During the summer, we typically consume more liquids as well as more raw, fresh fruits and vegetables. We tend eat a lighter diet (except for those weekend barbecues of course), and we are usually more active. That’s why this is the perfect season to experiment with special diets such us juicing or a raw food diet.
Juicing is a powerful healing tool. Fresh, “live” juices supply the body concentrated nutrients and enzymes needed for the nourishment and regeneration of the body’s cells, tissues, glands, and organs. Juicing is also an easy way to ensure that your diet includes the minimum required servings of raw fruits and vegetables needed to maintain good health.
When you extract juice from fruits and vegetables, the pulp is left behind and fiber is lost, so you need to make sure you include other sources of fiber in your diet. Fiber is essential to proper digestion and detoxification; however, when you are juicing, it is actually a good thing that it is removed. Without the fiber, all of the nutrients, enzymes, and phytochemicals extracted from fresh, raw produce can quickly be digested and absorbed by the body so the healing and regeneration start immediately. Drinking live juices helps the body to rid itself of toxins rapidly while providing needed nutrients.
There is no limit to how much live juice can be consumed safely. Two 8-ounce glasses a day will help maintain good health. When you are fasting and/or speed healing, you should drink at least four 8-ounce glasses a day.
There are a variety of juicing machines on the market and prices range from 80 dollars to more than two thousand dollars. Whatever your budget is, you can rest assured that you will benefit from the wonders of juicing. More expensive machines allow you to use a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, but if you just want experiment and see how you feel when juicing, start with a simple model.
Precautions: Because fresh juice is unpasteurized, it can contain harmful microorganisms, even potentially dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria. Be wary of drinking fresh-squeezed juices that are sold in restaurants or pre-packaged. When juicing at home, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly to prevent transferring any bacteria or fungi that may be present on the peel or rind to the pulp. Also, keep your knife and cutting board scrupulously clean as they can carry bacteria or pesticide residue. But don’t panic, if you keep a healthy intestinal flora (or “good” bacteria), you have more chances of fighting harmful bacteria (read this post for more information on this subject).
I highly recommend that you only use organic fruits and vegetables for juicing. Here is a quick reference guide to help you get the most out of these wonderful healing drinks:
|Carrot Juice||High in the antioxidant beta-carotene and full of wonder enzymes.|
|Celery Juice||High In Sodium — not the artificial type poured from the salt shaker, which is bad for you, but the good, natural kind that promotes tissue flexibility.|
|Beet Juice||Beets nourish the liver, one of the most important organs in the body, with hundreds of different functions. If your liver is functioning well, most likely everything else in your body will be too.|
|Cabbage Juice||Cabbage juice is high in vitamin C.|
|Apple Juice||Apples are high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and potassium. Apple juice is great for aiding in a liver flush and has anti-carcinogenic properties.|
|Kale Juice||Kale juice is one of the most powerful cancer fighting juices.|
|Spinach Juice||Spinach juice is loaded with iron, chlorophyll, and carotene, and is used to fight cancer.|
|Wheatgrass Juice||Wheatgrass juice is abundant in chlorophyll and antioxidants. It’s also very detoxing.|
You can combine these juices together and with other fruits and vegetables in order to get specific results. The options are endless so you definitely have options for taste. One thing to say though: the greener the juice, the more beneficial it is.
My favourite juice is made with kale, carrots, beets and lemon. What’s yours? If you don’t know, I hope you find out soon!
Adapted from: “Juicing: Maximized Nourishment for Healing”. Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Dietary Wellness”. New York: Avery, 2003. Second Edition. Chapter 3.
Haas, Elson M. “Staying Healthy With Nutrition”. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 2006.
“Juiced! The Healthy Way” by Kevin and Annmarie Gianni.