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Get the Most Out of Juicing

Juicing is not the passing fad people once thought it would be. It turns out it’s a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diets, while offering additional health benefits, too.

The practice will most certainly increase your nutrient intake and allow you to work in foods you may not normally eat, such as kale. But nutritionists warn not to replace all fruit and vegetables with juicing, as whole produce is necessary in our diets for the fiber content as well as additional nutrients.

When you do juice, however, here are some tips for getting the most out of this dietary practice:

* A starting goal is two fruits and four veggies per day. Choose them in a variety of colors so you are assured a good mix of vitamins and minerals.

* For best results drink your freshly made juice on an empty stomach, preferably 30 minutes before consuming any solid food. This will allow your body to easily absorb the nutrients.

* Watch the sugar and calorie intake. Fruits will surely taste better than a veggie mix but will also contain a higher sugar content. It’s best to choose more vegetables and then add an apple or kiwi for some sweetness.

* Work in other foods for a more balanced regime. Good sources of protein include Greek yogurt, almond milk or peanut butter, while seeds and nuts provide fats and amino acids that are good for the brain and immune system.

* Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly and always use a clean cutting board and knife. Wash your juicer after each use for food safety.

* Consume your drink the same day you make it. 

* Talk to your doctor before starting a juicing program. Some fruits and vegetables can interfere with a prescription drug or create complications with an existing health issue.

If you are new to juicing, start with fruits and vegetables you know you like. More common fruit choices are apples, oranges, pineapple, bananas and strawberries. Popular vegetable choices include carrots, celery, cucumbers and romaine lettuce. Kale and spinach, while not as tasty, are contenders because of their health benefits.

There are several online resources to help with determining the nutritional facts of a juicing recipe. The juicing calculator at www.juicingcollection.com allows you to choose your produce including size and quantity and delivers a full nutritional label for your recipe.  


Sweet Treat

1 pear

1 beet

2 inches fresh ginger

1½ cups pineapple

Beginners’ Luck

6 large carrots

1 head romaine lettuce

Go Green!

1 green apple

1-inch fresh ginger

5 celery stalks

1 cucumber

1 large handful of parsley

5 stalks kale