(NaturalNews) More and more people are learning of the benefits of juicing as a way to manage weight and ensure getting enough of the right nutrients to keep the body running like a well-oiled machine.
But a lot of us have not been properly educated in the best ways to approach juicing. If you’re doing it incorrectly, you may not only be missing out on the full health benefits, but may also end up suffering from stomach discomfort – or even causing harm to your body.
One of the popular juicing trends is known as “green juicing,” which simply means using green vegetables and sometimes other ingredients to make healthy, super-nutritious juice concoctions.
If you know how to prepare and consume green juice correctly, the benefits can be amazing – but there are a few important factors to keep in mind.
Avoiding common juicing mistakes
Vani Hari, better known as “The Food Babe,” has provided some great advice on her website – FoodBabe.com – concerning the common mistakes you should learn to avoid when making and consuming your own health-promoting green juice recipes.
Here are a few of the Food Babe’s Top Common Juicing Mistakes:
Drinking green juice after eating other foods: Green juice should always be consumed on an empty stomach. Otherwise, you may end up with a case of heartburn and miss out on the full benefits due to the fact that an empty stomach allows the nutrients to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach lining. Hari recommends waiting at least two hours after eating meals before consuming green juice. You should also wait at least 20 minutes after drinking green juice before eating anything else.
Waiting too long before drinking green juice: When you make your green juice concoction, you should drink it immediately. The beneficial live enzymes contained in green juice begin to degrade as soon as they are exposed to the air, and the nutritional content drops the longer it sits before consumption. If you have a “slow” or twin gear juicer, this is less of an issue and the juice can be stored; however, the juice should be stored in an airtight container filled to the top, and refrigerated to preserve the nutrients and to keep any bacteria from having a chance to grow. If you’re using a standard juicer, be sure to drink the juice within 15 minutes of preparation.
Making green juice with too many fruits and sweet vegetables: There’s nothing wrong with adding some fruit or sweet vegetables such as apples or carrots to your green juice, but too much natural sugar can boost your insulin to unhealthy levels and may also cause weight gain. Hari recommends only one sweet fruit or vegetable per serving. Lemons and limes are an exception.
Replacing meals with green juice: Unless you’re on a juice fast, green juice should be treated as a supplement to your diet, not a replacement for meals. Green juicing is a great way to help you get the daily recommended portion of vegetables in your diet, but it’s best to consume it along with other healthy solid foods.
Not chewing while consuming: Okay, it may sound funny to actually attempt “chewing” your green juice, but the idea is to swish the juice around in your mouth before swallowing so that the digestive enzymes contained in your saliva can help to release the nutrients into your body.
Not cleaning your juicer: If you leave your juicer dirty, it will be a lot harder to clean later. If you’re in a hurry after making your green juice, soak the parts in water to make cleanup easier when you get around to it.
Using specific greens too often: Be sure to rotate your greens, such as kale, spinach, arugula and turnip greens, for example, to keep from building up unhealthy levels of oxalic acid which can affect your thyroid gland, as well as to keep a healthy balance of nutrients.
Switching to smoothies: There is a common belief that smoothies are better than juice because of fiber content, but Hari recommends consuming both. Fiber is good, but juicing makes for better absorption of nutrients.