Avoid These Common Mistakes When Juicing at Home
Juicing, when done right, can offer an exceptional boost to your health. Inversely, when done wrong, you are counteracting any of the potential benefits of a juice cleanse. For instance, instead of losing weight, you might accidentally pile on the pounds! Or gulping down the juice can lead to gastrointestinal gloom. The best solution not only lies in getting a quality juicer but also in knowing what not to do.
One of the primary mistakes when juicing at home is not balancing fruits and vegetables properly. Many people tend to overuse fruits, leading to high sugar content in their juices. While fruits add flavor and sweetness, they should be used judiciously, especially for those monitoring their sugar intake. A good rule of thumb is to follow a ratio that favors vegetables over fruits, such as 70% vegetables and 30% fruits. This balance ensures you get the vitamins and antioxidants from fruits without an excessive amount of sugar.
Another common mistake is ignoring the quality of produce. Using non-organic or pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables can introduce toxins into your juice, negating its health benefits. Additionally, many people forget to wash their produce thoroughly, which is crucial to remove dirt and bacteria. Paying attention to these aspects can significantly enhance the health benefits of your homemade juices and avoid the pitfalls that can come with home juicing practices.
Juicing at home can be an easy and convenient way to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies, but before you reach for the juicer, read on to discover the 12 most common mistakes people make when juicing at home.
1. Not Washing Your Fruits and Veggies
Pesticides are not appetizing, but that is not the worst of it. Germs and bacteria can easily transfer to your product from the surface when you peel and cut your fruits and veggies. There is no need to wash your peeled products with fancy washes or soaps. Simply running your ingredients thoroughly under hot water will suffice to make sure you are getting clean, healthy juice.
One of the mistakes when juicing at home that people often overlook is the improper combination of fruits and vegetables. While it’s tempting to mix various fruits and vegetables for flavor, some combinations can actually hinder digestion and nutrient absorption. For instance, mixing starchy vegetables like carrots with high-sugar fruits can cause fermentation in the stomach, leading to bloating and gas.
It’s generally better to juice fruits and vegetables separately or to pair them wisely. Leafy greens combine well with almost anything, but melons, for example, are best juiced alone. Understanding these combinations can significantly improve the digestive benefits of your homemade juices. Additionally, this knowledge helps in maximizing the nutritional value you receive from each glass of juice, ensuring you’re not just creating delicious blends, but also ones that are beneficial for your health.
2. Using Only Fruits and No Veggies
Fruit juice is delicious, but let’s not forget about the high sugar content that contributes to the flavor. Yes, fructose is much healthier than refined sugar, but the quantities should still be kept in check. Your best option is to add a touch of fruit to green juices for a pop of extra flavor, but keep your rations balanced to avoid elevating your blood sugar levels. As a rule of thumb, try to incorporate roughly 40% of fruits and 60% of veggies into your homemade juice. The greener the base juice, the even better. Kale and spinach, for instance, are taste-neutral and are packed with chlorophyll, calcium, and iron.
Diabetics, in particular, have to be careful to not consume too much fruit juice on a daily basis. Fruits should act as a natural sweetener, not as the main ingredient.
3. Waiting Too Long Before Drinking Your Juice
You may have noticed that your sliced fruits and veggies change color once sliced and exposed to air. This process of oxidation breaks down the natural chemicals, and vitamins change when exposed to oxygen, light, and heat. To get the best bang for your buck, make sure you drink your freshly-prepared juice as soon as it is ready to really enjoy all the benefits. At worst, you can keep your juice in an airtight, glass container between 24 to 48 hours in the fridge. It will still remain drinkable during this period, but the longer you wait, the more nutrients you will lose. Also, remember that fresh juice is unpasteurized, so it will spoil much faster than the store-bought variety.
One of the key mistakes when juicing at home is not considering the speed and type of juicer being used. Centrifugal juicers, while fast and convenient, can contribute to the oxidation process due to the heat and air they introduce during juicing. This can lead to a quicker degradation of nutrients in your juice. On the other hand, masticating or cold-press juicers operate at a slower speed, producing less heat and preserving more nutrients.
While these juicers might be a bigger investment and take longer to extract juice, they help in retaining the maximum nutritional value of your fruits and vegetables. Therefore, choosing the right juicer is crucial to ensure that you are getting the most out of your juicing experience. Additionally, understanding the storage and shelf life of fresh juice can help you plan your juicing schedule better, ensuring you consume the juice when it’s most nutrient-rich.
4. Drinking it Too Quickly
We’ve touched on the misery of stomach aches that await you if you gulp down your juice in a few seconds, but there is also a health benefit to sipping your juice. Similar to eating slowly, drinking your juice at leisure also helps digestion and to facilitates the optimal absorption of vitamins and minerals. You’ve spent some time preparing and making the juice, so kick back, and enjoy the fruits (so to speak) of your labor. You can even chew the juice! Blending saliva with your health drink will really absorb more nutrients than just swallowing it down in thirsty gulps.
Indeed, avoiding the mistake when juicing at home of consuming your juice too quickly is crucial for optimal health benefits. Drinking your juice slowly is not only better for digestion, but it also aids in the gradual absorption of sugars and nutrients into your bloodstream. When juice is consumed rapidly, it can lead to a quick influx of sugar, which might cause an insulin spike and even lead to energy crashes later. By sipping your juice leisurely, you allow your body to properly process the nutrients and maintain a more stable blood sugar level.
This method also promotes better hydration and allows you to fully appreciate the flavors and nutritional value of your juice. Remember, the key to enjoying the full benefits of your homemade juice is in the mindful, slow consumption, allowing your body to optimally utilize the nutrients provided.
5. Drinking Your Juice With a Meal
It is always best to drink your juice on an empty stomach so that your digestive system can really absorb all the goodness. The benefits of juicing are diminished if you have it during a meal, or shortly after. A full stomach will prevent the minerals and vitamins from absorbing straight into your bloodstream. A good rule to follow is to wait at least two hours between meals, and 20 minutes after your juice to have a meal. The absolute best time to drink juice is in the morning before breakfast, but you can have it between meals if your energy levels are low.
One common mistake when juicing at home is not considering the type of produce used in your juices. While it’s beneficial to drink juice on an empty stomach for optimal nutrient absorption, the choice of ingredients also plays a crucial role.
Many people tend to use only fruits in their juices, which can lead to a high intake of natural sugars. To maximize the health benefits and minimize sugar content, it’s important to balance fruit with vegetables. Vegetables like kale, spinach, cucumber, and celery not only lower the sugar content but also add essential nutrients and fibers, which can aid in digestion and overall health.
Additionally, using organic produce where possible can reduce the intake of harmful pesticides and chemicals. By being mindful of the balance and quality of ingredients in your homemade juices, you can enhance their nutritional value and enjoy the full spectrum of benefits that juicing at home can offer.
6. Storing Your Juice in a Plastic Container
As we’ve touched on earlier, you should drink your juice as fresh as possible. However, if you need to store your juice in the fridge, make sure you store it in a glass container with a snug and airtight lid. Even better, try to use a smaller container that you can fill up. This will prevent needless oxidization. Most plastics are not airtight and contain harmful chemicals like BPA (Bisphenol A) that gradually seep into food. According to the CDC, BPA in the bloodstream disrupts the release of hormones.
Another mistake when juicing at home is overlooking the importance of proper ingredient preparation and juicing technique. While storing juice correctly is crucial, the way you prepare and process your ingredients also significantly impacts the quality of your juice. For instance, not properly washing fruits and vegetables can introduce bacteria and pesticides into your juice. Additionally, using a juicer that generates too much heat can destroy some of the delicate vitamins and enzymes in your produce.
It’s important to use a gentle juicing method that preserves the nutritional integrity of your ingredients. Furthermore, roughly chopping or improperly handling ingredients before juicing can lead to nutrient loss. Taking the time to properly prepare your produce and using the right juicing equipment can make a significant difference in preserving the nutritional value and health benefits of your homemade juices.
7. You Don’t Pre-Cleanse
If you plan to go all-out on a 3-day juice cleanse, it is also paramount that you pre-cleanse in the days leading up to your juice-only diet. Gradually start by eliminating processed foods, red meats, and dairy products. This will really help your body eliminate toxins much faster without the more noticeable side effects.
A common mistake when juicing at home, especially when preparing for a juice cleanse, is neglecting to properly hydrate. While focusing on eliminating certain foods is important, many people forget that adequate hydration plays a crucial role in the detoxification process. During a juice cleanse, and in the days leading up to it, increasing your water intake is essential. Water helps in flushing out toxins and supports kidney and liver function, which are vital for effective detoxification.
Moreover, staying well-hydrated can help curb hunger pangs and provide a sense of fullness, which can be particularly helpful during a juice-only diet. It’s recommended to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day during the pre-cleanse and cleanse periods. Ignoring this aspect can lead to dehydration, which might counteract the benefits of the juice cleanse and can cause unnecessary discomfort or health issues. Remember, a successful juice cleanse is not just about what you eliminate from your diet, but also about maintaining proper hydration to support your body’s natural detox processes.
8. You Are Not Hydrating Enough
We know by now that water makes up two-thirds of our body weight. Just because you are juicing, or on a juice cleanse does not make the juice substitutes your daily water intake. Stay hydrated, and drink enough water to help the juice do its job of flushing toxins out of your system. Staying hydrated will also combat headaches and fatigue, which are often common side effects of proper juice cleanse.
A significant mistake when juicing at home, is overlooking the importance of water even when consuming a high volume of juices. While juices are hydrating, they should not replace your regular water intake. Many people on a juice cleanse or those who regularly consume homemade juices mistakenly believe that the juice itself is sufficient for hydration. However, pure water is essential for maintaining optimal hydration levels, as it helps in regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and disposing of waste.
Failing to drink enough water can lead to dehydration, which might not be immediately apparent when consuming a lot of liquid in the form of juice. This can result in reduced kidney function, dizziness, and impaired cognitive abilities. Therefore, it’s crucial to continue drinking water throughout the day, aiming for at least 8-10 glasses, in addition to your regular juice intake. This practice ensures that your body remains well-hydrated, supporting the detoxifying effects of the juices and maintaining overall health.
9. Too Much Caffeine
The fewer stimulants you have in your body, the better the health benefits from juicing. You may be relying heavily on your caffeine fix, especially in the mornings, but as your body absorbs more nutrients from the juice, you might find that you don’t need to rely on that cup of joe to get you going. You do not have to eliminate your favorite cup of coffee from your diet, but do keep it as a guilty pleasure instead. Rather try to supplement your coffee intake with teas.
An often-overlooked mistake when juicing at home, particularly is not adequately reducing caffeine intake while juicing. While it’s understandable to enjoy a cup of coffee, excessive caffeine can counteract some of the health benefits of juicing. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can lead to increased fluid loss, potentially disrupting the balance of hydration that is crucial during a juice cleanse or regular juicing routine. Moreover, too much caffeine can also cause restlessness, anxiety, and disrupt your sleep patterns, which may hinder the body’s natural healing and rejuvenation processes that juices support.
To maximize the benefits of juicing, it’s advisable to gradually decrease your caffeine consumption and explore healthier alternatives like herbal teas. Herbal teas can provide a soothing and refreshing substitute, offering their own range of antioxidants and health benefits without the side effects of caffeine. By moderating caffeine intake, you allow your body to fully embrace the nourishing effects of the juices, leading to better overall health outcomes.
10. You're Not Adjusting Your Diet
Indeed, juicing is a fantastic way to get your daily dose of minerals and vitamins, but it is not a miracle cure in itself. Once you’ve supercharged your system by drinking juice, you want to maintain your energy levels and newfound spunk. That means making a few lasting changes to your diet. Gradually incorporate more whole foods, salads, soups, legumes, and steamed or raw veggies into your diet, while you aim to reduce your animal protein intake.
Asife from a critical mistake when juicing at home, failing to make necessary dietary changes alongside your juicing routine is also one. While juicing provides a substantial influx of vitamins and minerals, relying solely on juices without adjusting your overall diet can limit the potential health benefits. A balanced diet that includes whole foods is essential for long-term health and wellness. This means integrating a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables, in addition to your regular juice intake.
Reducing the consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high amounts of animal proteins is also crucial. These dietary adjustments ensure that your body receives a wide range of nutrients needed for optimal functioning. By combining juicing with a well-rounded diet, you can maximize the health benefits, maintain energy levels, and support a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Remember, juicing should complement your diet, not completely replace it.
COLD PRESSED JUICES FROM PURE GREEN
We’ve praised the wonderful benefits of drinking natural juice, but nothing quite packs a punch like a healthy shot of cold-pressed juice. What makes cold-pressed juice stand out from the crowd is the way it is produced. Home juicers use centrifugal blades that generate an amount of heat friction that causes nutrients to get lost in the process. Cold-pressed, on the other hand, is produced by a hydraulic press that squeezes out 100% of the goodness without compromise.
The beauty of a juice bar franchise like Pure Green is you don’t even have to leave the house to get your hands on quality cold-pressed juices! If you don’t live near an outlet, or prefer to order from the comfort of your home, Pure Green will deliver right to your door. If you are particularly eager, you can order on Seamless or Postmates and have your juice in hand in under an hour. It is the perfect solution for healthy but busy individuals!
Ranked as one of the top wellness entrepreneurs in the United States and recipient of the Forbes Next 1000 award, Ross Franklin has two decades of experience building prestige brands within the health and wellness industry. Franklin has grown and developed high-end fitness brands, specialty boutique fitness brands and many wellness companies throughout his career. His mission has always been centered on optimal health. Franklin founded Pure Green based on 80/20 rule that 80 percent of optimal health is rooted in nutrition while only 20% impacted by fitness. Franklin made the shift from the fitness industry to build Pure Green with the goal of more deeply impacting people’s health. Franklin was a featured speaker at the annual cold pressed juice conference, JuiceCon, in 2019, a featured speaker at the 2020 Angels & Entrepreneurs Summit and is a sought-after keynote speaker within the health and wellness community.