More and more people are turning to juicing fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain, restore, and boost their nutrition and overall health. As a result, they are increasing their energy levels, improving their mood, and lowering their risk of developing any one of the number of chronic health problems facing our society.
The purpose of this article is to provide juicing information to those new to juicing so that they can get started creating delicious juice recipes that will enhance or restore their health.
Juicing is the act of making a juice or smoothie by pureeing fresh fruits and vegetables. But why not just eat them whole?
One big reason is that there are some important health benefits of juicing fruits and veggies over consuming them whole. It turns out that it is much easier for your body to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients in fruits and veggies when they are in liquid form, since their fiber and cell walls have been mechanically broken down before being introduced into your body. This saves your body much of the energy required to digest these foods and makes their nutritional value readily available to the cells of your body very quickly.
Furthermore, in the case of vegetables, many people prefer to eat them cooked, whether fried, grilled, sautéed, steamed, or microwaved. Unfortunately, heating veggies damages their enzymes (and likely other nutrients as well), and enzymes found in veggies play a key role in your body’s metabolism.
Specifically, enzymes cause necessary chemical reactions in your body to occur that allow the food you eat to be converted into energy. This process of burning calories leads to weight loss as well.
So, by consuming juiced veggies instead, your body will receive the full benefit of all these enzymes and other nutrients. However, it is also worth noting that steaming veggies is the least damaging way to cook them and allows them to retain most of their nutrients.
The other key benefit of juicing your fruits and vegetables instead of eating them whole is that by doing so, you will probably be able to get many more servings that you are currently getting. The reason is because it’s much easier (and faster) to drink your fruits and veggies than eat a bunch of them whole.
Considering that people often find it difficult just to get the minimum recommended number of servings every day by eating them, juicing fruits and veggies provides a convenient alternative, often in just a couple glasses of juice.
Health Effects of Juicing
Juicing has some wondrous effects on the human body. Besides promoting weight loss and increasing energy levels, juicing can delay and even reverse the effects of aging and enhance longevity. It does this by making readily available the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and enzymes contained in whole fruits and vegetables that the body needs and craves.
Another extremely important component of fresh fruits and veggies are compounds called antioxidants, whose levels are reduced with age and cooking. Free radicals (oxygen atoms with unpaired electrons) that are produced as the normal product of cellular respiration are neutralized by these free radicals, preventing them from destroying cells and wreaking havoc inside your body. Free radical activity is believed to be responsible in part for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Juicing is also a great strategy for combating type 2 diabetes. Raw vegetables, which can be conveniently consumed in large amounts by juicing, have been shown in recent research to stabilize blood sugar levels much better than cooked vegetables. This is important for type 2 diabetics because their bodies have become resistant to insulin, which promotes the uptake of simple sugars into the body’s cells. As a result, diabetics have high blood sugar levels, which cause the effects of the disease.
While it was formerly believed that the sugars found in fruits would exacerbate the effects of diabetes, more recent investigation has found that nutrients such as iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and E in fresh fruits and veggies are beneficial in preventing disease progression.
For example, vitamin B7 (in peaches, nectarines, and mangoes) aids in digestion by activating key metabolic enzymes. Manganese, a trace mineral found in carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, spinach, parsley, and beet greens, lowers insulin resistance and also increases sugar metabolism. A juicing regimen consisting of mostly fresh, raw vegetables, but with key fruits thrown in is a great way to fight and eventually eliminate type 2 diabetes.
Juicing is an easy and powerful way to take control of your health, mood, and energy levels and live a more youthful, vibrant lifestyle. What’s more, there are a limitless number of juicing recipes to choose from, and you can tailor them to your specific needs and/or tastes.
Take a little time to learn about the different benefits of various fruits and vegetables, especially if you have a particular condition or disease you would like to improve, and you can start creating your own delicious juices and getting on track to greater health almost immediately.
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