Juicing is the latest health craze, but it can actually be very unhealthy. Eden Elizabeth, the nutritionist behind Vancouver’s Juice Truck, shares what ingredients you need in a healthy juice diet.
The juice craze has taken the health community by storm. Advocates tout juicing as an ideal way to lose weight
and get a huge dose of nutrients. But not all juicing is healthy: Subsisting solely on a sugary liquid diet without fibre can be dangerous. Eden Elizabeth, founder of nutrition company Feed Life
and the registered holistic nutritionist behind Vancouver mobile company The Juice Truck
, shares tips for fueling your busy life.
5 rules for healthy juicing:
1. Go easy on fruit
You might think adding loads of fruit makes for a healthful juice, but when fruits are stripped of fibre, their natural sugars become concentrated, making blood sugar skyrocket. Focus on green veggies, and use fruits and root vegetables sparingly.
2. Rotate your greens
Small amounts of toxins unique to each green vegetable are perfectly safe for eating, but can be harmful in extremely high doses, says Elizabeth. Since you ingest more of these compounds when the greens are concentrated in a juice, it’s best to alternate veggies. Plus, variety helps you get a broad spectrum of nutrients.
3. Go organic
Juices call for large quantities of produce, so it’s more important to buy organic when juicing to avoid all the extra pesticides.
4. Don’t discard the fibre
Most people throw out the fibre that gets caught in the filter when juicing, but that’s healthy stuff! Add it back into your diet when making veggie burgers or broth.
5. Keep the skin on
The skin is often the most nutritious part of fruits and veggies (as long as they’re organic), so even if you don’t normally eat the skin, juice it!
Your power-up potion
Put a little pep in your step before or after a workout with this energy-boosting juice:
Cucumber: Cucumber’s hydrating properties help keep your energy levels high. “A lot of people find that they’re tired due to dehydration,” says Elizabeth.
Celery: Natural electrolytes (compounds, like sodium and potassium, that your body loses through sweat) found in celery work with the cucumber to improve hydration.
Coconut water: This drink’s balance of electrolytes is similar to your blood plasma, so it’s a perfect hydrator.
Kale: One of the most nutrient-dense plants, kale helps your bodily systems work efficiently. “Our body functions best when we’re supplying it with nutrients,” says Elizabeth.
Green apple: A sweet apple will make this juice a little tastier, while its natural sugars offer an energy boost.
The stomach-soothing sipper
Having tummy troubles? Drink this mixture before or after a meal to aid digestion:
Cucumber: Elizabeth likes to start with cucumber to keep her digestive processes running smoothly.
Celery: This veggie protects against inflammation in the digestive tract and has the potential to help regulate stomach secretions. Celery can help manage conditions such as heartburn, in which stomach acids rise up to the esophagus.
Ginger: This tummy-taming spice helps eliminate intestinal gas and relax the intestines—ideal for people with IBS who may experience muscle spasms in the digestive tract. When you first try this juice, use only a bit of ginger, then slowly add more over time.
Cabbage: Healthy bacteria naturally found on cabbage leaves help propagate good intestinal bacteria. Alternate between green and red cabbage to vary your nutrient intake.
Pear: This delicious fruit contains a kind of pectin with soluble fibre that can bind to and remove waste, aiding digestion.
Chia seeds: A tablespoon of chia seeds adds more fibre. “It basically cleans the gunk off your intestinal lining,” explains Elizabeth.
What’s so great about cold-pressed juice?
Pros love cold-press juicing, whereby fruits and veggies are crushed or ground, then pressed. This process introduces less heat and air than centrifugal juicing, which cuts the produce, leaving all kinds of surface area vulnerable to oxidization.
Elizabeth says cold-pressed juices can be made in advance because the nutrients last longer. (The best juicers, she says, make juices that can last for about three days, but expect to pay about $3,000 for these models.) If you don’t want to buy a cold-press machine, buy juices that have been cold-pressed.