However, many people who want to experience green juice goodness for themselves actually make several critical mistakes! These can either prevent juice drinkers from getting the full benefits of the juice or make drinking it downright unpleasant. Read this list of green juice mistakes so you get the most out of your greens.
Green Juice Mistake N1. Drinking the processed juice /smoothie crap
Freshly extracted juices and pasturised bottled juices are NOT THE SAME. In fact, they are not even close.
Bottled juices may originate from the same source as fresh juices, but a lot happens to bottled juice before it appears in the shops. After the juice is squeezed out of the fruits or vegetables and before you pour it into your glass, most bottled juice has been heated and pasteurised. This process denatures the juice, killing off all its natural enzymes and massively reducing its vitamin and mineral content. Many juices will also have preservatives, colours and artificial and refined sugars added to them.
Research is coming out that sugar is very toxic to the human body. In fact when sugar is consumed it activates the brain in a similar way to cocaine. That’s right cocaine is bad and sugar is equally bad. If you look at any item in the supermarket besides fresh produce, you’ll find sugar as an ingredient. Be it corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, beet sugar etc. these are all toxic. Sugar contributes to obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and more.
Juice that comes straight out of your juicer is packed with live enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial to human health. Freshly made juices are alkalising and provide our bodies with a rapid intake of nutrients and intense hydration. If you are unable to make your green juice just before you want to drink them, don’t bother. Drink water and eat your greens.
P.S. Two of the biggest brands of bottled smoothies are owned by Coca-Cola (Innocent) and Pepsi (Naked)!
Green Juice Mistake N2. Using only kale and spinach
Believe it or not, there are more delicious leafy greens than spinach and kale. Too much of these greens causes a buildup of oxalic acid in your body, negatively affecting your thyroid and hormonal balance. By rotating the greens in your juice – make sure to include rocket, herbs like basil and other greens in addition to kale and spinach – you’ll give your body a balanced supply of vitamins and minerals. Adding Spirulina Powder is always good addition. Get some ideas here.
Green Juice Mistake N3. Using fruits and sweet vegetables
Juicing or blending provides a quick and easy way to get nature’s finest plant based nutrients, because these nutrients are extracted from the fibre that binds them. This makes the nutrients in freshly extracted juices highly bio-available and means they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream, providing your body with a rapid intake of of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. That’s the good news! The not so good news is that juicing can also expose your body to a large amount of sugar in the form of fructose (fruit sugar).
Even though natural sugar is much better for you than process sugars, it can still contribute to a belly. Just like the sugar found in candy, if you have too much sugar, your insulin levels will spike. Natural sugar can still cause cravings and weight gain just like the artificial stuff.
To avoid this, do not use any type of sugary fruit or vegetable (like pears, apples, carrots and watermelon) in your drink. By eliminating your fruits and sweet veggies in your green juice, you’ll avoid the problems of insulin spike mentioned above.
Green Juice Mistake N4. Drinking green juice with another meal
It’s very common to see green juices served with breakfast at raw food restaurants. Some people also advise to have them with a snack. Personally, I prefer drinking my green juice on an empty stomach just by itself. It’s best to keep a gap of at least 2 hours before and half hour after you’ve had your green juice. When you drink your juice in this way, your body more readily absorbed into your bloodstream and used by your body, and your digestive system also gets a break. There is also a chance of getting your stomach upset when you mix solids with green juice. Simply, your body will thank you for not doing so.
NOTE: If you want to drink juice before a meal, make sure you wait 20 minutes after drinking the juice before you eat something.
Green Juice Mistake N5. Mixing up a lot of juice in advance
Another common mistake people make is mixing up a lot of juice in advance. The reason this is such a big deal is that the enzymes in the juice begin to degrade immediately after the juice is exposed to air. This means if you want to get the maximum results from your juice, you should drink it immediately.
If you still want to make juice beforehand and drink it gradually, the best way to store it is to put the juice in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. Keeping a juice longer than 24 or 36 hours means you’re probably missing out on a lot of the benefits of juicing in the first place.
Green Juice Mistake N6. Treating green juice as a meal substitute
Another common mistake is to “live” on green juices. Unless you’re juice fasting for a detox for a specific period of time, say one week to 10 days, understand a glass of green juice is not a meal by itself. Consider it as a way to put additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your body, not to replace your regular meals.
A good way to think of green juice is to treat it like a health supplement. Consuming it 20 minutes before a meal will help maximize benefits of the juice. Not only will your body be optimized for mineral and nutrient absorption, the juice will also help reduce cravings you have for sweets, carbs and other bad stuff. The only exception to this rule is if you were on a juice fasting, drinking only juice all the time – then it’s okay to replace a meal with a glass of juice or smoothie.
Green Juice Mistake N7. Drinking to fast
Juices and smoothies are food and not meant to be poured straight down your throat. When you eat solid food the process of digestion starts in your mouth. As you chew, enzymes in your saliva get to work on the food to ensure nutrients are delivered to your cells. The same is true when juicing. I know this might sound a little strange but try to chew your juices before you swallow them. Moving the juice around your mouth will help it mix with your saliva and allow your digestive enzymes to start working so that your body can digest your juice faster.
Green Juice Mistake N8. Not listening to your body
As a new green juicer, you love to delve into all the new recipes you’re learning and try them out one by one (and sometimes all at once!). I get it. It’s very natural to feel excited because you’re making an awesome change to your lifestyle. Kudos to you for that! BUT – please remember that your body is speaking to you all the time. Listen to it. For example, when you start juicing, you might feel slight nausea because you’ve just had your green juice on its own without any food or other drinks. This is normal, so don’t panic. You may also get a headache. For both these situations, the best solution is to stay hydrated all the time. Drink lots of water, preferably filtered tap water.
To fix yourself from nausea, eat one or two slightly salted crackers and do this only when you feel the nausea otherwise avoid eating anything immediately after juicing. If the condition doesn’t improve, take a break from juicing and come back when you’re feeling healthy and better.