Importance of Probiotic Supplements

How Can These “Good Bugs” Help You Look and Feel Younger?

What Are Probiotics?

Do you often feel gassy and bloated? Maybe your immune system isn’t as great as it used to be.

It could simply be that the good bacteria in your GI tract is out of balance. Probiotics are living micro-organisms that live in your gut and help your body in many different ways.

They’re “good” bacteria, viruses and yeasts that, when added to your diet, help you fight off “bad” viruses, bacteria and other bugs that can make you sick. There are thousands of different forms of these micro-organisms in your digestive tract that aid in digestion and fight off illness. When you don’t have enough of them, your system is out of kilter and can’t function properly.

Where Do Probiotics Come From?

Though there are some vegetables that naturally contain probiotics, most are the product of fermentation and can be found in raw dairy products such as buttermilk and yogurt, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and even some beers and commercial juices.

The thing is, heating kills many of these good bugs so if the food or juice is pasteurized you may not benefit from the probiotics that they originally contained. Because of this, supplementation may be a better source of probiotics.

Do You Need Probiotics?

In a nutshell, the answer is yes. Everybody can benefit from probiotics. As we age, our gastro-intestinal tract may not function as well as it did when we were younger, so adding these good bugs in is a great way to stay healthy.

Many medications such as antibiotics also kill off the good micro-organisms as well as the bad when you take them. If you’re on these types of medications, it’s particularly important that you supplement with extra probiotics in order to maintain digestive health and avoid such problems as yeast infections.

Illnesses such as the flu and respiratory infections can also kill off the good bacteria in your gut. Symptoms of a digestive imbalance include bloating and excess gas so if you experience this on a regular basis, you should probably consider supplementing with probiotics.

Because many disease-fighting micro-organisms live in your gut, your immune system can be compromised as well as your digestive system if you don’t have enough of these good bugs.

What Else Do Probiotics Do?

It’s a known fact that probiotics aid in digestion and keep your immune system strong but there is also research being done that’s evaluating the effect of probiotics on other maladies such as tooth decay, skin conditions, ulcers and other conditions that we frequently have to deal with as we get older.

The verdict is still out on the research, but what’s been done is promising. The bottom line of it is that probiotics are harmless, inexpensive, and easily obtainable either via food sources or via pills or powders that can be added to juice or water.

Our Top Picks

  1. Primal Defense is an awesome probiotic supplement that would be an excellent addition to your arsenal. It contains more than 13 species of beneficial cultures and is completely vegetarian.
  2. Align Digestive Care Probiotic makes our list too, because it’s the #1 Gastroenterologist-recommended probiotic and it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

    Now that you have all of the info needed to build a mega-anti-aging supplement routine, don’t wait – the sooner you start, the healthier you’ll be!

Have you been taking probiotics? If so, let us know how they’re working for you in the comments section below. We’d love to hear what kind you take and what you’re results have been.

Previous: Natural Coenzyme Q10 Supplements


Benefits of Antioxidant Supplements

Are Free Radicals Destroying Your Looks and Making You Sick?

Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? If so, maybe you need to give your system a boost.

In our quest for the ultimate anti-aging tool, we tend to look for the most complicated, scientifically-formulated creams, pills and procedures available while overlooking simple little things that can make a huge difference. I’m talking about antioxidants: free-radical fighting, anti-aging machines that are found in many different foods and are also available in the form of supplements.

What Do Antioxidants Do?

In order to understand exactly what it is that antioxidants do, we must first discuss what a free radical is and what it does to your body. Let’s take a trip back to high school chemistry and talk about protons and electrons. Protons are the positively-charged molecules in the center of an atom, and electrons are the negatively-charged molecules that surround the protons.

These electrons must exist in pairs and when they do, the atom is stable. If, however, an atom becomes weak and splits or loses an electron, then it becomes unstable and seeks to either bind with another atom or steal an electron in order to regain it’s stability.

When the atom steals an electron, it’s called oxidation. Once it starts, oxidation snowballs if left unchecked and will cause wrinkles, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and a host of other illnesses.

Some free radicals are produced during respiration and your body actually needs a certain amount of them to neutralize bacterias and other bugs that would attack your immune system. However, it’s very easy for them to grow beyond the needs of your body. Enter antioxidants. These awesome little scavengers bind with free radicals and stop the oxidation process in its tracks.

Antioxidant-Rich Ingredients to Watch For

There are several foods that can be found in antioxidant supplements that are chock full of antioxidants. Many of these foods have other amazing health benefits as well, so be sure to choose a supplement that contains them. Some of the best ingredients include:

  • Acai Berry – originally found in Brazil, the acai berry has recently gained popularity for the positive impact it has on several aspects of health.
  • Noni – traditionally used topically to treat skin conditions and arthritis, juice from the noni fruit and leaves is consumed for its antioxidant properties as well as to treat cancer, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
  • Pomegranate – high in three different types of antioxidants as well as potassium and fiber, pomegranates are truly a super food.
  • Green Tea – used since ancient times for its medicinal properties, green tea has been scientifically proven to fight cancer, lower bad cholesterol, and reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. High in the antioxidant ECGC, you can either drink green tea or take it in pill form.
  • Resveratrol – discovered as the answer to the French Paradox (for years, researchers couldn’t figure out why the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans despite a diet higher in fat), the resveratrol found in red wine is a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant.
  • Berries – Supercharged with antioxidant power, berries are found in many probiotic supplements because there’s actual science to back it up.

Our Top Picks

We’ve chosen a couple of really good antioxidant supplements for you:

  1. Biotivia’s Bio Quench Super Antioxidant makes our list because it contains several of the ingredients that we’ve listed in this article as well as several others. With seven different antioxidants, it’s a real deal!

  2. Fruit Juice Extreem also gets our huge nod because it contains everything that we’ve mentioned in this article. If you’re looking for the bomb in antioxidants, This is it!

Now that you know what to look for in an antioxidant, let’s move on. By the time you finish reading the next section you’ll know how to boost your energy and reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases.

If you’ve been taking antioxidants, we’d love to hear your feedback. Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

Next → Natural Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

Previous: Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil


Top 5 Must-Have Anti-Aging Supplements

Does Your Supplement Regimen Stack Up?

Are you tired of trying to figure out which supplements you need to take in order to feel great, look awesome and have all of your old energy back? Well you’re not alone. For every ache, pain and beauty need, there’s a pill or a powder that swears to cure it.

The problem arises when you try to decide exactly which supplements are right for you. We here at Aging Arsenal have taken the time to break it down for you into the five must-haves that are actually useful to you in your personal war on anti-aging.

Vitamins

If you’re like me, you probably don’t eat enough of the right foods. If not, you’re not giving you body the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to fight off diseases, destroy free radicals and keep you healthy in general. By the end of our article, Anti-Aging Vitamins and Minerals, you’ll know what ingredients you absolutely must have in your multivitamin.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the warriors in your anti-aging regimen. They destroy free radicals that cause damage at the cellular level that can lead to everything from wrinkles to cancer. Though many foods are rich in antioxidants, most people don’t eat the right foods on a daily basis. If you truly want to fight the signs of aging, you have to have them! By the time you finish reading Benefits of Antioxidant Foods and Supplements, you’ll know exactly what to look for in an antioxidant supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is the worker bee of your supplement regimen. Would you like to have more energy, look fabulous, and fight off cancer and other deadly diseases? If so, you’ve gottta read our article on Coenzyme Q10 to learn more about why it’s vital to incorporate this supplement into your anti-aging routine.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish Oil

For centuries, people who consume diets high in fish and fresh vegetables have experienced great health and amazing longevity and now you can be just like them. Over the last several decades, researchers have discovered that the oils found in fatty fish have some pretty incredible health benefits that are available to everybody. They range from shiny hair to better joint health, and everything in between.

You’ll discover why you absolutely have to use fish oil and will get some great suggestions about which kind is best for you in our article Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil.

Probiotics

Are you bloated, gassy, lackluster and/or frequently sick? You may be low on probiotics. These “good bugs” live in your digestive tract and are necessary for not only breaking down food into usable forms but also for good immune health. You’ll discover why these live micro-organisms are an integral part of your supplement regimen by reading our article, The Importance of Probiotic Supplements.

By the end of this series, you’re going to know everything you need to know about what supplements to use in order to feel awesome again. Are you ready to get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about what ingredients you need to have in your multivitamin? Good – then check out our next article on vitamins and minerals.

If you’ve found an amazing supplement that we haven’t mentioned, please tell us about it in the comments section below!

Next → Anti-Aging Vitamins and Minerals

Anti-Aging Vitamins and Minerals

What Multivitamin Ingredients Should You Look For?

Choosing the right multivitamin is an important part of your anti-aging routine because it’s the foundation of your regimen. Did you know that people who add a multivitamin to their daily routine are up to 40% less likely to develop several different kinds of diseases, including cancer?

You’ll be building your entire supplement plan around what your multivitamin doesn’t provide, so choose carefully. By the end of this article, you’ll know about the must-have vitamins and minerals as well as how each one of them works with the other.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Everybody knows that your bones need calcium to stay strong, but there are other benefits to this mineral as well. Studies have shown that calcium promotes DNA repair and rejuvenation, which is linked to a reduced risk of cancer. The reason that you need to add the Vitamin D is because it promotes the absorption of calcium in your gut.

Potassium

One of the main ways that potassium helps with anti-aging is by helping your body retain calcium. Studies have shown that people who added potassium to their diets showed significantly less calcium loss in urine tests, and it follows that if you’re retaining your calcium, you run less chance of suffering from osteoporosis.

Potassium also works in conjunction with sodium to maintain your body’s water balance and blood pressure. In order for them to function well together, you should eat equal amounts of each.

The reason that it’s important to have potassium in your multivitamin is that you lose potassium from muscles during exercise, which results in muscle cramps and cardiovascular irregularities. People on diuretics may lose potassium as well.

Be careful that you don’t exceed the recommended daily allowance stated because too much potassium can be dangerous, especially for people with kidney disorders. Talk to your doctor about how much you should take to meet your needs.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and thus destroys free radicals in your body. It also prevents blood clots and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. New studies are suggesting that it may even help with cognitive maintenance because of its antioxidant properties.

Vitamin A

Beta carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, promotes healthy vision. Retinol, the active form of Vitamin A that comes from animal sources, is an antioxidant. Topical creams containing retinol reduce signs of wrinkles and skin damage by acting as an exfoliator.

Vitamin A also helps with dark circles under eyes and is necessary for bone health – it offsets the effects of osteoporosis. In addition, it boosts your immune system, but too much can CAUSE brittle bones and osteoporosis so you need to talk to your doctor about how much you should take and how you should get it.

B Vitamins

The B-vitamin complex is a group of vitamins that have multiple functions within your body. They are necessary for survival and deficient levels of certain B vitamins have been linked to numerous diseases and illnesses. There are 8 vitamins in the complex including:

  • B1 – Thiamin
  • B2 – Riboflavin
  • B3 – Niacin
  • B5 – Pantothenic Acid
  • B6 – Pyridoxine, Pyridoxyl
  • B7 – Biotin
  • B9 – Folic Acid
  • B12

B Vitamins help regulate your metabolism, promote cell growth and division, maintain muscle health and reduce your odds of getting pancreatic cancer. Following are some more benefits of specific B vitamins.

Niacin

Niacin helps the skin retain moisture. As a matter of fact, dry skin may be a sign of niacin deficiency. It also acts as an exfoliant by helping your skin shed dead cells.

Niacin raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol, thereby reducing your chances of atherosclerosis and it plays a huge role in converting food to energy. About 1/4 of all adults don’t get enough niacin.

B12 and Folic Acid

These two vitamins work together to keep the nervous system healthy. B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products and is extremely difficult for the body to extract. Many people, particularly elderly people, can’t extract enough from foods alone and should thus supplement.

Your body recycles up to 75% of B12 and it’s stored for long periods of time in the liver until it’s needed. It helps protect against alzheimers and there are currently studies that directly link the disease with B12 deficiency.

Studies are showing that B12 can actually reverse symptoms of mental decline in the elderly. Also, it helps repair damaged DNA and is proven to reduce the size of cancerous tumors in animals. B12 deficiencies have been linked to deafness, depression, glaucoma, and auto-immune diseases. Finally, B12 is involved with melatonin production.

Vitamin C

An antioxidant, Vitamin C boosts collagen production and, used topically, it protects skin against sun damage. Collagen is a connective tissue that helps heal wounds and keeps your skin supple.

Vitamin C helps to regenerate other antioxidants including vitamin E. Some studies are now suggesting that it helps protect against macular degeneration and cataracts and it reduces your odds of cardiovascular disease by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in your arteries.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps with under-eye dark circles by helping aid in the constriction of capillaries. The pools of blood that form when these tiny veins break contribute to the dark appearance. Vitamin K also helps bones maintain structural strength.

As you can see, your body needs vitamins and minerals in order to function properly and fight off disease and the signs of aging. Finding an amazing multivitamin is a crucial first step when you are building your own personal anti-aging arsenal.

Our Top Picks

We’ve found two great multivitamins for you. They are:

  1. Kirkland’s Signature Mature Multivitamin and Minerals with Lycopene and Lutein – we picked this one for you because in addition to all of the vitamins that we’ve discussed, it also has Lycopene and Lutein in it. Lycopene is awesome for helping you avoid several different kinds of cancer as well as diabetes, heart disease, macular degeneration and osteoporosis. Lutein helps you avoid several different eye diseases as well as heart disease. This multivitamin’s a real winner!

  2. Nature’s Way Alive! Multivitamin is also great. It made our top picks because in addition to every major vitamin and mineral that you need, it also contains enzymes, bioflavenoids and amino acids to help boost your immunity and help your digestion.

Regardless of which one of these multivitamins you choose to buy, make sure that you get one of them – it’s your first step to a healthier, more energetic life! Now, think about how nice and shiny your hair and nails used to be, and how easy it was to get out of bed in the morning. In our next article, you’ll find out how to get back to those times and also how to avoid deadly diseases like cancer!

If you’re on a good multivitamin, we’d love to hear about it. Tell us what it is, and why you think it’s awesome in our comments section below.

Next → Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil

Previous: Top 5 Must-Have Anti-Aging Supplements


Juicer Reviews and Tips

Get the Best Juicer for Your Money

Now that we’ve discussed the health benefits of juicing, we’re going to talk about some of the qualities that you need to look for in a juicer. Making your own juice is the best way to go whether you’re doing a cleanse, or just want to add a glass or two to your daily diet in order to reap the benefits of the nutrient-packed meal replacement.

Though a blender can be used in a pinch, it requires straining and extra work if you don’t want the pulp in your juice. Also, if you’re going to use a blender, it needs to be high-powered enough to manage hard produce, and you’ll need to add water. If, however, you’re like me and don’t like pulp, a juicer is the best and most convenient option.

Prices for juicers range from under $50 to $1000 and up but you can get one for basic daily needs that fall in the lower ranges. If you’re going with a blender, don’t waste your money on the cheap ones; they probably won’t be powerful enough to juice harder produce.

Following are some things to keep in mind when you’re buying your juicer or blender:

What type of juicer is it? The best juicer for general juicing needs is a masticating juicer. It works by first grinding the produce, then “chewing” the pulp, and finally pressing the masticated pulp to release the juice. All of the machines reviewed below are masticating juicers.

How noisy is it? If you’re trying to make juice on your way out the door in the morning, you don’t want to wake up the entire household doing it.

What kind of produce are you going to be juicing? If you’re going to be juicing mostly soft stuff without the pits, you can get by with a less powerful machine than if you’re going to be juicing whole fruits and vegetables with pits, seeds and skins or hard produce such as ginger.

How much heat does the machine produce? Remember that heating the juice to more than 118F kills the beneficial enzymes and other nutrients in the juice so you don’t want a juicer that produces much heat. Centrifugal machines tend to create heat, so you may want to avoid them.

How easy is the machine to clean? You want a juicer that’s not going to require 2 hours and a degree in rocket science to tear down and clean. Since you need to clean it every time that you use it, you don’t want to spend a ton of time on cleanup. Look for ones with easily-removable parts that you can just pop out, wash, and air dry in a few minutes or less. If you’re spending too much time doing this part, juicing will become a chore and you won’t be as likely to stick to your new, healthy habit.

Best Juicers and Blenders for Your Price Range

Under $50:
Black & Decker JE2200B Vegetable Extractor

400-watt juicer that’s good for both fruits and veggies. For around $30, it’s a good place to start if you’re not sure that juicing is for you.

Pros: Quiet, cup is marked with measurements so you know how much juice you’re getting. Works well on both fruits and vegetables, cleans up easily. Minimal waste.

Cons: Hopper is a little small and the juicer will jam if you try to shove too much through it at once. People who cut the produce into smaller chunks and fed it through slowly reported that the machine worked wonderfully for the price.

Under $100
Hamilton Beach’s Big Mouth Juice Extractor

At around $65, this machine is probably the best deal for the money if you’re going to be juicing a wide variety of produce.

Pros: Not too noisy, juices even the toughest produce including ginger, has a wide opening and will juice whole produce, large pulp container, 1-year warranty. Zero waste in firmer produce. Fine screen so juice is smooth.

Cons: Is a bit challenging to clean, but most reported that it wasn’t too bad after a little practice. Softer produce has a bit of waste in the pulp.

Under $150
Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain

Still affordable, this juicer also got rave reviews and will be well worth the few extra dollars if you’re serious about juicing.

Pros: Quiet for its size, has a large enough hopper to juice whole carrots and even small apples, will juice even the hardest produce with ease, cleanup is a snap.

Cons: It’s a little big. Because it’s so powerful, it will shoot produce out the top of the hopper if you don’t use the lid.

Under $200
Oklife OKL6063 9 Speed Stainless Steel Juice Extractor

9 speeds guarantees that you can control the juicing process and can set it to the best speed for the job and at $175, it’s still not terribly expensive.

Pros: Extracts most of the juice and is easy to clean up. Good for all types of produce. Has its own juice cup and pulp bin. Easy to clean.

Cons:A little noisy.

Under $250
Kuvings Multi-Purpose Masticating Juicer

This juicer runs about $220 and has rave reviews.

Pros: Quiet, easy cleanup, very little waste, juices even firm produce, juices fairly quickly with very little effort so that you can make larger quantities of juice faster.

Cons: A little pricey.

Primo Blenders That Will Get The Job Done
Vita-Mix 1320 Professional Series, Platinum

This one runs about $500 but since you’re getting an amazing blender that can do much more than just make fruit and veggie smoothies, it’s a good investment.

Pros: High-powered enough to blend all produce, has a whopping 7-year warranty, easy cleanup for a blender, variable speed

Cons: Heavy because of the motor size, a bit large, a little noisy

This blender is the top choice of many American chefs because it’s got the muscle to get any job done. If you’ve got the counter or cabinet space, go for it!

If you’ve tried any of these juicers or have one that you’d like to tell us about, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Previous: Healthy Juice Recipes for Beginners


Healthy Juice Recipes For Beginners

How to Make Delicious, Nutritious Juice

When you start making your own fresh juices, it’s sometimes hard to put together flavor profiles that are both healthy and great tasting. Remember that vegetable juice is an acquired taste and your first few experiments may result in something akin to the Mr. Yuk face. Don’t worry – even though it’s going to be a trial-and-error deal, there are a few tips that you can follow to salvage even the strangest flavor profiles.

Let’s begin by talking about some spices that you can add to your juice that will enhance not only the flavor, but also the nutritional value.

Ginger

Long used as an herbal treatment for migraines, arthritis, nausea, PMS, high blood pressure, colds and many other illnesses, fresh ginger has a unique, spicy flavor that adds some zing to your juice.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another ancient spice that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In addition to tasting great, cinnamon is often used to treat high cholesterol, yeast infections, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. It’s a great natural preservative that fights the E. coli virus in juices and inhibits bacterial growth. Rich in manganese, calcium and iron, adding ¼ or ½ tsp of cinnamon to your juice will give it a spicy, exotic flavor as well as a nutritional boost!

Cayenne

The capsaisin in peppers is useful for heart health, pain relief, cancer treatment and prevention, and healing digestive issues such as ulcers. Cayenne adds an incredible flavor boost to vegetable juices and is recommended by many pro juicers in as large a dose as you can tolerate, so go ahead – dash away! Cayenne juice is, of course, better than powder.

Let’s Get Down to Juicing!

Now that you have a few spice options, let’s talk about the juice! Starting out, you may want to use familiar, pleasant-tasting juices as a base for your cleanse. Carrot juice is by far the best choice and apples or sweet potatoes are recommended if you’re looking to sweeten it up.

Cucumbers, fresh mint, cherries, zested lemons, garlic (which has its own set of amazing health and anti-aging benefits) and parsley all add a nice, light, refreshing flavor to your juice as well. If you’ve ended up with one of the “yuk” juices discussed above, try throwing one or more of these flavors into it – chances are good that you’ll find it much more palatable!

Healthy Green Juice Recipes

Recipe 1

  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2 stalks celery

Recipe 2

  • ½ bunch spinach
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 oz tub alfalfa sprouts

Recipe 3

  • 3 carrots
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 bunch broccoli
  • ½ sweet potato
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

Recipe 4

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 beet
  • ¼ head of cabbage
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

Recipe 5

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 pepper
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

Breakfast Juices

Recipe 1

  • 1 inch slice of ginger
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 apple (seeds removed)
  • 1 lemon

Recipe 2 (similar to V8)

  • 7 tomatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ½ bunch parsley

Recipe 3

  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots
  • wedge of ginger
  • 1 lemon

Recipe 4

Because it’s high in sugar, this one’s best to use as a treat or for breakfast. It’s extremely high in antioxidants!

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup black cherries
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe 5

  • 1 apple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 2 carrots (optional but delicious!)

These 10 recipes are just a starting point. Your options are limited only by your imagination and what your tastes buds tell you is right. Remember – wash your produce thoroughly, peel it if it’s not organic, choose fresh, ripe produce with deep, rich colors, and experiment til your heart’s content and your body is healthy!

Now you know why juicing is great for you, and you have some fabulous recipes, so let’s talk about which juicer may be right for you. There are a jaw-dropping array and choosing the right one for your needs requires a bit more information that what you may already have.

For more healthy, delicious recipes, check out these books: The Big Book of Juices, The Everything Juicing Book and Complete Book of Juicing: Your Guide to Youthful Vitality.

Do you have some juice recipes that you absolutely love? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!

Next → Juicer Reviews and Tips

Previous: Side Effects of Juicing


Side Effects of Juicing

Adverse Reactions are Only Temporary

Because your body is ridding itself of accumulated wastes and toxins, you may temporarily experience some unpleasant side effects of juicing during the first few days, especially if you’re replacing more than one meal with juice. Don’t worry – this is completely normal. The good things that you will begin to experience will far outweigh these temporary side effects, so stick with it. Following are some things to expect:

  • A drop in energy for the first day or two may be expected because the sugar levels in your blood will be lower since you’re not consuming all of the carbs that your body is probably used to. Also, since you’re drinking pure juice, the sugars that you ARE getting are rapidly absorbed. This may cause your energy levels to fluctuate and is why juicing may not be a good idea if you’re diabetic.

  • You may experience headaches, especially if you’re used to consuming caffeine and sugar on a regular basis. Just remember – a headache isn’t caused by the orange-carrot juice that you had for breakfast. It’s caused by the fact that your body is craving the bad stuff that it’s used to!

  • Nausea or vomiting may occur because your body isn’t used to such high doses of nutrients without the accompanying fiber and protein. This may also be another withdrawal side effect or it may be a reaction to herbs or spices that you add. It can also be caused by the sheer concentration of some of the juices. To minimize your risk, drink the juice diluted with pure water.

  • Bad breath, acne and/or body odor may occur because your body is flushing out waste and toxins and two of the ways that your body does this is through your skin and through the exhalation process. These side effects should disappear within a few days.

  • You may experience constipation or diarrhea. The constipation may be caused by the sudden lack of fiber and many juice experts recommend adding a natural herbal laxative to your regimen while you’re juicing. Conversely, diarrhea may occur because you’re not eating as much solid foods and your digestive tract is being cleansed. If you experience more than temporary diarrhea for a day, you may want to add some fiber back into your diet because you can become dehydrated.

If any of these side effects linger for more than the first few days, or if they are severe, you should stop juicing and talk to your doctor.

Don’t Give Up!

After the detoxification process is well underway, these side effects will fade and you’ll start to feel invigorated. Your energy will increase, your skin will start to glow and your mental clarity may improve. You may find that aches and pains decrease or go away completely and many digestive problems may disappear.

Though there may temporary side effects to juicing, most people feel that the health benefits far outweigh a bit of initial discomfort. It’s important to remember that the reason that you’re feeling bad isn’t because you’re drinking the juice but because your body isn’t getting all of the garbage that it’s used to. Since it’s also adjusting to an influx of nutrients and has the extra energy to “clean house,” it’s no wonder that you may feel badly in the beginning. Stick with it and don’t give up!

Now that you know why and how to juice, and what the side effects of juicing may be, let’s talk about some good recipes to use. You’re going to be surprised at some of the stuff that you can add to really rev up the effectiveness of your juice fast! Check out Healthy Juice Recipes for Beginners to learn more.

If you’re a juicer and would like to add anything about side effects or what to expect during a clease, please feel free to share with our readers in the comments section below.

Next → Healthy Juice Recipes for Beginners

Previous: How to Add Juicing to Your Diet


How to Add Juicing to Your Diet

Juicing Tips for Beginners

Now that you know WHY juicing is good for you, let’s talk about how to do it properly. As with all diets, you need to be sensible. This means that if you are doing a fast or cleanse, you need to take in enough calories for your body to function properly, and that you shouldn’t feel hungry constantly.

If you’re actually juice fasting (cleansing), it takes at least two days for your body to clear all of your solid food from your body, so you need to juice for at least that long. Longer than 7 days can cause your body to start breaking down muscle because you need proteins and omega-3s that you can’t get from vegetables and fruits, so 3-5 days is the optimal period for a cleanse.

Whether your doing a cleanse, or just adding juice to your daily diet, here are a few general suggestions that will improve your experience.

  1. If you’re diabetic or suffer from other health disorders that require a special diet, juice with caution and talk to your doctor before you start the fast.

  2. Use fresh, organic foods when possible in order to avoid the pesticides and chemicals on the skins of non-organic fruits and veggies. If you don’t use organic produce, peel your foods before you juice them. Expect to get about 8 ounces of juice per pound of produce.

  3. Use fruits sparingly. If you need to add them to your juice for the flavor, that’s OK but try to use mostly veggies because they’re much lower in sugar and higher in nutrients. Since you’re not getting any fiber to slow down the conversion of sugar to glycogen, you may experience spikes in your insulin levels which may cause your energy levels to crash.

  4. It’s a good idea to dilute your juice with 50 percent water. If you don’t like the diluted taste, drinking a glass of water before you drink your juice will be fine. Your body needs the extra water so that your kidneys can flush all of the toxins and waste from your body.

  5. If you’re fasting, adding herbal teas is fine. Just don’t add anything that has added caffeine, sugar, sodium or artificial sweeteners.

  6. Make your own fresh juice. Store-bought juices have been pasteurized, which means that they have been heated to kill any germs and other organic contaminants. Heating above 118 degrees kills the beneficial enzymes in the juice.

  7. The Mayo Clinic says that in order to minimize your risk of foodborne illness, you need to wash your produce thoroughly and make sure that you drink the juice immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container. Another reason you should drink it immediately is that the phytonutrients, enzymes and antioxidants start to break down quickly after they are extracted from the pulp.

  8. In the 2 weeks preceding a juice fast, slowly eliminate caffeine, dairy products and meat from your diet. This will make your fast less traumatizing to your body and will better prepare your body for the cleanse.

  9. Drink at least a gallon of juice per day in order to reap the best benefits if you choose to juice fast. You should never feel hungry or thirsty while juicing. If you do, drink juice!

  10. Use as many green vegetables as you can. They are alkalizing and help your body maintain the appropriate pH levels without needing to expend the regular amount of energy to do so. This frees up even more energy for healing and feeling great!

  11. Clean your juicer thoroughly every time that you use it. Fresh fruits and vegetables are particularly attractive to bacteria that can make you sick.

Because you’re detoxifying your body, you may experience some minor side effects during the first few days of your juice cleanse. To learn what to expect, check out the next article in our series, Side Effects of Juicing.

We’d love to hear about your juicing experience! If you have any good tips to offer, please share them in the comments section below.

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Previous: Juicing for Anti-Aging


Juicing for Anti-Aging

How Juicing Benefits Your Health and Skin

One of the latest trends in both the dieting and natural health fields isn’t actually a trend at all. Though juicing has only recently become widely popular, people have been practicing it for decades.

So what exactly is it? What are the benefits of juicing, and how do you do it properly? Let’s take it one question at a time.

What is Juicing?

Juicing is exactly what it sounds like – you drink the juice of fruits and vegetables, extracted via a special juicer. Some people choose to juice fast or cleanse, which involves drinking only juice for a set duration of time, in order to kick-start a weight loss plan, cleanse the digestive tract, boost health and/or rid the body of toxins and disease.

Many people just like to add a glass or two of fresh juice to their daily diets. This is a great way to get your daily supply of fruits and vegetables without sitting down and eating them.

What are the Benefits of Juicing?

There’s no doubt about the health benefits of juicing whether you choose to fast or to simply add a glass into your daily diet. Though fiber is good for you, your body has to extract the nutrients from whole vegetables via the digestive process, and it only actually unlocks a small percentage of those nutrients.

When you extract and drink the pure juice, your body is able to use nearly 100 percent of all of the good nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants and enzymes that the fruit or vegetable has to offer. This is one of the main reasons that many people prefer juicers over blenders.

Extra Nutrients

Many people report a tremendous energy boost when juicing because your body uses about 30 percent of your daily energy just digesting food. When you’re juice fasting, or even just drinking a glass of juice, you’re not only absorbing the extra nutrients, but the digestion process is skipped. Your body uses the extra energy to heal and to cleanse itself.

The antioxidants in the juice help fight free radicals that cause diseases as well as wrinkles, dull skin, and other signs of aging. Other benefits include improved mental clarity, a feeling of lightness, and improved mood.

Detoxification

The average American consumes 1 serving of vegetables and less than 1 serving of fruit per day. Years of eating unhealthy, processed foods full of fat, sugar and excess protein coupled with living in an environment filled with toxins leave your body loaded with garbage.

The detoxification that takes place during a juice fast eliminates all of this clutter and floods your system with phytonutrients, enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients so that your body can function optimally and fight off illness and disease.

Fresh juices are simply amazing for you. Even if you don’t want to participate in an all-out cleanse, replacing one or more meals or snacks a day with pure, fresh juice is a great addition to your health and anti-aging routine. Even one glass per day will net you some of the same benefits as a cleanse.

Your health will be better, you’ll probably lose weight if you need to, and you’ll look and feel younger because of all of the phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins that you’ll be getting. To learn more about adding fresh juice to your health and anti-aging regimen, read our next article, How to Add Juicing to Your Diet.

We’d love to hear about your juicing experience in the comments section below!

Next → How to Add Juicing to Your Diet