Top 10 Juicing Questions

Q: Is there a big difference between juicing and smoothies? Which one is better?

I think both juicing and smoothies have tremendous benefits and I’m an advocate of consuming both beverages as part of a healthy diet.  I don’t believe one is better than the other.  However, most people don’t realize there is a big difference between the two.  Juices made in a juicer remove the fiber from the fruit or vegetable leaving just the vitamin and mineral juices.  This allows our body to absorb the nutrition quickly, without having to digest the fiber.  Smoothies blend the vegetables leaving the fiber plus the nutrition in one drink. Comparatively speaking, if you were to juice a pound of carrots you would be left with 16 ounces of juice.  If you were to blend a pound of carrots, it might be not as palatable and you would be left with a lot more liquid to drink and your body would need to expel energy to digest the fiber.  So while smoothies are nutrition and fiber filled, it’s a lot easier to consume more nutrients into a glass of juice than one smoothie drink.  This is why I believe they are both essential to a healthy diet.

Q: I heard that it’s possible to lose weight by juicing. How can I do this?

Many people lose a significant amount of weight by juicing daily.  This happens for a few reasons.  By simply feeding your body nutrition it has not gotten for years, it helps your body to function better, speed up metabolism, get rid of waste, and in turn, lose weight.  Many people have a lot of water weight and juicing is a quick way to release this weight and puffiness by just incorporating a glass of juice a day into their diet.

Replacing one meal a day with 12-16 ounces of juice is also a helpful aid in losing weight.  This low cal, high nutrition meal will jumpstart weight loss and is an easy way for most people to lose a few pounds.  Breakfast is a popular time for most people to replace their meals, but making a nice juice for a quick lunch is also a great idea.

Juice fasting is also used as a more serious method to lose weight.  Juice fasting allows your body to cleanse and heal while still getting great nutrition for your body.  The process of juice fasting helps your body to get rid of waste much quicker then it would if you were eating.  Also, typically a person who is juice fasting consumes less calories than they would on their typical diet.  This cleansing process, combined with good clean nutrition is a great healthy way to shed the pounds.  There are many variations of juice fasts but a good rule of thumb is to drink 8-16 ounces every 2-4 hours that you are awake.  1 to 3 day cleanses do wonders for people just wanting to lose a few pounds and get back into their skinny jeans.

Q: I’m worried about the sugar in juices and smoothies. Should I be?

This a common concern and not one you should be overly concerned about. The sugar found in juices and smoothies come from whole foods.  These are not sugars that are refined or processed so they react differently in our body.  In other words, it’s not the white sugar you find in baked goods and candies. Refined sugar is the real enemy.  There are absolutely no nutrients in it and it can be problematic when consumed often.

When you consume juices and smoothies, you are consuming a wide range of nutrients- too many to count. However, sugar shouldn’t be consumed in excess in our diets- in any form.  

Use this rule: Fruit only juices should be kept to a minimum and shouldn’t be consumed more than once a day, preferably a few times a week.  In general, it’s best to juice your vegetables and smoothie/eat our fruits.

When we think about juicing and smoothie-ing, we have to consider all of the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes we are consuming with it.   If you are concerned about sugar or have a condition like diabetes, you can easily modify any recipe to be more veggie heavy by substituting one of the sugary fruits with a vegetable of your choice. Juicing green beans is good for the pancreas and helps to regulate blood sugar. 

Q: My juice frequently turns brown. Why does this happen?

Once juice turns brown, it has oxidized and has lost its nutritional value. And after 24 hours, it may be toxic.  It’s best to drink your beverage immediately after you juice to get the maximum amount of benefits.


Q: Do I have to make my juice fresh each day? How long will it keep?

 You don't have to make your juice fresh each day.  Keep in mind that once your juice is made, it starts to lose nutrients right away.  It will oxidize over time and become toxic.  It’s optimal if you consume it within 15 minutes.  Depending on your juicer, you can safely keep your juice for 12-36 hours, in a sealed, airtight container stored in the fridge.  However it’s best to drink it within 4 hours if you can.  Juice is much more delicate than a smoothie, so if you want to transport a healthy drink, you might want to consider making a smoothie instead.


Q: I've read in lots of places not to mix veggies and fruits when juicing. What is the reasoning behind this?

The reasoning behind a lot of juice enthusiasts encouraging you not to mix fruits and veggies has to do with food combining. This goes for regular food too. Your stomach uses different enzymes for digesting both fruits and vegetables. When you eat fruit, you should eat it alone and on an empty stomach because it digests faster than other foods. When you cram a lot of different fruits, veggies, and other foods into your stomach, it combines and can cause gas, because each take a different amount of time to be digested. The same type of thing happens with juice and it can cause flatulence.

Digestion is your stomach breaking down the solid foods into chyme, a liquid form, before it passes into the small intestines. This is where most of the nutrients are absorbed by the body.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t mix fruits and vegetables.  Many people do.  You might be happy to know that apples and carrots are an exception to the rule. Apples can be combined with all veggie juices, and carrots can be mixed with fruits.

 Q: Are bottled juices at the grocery store the same as my fresh juice?

No, commercially prepared juices are required to be pasteurized (heated) to meet government standards and prolong shelf life.  This causes nutrient loss.  The fresher the juice, the more nutritional value it will have.


 Q: What about juicing and smoothies for young kids?

 Most kids don’t get enough good nutrition from raw, fresh fruits and vegetables from our standard American diet. I think smoothies are a fantastic way to sneak more fruits and vegetables into a child’s diet.  It’s also a great way to assist them in developing good eating habits.  While I think there is nothing wrong with telling them they are drinking kale, if you know your child would be adverse to it and it’s a recipe where the green color is obvious, it’s best to play it cool by calling it “monster juice” or name it after a cartoon character they like.  They are more likely to drink it without questions if you put a fun spin on it.


Q: Can I use non-organic fruits and vegetables for juicing and smoothie-ing?

Yes, you can use any fresh fruits and vegetables for juicing and smoothies.  However, it’s not recommended to use non-organic because the produce is not as pure, has more pesticides, and could be genetically modified.  I believe these can be detrimental to our long-term health.  Organic produce also has more nutrients than non-organic produce.

If you are using non-organic produce, you might want to peel the skin to remove some of the outer pesticides.  This will not remove them completely as they are in the actual vegetable or fruit, but it will remove some.  This works for produce like cucumbers and melon rinds.  When produce cannot be peeled, just be sure to wash it well.

Some conventionally grown produce is perfectly fine.


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