For anyone thinking about starting a juicing diet in the new year but is still unsure about how to even start, read on. I’ve answered the most common questions that are asked by first time juicers.
What is a juice diet?
The juice diet isn’t really a diet at all, the point is not to starve your body of anything but rather to fill it up with nutrient and mineral rich juice. It’s simple, you replace your normal meals with healthy, fresh juice made up of a variety of fruit and vegetables which gives your body all of the vitamins and minerals it needs for peak performance.
Is juicing healthy for my body?
All the vitamins and minerals the human body needs to function is contained inside fruit and vegetables*. Juicing means you can pack more into every juice, you might not be able to eat an apple, a pear, an avocado, a courgette, a pepper and a big handful of spinach. But if you take out the fiber and squeeze all of the vitamins into liquid you can pack more into your body and it is also easier for your stomach to digest.
*The only vitamin you can’t get is B12 but the body needs this in such low quantities that for a 7-14 day juice diet this is not an issue. If you plan on juicing for longer, then B12 supplements are available from your local health food shop.
What are the health benefits?
Taking in the nutrients and minerals you need from juice means your body doesn’t need to work to break down the food you eat. All of the acid and chemicals your body releases doesn’t need to be released in the same proportions which gives your stomach a well-deserved break.
It also gives your liver a good break too, the liver is the organ that sorts through your food and blocks toxins from entering your body. For many people it is overworked and when it becomes overworked it doesn’t function as well. A juice diet gives your liver some time to repair itself and improves function.
Juicing can actually reduce your food cravings, sounds weird right? After the first few days, once your body starts to adjust to its new source of food your body realizes that it doesn’t need sugary, sweet food to make it feel full and many people report they have little or no cravings when they come off the diet.
Juicing can help you to lose weight in a healthy way. The juicing diet is very easy to follow and provides your body with a balanced, natural diet which will fill you up more than you might think. This is because your body is getting everything it needs, the diet is not about depriving your body it is about giving it what it needs in the healthiest possible way.
How long should I juice for?
Many people who start New Year’s resolutions like to go all out and set themselves a really difficult goal. I think the easier you make it for yourself the more likely you are to change long term habits. At the same time if you only juice for a few days then you won’t see much benefit and won’t be encouraged to try it again. For your first go I recommend a 5 day juice challenge.
Will I get hungry?
For me personally I don’t get hungry on a juice detox, but I know some people do. It’s important to remember this is not about depriving your body in anyway, if you get hungry you are allowed to eat fruit on the diet. Try to stay away from high sugar fruits like pineapples, mangoes and apples and eat low sugar fruits like berries, melons and nectarines.
If you are still hungry try drinking more water, sometimes your body mistakes thirst for hunger. And, if you are still hungry try adding an avocado to your juice and a teaspoon of flaxseed this helps to bulk it up and gives your body some fiber.
How do I know which vegetables and fruit to use?
Tip number one; don’t be scared to experiment. Tip number two; variety is the name of the game. Tip three; as you progress day by day try juicing less fruit and juicing more vegetables. Simple!
Can I eat fruit as well?
Yes, if you get hungry during the day you can eat fruit.
Are there any side effects?
For the first few days of your juicing diet you may find that you get symptoms such as headaches, oily skin and tiredness. Drink lots and lots of water, your body is flushing out all of the harmful toxins in your system and balancing itself out.
What are the rules about juicing?
There are only 3 rules for juicing
1) Always rinse your juicer straight after juicing, before you even drink the juice, it’s a lot easier to clean
2) Always put your juicer in a visible place, not hidden away in a cupboard
3) Never try to juice garlic, you just can’t get rid of the taste!
Where can I find more information and juicing recipes?
There are a lot of great websites with tons of juicing recipes on them. vegasgoesvegan.com provides an extensive list of fruit and vegetable juice recipes.