Green Juice Top Question

If you’re like most people just starting down the mean green juice path, you probably have a long list of questions. This is a good thing — if you are simply throwing vegetables in a juicer or blender because you heard that it’s good for you, then juicing probably isn’t right for you anyway. There’s a certain level of dedication required and potentially a significant financial investment, so the decision to start juicing isn’t one to make lightly.

Top Ten Questions from New Juicers

Why should I drink juice or make a smoothie rather than just eating my raw fruits and vegetables whole?

There are two main reasons why it’s better to drink your vegetables: time and space. If you consider how long it would take you to eat two apples, four kale leaves, a sprig of mint, and three cups of sprouts, you’ll realize how much quicker it is just to juice it.

Also, that’s quite a bit of food to actually eat, so physically, it’s not feasible. By juicing it, you’re getting all of those nutrients in one quick, easily digestible burst! Also, what are the odds that you’ll eat a huge salad without drowning it in dressing? Yet another benefit to juice or smoothies: you’re skipping all of that added fat and sugar consumption.

Am I limited to green vegetables only?

A. Absolutely not. Though greens should definitely be a part of your juice or smoothie, you can also use green fruits or multicolored fruits and vegetables. The only requirement is that the juice actually be some shade of green.

Can I make enough juice in the morning to get me through the day?

Drinking your juice immediately is definitely the best way to go, because as soon as air comes into contact with the juice, it begins to oxidize, and the nutritional value fades. That being said, drinking juice that you made three hours earlier is certainly more beneficial than a chocolate cupcake. To keep your juice as fresh and nutritious as possible, store it in an airtight, opaque container and fill it all the way to the top so it contains as little air as possible. If you don’t have enough juice to top it off, use filtered water. A little bit of lemon juice will help prevent oxidation as well. Keep the juice refrigerated until you’re ready to drink it.

Can I juice all fruits and vegetables?

Unfortunately, no. Extremely soft fruits, such as bananas, eggplant, overripe peaches, olives, peas, beans, and avocados, are only good for smoothies, though they offer a ton of nutrients. Some people say the same about melons, but unless they’re really ripe, they work just fine for juicing. On the other end of the spectrum, extremely hard or dry produce, such as certain squashes and coconut, aren’t ideal for juicing either. They’re pretty hard on your juicer and don’t yield much juice. Also, some seeds, such as lemon, apple, or orange seeds, are bitter.

I don’t really like the taste of green vegetables but really want to juice. How can I improve the taste?

Even people who love broccoli or beets sometimes cringe at the thought of drinking the juice. Try adding a few green grapes or a couple of apples to your cocktail. Also, some vegetables produce rich juice, so keep celery, lettuce, and cucumbers on hand, because they’ll add some sweetness to your juice and lighten it up significantly. Don’t be afraid to use herbs, too, such as basil and cilantro, as well as spices, such as cayenne, to add zing to your savory juices. Lemon juice adds a nice flavor snap, too.

Do I need a special blender or juicer?

Yes, you do. You’ll need to buy a good blender if you plan on making smoothies, and a quality juicer if you want to make juice. If you’re going to use grassy or leafy produce frequently, you’ll need a specialized juicer for those, but it can be used for all of your juicing needs.

I tried some green juice and got stomach cramps. Does that mean I can’t juice?

Absolutely not. It’s actually pretty common for green juices (or any fresh juice for that matter) to have this effect simply because your body isn’t used to such a concentrated burst of nutrients. Just ease into juicing a little slower and try adding common ingredients your body is already accustomed to, like apples and celery, then work your way up in volume and originality!

Why can’t I just buy my juice at the supermarket?

There are a number of reasons why you should make your own fresh juice. To begin, packaged juices have usually been pasteurized, which means that they’ve been heated to kill bacteria. Many states require that juices be pasteurized prior to sale for safety reasons. The problem is that the heating process kills the beneficial enzymes and nutrients inherent to the juice.

Many store-bought juices also contain preservatives and added sugar; plus the produce was possibly treated with some form of chemical pesticides, and you have no way of knowing if it was even washed properly prior to being run through production. Finally, you don’t get to create your own flavor profiles, so you’re missing out on half the fun of juicing!

Why is juice cleansing better than water fasting?

When you’re juice cleansing, your body is still getting all of the nutrients it needs while cleansing and healing. Since it’s receiving them without the interference of fiber, it can use the pure nutrition to heal and rejuvenate faster. Because you continue to get your nutrients with juice cleansing, you’re not as prone to feel hungry, either, and you can fast for longer periods of time without worrying about starvation.

Why should I limit my consumption of fruit juices?

While fruits are certainly good for you in small quantities, when you drink fruit juice, you’re absorbing a huge shot of sugar into your bloodstream all at once. This can cause unstable blood sugar, which can lead to dizziness, and can be disastrous if you’re diabetic. Many diseases, including cancer, feed on sugar, and the extra calories can cause unwanted weight gain, so take care to limit your fruit juice consumption.