Juicing is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s a great way to get the nutrients your body needs. Below are 10 juicing tips to help you get the most out of juicing.
1) Drink the juice right away. The sooner you drink your juice after making it, the better. The longer you wait the less nutrients it contains because as soon as the enzymes from the juice hit the air they begin to oxidize. You can somewhat maintain the freshness of the juice for up to 24 hours if you store your juice in the fridge in an air-tight container or mason jar, but you only retain some of the nutrients even with the best storage. You’re better off drinking it right away.
2) Add some ginger root to your juice. Your juice will get a little bit of a zing, at least try it! Juice ½ inch of a ginger root while you are making your juice, or a bit less if you’re only making one cup of juice. Not only will this give it a unique taste, but ginger has the additional benefit of having anti-inflammatory agents in it.
3) Taste as you go. It’s always a good idea to taste the drink before putting everything away to make sure it’s palatable; especially when trying new ingredients. You can always add a bit of lemon or an apple if the taste is not quite right, this will almost always do the trick.
4) Know what you’re going to juice before you get started. List out what fruits and veggies you need from the store or farmers market before you start preparing your juice (get a recipe). This makes it much faster for you and helps make sure you don’t forget anything so you don’t have to go back out to the store to get that one ingredient you forgot.
5) Drink your fresh juice on an empty stomach. It is a common mistake to drink your juice with a meal. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but sometimes you can get heart burn or acid reflux if you drink juice right after eating. The whole point of juicing is to get those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants straight into your system. If you drink after you have eaten then your body has to work much harder to get to those nutrients. Even worse, if you ate a heavy lunch or dinner, the fruits can rot in your stomach before being digested! Therefore I’d suggest waiting 2 hours after eating a meal to drink juice and waiting 20 min after juicing to eat a meal. This way your body has enough time to assimilate everything into your system.
6) Set aside time. We all know juicing takes a bit of time, 10-20 minutes to juice and clean up, depending on the juicer you have and your overall speed. I’ve found that getting the juicer assembled, separating out all the ingredients and washing them the night before can help to save time in the morning if you plan on juicing before work. Then after you’re done juicing, clean your juicer quickly or minimally leave it in water so the small bits of fruits and veggies don’t get stuck inside and become hard to get out. Time yourself and set aside at least that much time to juice, also practice to increase your speed so you can do it faster the next time around. It takes me a total of 10 minutes to prep, juice and clean up. 4 minutes to prep (wash, slice and core), 2 minutes to juice and 4 minutes to clean up.
7) Focus on juicing mostly veggies, but add fruits as necessary. Juicing allows you to get much more produce into your system than eating fruits or veggies alone. This can be harmful if you juice too many fruits because of the over-consumption of sugar. So it’s important to be mindful of how much fruit you add into your juice. Granted, juices have raw sugars which are much better for you than refined sugar, but it’s still a good idea to keep the fruits to a minimum. I’d suggest using 1-2 apples per juice as I’ve experienced them to be the most effective way to make all the juice more palatable and easy to drink. Try to go by this ratio when juicing (80% vegetables to 20% fruits).
8) Feed the pulp through the juicer again. Check the pulp to see if it’s moist, if so, run it through again and you will find that you can get even more juice out of your produce. This works especially well if you do not have a juicer with a high extraction rate. This can become a little more messy to clean up though.
9) How to preserve your juice longer. If you don’t want to drink the juice right away I’d suggest adding a bit of ice to it to help keep the enzyme activity alive longer. Another trick to help preserve juice is adding some lemon or lime to the juice. But above all, keep the juice in an air-tight container, and do not store it for more than 2 days.
10) Add back in some fiber. If you’re looking at using the juice as a meal replacement I’d suggest adding back in a few scoops of the pulp so the juice is more filling. This will not affect your body’s assimilation of the good nutrients found in the juice.
BONUS: 11) Get started! If you never get started, you’ll never get any benefits! Start juicing today. 🙂