Juicing, a health strategy of obtaining nutrients by drinking highly concentrated natural juices of fruits and vegetables, offers a variety of benefits for those who practice it. Juicing provides more holistic nutrition than eating fruits and vegetables because nutrients from the skin, leaves, tops, seeds and other parts of these foods, often discarded when preparing them for eating, are included in the juice you create. These parts of the plants contain nutrients you don’t get from eating only the insides of fruits and vegetables.
You Get More Nutrients
While you can juice by finely macerating fruits and vegetables using a hand blender or traditional kitchen blender, true juicing requires a more powerful machine made specifically for that purpose. These machines have a more powerful motor and special blades made specifically for the task of rendering harder, tougher food components into juice. These machines help to release more liquid from the fruit or vegetable, as well as the nutrients contained in the seeds, pits, skins and rinds.
Juicing removes pulp and other fiber from fruits and vegetables, so the juice is super-concentrated with nutrients. For example, if you eat a small, 2 oz. carrot, much of what you’re eating is fiber. Drinking two ounces of carrot juice provides much more of a carrot’s nutrition because there is much less fiber taking up room in the glass. Juicing gives you the nutrients contained in fiber without all of the actual pulp, skin and other roughage. Roughage is important to good health, though, and should be included in our daily diet.
A key component of holistic health is the prevention of diseases and unhealthy conditions. Fruits and vegetables contain countless vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals and other nutrients that combat diseases and ailments from cancer and joint pain to high cholesterol and heart disease. The more nutrients you consume, the more disease prevention benefits you receive from them.
The myth that you need to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day comes from a World War II era study that determined the amount of water humans should ingest on a daily basis was 64 oz. More recent studies suggest we need even more than 64 oz.; however, most of the water you need each day is contained in the foods and drinks you consume. Juicing provides more liquid than a diet of primarily solid foods, improving hydration. Increased hydration can provide benefits ranging from better skin to fewer headaches to improved digestion and weight loss.
When we eat solid foods, the body must turn them into liquid before they can be completely digested and their nutrients used by the body. Juicing introduces these nutrients into the digestive system already in liquid form, allowing the vitamins and minerals to get into the bloodstream and begin working faster.
Enzymes play an important role in health by increasing chemical activity in the body, but some enzymes in foods are destroyed during the cooking process. Since juicing introduces no heat to the fruits and vegetables, juicing allows you to get more enzymes.
*Don’t be fooled by raw diet advocates who say cooking foods is bad because it kills all the enzymes. A Stanford University study found that most vegetables they tested provide you with more nutrients after they’re heated vs. when they are raw. And, the enzymes you need for digestion are already in your stomach.