What Is Juicing And What Are Phytonutrients?
Taylor and I have been learning a lot about juicing recently. I don’t think we are going to do it because Taylor is already vegan and I am practically vegan since I only eat yogurt, eggs, and sandwich meat when it comes to animal products.
However the idea of juicing is continuing to become more and more intriguing to me. I really like that you can consume nearly your days worth of fruits and veggies in one sitting with a great tasting juice.
On the other hand, I’m a little freaked out by it. Some of the juices I’ve tried in the past were not very good. And for some reason drinking fruit juice you just made is different than drinking it from a bottle… I guess it’s the lack of sugar
I wanted to start a little series of articles talking about juicing which I’ll put into a little report you can download. This is a great way to get my research done in order.
So What Do Fruits And Veggies Have That’s So Good?
It’s a natural plant chemical that plants produce to protect them from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. This is according to WebMD.
According to Wikipedia, they are the chemicals in plants that also give color and other properties like smells. There are approximately 10,000 different phytonutrients which can help with cancers, strokes, metabolic diseases and a lot more.
These phytonutrients are not essential to living however. They are like an added bonus that can protect and make our bodies stronger. The nutrients, vitamins and minerals you find in fruits and veggies are required for us to live though.
Can You Kill A Phytonutrient?
What a loaded question I just asked… but yes you can. Typically when you cook veggies or process the natural state of the plant in anyway, you will kill most of the phytonutrients.
This is why juicing is such a potent way to consumer your fruits and veggies. You keep them in a raw state, but just turn them from solids to liquids.
A quick side note before we look at some example of phytonutrients. When you juice a fruit and veggie you break down the fiber. Fiber is really good in your diet, but the advocates of juicing say that breaking down the fiber lets your body absorb more of the nutrients and phytonutrients in the juice.
This makes perfect sense because fiber will block absorption as it moves mass through your intestines faster.
Some examples of phytonutrients:
Carotenoids – These give the yellow, reds, and orange colors in fruits and veggies. They help kill free radicals in your body. They help produce vitamin A which helps strengthen your immune system, and you’ve heard that they are also good for eye health.
Lycopene – This is been very popular in the past gives the red and pink colors. Lycopene got all of it’s attention because it can help with prostate cancer.
Lutein and zeaxanthin – These phytonutrients can help with macular degeneration.
Ellagic Acid – Found in berries of all sorts. It helps to kill cancer cells as well as strength the liver to breakdown cancer causing chemicals.
There is much much more and we’ve only scratched the surface.
I am going to look more into juicing and see if we can find a good interview to put up on the blog as well.
There are some alternatives to juicing which we’ll talk about that allow you to get many of the same benefits. These are mainly supplements, but we’ll talk about them later.