The Goodness of Juices!
Does the thought of eating fruit and
vegetables turn you off? Here's a fun, alternative
way to fill up on the nutrients needs.
Juicing is a convenient way to ensure you get almost
all the goodness of a large amount of fruit and
vegetables in a quick, concentrated serving. While
there is no conclusive evidence that juicing is more
beneficial than simply eating your greens, it is a
fun and useful way to experiment with fruits and
vegetables that you normally wouldn't even go near.
The Ministry of Health recommends at least five
servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and
juicing can help facilitate this by delivering a
nutritional punch to your body, minus the bulk.
After all, it is much easier to drink a glass of
juice than it is to eat a whole bowl of produce. In
a world where every second counts, juicing might
just be the ticket!
Fruits vs. vegetables
While fruit juice is a popular choice with both
children and adults, most people are unaware that
fruit juices tend to be just as sugary as chocolate
bars or have as many calories as soft drinks.
What these juices do have going for them, however,
is their tremendous nutritional value. For example,
cranberries and grapes are rich in antioxidants,
while pomegranates have been proven to be effective
in lowering the risk of prostate cancer. The
anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice may
reduce muscle pain and damage induced by exercise.
Prunes, famous for their laxative properties, are
also loaded with potassium and iron. As for the
humble orange, pure orange juice is packed with
vitamin C, but it can't quite boast the same
abundance of antioxidants.
Vegetable juices, on the other hand, have far fewer
calories and much less sugar than fruit juices.
But there is a catch-the taste! Juice made from
leafy vegetables, roots and stalks are certainly an
acquired taste, but the benefits are plentiful.
Carrots are an amazing source of vitamin A (needed
for good vision, growth and development), while
leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and parsley are
chock-full of minerals.
Cabbage is an unlikely hero, but this unassuming
vegetable has long been used to aid gastrointestinal
ailments such as stomach ulcers. Touted by some as a
nutritional jackpot, wheatgrass is a young,
nutrient-rich grass that provides a concentrated
dose of iron, calcium, magnesium, chlorophyll, amino
acids and vitamins A, C and E when juiced.
Wheatgrass juice-as with most vegetable Juices-isn't
exactly yummy, so adding a dash of natural fruit
juice concentrate or honey can help it go down a
The fibre fix
A major drawback to juicing would be the
near-complete removal of fibre from the final
product. Fibre is an essential part of a healthy
diet, providing the roughage needed for normal bowel
movement, while promoting overall health. Fibre may
also reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of dietary
fibre, but much of this is lost during the juicing
process. This can be solved by re-introducing some
of the post-juicing pulp into the final product, as
well as regularly eating whole, fresh fruits and
vegetables on a daily basis. Juicing is not meant to
replace whole food in your diet; rather, it is meant
to supplement your diet by fitting in with your
In 1999, an outbreak of salmonella poisoning
occurred in North America due to the consumption of
a commercially-distributed, unpasteurised orange
juice-the worst case scenario when dealing with raw
food. Therefore, it is essential to begin with clean
ingredients, a clean juicer and clean hands.
Supermarket shelves often have chemical washes for
fresh produce, but research by the University of
Maine in the US has demonstrated that soaking fresh
produce in distilled water for a few minutes is just
as effective as commercial washes.
Thick-skinned produce should be scrubbed with a
vegetable brush, and utensils and cutting boards
should be kept clean at all times, particularly
after peeling the ingredients but before cutting
them, to ensure that impurities from the produce
surface are not introduced to the inside.
Ideally, juicers should be easy to dismantle to
facilitate immediate cleaning after each use as
mould growth is a scarily common affliction faced by
Note: Remember to make only as much as you can drink
at one time–freshly prepared juice can quickly
become contaminated, and prolonged exposure to air
and light diminishes its nutritional value.
Yummy for children
Most children enjoy drinking juice, and juicing is a
great way to get finicky eaters to consume a portion
of their recommended daily intakes of fruits and
However, parents should proceed with caution, as
juices like apple and orange have a high sugar
content, while prune and pear contain sorbitol,
which young digestive tracts aren't mature enough to
completely absorb, leading to tummy troubles.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that
children younger than six years not to have more
than 4-6 ounces of juice a day, while those between
seven and 18 years should keep it between eight and
12 ounces. It is vital to restrict it to just one
serving a day, but you can stretch this by diluting
the juice with water.