A juicer is a smart investment that can set you on the path to better health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 14% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. If you’re among the majority, a juicer can help. Not to be confused with a blender, a juicer extracts the nutrient-rich juice from fruits and vegetables while discarding the fibrous plant matter. For maximum benefit, consider the following do’s and don’ts of juicing.
Do Juice Leafy Greens
Not all vegetables offer the same nutritional benefit. Leafy greens are particularly beneficial because of their high concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and various phytochemicals. Therefore, you should include them in your juiced beverages. Whether it’s kale, spinach or cabbage, leafy greens are the perfect ingredient for juicing.
Don’t Add Sugar
Adding sugar to your juiced beverages will only negate their health benefits. Sugar takes a toll on the body, suppressing the immune system, encouraging weight gain and even contributing to chronic disease. To make your juiced beverages sweeter, consider adding grape or apple juice. Just a small amount of fruit juice such as this can make a big difference in the sweetness and overall flavor.
Do Clean Your Juicer
Try to get into the habit of cleaning your juicer after each use. Whether it’s a masticating or centrifugal juicer, it will probably accumulate juice and food particles in hard-to-reach places. If left uncleaned, it may encourage the formation of mold. You can prevent this from happening by disassembling and cleaning your juicer with warm water and dish soap after each use.
Don’t Drink Too Quickly
Assuming you use lots of fruits in your juiced beverages, you should consume them slowly. Chugging a beverage consisting entirely of juiced fruits can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This is because juiced beverages are devoid of fiber, so sugars are absorbed more quickly into your body.
Do Refrigerate Newly Created Juiced Beverages
If you don’t drink all of your juiced beverage in a single session, place the remainder in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. Juiced beverages will quickly spoil at room temperature. By storing them in the refrigerator, however, they should stay good for up to 48 hours.