People ask me why we juice, all the time. Here is a brief summary on why we juice daily. Please know that we also eat mostly plant based so our meals are full of fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing is something we do once a day as a "kick-start".
The amount of nutrients in the fruits and vegetables is a huge reason why we juice first thing in the morning. It's an energy boost like no other. We think of it like a super vitamin. The fact that our bodies don't have to work on digesting/breaking down fiber and can focus solely on absorbing vitamins and minerals makes it a wonderful way to start the day (we still get more than enough fiber through the rest of our meals/snacks). Within 20 minutes we're all up, awake and focusing/thinking more clearly. Considering I have never been a morning person, and can now be up and moving by 6.30 with no caffeine, that is a miracle in itself. =)
When we have juice, we are having raw, uncooked/unheated, vegetables and fruits. This means none of the micronutrients have been destroyed. When the micronutrients have been destroyed, the composition, what the food is made up of, is completely changed. It becomes a different food. Juicing (and eating raw) ensures your body live enzymes, trace minerals, all the nutrients otherwise destroyed by cooking fruits/veggies. Again, we typically don't fill our bodies with the amount of raw fruits and veggies in one meal, or for most people, in a whole day, that we can put into one juice. Another thing, when we chew our foods, we don't fully break down the fiber enough for our bodies to absorb most/all the nutrients within the food. By juicing, our bodies are able to receive more of the nutrients/minerals/micronutrients as the fiber is already broken down.
Because we're starting the day off well, we tend to all eat better for the whole day because it's been started in such a great way. We all know if we start our day with donuts, we typically eat crap for the rest of the day...how you start your day has a direct correlation to how you eat the rest of the day.
Juicing is a new craze, and of course, there is no sound evidence on how beneficial it is (or detrimental for that matter). But, I see it like this, I'm starting my day with something so much better than a V8, a cup of tea, or a bowl of cereal. (We will have granola with almond milk or fruit on the side if we're hungry and not feeling satisfied from the juice, but they typically hold me off until 11am).
Health wise, there are many proven cases of those who have had very serious medical problems, and their lives are turned around..."cured" of their ailments, just from juicing (if doing it properly). The lifestyle change that it encourages (eating healthier) is enough to keep going. My family has been juicing for close to a year and a half. None of us have been sick in that time (*knock on wood). My sons asthma and allergies are gone, none existent at this point, I am no longer dependent on allergy meds, I no longer get migraines, my ovarian cysts have disappeared, my children's eczema is gone, my husband and I have lost weight, and we all feel amazing! Granted, we also switched to a plant based diet about 7 months ago, but between the two major lifestyle changes, our whole lives have changed. We're less stressed, more energetic, patient, happy, lighter...I could go on. Our daily beverages include juice (pure, fresh) and water. Nothing else. No soda, no milk, no store bought juice (of course we have treats - soda at a bbq/gathering/etc.)...all and all pretty amazing.
Another question I get is about the cost. Now, I can't break down the cost of just my juicing produce alone as I shop weekly for our meals as well as juicing items. But, for a family of 6, eating plant based meals, juicing every day, I spent less than $150 per week on groceries. Most weeks only $110-$120. It's not more expensive to live this lifestyle. When I stopped buying boxes, cans, processed, frozen, etc, my grocery bill went down substantially. It's about cooking real food and all the real food comes from the produce and grains/health aisles (did I mention my shopping time is cut in half because I only have two aisles to shop?).
I've challenged many friends to buy a juicer and just try it for a week. The worst thing that can happen, you don't like it and return the juicer. BUT, out of every person I've encouraged and supported, not one single one has returned it and all still juice regularly! =)
Check out my blog for some easy recipes (I will be updating soon as well). All are family friendly as I have four kiddos to feed as well. =)