blend you fall in love with.

Cucumbers and Celery as Your Base
Cucumbers and celery are perfect as a base to your green juice. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin C, and celery is high in minerals (especially potassium) and B vitamins. Both are highly alkalizing and cleansing. They are full of water, and have a kind flavor that is easy on the tummy. If you get nausea when first starting to juice, a cucumber and celery cocktail with a little apple or pear is a nice way to ease yourself in. Organic cucumbers are okay to juice with the skin on, but conventional cucumbers should be peeled.

Organic Veggies

Juicing is for alkalizing, detoxing, and purifying. Juicing veggies and fruits coated in pesticides kind of defeats your purpose. Try your best to get as much organic produce for your juicing as possible. Many of the staples for juicing are actually laced with the most pesticides, such as apples, celery, and greens. Cucumbers, carrots and other veggies that can be peeled may be better (kind of) if you buy them non-organic.

Low Glycemic Fruit is a Better Choice

If you are overweight, have cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes or other degenerative disease it is best to limit using fruits. The added sugar, although natural, may pose metabolic complications. Stick to low glycemic foods like pears or apples. Lemon and limes are good to, because they have virtually no sugar. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark deep leafy green vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing.

Small amounts of more sugary fruit are okay from time to time, as long as you use small amounts. The ideal ratio should be 3:1 (Three veggies to one piece of fruit). Be careful when juicing with carrots and beets. They are higher on the glycemic index, so try to avoid super sweet fruit with these combos.

Take Your Juice on an Empty Stomach

The best time for juicing is on an empty stomach, especially first thing in the morning. Make sure to chew your juice to activate enzymes in your saliva. Avoid gulping it down. Wait at least 30-45 minutes after your juice before taking in solid food.

Important to Listen to Your Body

It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Your stomach should feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should not be eating. For beginners, it's best to start with cucumber and celery as your base, then gradually experiment with different types of greens. Stronger greens like kale, beet greens, and dandelion may be too much at first.