Saturday, October 22, 2011

Juice Or No Juice....The Big Question! by Robert D. Franklin

There was a “retreat” at a friend's house a few months back where a few of us spent some time together. When entertaining guests, I tend to ask everyone “Can I get anyone anything? Some food or a drink?”

One person replied, “Yes, I would love some juice please.”

I replied “Uhhhh....we don’t have any juice. But how about water or a tea?”

Without going through the entire conversation, my friend couldn’t believe there was no juice in the house. She also could not believe that my son does not drink juice and only drinks water.

She of the fitness plan I promote, but she admitted that she really didn’t believe that I completely lived my life that way until she saw it with her very own eyes.

Going back to the juice…

Juice is one of those drinks that many people perceive as healthy, especially when it’s labeled natural or organic and it says it is made from all natural ingredients. Let me clear this up right now…Juice is NOT part of a healthy eating plan unless you are freshly squeezing it right in your kitchen by your own hands or using a juicer.

“But I drink organic, natural, 100% juice with no sugar added. Isn't that fine?”

After reading significant amounts of labels of almost every juice container, juice box, and juice product, I found that they all came up the same…literally tons of SUGAR. Read the label clearly and you will see that every gram of carbohydrate contained in the juice directly comes from sugar.

“But all the carbs from fruit are from sugar too right?”

That's correct in saying fruits are almost entirely sugar (coming from fructose), but a whole fruit also contains plenty of fiber and vitamins that are lost when you make a juice, bottle it and store it for a time period.

“But my juice is fortified with calcium, Vitamin D and iron.”

When any food is “fortified” with a vitamin and/or a mineral, your body is smart enough to know that this is not the real version of the particular nutrient. So much so, that it will choose not to use it. Therefore, all of these fortified products are not giving you the vitamins and minerals you need. You must obtain these from natural sources like real fruits and vegetables.

If you’re a juice lover like many people are or have fallen for the “juice is healthy” trap, here are a few strategies to help you get your juice fix while also following a healthy eating plan.

1. You could buy a quality juicer and make your own juice. There are so many different delicious and nutritious juices you can make in a juicer that will give you a super boost of vitamins/minerals and super nutrition. One of my favorite is carrot, apple and ginger. Be careful on your intake. So, suggested portions would be a serving of 4 oz or less or mixing your 4 oz with some water. Also, I suggest juicing primarily vegetables and not as many fruits. This is a great way to get in some serious nutrition without having to eat vegetables all day long (great option for kids). You should also combine your fresh juice with a protein and healthy fat to keep your blood sugar balanced.

It is best to drink freshly made juice right away, as the longer it is stored, the more it will decline in nutrition. You can put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimal amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air will “oxidize” and damage the juice. Wrap the jar with aluminum foil to block out all light because light damages the juice.

2. You can even make a “tea juice“. The recipe is as follows:

5-6 bags caffeine-free herbal tea (e.g., peach, mint, chamomile, or fruit tea)

3 quarts boiling water

Stevia powder (or liquid) to taste

Pour water over tea bags in a large pot. Add stevia while tea is hot. (Adjust amount

according to the desired sweetness.)

Let the tea cool, remove tea bags, transfer tea to a serving pitcher or individual water bottles, and refrigerate.

Well, you might be asking yourself, "What did she serve her friend at the party?" Water, of course!

Now that you know why store bought juice is not good for you and how you can make your own healthy drink alternatives, you can learn more about these strategies by going to the website below.