Proportion of vegetables to fruits

If juicing is new to you it's best to start off with a 70 per cent sweet fruit base and 30 per cent of vegetables and greens. Sweet fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots, pineapple, beets and watermelon make great sweet bases. Use savory greens like kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli or spinach in the 30 per cent portion. As you get accustomed to the bitterness of greens and your body adjusts to the intake of raw vegetable juice gradually increase the proportion of greens to sweet fruit and try to maintain at least a 60/40 ratio of greens to fruit for a low-sugar, low-calorie and nutritious juice.

Neutralize bitterness

Lemons and limes contain no sugar and neutralize the bitterness in greens effectively. If you're trying to juice more greens add half to a whole lime or lemon to a quart (1 liter) of juice with some slices of pineapple or an apple or pear and your vegetable juice will be more palatable.

Rinds, skin, seeds and selecting fruit

Including the light green rind of a watermelon and its seeds when juicing as both are rich sources of nutrients. Leave the skin of a lemon on as this adds to the taste significantly. Choose the ripest apples or pineapples but slowly under ripe green pears as they are firmer. However, bananas and avocados should only be 'juiced' in a blender.

Greens and small fruit

If you're using a centrifugal juicer roll up your leafy greens into a tight bundle, sandwich them among chunks of harder fruit like apples and you will get the most juice out of your greens this way. Re-juice the pulp of greens to ensure you get maximum juice.

Drop berries into the chute around a stick or two of carrots.The hard, chunky carrots slow down the process and the berries will juice better.

Variety is good

Juice a wide spectrum of vegetables and fruit to get the widest range of nutrients. Organic is best to avoid chemicals and pesticides but give a good wash and rinse if using non-organic products. Try not to mix carrots with greens because the resulting color looks quite unattractive even if it tastes good. A fresh green juice or a bright red one makes juicing much more enjoyable.

Enhance

A tiny knob of ginger, small amounts of mint leaves, parsley, thyme, cilantro (if you can tolerate it) or some lime or lemon or cranberries in your juice would transform it from okay to great. Experiment in small amounts at first; ginger and cilantro can be quite strong. As a bonus researchers have found that ginger can improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels while relieving indigestion and nausea effectively and parsley is known to help detoxify the liver.

Consume immediately

Juices lose their nutrients very quickly as a result of oxidization and vegetable juices are highly perishable. Drinking your juice immediately after juicing and taking it cold with some ice makes it more nutritious and refreshing. If necessary, immediately store in the refrigerator in an airtight glass jar and drink within 24 hours.

Use the pulp

Use the pulp in casseroles, stews, crumble toppings or muffins to benefit from the fiber.

Get the right juicer

By choosing a juicer that is efficient, simple to operate and especially easy to clean will make all the difference and you're more likely to include juicing into your daily routine. You'll get your daily servings of fruit and vegetables in just one glass.