Juicing is known to promote health of the body, but just how does it do this? Are juices just another fad in the quest for health?
Well, this practitioner doesn’t believe so. There is much information around about the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. Juicing is purely a great method to consume larger amounts of fruits and vegetables than we would by eating. Juicing allows us to create a ‘health elixir’ that is easy to consume but packed full of goodness.
Juice is traditionally used to help the body’s cleansing process and to provide nutrition. Since the fibre has been is removed during the juicing process, the nutrients are available for quick absorption by the body. Fruits and vegetables provide a myriad of nutrients. Some of these nutrients are yet to be discovered. A juice takes more fruits or vegetables than you would normally consume at one time. A juice can also combine fruits and vegetables that you would normally not consume together or at all. For instance, a 400ml juice could contain two apples, two carrots, a celery stalk and a quarter of a beetroot. Would you normally eat all this in one meal?
The fast absorption rate of juices means that the body can use the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients quickly. Juices contain vitamins and minerals as well as many phytonutrients such as chlorophyll, carotenoids, and flavonoids. There are still phytonutrients being discovered. So far there has been 10,000 phytonutrients discovered but there are many more waiting to be discovered. Phytonutrients are made by plants as a response to growing conditions eg pest attack, environmental conditions and each phytonutrient has a specific action on our body. For instance, Ellagic acid in Strawberries helps to protect the DNA structure; Sulfurophane in Broccoli helps to promote phase 2 liver detoxification pathways to help remove heavy metals and toxic by-products in your body; Bioflavonoids in citrus fruits help to promote the immune system and strengthens vision.
Juices also contain many active enzymes. They are required by the body for every chemical reaction e.g. digestion, energy and hormones. If the body does not get enzymes from the diet (available only in fresh foods) then the enzymes need to be made by the body. Sometimes the resources for the enzyme production are limited. So therefore juices are a good supply of enzymes.
Are you now thinking that you need to include juices in your diet?
Research has shown that consumption of fruits and vegetables decreases the overall risk of developing diseases such as cancer due to the many phytonutrients contained within fruits and vegetables. Fresh juices also help to correct the acid/alkaline balance of the body. When the body is too acidic we can be left feeling tired and susceptible to disease, including cancer. It is generally recommended that people should consume greater than 7 serves of fruit and vegetables per day. Can you think of a better way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake than through fresh juices?
Try the following juices and tantalise your tastebuds while giving your body the vital nutrients that it needs:
Apple, Carrot, Celery, Beetroot and Ginger Juice.
This is a tried and true recipe. Simply grab 2 Granny Smith apples, 3 medium carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and ¼ of a medium beetroot with a 2cm slice of ginger. Cut them into sizes that suits your juicer and then place each piece in your juicer using the safety plunger.
This juice is great as a general health tonic, promotes liver detoxification, helps to reduce fluid retention, boosts the digestive system and has some anti-cancer properties.
Pear, Broccoli & Spinach Juice.
This juice is great used as a preparator for pregnancy, as it is high in folic acid. It is also good as part of a detoxification program as it can help to promote the liver detoxification pathways.
Use 1 ripe pear, 90g broccoli florets, 60g spinach leaves. Place each one in the juicer using the safety plunger.
This is not only good for but tastes great and is very refreshing in summer. Watermelon is high in Vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium, and lycopene. Vitamin C helps promote the function of the immune system. Carotenoids can help prevent eye diseases. Lycopene is gaining a reputation as an anti-cancer agent.
If you are looking for a refreshing drink that picks up your energy. Don’t look to high sugary high caffeine drinks. Watermelon is the juice for you. It can help as a ‘Pick-me-up’ due to the presence of B group vitamins. Grab 300g of watermelon today and cut to fit into your juicer.
Fresh juices are very good for you, but what about commercial juices? The convenience of a juice in a box or bottle has tempted many people to use commercial juices over fresh juices. Let’s face it, not everyone has a juicer or has the time to juice their fruits and vegetables every time they need a drink. However commercial juices do not have the same nutritional content as fresh juices. Due to the need for a long shelf life commercial juices have to be put through some processing methods. The juice is subjected to a heat process called pasteurisation, which destroys some of the vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients, especially Vitamin C. Due to this process, manufacturers add synthetic Vitamin C to replace the lost natural vitamin C. The added Vitamin C also becomes an antioxidant to help prevent further breakdown of the juice. Exposure of vitamins, particularly B1, to light also leads to the destruction of that vitamin.
Fresh juices should be added regularly to a healthy diet and lifestyle regime. This will ensure that you get the optimal amount of nutrition. If fresh juices upset your stomach, then dilute the juice with water (like a cordial).
Are you wanting the benefits of fresh juices but don’t have a juicer? There are many cafe’s and health food shops that will make you a fresh juice.
Cheers – to great health!