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Juicing-Have you heard?

The building blocks of health are derived from how we care for our bodies and the nutrients we obtain from the food we consume. However more often than not the foods we eat do not supply our body with the nutrients it demands. The result for some is over consumption. When our bodies are unsatisfied with the nutrients we provide, we get food cravings even when our stomachs are full. Juicing is an excellent way to immediately improve vital nutrition. Once your body can absorb the nutrients needed to carry out cellular function and start performing at an optimum level, you will benefit from healthier skin, improved digestion, potential fat loss, and greater energy levels.

Through juicing, the body is provided with minerals, nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins, which are easily absorbed. These elements work synergistically to improve cellular function. With improved cellular function your body’s ability to repair, renew, and fight disease increases significantly. Your body will exert less energy on recovering from damage and digesting, resulting in an abundance of energy for you.  Juicing can also be used as a tool to combat acute health problems.

The most important thing when it comes to juicing is to find a way to incorporate it into your life and routine. Healthy habits are formed when you enjoy doing something and when it tastes great too.  First thing you will need is a juicer; find one that can handle the tough skin and pulp of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. A decent juicer should not require you to peel any fruit or vegetable. Then find a time of day that you that you can freely dedicate an additional 10 minutes for juicing. This time should also be when your stomach is empty, generally shortly before (about 20 minutes to ½ hour) a meal or about 2 ½ to 3 hours after a meal. This is an important step, because in order to properly absorb the nutrients, your body needs an empty stomach (the acids that aid in digestion may inhibit full absorption). Also avoid juicing too closely after eating, since your body is busy digesting. The nutrients will not absorb quickly enough, so the nutrient dense juice will end up creating unwanted gas and potentially distress your stomach.

Once you have your juicer, and a plan for when you will juice, you’ll need fresh fruits and veggies. The fresher the vegetable the richer the nutrients. When it comes to combinations you can experiment with what tastes good to you.  Juicing leafy greens is a must for optimal health.  Here is a quick shopping list, to give you a variety of juicing options to start with (It’s ideal to buy organic and pesticide free fruits and veggies).

  • Kale
  • Pineapple
  • Ginger
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Lemons
  • Carrots
  • Oranges

These are very good basics that can make tasty juices. You should enjoy the taste of your juice so experiment with combinations based on your desired taste.

Here are a couple of recipes to get you started:

Green Lemonade

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bunch of collard
  • ½ cucumber (with peel)
  • 1 granny smith apple (with peel)
  • 1 lemon (with peel)
  • Small piece of ginger
  • 1 to 2 wedges of pineapple cut lengthwise (with the peel)

This should yield about 16 to 20 oz (enough for 2 servings)

Lemon Ginger Zest

  • 1 small bunch of collard
  • 2 wedges of pineapple (with peel)
  • 2 lemons (with peel)
  • 1 apple (with peel)
  • Medium size piece of ginger root (about 2 inches long)

You can always add carrots, apples or oranges to sweeten any juice. Different fruits and vegetables yield different amounts of juice, so if you are juicing green leafy veggies only, it will take a lot more to get 8 ounces of juice.  However, if you combine the green leafies with celery or a cucumber (which have a higher water content), you will get 8 ounces much quicker. The more you juice, the more you will discover what works for you.  Soon you will find yourself juicing veggies that you may not have even thought of eating before. 

Achieving optimum health doesn’t have to be a struggle. It’s within arms reach.  You have the control to make the difference in yourself.

- By Sara Fredrickson

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