IMG_2397

photography by Manny Estrella

Get the most out of your fruits and veggies.

For veggie slackers, juicing lets you reap the nutritional benefits of veggies without having to eat like a rabbit. Whether you juice to eat healthier, have more energy or lose weight, the process has its benefits. Greens are the most nutritionally dense foods. Since the fiber and pulp are removed when juiced, your body has an easy time digesting, and the vitamins, enzymes and minerals enter your bloodstream almost immediately. You might even feel a buzz from the quick energy boost.

Isn’t fiber good for us, you’re asking? Juicing enthusiasts think that there are times when it’s desirable to get a rich flood of nutrition without the fiber. For example, people with very sensitive digestive systems can drink the equivalent of several cups of vegetables without irritation. However, it’s that healthy fiber that helps regulate blood sugar. And the sugar in the fruits and veggies can cause a spike in blood sugar.

Adding fruits make a vegetable-based juice taste better and is a clever way of getting a substantial amount of fruit into your diet. However, it’s important to mix beets, carrots and apples with greens, celery, cucumber, lemon and other veggies to outweigh the sugar. If you have diabetes or a blood sugar imbalance you’ll want to speak with your doctor before you begin juicing frequently. Keep in mind, juicing supplements—not replaces—meals, which is where the real danger of blood sugar elevation lies.

Top 10 Juicing Ingredients:

1. KALE –
. Excellent source of potassium, which is good for muscle and heart health
. Rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting
. Contains lutein, an antioxidant that supports eye health
. Contains antioxidant vitamins A and C

2. SPINACH –
. Excellent source of iron, which is essential for the oxygenation of blood
. Rich in manganese, a mineral that supports bone health and maintains healthy blood sugar levels
. Contains calcium that helps prevent bone degeneration
. Contains folate, which reduces the risk of birth defects

3. CARROTS –
. Ideal source of beta-carotene, which supports eye health
. Rich in vitamin K, which maintains blood’s ability to clot and keeps bones strong
. Contains vitamin C for a healthy immune system and strong teeth and gums

4. CELERY –
. Cleanses the digestive system of uric acid
. Helps lower cholesterol
. Helps calm nerves and promotes restful sleep

5. BEETS –
. Cleanses the blood and kidneys
. Contains cancer-fighting antioxidant betacaine (which gives beets their rich red color) that starves tumors and hinders cell division
. Promotes weight loss

6. APPLES –
. Immune system booster
. Rich in beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, vitamins and phosphorus
. Aids in cleaning the digestive system

7. PINEAPPLES –
. Excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties to speed up the healing of bruises and help reduce swelling
. Rich in vitamin C, which boosts immune system
. Contains potassium and B vitamins for muscle health and energy

8. BLUEBERRIES –
. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C
. Contains compounds that fight bacteria in the urinary tract
. May help slow cognitive decline by protecting brain cells

9. LEMONS –
. Rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system
. Rich in antioxidant beta-carotene that supports eye health and helps protect bones from osteoporosis
. Rind provides phytochemical limonene, which can reduce the risk of cancer (lemon rind contains oxalates, which can pose a problem for people with gout or kidney disease)

10. GINGER –
. Aids in digestion of fatty foods and rids the stomach and intestines of gas
. Improves absorption of nutrients
. Alleviates high blood pressure
. Lowers cholesterol levels

Photo courtesy of OnJuice/www.onjuice.com

Photo courtesy of OnJuice/www.onjuice.com

Drink This!

Vog Be Gone!

“For anyone with sulfite sensitivity, vog can cause fatigue, brain fog and lung problems,” says Jan Patenaude, RD/Nutritionist, who is a food sensitivity specialist dividing her time between Hawai‘i Island and the Central Colorado Rockies. “You can’t get away from the sulfur in the air, but you can control the sulfur in your diet. High-sulfite foods include anything with added sulfur dioxide and sodium or potassium sulfite.”

Many cruciferous vegetables that are popular juice ingredients could exacerbate the reactions to vog. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy and kohlrabi, are rich sources of sulfur-containing glucosinolates, which impart a pungent aroma and slightly bitter taste. Allium vegetables, such as garlic, onions, leeks and chives, also contain sulfur.

“To reduce the effects of vog, choose ginger for its purifying effect, and protective foods (pineapple, cucumber, parsley, lettuce, celery, beet) rich in vitamins and antioxidants to protect the mucous membranes and bolster your immune system,” Patenaude suggests.

Vog Juice Recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups of pineapple
1-inch knob of ginger
1 cucumber
1 large handful of parsley
3 large handfuls of dark green lettuce
1 stalk of celery
1 small beet

Method:
Place all ingredients in juicer.

juicing