Everything You Need to Know About Juicing

Last summer, after reading lots of food blogs, walking by multiple juice bars in Boston and watching the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead I bought a juicer. Mind you, I had never actually had juice in my life. A few days after I ordered my juicer I found myself a juice shop and purchased a juice. I decided to go big or go home and get what I thought the greenest juice at the store was. It consisted of kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, lemon and ginger.

I bought the juice, took probably three sips and promptly threw it out. There was no way I could finish it. No way. I was dumbfounded and asked myself how anyone could possibly like or force themselves to drink green juice every day. Were all the juice worshipers I saw each morning as I scrolled through Instagram out of their minds?

Needless to say, my juicer arrived at my house and it sat there unopened until much later in the summer when I returned it. I didn’t give up on juice completely though! Over the course of the summer, I bought more juices and found the ones I liked. Nearly 6 months after my first juice experience, I bought a juice consisting of cucumber, parsley, kale, swiss chard, celery, ginger and lemon and actually enjoyed it!

For the past few years, juicing and juice bars have become more and more popular. Juice bars have popped up in many of the major cities in the US  and bottled juices can be found at many health food stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joes or can be purchased online. Some people enjoy having a fresh juice every morning or a few times a week while others go on juice cleanses.

Need to knows

Kelly Egolf, founder of Verde Juice, explained to me that drinking juice is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough serving of fruits and vegetables each day. The recommended number of servings is 7-9, but most only get three. Drinking fresh juice is a great way to increase one’s intake of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

Egolf went on to say that juice contains all of the nutrients as their whole food counterparts except for their insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber, though, is often retained during juicing. Adrienne Raimo, Integrative and Functional Dietitian and founder of nutrition consulting company, One Bite Wellness, expanded on this by saying, "Juicing is convenient to have as a snack or part of a meal, it assimilates into the body quickly - but it's important to remember that fiber is your friend and thus juicing is suggested more as a supplement, not substitution, to eating fruits and vegetables in their whole-food form.”

Raimo went on to explain some of the potential problems with juicing stating, “ The detriments of juicing is that, if composed of mostly fruit, there is going to be quite a bit of sugar in it! Additionally, juicing may not be a fantastic idea for diabetics or people with blood sugar handling issues(hypoglycemia), candida, and/or kidney issues. Because juicing effectively removes the fiber that would help normalize blood sugar as well as help our digestive system, blending may be a better option for some people.”

Where should I go for all of my juicing needs?

If you’re looking to try out juicing while out at Notre Dame this year, I would recommend going to Rein Juice. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable and the juices are delicious. They also make some mean smoothies and coffee. Let them know what you’re looking for, if you’ve never juiced before and they can make some recommendations for you.

Having one green juice a day or going on a cleanse a few times a year doesn’t compensate for the rest of the decisions you make about what you are fueling up with. Juice is meant to supplement a healthy diet, ladies! Drink up, but be sure to treat your body well outside of your juicing habits.

If you're an exeperienced juicer or think you may be getting one, check out a few recipes below!

 

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