Today’s post was first published in April but I’m sharing it again as I get a lot of people ask me about juicing for crohn’s disease (and UC, IBS and any other gut issue). It’s something that has made a HUGE difference to me, so I’d urge you to give it a go if you are struggling with any kind of auto-immune or inflammatory condition.
Nowadays, you can’t pick up a magazine or surf online without someone proclaiming that juicing saved their life. I’d always previously dismissed it as a bit of a fad (along with the 5:2 diet, Atkins, the cayenne pepper fast… The list goes on and on!) However, since my recent health problems, the idea of juicing for crohn’s is something I did a lot of a research into. It started as an occasional juice and quickly escalated into 1-2 juices a day! While I am not claiming it was ‘life changing’ it has made a real difference to be health and just general well being so I thought I’d share some tips with you today.
TIP ONE: Know the difference between a smoothie and a juice! A smoothie blends all the ingredients together by breaking it down into chunks. You are still eating all of the fibre along with the nutrients so it tastes a lot thicker than a juice. However, Juicing remove the fibre altogether so you’re just left with pure liquid nutrients.
That’s why juicing is so beneficial for people who have IBD or IBS(as fibre can be really tricky to digest). It is also beneficial for those with poor health as it allows the nutrients to have more of an impact as they are absorbed much quicker (the body isn’t wasting time breaking down the fibre, which is crucial if your system is overworked.) However if you are looking to boost your fibre intake, them incorporate a smoothie or two into your routine too.
TIP TWO: Juicing can be expensive! In china, it’s cheap. In England, it’s probably cheaper to go to McDonald’s than it is to make a juice! To combat this , pick fruit and veg that you can extract a lot of juice from and therefore can be the main base of your juices. Cost efficient fruit and veggies include…
My go to cheap and easy juice to begin is one apple, one carrot and a small (see tip 5!) piece of ginger. It makes loads of juice and saves faffing around first thing. If you’re just starting out juicing, don’t waste time on an expensive model. Amazon do a centrifigual juicer which is probably the cheapest on the market at £25. If you’re after a cold-pressed juicer (which take a bit longer but retain more of the nutrients, then this one is probably the cheapest at just under £50)
TIP THREE:. Certain veggies create very little juice. Use these sparingly in addition to the above items, otherwise it will take forever and will be extortionate! The below veggies are very difficult to get juice out of:
-Kale (I’ve read this can be done but I’ve never managed to extract any juice out of it!)
However, these are the kinds of things those with IBD, or IBS-D might avoid due to the high insoluble fibre content so it is worth adding these to a juice. The only way I can digest spinach is through juice!
TIP FOUR: Like apple juice? Good, because you’ll notice that whatever disgustingly healthy veggies you put into the juice, as long as you chuck an apple in to, that’s the way it will taste! Use this to your advantage and juice things you usually never eat. I absolutely despise peppers but when juicing them with an apple, I don’t even notice the taste. After a while though, try to cut down to 1/2 an apple and then 1/4 to avoid too much sugar.
TIP FIVE: Do not add more than a small piece of ginger. Otherwise it will BURN! (I’ve been there and its not fun!) However, do add ginger to your juice as it’s a great inflammatory (BONUS TIP: Juice half an apple and a thumb sized piece of ginger and down it shot-style before your full juice. It will burn but in a ‘take that inflammation’ kind of way.
TIP SIX: Do some research into juicing for certain health conditions/benefits. I am turning into a bit of a health geek lately, so I love to read about the health benefits of certain veggies. For example, turmeric is an amazing good anti-Inflammatory (You can read more about this amazing spice here) so I’ve been chucking it in alongside a fruit juice in a bid to get my crohn’s under control. Cabbage is also a great gut healer. You can read more about the benefit of veggies here:
TIP SEVEN: Drink it immediately. The reason why it’s not as good to just buy shop bought juices, is that juices quickly lose their nutrients. So it’s best to drink straight away rather than store for later.
TIP EIGHT: Don’t worth about chopping and peeling. For juicing to be a part of your life, you need to create a quick routine. Nobody has time in the morning to chop and peel, so invest in a whole fruit juicer instead. There’s no need to do anything except simply chuck it in.
TIP NINE: Clean the juicer immediately. Once you’ve used the juicer, rinse it out straight away. If you leave the left over bits in the juicer, it will a) become much more difficult to wash b) turn rancid quickly and leave a smell that no amount of scrubbing will get rid of. I read this amazing tutorial on pinterest about what to do with your leftover veggie pulp, should you be of the ‘waste not want not’ variety.
TIP TEN! Experiment! Although I started off pretty safe, anything goes when it comes to juicing! A good place to start are recipe books by Jason Vale who has written many books on the topic of juicing. Of course, there is plenty of stuff online too. Below are some of my favorite concoctions! Of course, I post plenty of my fave recipes on Pinterest, so don’t forget to follow along there too!
Is juicing something you’ve ever tried before? How did you find it? If you have any tips or questions, please post below!