After answering the same questions about juicing over and over, I decided it was high time for a post I can refer people to so that I don’t have to repeat myself!
What kind of juicer do you use?
I address this topic with its own post, here. In short, I use the Samson masticating juicer. It’s been going strong for over 4 years of almost daily use, and I love it. The Omega is also a great choice. I recommend masticating over centrifugal juicers, all of which I explain in the linked post.
Why not just eat the vegetables?
This is one of the most common questions I get, and the short answer is: because we don’t! In general, we aren’t consuming enough veggies. If I laid out all of the veggies I juice, and all of those that I eat on a daily basis, you would think it impossible to eat them all — and it is. There is no way that I could eat all of the veggies I juice on top of what I am already eating, but our body needs the nutrition. It’s an easy way to get a blast of nutrients to our system.
Don’t we need the fiber?
YES. Fiber is a very important part of a healthy diet. But as far as juicing goes, taking the insoluble fiber out enables the body to almost instantly absorb all of those nutrients in the juice, which is a major benefit. Juicing extracts 70% of the nutrients in your produce, and you are able to absorb 100% of that in juice. Your blood stream can take all of that nutrition and get it where it needs to go, QUICKLY.
Insoluble fiber slows that down. If you are eating a healthy diet of clean foods including lots of fruits and veggies, then you don’t need to worry about more fiber. The point of juicing is to get all of that EXTRA good stuff into your body, and juicing is the most effective way to do that.
What is the difference between blending and juicing?
Going along with “why don’t you just eat the produce?” is the commonly asked question about blending. However you get fruits and veggies into your body, be it juicing, blending, or chewing, it’s all good! But there is a difference that is significant between blending and juicing.
As previously mentioned, blending maintains the fiber which will slow down nutrient absorption. It’s also impossible to blend and consume as many veggies as you could juice and drink. That would be one MASSIVE smoothie (that probably wouldn’t taste that great, either)!
When juicing, soluble fiber remains but you are taking out the insoluble fiber. Meaning, everything is quickly absorbed and released, and it’s very gentle on digestion. With blending, you maintain both forms of fiber, which enables a slow release of nutrients (though some of them stick to the insoluble fiber and leave the body with it), and it keeps you fuller longer.
How much does it cost to juice every day?
This will vary depending on where you live and what time of year it is. For me to juice in the summer time when things are more “in season,” it costs about $2-2.50 for 2 1/2 cups of dark green veggie juice. THAT’S CHEAP. To buy a cold-pressed juice in the store you won’t pay less than $2.50, and I haven’t seen any that price either, and it isn’t as much juice. My juicer has paid for itself over and over again. As with all the food I consume, I look at it as a long term health investment that is most definitely worth it to me.
To make things more cost-effective in the summer I grow my own herbs, spinach, kale, swiss chard, beets, cucumbers, and squash to juice.
Doesn’t it taste terrible?
I’ll be honest, there have been numerous times where I have had to plug my nose and just get it down. Mostly when I have been pregnant. I am juicing some pretty strong stuff most days. Kale, swiss chard, ginger, lemons, cilantro, and parsley have very strong aromas when juiced. The more you juice, the better it tastes.
My body now craves it and loves it. Sometimes it’s still a little strong, but I can drink almost any juice now without plugging my nose! When you begin any clean eating journey and give up all of the processed fats and sugars your body has been used to, you go through withdrawals. Your body isn’t used to all of the veggies and they don’t taste that great! But the more you weed out the sugar, the better REAL food starts to taste, including juice.
After my first juice fast I could not believe how SWEET fruit tasted to me — I could hardly eat grapes because they were so sickeningly sweet! Your body adjusts to it if you give it a chance.
Which is better for juicing, organic or commercial produce?
When juicing and buying large amounts of produce, there are certain shortcuts I take as far as buying organic goes. I always buy my leafy greens and herbs organic. Anything that I peel (citrus, cucumbers, etc) I don’t worry so much about. I use a fruit and veggie rinse for my apples to try and clean them as best as I can, and I don’t sweat it. Juicing is a major step in the right direction for your health, don’t get caught up or obsessed about buying all organic. Just begin with what you have.
How long can I keep the juice in my fridge?
If using a centrifugal juicer, the juice starts to lose its nutrient power almost immediately due to oxidation. This is why I recommend a masticating one. Masticating juicers produce a juice that is slowly churned out and can retain it’s nutrients for up to 72 hours, allowing you to juice in advance. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.
That being said, I think juice tastes the best within the first 24 hours of being juiced!
What is the purpose of a juice fast/cleanse?
The purpose of most cleanses is to rid the body of built up toxins and to give the digestive system a break to relax and heal a bit. Juicing for several days at a time without consuming food lets your system relax and enables it to flush out unwanted substances. It’s truly amazing to watch the body eliminate so much while strictly juicing for days in a row. There is a lot going on in our digestive system that we don’t realize, and as we constantly attack it with more and more food and lots of processed foods it can’t properly digest, it starts to break down.
A juice cleanse does just that — cleanses the system and resets everything for a fresh start. It’s not a weight loss program (though it does help with that, see below), it’s a healthy way to detoxify the body and energize your life! There is no energy like juicing energy (after the first few days of detox)!
Will juicing help me lose weight?
If doing a juice cleanse, it’s typical to lose weight. Mainly because you are ingesting fewer calories and higher nutrients than normal. Also your body may be using fat and protein stores to keep your systems running properly. Juicing does aid in weight loss, especially when used consistently as a part of an active and healthy lifestyle.
What do I do with the leftover pulp from juicing?
So many people are horrified to throw away all of that pulp! It seems like a sin. I was the same way at first and began saving it, until I had literally BUCKETS full of the stuff in my fridge and freezer! If you compost, the pulp is excellent for your pile. There are many recipes out there using leftover juicing pulp, including my juicer pulp mini muffins that my kids love. You can also make an easy vegetable broth with it, throw some into veggie burgers, or donate to someone who does compost if you don’t.
I have come to terms with throwing away most of my pulp. I wish I had the means to do something else with it, but with the amount I juice, it isn’t realistic.
I think that covers most of the questions about juicing that I get, if you have any others, leave a comment below so that I can try and answer it!