Juicing fruits and vegetables offers many obvious and not so obvious health benefits. Juicing certainly makes it a lot easier to up your intake of fruits and vegetables, while benefiting from organic water filtered by nature.
The vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and enzymes in freshly extracted juice are more easily and readily utilised by your body than supplements.
Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants and other phyto-chemicals that help to prevent diseases and assist the body in healing itself.
Juicing Versus Blending
The question I am most often asked when I suggest someone start juicing is how it differs from a smoothie. The key difference is that when you juice you consume only the extracted juice, whereas with a smoothie you consume the juice plus the fibres. To make fresh juice you will need a juicer, and there are many to choose from. The more efficient your juicer the more juice is extracted, leaving behind the pulp or fibre. With a smoothie you simply blend everything in a blender and consume the lot. The more horsepower your blender has, the smoother your smoothie.
A smoothie and a juice using the same ingredients will have about the same nutrient values, the main determining factor here would be the efficiency of your juicer. The nutrients are in the juice. Fruit and vegetable fibres have many health benefits; primarily they act as a broom to cleanse the gastro-intestinal tract, bulk up and give form to the stool, and can help us to feel fuller for longer. Freshly extracted juices are quickly digested and almost all the nutrients are assimilated directly into the bloodstream, to deliver vital nutrients and oxygen to cells and tissue throughout the body.
Juicing raw, fresh fruits and vegetables daily can help to restore pH balance within the body. Eating too many overly processed foods, excess protein and drinking too many cups of coffee or over indulgence in alcoholic drinks can result in over-acidity. Drinking a glass of fresh juice a day can help to maintain this balance.
If your energy levels are low, or you are in recovery mode, freshly juiced fruit and vegetables can give you an immediate energy boost. Solid food requires more energy and time to digest. Juicing can help you to conserve your energy while supplying alkaline, antioxidant rich nutrients to fuel your body’s healing and repair work.
Fruits are an excellent bio-available source of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are naturally cleansing for the body, and seeing as our bodies are in cleansing mode in the morning; this is the ideal time to indulge in fresh fruit juices. In addition, as fruits require shorter digestion times they are best taken on an empty stomach to avoid upsets due to fermentation in the gut. It is best to avoid mixing too many fruits, limit yourself to no more than 3 ingredients in any one glass of juice.
Sweet Morning Cleanser
- 2 green apples: cored
- 1 pear: cored
- 6 cherries: pitted
The cleansing actions of vegetable juices tend to be milder than fruit juices. They are also lower in sugar, for this reason it is a good idea to drink more vegetable juices than fruit juices. If you are just starting out and finding vegetable juices unpalatable then start with a 50:50 ratio of vegetables to fruit and slowly increase the ratio until you are consuming 80% vegetables to 20% fruits.
Vegetable juices are the builders and regenerators of the body. They contain all the amino acids, minerals, salts, enzymes, and vitamins needed by the human body, provided that they are used fresh, raw, and without preservatives, and that they have been properly extracted from the vegetables.~ Norman Walker¹
Avoid mixing fruit and vegetables together.
The 2 exceptions are apples and carrots which can be mixed with any other fruits and vegetables.
To get the most benefits from juicing:
- Use fresh ripe fruits and vegetables, preferably seasonal, locally grown, and organic.
- Wash organic produce and peel non-organic produce before juicing.
- Juice only for immediate consumption, raw juices begins to oxidise and lose nutritional value as soon as they are exposed to air.
- Combine a greater ratio of vegetables to fruit. (e.g.: 70% carrots to 30% apples) This is especially important if you have diabetes, hypoglycaemia, candidiasis, arthritis or high blood pressure.
- Chew your juice! This allows for improved digestion and assimilation of nutrients as your juice mixes with the digestive enzymes in your mouth, this is especially important with fruit juices.
Walker N.W. Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices. Prescott AZ. Norwalk Press. 1978.
A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure. Available at: http://www.healthlibrary.com/
(1) Walker N.W. Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices. Prescott AZ. Norwalk Press. 1978.