For centuries people have been well aware of the powers of eating fruits and vegetables. Their vibrant colors are as attractive as their ample benefits to the body. A surprising number of ailments are directly related to a poor diet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and juicing is the ideal way of actively protecting your body from poor health.
Here are the top 9 health benefits of drinking juice as a regular part of your diet.
1. Delicious Way To Consume More Fruits and Vegetables
One of the best ways to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet is through juicing. Depending on your age and activity you need to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruits a day. This goal can be difficult to achieve.
By extracting juices, you're able to get most of the nutrition you would have gotten from eating it, just in a tastier and easier to consume way. You'll be surprised at how good vegetable juices can taste! If you are really unaccustomed to eating vegetables, adding in some fruit juice can easily mask the natural bitter or "green" taste.
2. Aids in Weight Loss
Juicing alone isn't going to make you drop weight, but it can be a valuable part of a weight loss program along with healthy diet and exercise.
If you’re not new to juicing, you’ve probably tried a 3 day juice cleanse. While depriving your body with protein and carbohydrates is not a good idea, this can prepare your body to a lesser calorie intake once you get back to taking in solid food.
If you’re not a fan of fasting, especially if you’re pregnant, or suffering any medical condition, you can simply incorporate freshly pressed juices in your usual meal and be physically active. Just don’t forget to pay attention to the calories in your juice.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Did you know that your gut is home to 70% of your immune system? As mentioned above, digestive health is a huge factor in overall health. This is made more obvious by understanding that majority of your immune system cells are actually in your gut.
The types of fruits and vegetables you add to your juices can have a hugely beneficial impact on your immune system. Fruits like citruses and pineapple are well-known for these properties. Vegetables such as carrots, wheatgrass and leafy greens can go a long way to preventing illness.
If you are feeling adventurous you can even add garlic, turmeric or cayenne if you feel a cold coming on. Fruits that are high in Vitamin C like citruses, pineapple and leafy greens function as antioxidant preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cancer, heart disease, arthritis and several other health conditions. While there is no evidence that vitamin C can prevent a common cold, people with regular intake of Vitamin C might have slightly shorter duration of the disease or experience milder symptoms.
4. Increases Energy Levels and Mental Clarity
One of the first things you'll hear from someone who has taken up regular juicing is, "I have so much more energy!" One of the immediately noticeable effects of juicing is an increase in energy, both physically and mentally. When you've been eating nothing but a typical diet heavy in chemicals and unhealthy foods, it can be shocking just how much more upbeat and invigorated you can feel.
It comes as no surprise that the vitamins in juices plays a big role in energy and mental health. (Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetable through juicing is a great way to meet or even exceed your required daily levels of vitamins and minerals, which in turn also increases your energy levels and overall sense of health.) The natural sugars in fruits will obviously give you a boost of energy but vegetables and roots like beets also have a significant effect. As you remove fake or processed sugars from your diet and begin drinking juice regularly, you'll not only feel better but you don't have to worry about sugar crashes. (also don’t have to feel guilty about the naturally occurring sugar in your juice. If you have a diabetes mellitus always count the calories in your juice recipe to avoid sudden spike in your glucose levels.)
5. Helps Prevent and Fight Cancer
There is no proof that juicing alone can cure cancer, but there are obvious reasons why juicing can help in the prevention and healing process. First off, while cancer can be hereditary it also can be environmental or caused by lifestyle. An improper diet can lead to numerous health concerns which could weaken the body and allow cancer to form and spread.
By changing your diet to healthier options and ensuring you are eating the right amount of produce, you can (reduce your risk for certain types of cancer). This will reduce your risk for certain types of cancer.
Many juicers with active cancer have found that this diet addition has helped them feel better. While there is a lack of studies on the effects of juicing as a whole, but there is proof of individuals fruits and vegetables with cancer-fighting properties. The American Institute for Cancer Research even has a list of produce that lab studies have proven to be effective. It is highly recommended to consume these types of fruits and vegetables, especially if you have cancer in your family history.
6. Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels
The liver along with other cells produce 75% of cholesterol found in your blood while the other 25% comes from the food you eat. Having a normal level of good and bad cholesterol is optimal to your health. Cholesterol is needed to produce certain hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids to aid in digestion. The intake of too much cholesterol however, along with other fats predisposes you to heart diseases and stroke. Meat, poultry and dairy products are the main sources of saturated fats which can elevate your blood cholesterol.
Your dietary cholesterol could be reduced by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and one way of achieving it is through juicing. The soluble fiber found in your juice reduces the absorption of cholesterol. At the same time improves the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables are great source of HDL cholesterol and also contain ample amount of soluble fiber.
At the same time by incorporating juicing into your diet you’re limiting your calories from high fat sources and processed sugars which disrupts the ratio of good and bad cholesterol and other fats in your body. As a result you’ll begin to see improvements in your cholesterol levels.
7. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Those experiencing blood sugar imbalances or diabetes can greatly benefit from juicing.
Roughly 93% of diabetes cases have been caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, (The most common form of diabetes mellitus, is type 2 which is highly attributed to genetics and obesity) meaning you can drastically reduce your chances of developing this disease by following a proper diet.
Juicing is a great tool in prevention and management, as it reduces the sugars you are putting into your body while providing easily accessible nutrition. Ideally a healthy combination of 80 percent vegetable and 20% is recommended to avoid high sugar content in your juice. Again, if you have diabetes always factor in the calories in your juice recipe when juicing.
If you are on medication for lowering your blood sugar, consult with a doctor before juicing to ensure your level doesn't become too low. You'll be surprised at how quickly juicing can affect high blood sugar! If you have diabetes be sure to keep fruits to a minimum.
8. Helps the Body Achieve the Proper PH Balance
It may sound strange but your body could actually be too acidic, without you even realizing it. Common symptoms of an over-acidic diet include lethargy and fatigue, muscle pain even without exertion, feeling out of breathe and even constant sighing or yawning. Studies have shown that a more alkaline diet benefits bone health, muscle development and helps to balance hormones. It can reduces the chances of some stroke and heart attack, as well as improve overall heart health. You'll even find you have a better memory and overall cognitive function. Juicing is the easiest way of eating a more alkaline diet and will give the most immediate results.
9. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
One of the major lifelong benefits of juicing is how it makes you aware of what you are eating and its effects on your body. It is unfortunate how many adults eat a diet based off convenience without stopping to consider what they are putting in their bodies.
A lifestyle of healthy eating is a long process, but juicing really helps to educate and set a habit for maintaining this diet for life. Many juicers find that they begin to crave juice as well as whole produce, making the decision to skip on sugary snacks and other junk food a breeze.
These 9 benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the advantages of juicing. There is a plethora of individual benefits for each produce you include in your recipes. If you want to extract every ounce of vitamins and minerals from each fruit and vegetable, a masticating juicer will come in handy. The effort of juicing daily is incredibly low compared to its numerous advantages.
Zoey is a part-time blogger and a full-time nurse. She is the founder and editor of juicingjournal.com an avenue for sharing her passion about juicing, plant-based diet and living a healthier lifestyle.
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