Getting juiced

THE term “getting juiced” or juicing up” is bodybuilding slang for using anabolic steroids to build muscle mass, enhance athletic performance, or both. But, this rather unhealthy practice, which research has shown causes far more negative effects that greatly outweigh its benefits, is not the subject of today’s column.

We will focus instead on the healthy kind of juicing that provides our bodies with an endless array of health benefits. 

As a final note on anabolic steroids, they are illegal in most countries.  It’s best to stay away from them.

I have recently rediscovered the joy of juicing fresh vegetables and taking them every morning to jump-start my day.  While I have practiced this for quite sometime a few years ago, I backslid somewhere along the way and strayed from the green, enzymatic path.

Fortunately I got back into the habit a few weeks ago and am beginning to once again reap its benefits.

A typical juice blend would consist of a handful of broccoli flowers, one large carrot, half a cup of parsely, one whole cucumber, a celery stalk and one whole apple.  Essentially I try to add a bit of fruit such as apples or oranges to make the concoction more palatable.  I also mix and match other veggies and herbs such as onions, a bit of garlic, turnips, basil leaves and even bitter melon (ampalaya), among others.

It goes without saying that juicing vegetables provides our bodies with loads of vitamins and nutrients.  Not to mention live enzymes that are quickly absorbed by the body.  A lot is lost when vegetables are cooked over high heat. Thus, our bodies are not able to realize the full benefits of taking them in.

Through juicing, our body is able to take in larger amounts of nutrients, as we would be hard pressed to consume several pieces of raw vegetables.    

Drinking fresh vegetable juice allows our bodies to immediately absorb all the good stuff, which helps boost our immune system, gives us more energy, nourishes our cells, and creates an environment which makes it difficult for various sickness causing virus and bacteria to thrive. 

Personally, I have felt more energetic, my skin has looked better and I feel stronger during workouts

For those who may not find pure vegetable juice to be that palatable, it is best to put in some fruit to improve the taste.  Apples, oranges and honeydew are good taste enhancers to name a few.  But avoid excess fruit juice as these may contain too much sugar.

If you are now sold on the idea of juicing fresh veggies daily, and wish to begin juicing your way to superior health, here are a few tips.  Make sure to get a decent quality juicer.  A good indication of this would be that the remnants of the juiced vegetable must not be that wet, the dryer the better.

Likewise, make sure to thoroughly clean the vegetables and fruits before putting through the juicer.  Organic produce is best but may not be too practical given steeper costs and accessibility.  Better do some research on the benefits of specific vegetables and don’t be afraid to mix and match various produce to address nutritional deficiencies if any.  Do not worry about the taste, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Juicing fresh vegetables on a daily basis will be a perfect complement to that healthy and active lifestyle.  Waste no time and go for it. 

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