Juicing - A Beginners Guide

You can spot a juicer a mile off at the supermarket or greengrocer. Apart from the huge number of carrots and apples they are loading into their trolley, they also have that slightly smug, see-how-healthy-I-am look about them. Or is that just me?! Actually, I don't buy a lot of carrots and apples any more, because (other than my indiscretion with a packet of shortbread this week) I've radically reduced the amount of sugar I take in. My juice of choice is a vegetable one, a green one - but more about that later, first let's ask...

Why is juicing so good?

In my article Enzymes and Raw Food, I explained why eating enzyme-rich food is so important. If you are buying cartons (or bottles) of juice, even many of those labelled 'freshly squeezed' you are almost certainly missing out on the enzymes. Why? Because they are likely to be pasteurised. There are different methods of pasteurisation, but all of them involve heating to temperatures a lot greater than 118F - which is the point at which enzymes are killed.

Fresh juices, on the other hand, are packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals etc. and they taste a zillion times yummier too. Plus if you invest in a good juicing book, you can select your ingredients based on your immediate health needs too. I recommend Superjuice: Juicing for Healing and Health by Michael van Straten.

Do I need a juicer to juice?

Wel, yes and no. There are so many juicers on the market and the prices vary radically. I always recommend that you start with a mid-priced model that is easy to clean. This is important. If cleaning it is a right old pain, you will be put off using it which is no good at all.

The US market is probably quite different, but for UK readers, I use the Breville AWT JE3 which retails at just under a £100. It's by no means the best juicer on the market, but it is very good for the price and a doddle to clean. Plus the new model features two speeds, one for hard produce and one for soft fruits.

There is also the Magimix Le Duo which I understand to be better than the Breville AWT and is the same price.

If you are reluctant to invest in a juicer at the moment but you already have a blender, you could just stick to smoothies. Or for around £5, you could buy yourself a nylon sprout/nutmilk bag and simply strain the juice from the pulp to create your healthy drink. Make sure you chop up the produce and add some bottled water too.

What should I juice?

If you have acid reflux/heartburn problems, candidiasis, thrush, diabetes, IBS or an IBD, then you should avoid going overboard with fruit and sweet veg juices eg. carrots. (Actually this strategy will benefit anyone with any health issue!)

The irony is that the sweet juices may be the ones you are most drawn to, but sugar feeds microforms (like yeasts, fungus, molds, bacteria and viruses) which thank us by excreting acidic, toxins into our blood stream when they 'digest' the food we give them!

Your best bet is to stick to green juices which aklalise the body. I really struggled with this to start with as the flavour is a bit of an acquired taste but then I discovered lemons! My favourite juice now is...

Claire's Green Goddess
100g of curly kale
2-3 sticks of celery
4-5 inches of cucumber
5-6 Green beans
A quarter of an unwaxed lemon (with peel)

The lemon really does do something special to the flavour. For those who are concerned about the acidity of lemon, here's an interesting thing; lemon is only acid outside the body. Once it goes in, it alkalises. Same is true of white grapefruit and lime. But not oranges or ruby grapefruit whose higher sugar content makes them more acid inside the body.

If you have a sweet tooth and the lemon isn't working for you, you could try adding an apple instead, but aim to reduce the quantity over time.

Should I peel?

Obviously, you will want to peel some fruits and veg, eg. a pineapple. But using organic produce means you need only give the produce a good scrub rather than peeling it which is recommended for non-organic produce.

And one final tip...

If you want to add ginger to a juice and your juicer tends to spit the chunk of ginger out without really juicing it, put it through your garlic press and stir in to the finished juice! Happy juicing.

................................................................................. .....................................................
Claire Raikes is a Wellbeing Coach, Speaker and Writer who 'cured' herself of a chronic, disabling and potentially life-threatening bowel condition without the use of steroids, surgery or any other traditional medical intervention. She now shares her passion for natural and vibrant health through coaching, speaking and writing about the importance and power of a truly healthy diet.

She publishes a free weekly eZine, In Essence and is compiling an eBook of Healthy Fast Food with 25% of the proceeds going to The Cancer Project, a charity set up by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and nutritionists to educate the public on the benefits of a healthy diet for cancer prevention and survival. If you have a recipe you would like to submit, visit http://www.LiveInEssence.com for further details. To book Claire to speak at your event, email her at [email protected].

In The News:

Nutrition for your health and wellness  The New Indian Express
Nutrition for healthy eyes  The Daily Star

Oregano: Nature?s Antibiotic and Antiseptic

Many of us sprinkle oregano on our pizza and stews... Read More

Redeeming Unsaturated Fat

The most dreaded word in many dieter's vocabulary is 'fat'.... Read More

Fibromyalgia: How Simple Sugars Turned Fatigue into Energy

Several years ago, Marilyn M. couldn't even spell fibromyalgia.Now she... Read More

Enjoy The Holidays Healthfully

How To Have A Healthy ThanksgivingEnd of the year holidays... Read More

Seven Habits of Highly Healthy Eaters

"What exercises can I do to ?? As fitness professional... Read More

Got Soy? Milk, Snuff, and Soy Beans

Milk is highly underrated. Experts say, America finds itself in... Read More

Six Ways to Eat More Healthfully

With so much 'diet advice' around today it is little... Read More

Hidden Poison

Did you know that there might be poison in many... Read More

The Magic in Food: LOVE

Remember the old adage, you are what you eat? The... Read More

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: What are They, Really?

"The physician who knows only medicine, knows not even medicine."... Read More

Principles of The Zone Diet Plan

The Zone Diet has been around since around 1995, when... Read More

Water and Water Filters: How Much Do You Know?

Water is a vitally important component of any valuable and... Read More

Adding to Your Level of Health is the Key

Here is a continuation of the light and darkness metaphor:... Read More

Factors that Affect the Nutritional Requirements of an Individual.

The factors that affect the nutritional requirements of an individual... Read More

Food for Potential Energy

FOOD (Macro-nutrients)One of the most important aspects of hill walking... Read More

MonaVie Acai Berry Juice - The Tree of Life from Amazonian Rainforest...

What ancient tribes and people of the Amazon have known... Read More

Diet and Eczema

Much controversy and argument surrounds the idea that food may... Read More

Who Said Bananas Are Not Good For You?

After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in... Read More

Bathing Suit Season - A Nutritional Guide

Spring is in the air and ? summer is around... Read More

The Isometric Diet and Balanced Health

The concept isometric has been a part of the health... Read More

Battling Childhood Obesity through Smart Eating

Finally, a positive solution regarding America's difficult and costly campaign... Read More

Cherries - The Next Wonder Fruit

Cherries?A Supercharged FruitThe little red fruit that has been enjoyed... Read More

Three Steps to Preparing your Body for Summer

Summer is not too far away. It is almost time... Read More

Blood Type and Diet

Eating right to suit your blood type" is a subject... Read More

Salads Take Center Stage

The reason I remember the first time I was served... Read More