Among the ways to alleviate tension, juicing is highly satisfying. Of all the types of homemade juice, cold-pressed is most vitalizing. Here’s how drinking freshly made juice shields you from stress.
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Personifying cortisol gives a vivid description of how this stress hormone works. In some ways, Captain Cortisol is your ally. He nudges you from sleep each morning, launching your day. When you sense danger, the Captain takes charge of the situation.
First, he gives you an 18-minute burst of energy. He figures this is enough time for reacting to a threat. Simultaneously, he raises your blood pressure and glucose level, so your muscles and lungs can better handle the challenge.
However, the Captain also shuts down your immune function. With suppressed defenses against germs, you’re more prone to illness. Additionally, he stops glucose and amino acids from entering cells.
In an emergency situation, the Captain shunts blood to your vital organs. With less blood available to your stomach and intestines, digestion slows. Reflux is also possible since the Captain churns out gastric acids.
If the Captain remains active for prolonged periods, he decreases calcium absorption and bone formation. He tells your body to retain sodium and fluids. He disrupts the production of thyroid hormones.
You do have a command center that tells Captain Cortisol when it’s safe to retreat – your brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland. However, the Captain stays on duty when you’re constantly battling stress.
Certain dietary substances rouse the Captain when he’d otherwise be resting. These include alcohol, caffeine, soda, and refined sugar. Other triggers are smoking, dehydration, and overexertion.
The nutrients in cold-pressed juice mellow the Captain, so he’s less reactive. Here are the agents that keep the Captain at ease.
You need all eight B vitamins for stamina, memory, concentration, thinking, immune strength, and emotional equilibrium. B1 and B6 balance cortisol levels. B vitamins also maintain nerve function, glucose metabolism, digestion, red blood cell production, healthy skin, and restful sleep.
Boost your Vitamin B intake by juicing asparagus, beets, carrots, collard greens, grapefruit, oranges, spinach, and watermelon.
This vitamin fends off viruses. In tense situations, it prevents blood pressure and cortisol from rising. Vitamin C also promotes a sunny outlook.
To steep your body in Vitamin C, juice bell peppers, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsley, tomatoes, and watermelon.
This mineral helps your muscles and nerves function properly. Magnesium releases serotonin, a calming hormone that facilitates sleep and satiety. Ample magnesium in your diet prevents cortisol release. Conversely, stress depletes this mineral. Symptoms of inadequate magnesium are confusion, edginess, and insomnia.
Stoke your body with magnesium by juicing carrots, kale, oranges, parsley, spinach, and tomatoes.
In many fruits and vegetables, the skin and underlying flesh are packed with nutrients. Here are some examples:
Apple – The skin contains quadruple the amount of Vitamin K than the flesh. You need Vitamin K to staunch bleeding and activate proteins for cellular growth and bone maintenance. When you discard the skin, you lose about 30 percent of an apple’s Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium. You also miss the benefit of quercetin, an antioxidant that protects your lungs and brain from cellular damage.
Carrot – The skin and flesh just beneath the root have the highest antioxidants.
Mango – Compounds in the skin burn fat. The peel also contains quercetin and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat the skin, and you’ll have a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Orange – Its peel has double the Vitamin C of the flesh. The rind is also higher in B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Flavonoids in the peel ward off cancer and inflammation.
Zucchini – The peel has extra potassium, Vitamin C, and antioxidants that aid vision.
Cold-pressed juice concentrates the nutrients in fresh produce. To make this type of juice, you need a gear-driven machine. Its mashing method preserves vitamins, enzymes, and minerals, ordinarily destroyed by pasteurization and commercial processing.
In stores and cafés, the cost of cold-pressed juice currently ranges from $9 to $13 for 16 ounces. Organic produce can account for higher prices. But, you’re also paying for expenses related to production, such as labor, equipment, packaging, and marketing. Save your hard-earned dollars, and make juice at home!
TYPES OF JUICERS
The two most popular types are centrifugal juicer and masticating juicer. Regarding juice nutrition, the masticating type is superior. Below are the reasons why.
Also called a “rotary juicer,” this design uses a disc blade to tear fruits and vegetables and then separates the pulp. The blade spins at high speeds, trapping air. This process, termed “oxidation,” kills vitamins and enzymes. You can see the evidence of trapped air in the high volume of foam. Additionally, oxidized juice tastes metallic.
After the blade shreds the produce, the machine spins out the water. To understand this “centrifugal” force, picture the way a washer spins, to remove water from wet clothes. The water spun from produce contains much of its nutrients. Heat generated by the blade also destroys some vitamins and enzymes.
A centrifugal machine leaves wet pulp, revealing that not all juice has been extracted. In fact, a rotary design yields less juice than a masticating type from the same amount of produce. The rejected pulp contains the nutrients of fiber and peels.
The high-speed spinning of a centrifugal juicer is loud. Manufacturers typically warranty rotary motors for just one or two years.
Also termed a “gear or auger juicer,” this machine crushes and grinds produce, including its fiber and peels. Either a single or twin gear drives the food through a stainless steel screen. Since the gear mechanism doesn’t generate heat, the resultant juice is called “cold-pressed.”
The “masticating” or chewing action squeezes out more “phytonutrients,” valuable plant compounds, such as pigments, enzymes, and antioxidants. Phytonutrients yield a richly-colored and healthful juice.
Since the gears rotate at a slow speed, less air is trapped, causing little oxidation and froth. The ground fiber present in cold-pressed juice makes it thicker and sweeter than what a rotary machine delivers.
Augers are adept at extracting juice from leafy greens, herbs, and wheat grass. Conversely, rotary machines can’t handle their fine textures, spitting them out of their chutes.
Masticating machines release roughly 30 percent more juice than rotary types. Cold-pressed juicers are also quieter. Their motors are durable, warrantied for 10 to 20 years.
Since Captain Cortisol is most alert in the morning, start your day with some delicious, cold-pressed juice. Ideally, use organic plants as sources. Studies show that organic crops contain higher amounts of Vitamin C, phytonutrients, and minerals. You’re also spared the harmful effects of pesticides.
Stock up on apples, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, grapefruit, kale, oranges, mangoes, parsley, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini. Juicing these foods will yield a full complement of stress-relieving nutrients.
Try to drink your juice within 20 minutes of making it. However, you can refrigerate cold-pressed juice for 24 hours, provided it’s stored in a canning jar. This type of glass container has a vacuum-sealing lid, preventing oxidation. Fill the jar with juice to the top, so there’s no room for air. Then, immediate seal and refrigerate it.
When it comes to juice for reducing stress, cold-pressed is best!