In this article, you will discover the finer points of juicing, including how to save money and get the most out of your juicing experience. In a recent article, I explored the truths and myths of juicing to help you make an informed choice about whether to juice or consume whole fruits and vegetables ― or a combination of the two!

Are You Ready to Start Juicing?

You can start with a blender. Or you may want to get a juicer. The price tag of the latter can be high, especially for the more sophisticated types.

A blender can break down fruits and vegetables by grinding the core, rind, and seeds. It tends to be the more affordable.

If you want to purchase a juicer, there are three kinds to consider.

1. Centrifugal: Also known as a traditional or fast juicer it turns out thin-textured juice with solid pulp left behind.

2. Masticating: Also known as a slow juicer produces a juice with a medium consistency between that of the centrifugal and triturating juicer.

3. Triturating: Also known as a whole food juicer produces a high-fiber drink that includes the pith, pulp, seeds, and skin. The juice is almost like a smoothie.

Because the blender and the triturating juicer make juice that also includes the high-fiber pulp, they confer juices with the best life-giving nutrients and other goodies that the fruits and vegetables have to offer.

Many people use the fiber-rich pulp from the centrifugal and masticating juicers in other types of foods. Add it to your baking (yummy carrot cakes, zucchini bread, blueberry muffins, even chocolate cake, etc!). Mix it in your soup, rice, pasta, sauce, salsa, or dip to kick its consistency and flavor up a notch.

Drink Merrily and Safely

You don't want to get sick from juicing so follow these steps:

• Wash your hands before juicing.
• Clean the produce thoroughly in fresh water or a produce washing solution.
• Use organic produce if available.
• Make sure the juicer/blender is clean before and after use.

To enjoy the life-giving power of juicing, drink it as soon as it is made. Without the protective cell walls, the “naked” nutrients in the juice can become oxidized by the air very quickly. This means they will lose their disease-fighting effectiveness.

If you need to store the juice for up to a day, use an airtight container (glass mason jar) for refrigeration. It is best to fill the container to the brim leaving no air inside (preventing oxidation). It is also best to store one single serving in one container. Add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to help preserve the freshness.

Apple, beet, carrot, celery, grape, grapefruit, kiwi, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, and prune juices tend to refrigerate better than other types of produce.

Only freeze the juice up to a month. Freeze in airtight freezer bags or containers in single servings.

The more time that elapses between juicing and drinking, the more you lose of the life-giving nutrients.

Start with Tastes You Enjoy

If you are new to juicing, you may want to start with produce that you enjoy already, adding new flavors gradually.

A few squeezes of lemon or lime, a few cranberries, a small slice of ginger, or one to two tablespoons of your favorite fruit concentrate may add magic to your elixir.

Many people find collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, and mustard greens very bitter when they use too much of them. Use only one or two leaves of these vegetables in your juice concoction to start. You may want to try these out only after you enjoy other types of fruits and vegetables and in different combinations.

You also may want to add protein to your juice. This is especially helpful right after exercising. The protein helps build muscles while the life-giving nutrients in the juice help rejuvenate your tissues. Try almond milk, flax seed, peanut butter, other nut butters, plain yogurt, or Greek yogurt.

Heed These Health Concerns

Remember that the calories in juice are often not recognized by your body, especially if the juice does not have the bulk of fiber or added protein. So adjust your food intake accordingly.

Fruits tend to have much more (natural) sugars than vegetables. When you eat whole fruits, these natural sugars are more slowly absorbed by your gut, thanks to the fiber in whole fruits. Without fiber, the sugars in your juice may cause a big sugar spike very quickly in the body.

If you take a blood thinner for any health conditions, check with your doctor before starting a juicing program. Vitamin K, abundant in many green leafy vegetables and other produce, helps blood to clot and can therefore interact with certain blood thinners.

If you take medication for any condition at all, it is best to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can affect how your body processes many medications.

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Author's Bio: 

Zen-Jay Chuang, MD, is a primary care physician and Chairman of the Whole Health Alerts advisory board. Click here to find out how Dr. Zen-Jay’s biodynamic, cutting edge approach to ancient and modern medicine can help you achieve the best health of your life.
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