Juicing and Blending Basics

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Important points to remember:

  1. Think of produce in 3 different categories:  fruits, vegetables and green leafy vegetables.
  2. Make each drink primarily a fruit drink or a veggie/leafy veggie drink.
  3. Fruit drinks should be blended instead of juiced due to their high sugar content.
  4. Only green leafy vegetables should be mixed with fruit drinks.
  5. Veggie/leafy veggie drinks are best with no fruits added other than apples, pears, lemons or limes.

As far as nutrition goes, it seems the only thing agreed on by doctors, nutritionists and researchers for sure, is that we need more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet.  The more servings of these one has a day, the less one’s risk for cancer, heart disease and a host of other chronic diseases.  A great way to increase fresh produce intake is to juice or blend them into a refreshing drink and to have at least 1 or 2 glasses a day.

First, think of produce as being in three different categories:  fruits, vegetables and green leafy vegetables.  Most fruits should only be blended rather than juiced because of their high sugar content.  This sugar needs to be offset by the fruits’ fiber, which is retained when you blend, but not when you juice.  Leafy vegetables blend very well with fruit, but other vegetables do not.  Adding leafy greens to fruit blended drinks is a great way to disguise greens when preparing drinks for kids.

Some say blending causes too much oxidation of the foods; so I recommend blending for as short of a time as possible.  Also adding a lemon for it’s antioxidant properties and drinking the blend as soon as possible to limit further oxidation can help.

When juicing or blending vegetables, the only fruits I recommend mixing with them, if any, are apples, pears, lemons or limes.  Remember, leafy vegetables are a different category and can be mixed with any fruit.

The advantage of juicing vegetables is that by doing this you are able to get concentrated amounts of their phytonutrients; some of which have great anti-cancer properties in high enough concentrations.  For example, 8ozs of carrot juice can give you the nutrient equivalent to several pounds of raw carrots.  I like adding raw ginger to my juices to give them a spicy boost.  My recommendation is to juice veggies one day to get concentrated phytonutrients and to blend fruits or vegetables the next day to get the beneficial fiber.  And of course, you can do both the same day, if you’re really loving it.

If you are an actual cancer patient, many nutritionists and naturopathic doctors recommend eliminating all simple sugars from your diet which includes fructose found in fruits.  They recommend drinking anywhere from 18 to 24 ounces of freshly prepared vegetable juice daily.  It’s good to alternate different green leafy veggies from day to day , as well as use multiple different kinds of veggies from drink to drink.

Another thing that I think is important is to try to buy organic produce whenever possible.  You’ll be exposed to a lot fewer herbicides and other chemicals this way.  The bottom line is to find a way to greatly increase your veggie and fruit intake; and juicing and blending is an excellent way to do it.

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