Drink in delicious nutrition by creating a combination of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

The virtues of juicing are a popular topic among its health-conscious supporters in gyms, juice bars and kitchens everywhere. But what are some of the actual benefits that have led so many people to make it an essential part of their current lifestyle? It all starts with the powerful nutritional value you’ll find in every glass.

What is juicing?

Juicing is basically the extraction of juice from fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. Since there’s no heat or processing to destroy them, the full complement of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and biophotons (light rays of energy absorbed by plants) are preserved. The resulting raw juices deliver a variety of rewards for your overall health.

How it helps

Incorporating juicing into your nutrition program can provide lasting benefits that will help you get on a healthful eating track.

1) Absorbing healthy benefits is easy and immediate.
Juicing allows pre-digestion of fruits and vegetables, meaning you can fully absorb vital nutrients much more rapidly and completely than through solid foods.

2) The advantages of plant foods are maximized.
Fruits and vegetables support your immune system while boosting energy and mental clarity. They also provide antioxidants and nutrition that help address toxicity and lack of nutrients, which are two fundamental factors implicated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, chronic pain and fatigue, arthritis and fibromyalgia.

3) Your intake and variety of fresh produce increases.
A study from the Produce for Better Health Foundation reveals that just 1 percent of adults (and 2 percent of children) meet both their recommended daily fruit and vegetable targets! Juicing not only makes it easier to up your consumption, but it can also allow you to benefit from fruits and vegetables you might not enjoy eating whole.

Getting started

Once you’ve made the commitment to start a juicing program, setting yourself up with what you’ll need is a simple process.

1) Invest in a juicer that you like. No matter how much or how little you spend, its essential to get a juicer that you will use every day. A wide mouth that doesn’t force you to cut the produce in small pieces is typically a popular feature. Ease of cleaning and total wattage to juice your food properly should also be factored in.

Juicing is a great way to energize and heal yourself, flush away toxins, and implement a program for optimal health.

2) Figure out which recipes taste good. This point may seem obvious, but your chances of sticking with a regimen go up greatly if you enjoy what you’re drinking. Focus on dark, leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, spinach and parsley that you don’t get enough of in your regular diet. Due to its sugar content, fruit should be used sparingly for a touch of sweetness. You can also avoid pesticides and additives in your juices by using organic produce.

An excellent source of antioxidants, juicing is a great way to energize yourself as you implement a program for optimal health. Set a goal to make an essential change in your lifestyle and you’ll begin to see juicings incredible benefits in as little as three months. Happy juicing!

Yucatecan Orange

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 1 garlic clove (no need to peel)
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of allspice

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Juice oranges, kale, and garlic.
  3. Stir in spices.
  4. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.

Hot Tomato

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • 2 dark green lettuce leaves
  • 2 radishes with leaves
  • 1 lime or lemon, peeled if not organic
  • Dash of hot sauce

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Wrap parsley in lettuce leaves and push through juicer slowly.
  3. Juice all remaining ingredients and stir in hot sauce.
  4. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.

The Ginger Hopper with a Twist

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 5 medium carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
  • 1 green apple
  • 1-inch chunk fresh ginger root, peeled
  • lemon, peeled if not organic

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Juice ingredients and stir.
  3. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible

Green Lemonade

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 apples (green are lower in sugar)
  • lemon, peeled if not organic
  • 1 handful of your favorite greens

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Juice all ingredients and stir.
  3. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.

Brain Helper

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 dark green lettuce leaf
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
  • 1 apple
  • 2 inch chunk ginger root

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Wrap the parsley in the lettuce leaf and push through the juicer slowly.
  3. Juice all remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir and pour into a glass.
  5. Drink as soon as possible.

Juice up zinc-rich foods such as ginger root, parsley and carrots. Zinc deficiency has been shown to be a major problem as people age and has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. People with symptoms of Alzheimer’s who receive zinc supplementation have shown slight improvement in their memory, socialization and communication.

Happy-mood Morning

Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients

  • apple (green is lower in sugar)
  • 4-5 carrots, well scrubbed, tops removed, ends trimmed
  • 3 fennel stalks with leaves and flowers
  • cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1-inch chunk ginger root

Directions

  1. Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube.
  2. Juice apple first and follow with other ingredients.
  3. Stir and pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible

Fennel juice has been used as a traditional tonic to help the body release endorphins, the feel-good peptides, from the brain into the bloodstream. Endorphins help to diminish anxiety and fear, and they generate a mood of euphoria.

Cherie Calbom, MS, has practiced as a clinical nutritionist at St. Luke Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash., and as a celebrity nutritionist for George Foreman and Richard Simmons. Known as The Juice Lady for her work with juicing and health, she is the author of 21 books, including the best-seller Juicing for Life. Her latest release, The Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies, provides all of her most popular recipes in one complete volume.