Juicing: A Beginner’s Guide

New Year New Me. We have all been there; most of us have attempted some sort of New Year’s Resolution in order to break some old habits and become a better version of ourselves.

Often these fall under the health improvement category; whether it’s a new diet, join a gym, get back to that activity you gave up years ago, start going on runs; all seemingly geared towards shedding those extra pounds gained over the Christmas gorge on beer, wine, sweets and meat.

My previous year’s resolution was Yoga; probably the only resolution I have managed to incorporate totally into my day to day life.

Obviously, as a chiropractor, I have thoughts on the benefits of Yoga and how it can help with a healthy back, but this can be a blog post for another day.

This year’s resolution is to juice every day of January.

Why? Because my partner consistently reminds me of how irritating I am to cook for- but I cant help it. Celery doesn’t taste of anything, conversely beetroot tastes more like mud than actual mud itself. Tomatoes taste too acidic- you get the idea- I’m fussy with fruit and vegetables.

While being incredibly difficult (although I am certainly improving), I am becoming more and more aware of the specific health benefits I am removing from my diet by just being fussy.

Celery for example is 95% water so it is an incredibly easy way to hydrate yourself while also having an anti-inflammatory effect on your joints.

Beetroots juice has undergone a massive resurgence in the strength and conditioning industry, and for good reason. Acute supplementation of beetroot juice has been shown to increase cardiorespiratory endurance in runners across multiple distances (Dominguez et al. 2018), while also improving athletes 1 rep max on bench press (Williams et al. 2020).

Then we come to tomatoes, which may show some positive data for men’s health in particular. Due to its high content of lycopene (an antioxidant involved in prevention of prostatic growth), some data suggests that consuming just 2 portions of tomatoes a week is associated with a lower prostatic cancer risk (Rowels et al. 2018).

Aside from these specific benefits, juicing also offers an incredibly efficient way of hitting your fruit and veg goals for the day.

For example, a recipe I have found quite enjoyable is:
2 green apples’ 5 carrots, ½ inch of ginger and ½ a lemon. Makes enough for 2 glasses full, tastes really good, and there would have been no way I’d have eaten that amount of fruit and veg in one day otherwise.

For all these benefits there has to be a catch right?

Well, sort of! Firstly it is important to note that there is no increased benefit from juicing all these fruit and veg together over just eating them individually.

So if you are lucky enough to always hit your recommended fruit and veg intake by eating all these good foods, then keep it up!

However, if you are like me, then juicing might be a great place to start.

The main downside to juicing is the loss of fiber.

Fiber is an important nutrient for humans in the digestive process, and while fruit and veg have a high amounts of healthy fiber, this is lost in the juicing process. So, it is suggested you consume a juice as part of a meal to make sure you are getting the right amounts of fiber.

The second downside I have noticed, well, maybe not a downside, more of an inconvenience than anything- cleaning the juicer! Its big and awkward and has about 5 odd shaped parts which can be difficult to clean, but that’s a very small negative compared to the potential benefits.

So, to finish off on a personal note, I have found this a welcome addition to my yearly January detox. I find them tasty, and a cheap and easy way to increase my fruit and vegetable content which I will hopefully reap the rewards of further down the line. Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

Jason Cott