A common question I hear from clients is should I buy a juicer or a smoothie maker or one of the more recent devices that claim to make both? In this series I hope to explain the difference between smoothies and juices and which you may choose to use.
A juice is an intense natural water based shot of micro-nutrients that are easy to assimilate. This nutrient shot helps to cleanse the cells of the body, thereby releasing toxins and aiding the acid/ alkaline balance. The process of juicing bursts the cell walls of the plant matter releasing valuable raw minerals, vitamins and enzymes that are otherwise difficult to obtain other than through extended chewing. Organic vegetables and leafy greens (a plant’s chlorophyll is most beneficial to our blood) are the best ingredients to use as they are low in sugar, although when you are transitioning from a standard western diet to natural health you may find it helpful to add a green apple or green pear along with carrots or cucumber. Do not add too many ingredients – keep your juices simple so you can enjoy the combinations rather than endure a volume of murky browness.
When drinking your juice, it is best to do so either on an empty stomach or half an hour away from food. Try to sip slowly and “chew” your juice in order to release digestive enzymes, to help you get the most from your drink. Juicing also helps to hydrate you (as it is high in natural water) and gives the digestive tract a rest (in our modern age, with food available 24/7 – this is a valuable gift – nutrition with minimal effort).
When juicing – do not be seduced by the super cheap bargains. Make sure you look for an auger style juicer (note – auger juicers are not as expensive as they once were). This has a gear that “crushes” the ingredients and squeezes the juice out. In general they provide a dry pulp via one outlet and the juice (that you may want to sieve for smoothness) from another. Centrifugal juicers create quite an amount of heat in its processing and hence may destroy the very nutrients you are seeking to use.
Juicing can seem a timely process for the amount of liquid obtained per weight of vegetable and fruit matter, and the pulp – it seems such a waste to throw it all away – I have heard that one so often! If the waste bothers you – be savvy, collect the carrot pulp and use it for carrot cake, or if you are vegan, collect some of the pulp for vegie burgers, but in essence, you have collected the bulk of the ingredients nutrients in your juice.
Next time we explore smoothies….