When you juice your fruits and vegetables, are you getting the optimal nutrition possible from your efforts? As a Toronto naturopath, it is important to me that my patients are juicing correctly so they don’t accidentally aggravate existing health conditions by accidentally introducing pesticides from industrial-agricultural practices or accidentally raise blood sugar levels by juicing high glycemic fruits. To know whether or not juicing is a good option for you, consult with a dietician or naturopathic doctor at Pinewood first.
12 Tips From A Toronto Naturopath on Juicing
It’s simple to make fresh juices. All you really need is high quality produce and a good juicer. To get the best results and make the healthiest and most delicious juice possible there are some tips that you should keep in mind.
- Whenever you can use organically grown, unsprayed produce to create the purest juice possible. This is because almost all of the produce that you find in the supermarkets is sprayed with either a colouring agent or a pesticide of some kind. Look for a label on your fruit or vegetable that says that it is “Certified Organic.” If organic produce is not available in your area then it is a good idea to peel all of your produce before juicing it.
- Before juicing wash all produce well and cut out mouldy or bruised sections of the fruit or vegetables. The moulds and bacteria that are part of these bruises can cause severe physical symptoms in some people. To be safe don’t juice older fruits or vegetables and stay away from ones that have blemishes or bruises in the first place.
- Just because you are using organically grown produce does not mean it is sanitary. Much of this produce is grown in manure. To clean organic produce thoroughly so that you do not risk bacteria such as e coli it is a good idea to wash it with soap that is especially prepared for washing fruits and vegetables in the first place. You can buy produce soaps and washes at most organic grocery markets and online. You can also make your own solution for washing pesticides off of fruits and vegetables out of castile soap, which is also available at organic and natural grocery stores.
- You should never juice the skins of oranges and grapefruits because they contain a toxic substance that should not be consumed in large quantities. However when juicing citrus fruits it is a good idea to leave as much of the white thick pithy part of the peel on the fruit as possible as it contains valuable bioflavonoid and vitamin C. Tropical fruits such as kiwi, mango and papaya should also be peeled as these more exotic fruits are often grown in foreign countries where the use of carcinogenic sprays is still legal. The skins of lemons and limes however can be left on. If the fruit seems waxed (as is sometimes common with lemons and apples) then it is a good idea to peel the fruit completely before waxing it.
- The fruits and vegetables that are most likely to contain pesticides are apples, pears, avocados, peaches, pineapples, bell peppers, parsnips, turnips, cucumber and tomatoes. You might also want to remove the outer leaves of lettuces, cabbages, kale, collards and other leafy vegetables in order to reduce the risk of juicing pesticides along with your nutrients into your juice glass.
- To avoid pesticides it is also a good idea to buy domestically grown fruit and buy it in season. Many of the imported foods tested by the government have far greater concentrations of pesticide residues. Foreign governments tend to be even more lax when it comes to pesticide control. Buying locally is also better for your local farming community.
- Beware of the perfect fruit or vegetable. The larger and more perfect the vegetable or fruit is the more likely it is to contain pesticides and chemicals that have been applied to enhance the produce’s cosmetic appearance. Often the smaller and less attractive a fruit is, the more natural it is likely to be.
- You must remove all the pits from fruits such as peaches, plums and avocados as they contain cyanide. They can also jam up the inside of your juicer. However most seeds such as lemon and lime seeds, melon seeds, watermelon seeds and grape seeds can be placed in a juicer along with the fruit. However make an exception for this when it comes to apple seeds as they contain small amounts of cyanide as well.
- When juicing produce don’t hesitate to use the entire vegetable or fruit. For instance don’t just juice the beets, juice the leaves and stem s well. The same goes for pineapples, lemons, limes, turnips and parsnips. The exception to this is carrot greens and rhubarb greens as both contain toxic substances.
- Your juicer will last longer if you slice the fruit or vegetable into smaller pieces before you put it into the hopper. Take the time to cut the produce up into chunks that are easy for your machine to accommodate.
- Before juicing wheatgrass, alfalfa sprouts and other smaller greens make sure you rinse them thoroughly in cold water. This prepares them to be masticated by the juicer and also helps clean them of any dirt or other residues from the farming process. Most fruits and vegetables have high water content and therefore are considered easy to juice. However there are some fruits and vegetables that are more difficult to juice because of their density and consistency. Two good examples are avocados and bananas. When using bananas and avocados in your recipes it is a good idea to juice all the fruits with a high water density first and then transfer the juice to the blender. You can then use the blender to mix the thicker paste from the avocado or the banana with the juices to create a healthy dairy free shake.
- Purists say that you should juice vegetables together and fruits together but that you should never juice both fruits and vegetables together. This comes from an old food-combining concept that says fruits are for cleansing and that vegetables are for body building. In this modern day and age there is no reason why you can’t accomplish both at the same time. For instance carrot and apple juice is a very popular modern juicing combination as is apple and celery, pineapple and wheatgrass and strawberry and avocado. In fact avocados often make nice substitutes in health juicing recipes if a banana is not available.
For more information about weight loss care in Toronto, naturopathic testing or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at email@example.com and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.