Whether you’re new to juicing, or have been juicing for years, you might still make some of these common juicing mistakes. Thankfully, these mistakes are easy to fix, and will maximize the effects of your juicing experience!
First off, I will congratulate you for stepping on the juicing band wagon. There are numerous benefits of juicing, no matter any mistake you make. Juicing is better than not juicing at all, so you should give yourself a pat on the back for taking the next step on the path to health and wellness.
Here are 10 of the most common juicing mistakes you are probably making, and how to fix them!
1. Not rotating soft vs. hard ingredients
If you aren’t rotating your vegetables and fruit, then you will back-up your juicer, and it won’t work as effectively. I like to start with soft fruit and vegetables first (like oranges, cucumber, pears and soft leafy lettuces), and then work up to the more tough and fibrous vegetables like herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley), roots (carrots, beets), celery and hearty lettuces like kale and collards.
2. Adding too much sweet fruits
Juicing is great, but if you are trying to off-set the flavour of greens by adding too much fruit, then you may be spiking your blood sugar levels un-necessarily. Fruit on itself, when consumed with the fibre is totally fine, because the fibre helps slow the release of sugars into your blood stream over a period of time. When your juice is overly sweet, however, there is no fibre to help steadily supply the sugars to your cells, and this results in less sustained energy throughout the day.
You can still add a bit of fruit to your drinks, but don’t focus on fruit-heavy, instead, focus on herb and green-heavy!
3. Not adding lemon
Lemon is one of the best additions you can make to your juices! It adds flavour, and helps hide the green taste that so many people just can’t seem to get past. Adding lemon will also prevent your juice from oxidizing, so if you want to extend the shelf-life of your juice and reap all of the benefits, then add some lemon (especially if you let it sit for an hour or more, lemon (or other citrus) is a MUST!).
4. Not enough greens
Most people make juices but without enough greens. The main point of juicing is to infuse your cells with beneficial chlorophyll to help detox and cleanse the body. Chlorophyll helps to oxygenate the body, and has been found to help destroy cancer cells and cleanse out the lymphatic system.
It is okay to make juices without greens, but drinking green-less juices every single day kind of defeats the purpose of juicing. If you really want to mineralize your body, add plenty of herbs and leafy greens to your juice, as well as celery and cucumber!
5. Letting your juice sit for too long
If you don’t drink your juice immediately after juicing it, and you don’t add lemon (which helps slow the oxidation process), it will oxidize pretty quickly, meaning less beneficial antioxidants and less nutrition. Be sure to drink your juice within 15 minutes of juicing, or add a lemon to preserve the freshness a little longer. After 15 minutes, light and air destroy a large majority of nutrients, and antioxidants lose their potency.
If you are preparing the juice for later, find some dark-hued glass containers to store it in and put it in the fridge. It won’t be as fresh, but it will be much better than not drinking any juice at all.
6. You aren’t using a masticating (cold-press) juicer
A lot of the juicers on the market today are centrifugal juicers, or those that run at very high speeds and heat up quickly. The problem with these juicers is that they destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruit and vegetables. Instead, try looking for a masticating juicer (such as the Omega or Champion Juicers), which produce higher-quality juices by slowly squeezing out the juice from the plant fibre.
7. You’re eating food with the juice
The whole point of juicing is to quickly infuse your cells with vitamins, minerals, and crucial phytonutrients without any extra food in the stomach. When you drink juice on a full stomach, it reduces nutrient absorption and kind of defeats the purpose of juicing.
Try drinking your juices 20-30 minutes before a meal!
8. Too many pesticides, not enough organic
If your juice is made with mostly conventional produce, you can be rest assured that it contains a host of nasty pesticides and herbicides. This can often mean more pricey produce, but if you want to check out this shopping guide for the dirty dozen and clean fifteen, then you can easily make a juice that is low on chemical by-products, and not as harsh on your body to digest.
9. You’re not “chewing” your juice
You should never just gulp down a juice in 30 seconds. Why? Because our digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach. We need to chew our food (and our juice) for a good 30 seconds to help activate pre-digestive enzymes in the mouth to ready the food for our stomachs. Without doing so, you can create a recipe for bloating-disaster.
Mixing your saliva with your juice (swishing it in your mouth for 20-30 seconds before swallowing) will allow your body to better absorb nutrients in the juice. It might take a little bit getting used to (especially if you are getting used to the taste of juices, especially green juices), but in the end, your body will thank you for it!
10. You’re not rotating ingredients everyday
Making the same juice every day will mean that your body is getting the same nutrients every day. I remember reading that chimpanzees and other monkeys can rotate throughout 400 different kinds of greens in a year. That’s a lot of variety!
Variety in juicing is key to obtaining a variety of different vitamins and minerals. It will also ensure that you aren’t digesting the same natural toxins every day that are lethal in large doses. Don’t juice kale every day, but instead, juice spinach one day, arugula the next, romaine the day after and so on.