One of the most common questions I am asked is "which is better, juicing or blending?" While many health educators prefer one or the other, my answer is neither is better because both serve different functions.
Lets look at the benefits of a blended green smoothie first
- Fast to make and clean up - you can do it in 5 minutes - great for busy people
- You are getting the whole food fibre and all
- If you are using a power blender the cell walls are broken down allowing you to maximise absorption of essential nutrients.
- They are sustaining especially if you have plenty of fruit in them
- You can get a lot more leafy greens down than you could if you had to chew them
- They are slower to oxidise than juices and will keep for up to 72 hours in a sealed jar in the fridge
Now lets look at the benefits of a green juice
- Little or no fibre means you will be getting the maximum amount of nutrients with the minimal energy spent digesting it. This means the body has more energy available for repairing itself.
- Great for healing and detoxing on all levels
- Particulary good for healing digestive and bowel issues such as ulcerative colitis.
- In many cases green juice is instant antidote if you are not feeling well or have eaten something which has not agreed with you.
Downside of juicing
- They can take a long time (usually 20 minutes or more) to prepare, make and clean up
- Ideally we would include a mixture of both smoothies and juices in our diet. Some people will have a green juice one day and a green smoothie the next, which is a great option if you are too busy to do both on the same day.
I recommend green juices over fruit juices as fruit juices which have had all thier fibre removed tend to blast your blood sugar levels.
Here is a delicious green juice recipe
- Calming, energising, alkalising and healing
- Raw organic Green Juice is an excellent foundation for a raw food lifestyle.
- There is almost nothing on the planet that is better for your body.
- Use celery as the base and experiment with the other ingredients to taste.
Tools a slow augur juicer like the Oscar Vitalmax or for more speed an Oscar Pro. These are now quite reasonably priced, are easy to clean and most importantly work on a powerful, slow rotation so the juice doesn’t become over heated (Many cheaper juicers spin too fast and reduce the nutritional value of the juice by over heating)
Celery (make this the foundation of your juice) it is very high in sodium and conditions your whole digestive tract, improving digestion. It is a much better option than carrot which is high in sugar (even organic carrots these days have 17% sugar – wild carrots if you can find them have only 3% sugar!)
Leafy Greens (Just as important as celery, though less palatable to begin with – leafy greens are packed with chlorophyll and oxygen and are unparalleled in their ability to alkalise and heal the body. Try Rocket, Kale, Cos Lettuce, (preferable over Iceberg Lettuce which has fewer minerals) or any other dark green leafy vegetables.
Cucumber - Also a highly alkalizing vegetable and very refreshing.
Parsley - A cup of minced fresh parsley (about 100g) contains more beta carotene than a large carrot, almost twice as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a cup of milk, and twenty times as much iron as a serving of liver.
Grass or wheatgrass – There are over 400 varities of grass and all are edible and highly nutritious so go ahead and juice your lawn (if you know it is clean and free of chemicals) What to say about wheatgrass? There are reams of information available on the healing, regenerative properties of wheatgrass. 20 ml of wheatgrass juice is the nutritional equivalent of over one kg of fresh fruit and vegetables. Wheat grass has only about 10-15 calories per teaspoon. It has nearly a gram of protein per teaspoon and includes all eight of the essential amino acids, as well as 13 of the remaining 16.
Tip: Try watering your grass or wheatgrass using 1 part sea water to 19 parts water to get the correct balance of all 92 minerals needed for perfect health. Grass is the only plant which can absorb all 92 minerals, however, you can still add diluted sea water when watering all your vegetables and sprouts for a highly mineralized diet.
Apple or carrot- Some people find green juice a little hard to take at the beginning. To make your green juice sweeter you can add a very small quantity of carrot or apple to your juice (less than 10%). After a while when you grow accustomed to taste you can reduce or totally cut out the carrot and apple.
Water – We recommend you water down your juice 4 parts filtered water to 1 part juice. This is especially important when using wheatgrass Green juice is a very powerful detoxifier and it is best to ease into it gently if you haven’t been living a clean, raw food lifestyle. As you progress you can gradually decrease the amount of water to a 50/50 mix or more.
Detoxification - When you begin drinking green juice the pollutants which have been stored in your body will literally begin to be flushed out of your cells sometimes causing nausea, head aches or even flu like symptoms. Be happy if this happens as it means you are on track to a healthier, more balanced existence. It can also be very helpful to be in contact with someone who has already gone through the process themself.
Quantity – Begin with 250ml of green juice a day (watering it down 4 to 1 with water) This will give you around 5 glasses to down. As you progress, increase the amount of juice and decrease the water. You can eventually increase to drinking 500 to 750mls of green juice no problems and your body will sing in total gratitude!
You will get optimum nutritional value if you drink your juice within 15 minutes of making it, however, you will still receive amazing benefits if you refrigerate it and drink it throughout the day. You can even add a little lemon juice or vitamin C powder to help preserve it for up to 24 hours.