Juicing: The Single Best Change I Made For My Health
As I was scrolling through my emails recently, I came across one that piqued my interest. It was short and direct:
“Hi Quentin, out of all the things you’ve done to help with your anxiety, depression and addiction, what’s the ONE thing you’d recommend for everyone to do?”
Of the countless emails that I’ve received, no one has ever asked me that. As a health coach, yoga teacher and personal trainer, that was a difficult question for me to answer. I thought long and hard before coming up with a response: Juicing!
For me, juicing was the catalyst for everything else. Before I became a juicer, I was an exercise devotee, but my approach changed once I started incorporating fresh vegetable and fruit juices into my diet.
I had more “natural” energy, experienced gradual gains, and my endurance increased tremendously. In addition, juicing led me down the path of self discovery, which resulted in my introduction to yoga and meditation.
For those of you who have not yet delighted in the joys of juicing, not to worry. I have compiled a list of things to consider before embarking on your juicing adventure.
How Juicing Works
Juicing works by extracting the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) from fruits and vegetables, allowing your body to rapidly absorb them for the most optimal benefit. By removing the fiber, the digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver nutrients to your cells as it would if you ate the fruit and/or vegetables.
Stick to the 80/20 Rule
One of the most common juicing mistakes is adding too much fruit and not enough vegetables. Fruit has a higher sugar content than vegetables, making it a sweet treat or a dietary nightmare. Too much sugar can spike your insulin levels, which can be harmful for someone who is diabetic or trying to lose weight.
Until you discover how your body reacts to juicing, I recommend sticking to the 80/20 Rule: 80% Vegetables and 20% Fruit. That way you’re consuming more vegetables (which are typically more nutritious than fruit), while still giving your taste buds something to get excited about.
Types of Juicers
There are two major types of juicers, centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers are the most common, presumably due to their affordability. Centrifugal juicers work by spinning a motorized blade at high speeds against a mesh filter. The blade cuts open the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, while the filter catches the pulp, leaving only the juice. Due to the heat that's expelled to power the motor, many people believe that the fruit/vegetables begin to oxidize, causing it to lose a bit of its nutritional content during the juicing process.
Masticating juicers (sometimes referred to as "Cold Press Juicers") work by crushing and pressing the fruit or vegetable to extract the juice. These tends to yield a higher juice volume than centrifugal juicers, making them great for leafy green vegetables or vegetables with less liquid. In addition, because there is no heat generated, the oxidation process occurs at a slower rate, allowing your juice to retain its nutritional content longer.
What About Me?
Have you ever cut open a watermelon, enjoyed the sweet red flesh and threw out the green outer shell? I know I have. In reality, throwing away the “rind” costs you about 70% of the watermelon's nutrients. Many fruits with hard or rough exteriors like watermelons and pineapples have most of their nutritional value in the outer layers. When juicing, it is important to juice them as well.
Many juicers are designed and equipped to handle the rugged texture, so don’t be too hesitant to give it whirl. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it hardly takes from away the delicious flavor that you’re used to.
Juicing provides the body with the proper nutrients in order for it to heal itself. It is also one of the most effective methods in preventative health care. If you want to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables without the additional calories, than juicing is the way to go. Juicing has helped me beat addiction, anxiety and depression. I’m sure that it can do wonders for you as well. Happy juicing!