You may be a daily juicer and feeling super healthy because of it, but what if I told you that your juice may be doing more harm than good – that your pride-and-joy, greener than green juice is a sugar bomb or maybe even an overly-medicinal poison?
Learn why your green juice may or may not be the best of combinations and how you can fix it.
There is a fine line between creating a juice that is tasty and one that is a sugar rush in disguise. Whole fruits contain natural sugars, but because these sugars are paired with fiber, whole fruits release their sugars into the body’s bloodstream gradually. Downing a fiber-free juice that is mostly made of fruit will skip digestion and go straight to the bloodstream, undulating your body with a lift in blood sugar levels that it could otherwise do without. However, with the juice craze sweeping the nation, many people are jumping on board, even when their palates are not yet accustomed to a juice mostly based in vegetables. Tipping the scale in fruit’s favor sometimes seems like the only way to make green liquids appetizing.
Consuming fruit and vegetable juices is an incredibly efficient way to flood your cells with nutrition whilst giving your digestion system a break. However, if you have trouble getting through a green juice without featuring mostly fruits, then there are indeed solutions.
Get smart about your green juice recipe. Try to keep the balance 1:1:1 in terms of the greens, vegetables and fruits. And instead of using high-sugar-containing fruits, such as mangoes and pineapple, use less sugary ones, like green apples, berries and citrus. If you want to nix fruit altogether, focus on replacing the fruit component of your juice with a starchy vegetable, like carrots or beets, which will offer a touch of sweetness. And always add in lemon to cut the bitterness of the greens and ginger to spice things up!
When it comes to the amount of green in your juice, there is a limit. Don’t think that the more you add, the healthier it will be. You actually don’t want your juice to be too healthy (yes, it’s a thing), because there comes a point when the juice is too medicinal for your body to handle. Detoxifying your cells is a balancing act – if you detox too quickly, your body may not be equipped to eliminate all the gunk efficiently enough. At that stage, you may develop detox symptoms, like a headache, fatigue, acne or rashes. When juicing dark greens, make sure their juices don’t make up more than one-third of the resulting juice. Lighter, watery greens, like romaine, can comprise up to one-half of the juice. To make a juice a daily part of your regimen, stick to a proper greens-vegetables-fruit balance so you don’t fall off the wagon.
In the same way too many dark green juice may negatively affect you, so too can too much juice. Again, detoxing requires assessing your current body’s disposition and respecting its limits. You can push those limits, but not too hard or too fast. Overdoing green juice, or any juice for that matter, can set you on a path of intense detoxing that is ultimately uncomfortable for your lifestyle. The best way to get the most from your green juice is to consume between 16 and 32 ounces at a time. Make sure to “chew” your juice, swishing it around in the mouth, where digestion begins, and then swallowing. Do not chug your juice, as your stomach will resemble a beer belly and you will feel discomfort. Take your time and savor each gulp.
Always drink juice on an empty stomach. The reason many people feel discomfort when juicing is because they do so at the wrong time of the day or with a meal. Never juice while eating or after eating. Juice is easy to digest – in fact, it requires little digestive work to begin with. But if you drink a juice aside or right after a meal, the heavier food will interfere with its digestive process, making it harder for you to benefit from the rush of nutrients it normally provides. Meanwhile, you will make the food you are consuming harder to digest, as it will literally be swimming in liquids in your stomach. Upon rising, drink water spiked lemon juice. When you start to feel hungry, have your juice. Wait 30 minutes before consuming anything else, giving your body enough time to allow the juice to pass through your stomach. In between meals, wait 3 hours before enjoying a juice.
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Photo Credit: Bertholf