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Juice It Up: The Healthy Guide to Juicing

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Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, but now everyone seems to be drinking them. Should you make like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Salma Hayek and start juicing? We test-drove the trend (learn from us and go easy on the leafy greens!), then asked experts how it can help you achieve your health goals. We have a feeling Mom would approve of their advice.

Drink to Your Health

A month ago I decided to start juicing. Call me lame, but those celebs with totally covetable bikini bodies are always toting around algae-colored concoctions. I figured that juicing, aside from breathing, is about the only thing we could have in common.

So I bought a juicer and an entire basket of produce and went to town. My first batch was gnarly (I don't love kale that much), but eventually I got the hang of it. Now I feel like one of those women who does yoga at 6 a.m., whips up her own face scrub and meditates -- without actually doing any of those things.

While I could just buy juice at the store, a lot of bottled varieties contain added sugar. Also, they're pasteurized (heated to kill off bacteria and extend their shelf life), which fresh-juice fans say degrades nutrients, though there isn't much research to back up their claim. Bottled juice may contain a bit less vitamin C (the nutrient breaks down the longer it sits on a shelf), but "the difference probably isn't large enough to have a significant impact on your health," says Luke Howard, PhD, a food scientist at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

One thing everyone can agree on is that juice made minutes before you drink it tastes way fresher, and that's a big reason so many people are converts. Plus, juicing helps you sneak in a bunch of produce. Because about 70 percent of women struggle to meet the USDA's quota of four to four and a half cups a day -- including me, and I've never met a fruit or vegetable I didn't like -- that's key. "You'd be hard pressed to eat three carrots and half a bag of spinach in one sitting, but you can easily squeeze that much into a juicer," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and the author of The Flexitarian Diet.

Juice isn't a replacement for whole fruits and veggies, of course, but it does let you fit in ones that you might not eat otherwise, like beets or carrots, especially at breakfast, which is usually a no-vegetable zone. And the more produce you consume, the better. People who got just three servings of vegetables a day lived nearly three years longer than people who avoided veggies, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Upping your intake can protect against cancer and help you drop pounds too (produce is low-cal and full of water, which fills you up). Plus, because the cells in fruits and veggies are broken down by juicing, their nutrients are easier for your body to absorb, says Nicole Cormier, RD, a coauthor of The Everything Juicing Book.

Making your own juice can also serve as a reset button, say Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, the founders of the juice company BluePrint. For instance, I've stopped snacking on Sour Patch Kids, which is probably because juicing is putting me in a healthier mind-set.

Next:  Reality Check

 

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bell.nor_748256 wrote:

Doesn't juicing eliminate the fiber?

9/4/2014 09:23:04 PM Report Abuse
andreabenner192 wrote:

Brenda, I actually thought this was a pretty good article. I personally like juicing but it's not the only way to lose weight. If you're looking for a plan that works, visit: www.VenusOnline.us - John Barban's guide is excellent. Good luck.

5/6/2014 12:13:39 PM Report Abuse
oneallisa wrote:

I loved this story, it was very informative.

4/10/2014 01:41:21 PM Report Abuse
EatTrainWin wrote:

I have transformed myself from a veggie-hating three year old to a veggie gulping healthy person. I'm not a fan of juicing because the lack of fiber leaves me hungry. I blend my veggies in a NutriBullet to retain the fiber which satiates my hunger.

4/4/2014 11:26:26 AM Report Abuse
jeanpaton wrote:

'Yep',I juice most days even though at times I have to hold my nose. But what a easy way to get one 3,4,5,6 & 7 a-day and fresh orange juice with fresh ginger, what a kick. Even my grandson and nephew is into juicing. Step back fizzy drinks and give the kids freshly sq apple juice and lime.. Mmmmmmm....

4/4/2014 10:40:10 AM Report Abuse

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