The concept of juicing – making a pure juice drink from single or mixed fruits and vegetables has plenty of similarities to smoothies, but there are also some notable differences.
All fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients – vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are always best when taken in their raw, pure form. Our bodies can digest and utilize them better this way, rather than popping a synthetic pill. Just like smoothies, juicing is a way of getting closer to or surpassing the 5 a day goal.
When you “juice”, you get a concentrated amount of nutrients in the form of a pleasant tasting drink. In addition, they are low in fat, have zero added sugars and zero added salt. They do however, have both natural sugars and sodium, which are evident in all fruit and vegetables in varying quantities. (As a side point here, it should be noted that if you eat the required 5 a day of fruits and vegetables, you should naturally get what your body requires in sodium, without having to add salt to anything! Something we should all be aiming for.)
The juice that you get from a juicer is also quite an easy drink to, well, drink! As opposed to smoothies, which can be quite thick in consistency and be very filling. I think you can see the pros and cons here – juicing is a good way to get your power pack of nutrients in an easyto-consume way, but it doesn’t fill you up in the same way a smoothie would. They lack the additional fiber and optional protein of smoothies and therefore are less viable as a meal replacement option, but great as a nutrient packed boost throughout the day.
If you have not seen a juicer, they do tend to be quite large. They will have somewhere that you can put in the whole or pieces of fruit and vegetables, somewhere that the juice is collected and somewhere that the pulp, peel, seeds, etc. are collected. Due to the fact that the pulp is extracted, the juice contains very little remaining fiber. Some people have gone to re-adding the pulp after the juice is made, which begs the question then, why juice? Why not just make a fruit/veg smoothie? In my opinion, if that’s what you plan to do, then don’t waste your money on a juicer, just use the blender you probably already have.
For some people though, juicing is just a better option for them. If you don’t like the thickness/ pulpiness of a smoothie, or don’t need or want additional protein or fiber as you get it elsewhere in your diet. It is a high carb, low protein, low fiber drink, so as long as you are getting your protein and fiber from elsewhere then juicing is a good option for a vitamin and mineral boost.
Of course, depending on what you choose to juice, you will get different benefits. Two of my favorites to add to any juice, as they are both quite sweet in their own right, are red and black berries and carrots. Berries are a great source of anti-oxidants – great for beautiful skin and boosting your immune system.
Carrot is one of the most healing foods that provides the finest and highest quality in nutrients, especially from its juice. It is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6. It is also rich with biotin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, organic sodium and some trace minerals. There are so many fruits and vegetables out there that have so many different vitamin and mineral contents, that I can really only advise you here to Google the goal you have, for instance “fruits and vegetables for immunity boost” or “vegetables for great skin” and then choose the ones that you actually like (though it wouldn’t hurt to try one or two that you’ve never had before!) and incorporate those into your next juice. You could also take a look at NYR’s Healing Foods book, which actually breaks it down into those kinds of categories for you.
Just like with smoothies, it’s actually very hard to make something that tastes bad. For some reason you can mix up crazy sounding combinations and because it’s fresh and natural, it just tastes great! So, let’s try it – get juicing!!
You can also try adding any one of these fantastic supplements to your juice or smoothie for an even greater nutrient rich effect.
organic cocoa complex – my personal favourite!