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FEATURES Jan 23 2014 9:15AM

Transition to Juicing: The Spill on Maintaining Good Health

By S. L. Carroll
Thanks to increasingly popular and coveted kitchen appliances like the Nutribullet, the art of juicing currently has become one of the most heavily discussed methods in aiding and maintaining health. One can’t argue the health benefits of eating your fruits and vegetables, but what about drinking them? Does juicing actually improve your health, or like many other methods before it count as just another fad?
First it would be important to note their are two types of juicing: smoothies and green juicing. Fans of green juicing, which breaks down raw vegetables, say that that this type of juicing allows your body to more easily absorb the vitamins and antioxidants extracted from fresh produce because it removes all the indigestible fiber. Green juicing takes a bit longer to create, and is often store bought to cut down on the preparation process. Green juicing is a great part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient rich and nourish and restore the body at a cellular level.
Then there are smoothies, juicing created by blending and adding fruits and/or vitamins so that the juice consists of the entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all and contain all of the fiber. By including the fiber in a juice smoothie, the volume will increase so that you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving.
Whether you decide to juice or blend, both work wonders for your digestive system, because it takes less energy to digest food in liquid form. Heating and cooking vegetables reduces or destroys some of their enzyme content, which some say can impede digestion. With juicing, it’s believed that these food enzymes are not only preserved, but your digestive system also gets a “rest.”
However, the biggest misconception when it comes to juicing is using it as a form of diet. Actually studies show that going on a juicing fast (removing solid foods)  is no more effective than combining juicing with a healthy diet. When juicing, remember moderation is key, and more importantly than how frequently you decide to juice is how you go about it.
For best results, drink green juice on an empty stomach, and make sure it’s as fresh as possible. Unless you’re using leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, it’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s an apple). This can affect how well your digestive enzymes function. Also try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away. After 15 minutes, light and air will destroy much of the nutrients. Lastly, home DIY juicing can pay off in the long run, as bottled and pasteurized juice can increase the sugar level, and heating and processing can lessen nutritional value.
If you want to experience high-level wellness, juicing helps increase energy, assists in losing weight, improves memory, cleanses and detox cell, systems and organs. So the question isn’t whether or not to juice, but why not?


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