The juicing craze may have settled a bit since last year but the fact that we now have a lot more juice bars and juice brands is probably an effect of this trend, and definitely a welcome element in London’s health scene in my opinion. A while ago I came across Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead in the New York Times Opinionated section. This is an article in which Jennifer Berman explains the downsides of eating too much kale in one go (good bye crop tops) and that if you eat too much of certain ‘healthy’ foods they can in fact make you unhealthy. I would have hoped that this was something most people already knew already but since the NY Times article apparently caused lots of internet drama of people wondering if they should stop eating kale and drinking green juices I thought I’d write down a few quick do’s and dont’s when it comes to juicing:
– Switch up your juices. Nutritionists seem to agree on that it’s not optimal to consume too much of the same thing, no matter how healthy it is. Yep, this is basically what Berman was chocked to find out in her article but I still think a lot of people who drink green juices juice the same ingredients over and over. Don’t do this! In the juice and smoothies section I share a few of my favourite juice combinations, such as the Pineapple Coriander Juice. Other simple swaps can be using pear instead of apple, or adding mint, parsley or any other fresh herbs that you might not normally use.
– Don’t use too much fruit. I know some hard core health nuts don’t put any fruits at all in their green juices but I personally like to use at least 1/2 apple or so when I make them myself. If I forget to ask for less fruit in some juice bars I’m often surprised how sweet their juices are. Too much fruit won’t kill you, but it’s excess fructose that’s not optimal for your blood sugar levels and extra calories. It also of course means they put less of the other good greens in your juice!
– Take care of your teeth. Don’t brush your teeth directly after eating citrus fruit or other foods that leaves acid on the enamel. Again, I’m very surprised Berman who wrote the NY Times article wasn’t aware of this as it’s something dentists have been telling me all my life. Make it a habit of brushing your teeth before drinking or eating anything in the morning, not after. This especially goes for all you hot water with lemon juice when I wake up-people.
– Opt for cold-pressed. When you buy juices in super markets, airports etc., avoid the pasteurised versions if you can. Juice makers often pasteurise (i.e. bring to boil) the product to kill bacteria and extend the shelf-life. This may seem like an obvious one but you may be surprised by how many brands pasteurise their juices.
– Drinking green juice on an empty stomach or not? This one seems to be debatable. Some people say that drinking juices on an empty stomach makes you absorb the nutrients better whilst some claim it’s the opposite way. Any nutritionists reading this please share your views!
– Chew your juice. When you chew your body creates enzymes in the saliva which are needed for optimal digestion. It can be hard to remember to do this every time but a trick is to add something chewable, like for ex. hemp seeds, to your juices (and smoothies too for that matter!). If you are putting kale, spinach or anything that is extra hard to digest it’s even more important to chew your juice.