"What would you recommend juicing in a masticating juicer for optimal nutrition?"
That would depend on what you're aiming for. I have comprehensive nutrition charts that are a part of my "Mastery" meal-plan package that illustrate what is optimal for nutrition in detail.
For example: The best foods for iron (among them, parsley, dill, peppermint and dandelion) are not the same as the best for magnesium (among them beet greens, watercress and arugula).
Also, there is the detox factor: If you cause a very strong detox you may cause yourself to associate feeling sick with particular vegetables which will actually cause them to taste terrible. This happened to me from drinking too much wheatgrass. I loved it the first two times I had it. The third time I had too much, felt very ill, and it has tasted awful ever since. My body strongly associates wheatgrass with the flavor/feel of the toxins that the wheatgrass causes my body to release into my bloodstream.
When starting out, it's actually good to stick to mild blends instead of going for the highest/strongest/most-nutritionally-packed vegetables.
The lettuce/parsley/lemon blend, which I mentioned in the second episode of our radio show, Eat Live: Live Well, is a great one for beginners. Apple can be added for sweetness, but I prefer it without apple personally.
If you want to go for something stronger then I recommend having "detox stoppers" on hand. Almonds, sunflower seeds or a salad with cold-pressed flax oil or olive oil (cold-pressed oil is raw) will slow down a detox very rapidly. If you begin to feel sick from toxins being released from muscle/fat/organs and entering the bloodstream, then you can consume something to slow the detox down. Any healthy fats will slow this down and alleviate unpleasant detox symptoms.
I always recommend juice on an empty stomach. Putting juice on top of food can cause you to feel sick without even getting the benefit of detoxing in the process.
Juice first thing in the morning is a great option.
Or if you eat nothing but fruits and vegetables prior to the juice during the day and give yourself an hour after the last meal/snack before the juice then you'll have a pretty clear digestion. For other 'more typical' foods, you'd have to wait four hours or more to have a fully empty stomach.
High Nutrition Vegetables
Here are some vegetables that are very high in nutrition, and when drank by the cup will cause strong detox in most anybody:
- broccoli (stems and tops)
- dandelions (leaves, stems and flower heads)
- burdock (only the root)
- arugula (leaves)
- beets (roots and leaves – leaves are stronger for nutrition and detox, but the root has high volumes of particular nutrients)
- asparagus (whole stalk)
- watercress (leaves)
- any herb – dill, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme, chives, fennel, basil – parsley is the most mild
- any dark leafy green – spinach, chard, kale, collards, mustard greens – spinach is the most mild
- cauliflower (purple, green or white in color; green has more nutrition than white but very similar flavor)
- cabbage (this juice is more mild than many of the above and excellent for healing stomach ulcers)
Some more mild, but still very healing juice ingredients:
- carrots (green tops and roots)
- celery (entire stalk)
- cucumber (excellent for the skin and for a very mild, slow detox)
- zucchini (has almost as much nutrition as a vegetable)
- bell peppers (very strange flavor when juiced, but I find it pleasant; may juice the seeds and white fiber, but not the green growth at the top)
- any citrus: pummelo, unique fruit, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, etc. (citrus usually tastes best with other citrus and just a little of one other mild ingredient)
- 10 ribs celery
- 1 cucumber or zucchini
- 1 lemon or grapefruit (I prefer the lemon) – juice citrus first to help prevent oxidization of all ingredients during juicing
- 1 measuring cup of any leafy greens (Exclude these if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 1 lemon or a quarter of a grapefruit (juice citrus first to help prevent oxidization of all ingredients during juicing)
- 10 carrot roots
- 2 ribs of celery or 1 cucumber
- 1 measuring cup of any leafy greens or use green tops of carrots (Exclude these if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 2 lemons, limes or a half of a grapefruit (juice citrus first to help prevent oxidization of all ingredients during juicing)
- 3 carrots or parsnips
- 3 ribs celery
- 1 cucumber or zucchini
- 2 beets
- 1 measuring cup greens or use the green tops of the beets (Exclude these if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 5 oranges, tangerines, clementines or other orange-citrus-fruit
- 1 lemon or lime
- 1 grapefruit, pummelo or unique fruit
- 1 measuring cup light vegetables such as lettuce or celery (Use celery if using a bladed/centrifuge juicer.)
Pineapple Kale Juice
- ½ lemon (optional)
- 4 cups pineapple chunks (or half a pineapple, including the core)
- 4-8 kale leaves, including stems (Use only the stems if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
The above are suggested because they are palatable to most people and will cause a mild detox without causing extreme discomfort.
However, when I feel I need strong healing powers, or just feel inspired/strong, I've actually made juices like the following two:
- 4 lemons
- 1 full head of broccoli with stem
- 5 stalks of asparagus
Crazy-Healing Wild Juice
- 4 lemons
- 4 burdock roots (grows wild in the yard and all over Buffalo, NY and the countryside)
- 2 dandelion plants (Exclude these if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 1 beet with leaves (Exclude leaves if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 1 carrot with greens (Exclude greens if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
- 1 cup wild chives or leeks (Exclude these if using a centrifuge/bladed juicer.)
The above two examples were absolutely disgusting to my palate, but I got them down... And then felt sick for about half an hour... And then I felt excellent for the rest of the day.
Mild juices at first make a lot more sense. Or starting with small shots of powerful juice.