If you are rather finicky when it comes to devouring your fair share of leafy greens, juicing may be the way for you to get the essential amount of vitamins, nutrients and minerals that your body needs. Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice is touted by health experts and fitness buffs worldwide as an effective way to get the nutrients that you need, and is an essential part of a healthy and fit lifestyle.
There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold drink with all your favorite ingredients. You can enjoy the health benefits provided by the different kinds of vegetables and sweetened just the right amount with the fruits of your choice.
While juicing is a great option for wellness, many people make quite a number of mistakes when they do so. Mind you, these mistakes are not only made by rookie juicers but also by long time health and fitness buffs. If you are just starting out with your juicing diet, it is helpful to know what is right and wrong to make sure that you reap the maximum benefits from your drinks. That said, here are the top six juicing mistakes that you should avoid.
Mistake #1: Using too much sweet fruits
Here’s why – fruits contain fructose, a type of naturally occurring sugar. When you are trying to lose extra weight, fluctuations in sugar levels can cause cravings and make you eat more than you should. Experts also say that if you are juicing to ward off the signs of aging, taking in huge amounts of fructose is counter intuitive because sugar is one of the main reasons why you look older than your age. So avoid too much sweet fruits in your drink and try to get as much vegetables as you can.
If juices which are made purely out of vegetables trigger your gag reflex, you may want to consider adding lemon or other citrusy fruits to your juice. It provides better-tasting juice without the excess fructose.
Mistake #2: Lack of variety in the vegetables
The most commonly used vegetables with regard to juicing are probably spinach and kale. While these two leafy greens definitely have their own merits, too much of the same produce will lead to a lack of consumption of others. This will hinder you from reaching the ultimate goals of juicing, which is to have a healthy, well-balanced meal supplement.
There are other leafy greens that are tasty and nutritious, examples of which are cabbage, wheatgrass, lettuce, celery, mustard greens, arugula and broccoli. You can also use carrots, tomatoes and beets. In order to get the most out of the vegetables, set up a rotation among them so that you are sure that you get all possible essential nutrients in your diet.
Mistake #3: Relying on juicing for sustenance
While it is true that juicing provides the needed essential vitamins and nutrients for your body to function at its optimum level, it’s not meant to be a substitute for proper meals – except if you’re going on a juice fast. Juice fasts are usually done for two to three days only, and then you can eventually go back to your regular diet.
Taking juice as meals for an extended period of time may be detrimental to your health. If you are simply juicing to add better stuff to your diet, then you need to take juice as a supplement along with regular food or as a snack instead to make sure that you get nutrients from both food and drinks.
Mistake #4: Drinking the wrong way
This is done in order for your body to really absorb the nutrients provided by the juice. The rationale behind drinking juice before any meal is that the juice does not have to compete with other food in your stomach, thus your digestive system can fully focus on absorbing it and squeezing out all the nutrients.
You also shouldn’t keep the juice sitting in the glass for too long, nor should you make a huge batch and stock it in the fridge. The moment your juice is exposed to the air, it starts losing all its antioxidants and other valuable nutrients. So, you should try to drink it within several minutes right after juicing it. If you can’t, make sure that you store it in an airtight glass bottle and inside the refrigerator and consume it within the day.
When drinking your juice, don’t gulp it all down – savor it, even if you dislike the taste. It helps that you take time, enjoy the juice and even swirl the liquid around your mouth for awhile before swallowing it. This allows your saliva to start working on it, helping you digest the juice faster.
Mistake #5: Drinking dirty juice
Juices allow you to easily absorb nutrients, but that also means that it’s easier for your body to digest microorganisms and chemicals. You have to make sure that you clean your produce well and use organic choices, especially for fruits and vegetables like apples, cherries, tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, spinach and kale.
Mistake #6: Not juicing at all
The last big mistake you can make is not juicing at all. It takes very little time and effort and provides an extensive list of health benefits that are just too good to ignore. Try to get at least one glass per day, and a three day juice cleanse every few months.
Lastly, some long-time juicers say that juicing, especially those done with bitter leafy greens, is an acquired taste, so if you don’t like the taste, just keep going. The health benefits that you acquire later on are definitely worth it.