The Health Benefits of Juicing
The old Hippocrates saying, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ has never been more appropriate when we talk about the health benefits of juicing.
When you drink the juice of freshly squeezed vegetables and fruits you are consuming concentrated levels of nutrient dense living enzymes straight into the body. It needs no digestion time as the juice is already broken down and heads straight for the bloodstream. You are, effectively, hydrating, alkalizing, nourishing and renewing every single cell in your body. For some of you (juicing virgins) this is the first time you have actually fed yourself with what you are naturally designed to consume. For those of you that are acquainted with juicing, you are elevating your energy levels and creating an environment where your body can heal itself. There is lots of research out there that shows the healing properties that juicing offers – I would urge you to have a good look around.
Here is a list of some of the many (internal) health benefits of juicing:
Cleanses the blood
Alkalizes the blood pH
Increases the flow of oxygen
Increased brain function and memory improvement
Assists the body in eliminating toxins
Creates higher energy levels
Rests the digestive system
Feeds your body with nutrients, vitamins and living enzymes
Improves immune function
Stimulates peristalsis and cleanses the colon for better bowel movements
Brings about a sense of inner well being, peace and harmony
Reduces cravings as cells are being fed correctly
Diminishes aches, pains and allergies
A glowing complexion
Healthier nails and hair
A vibrant sense of wellness
Loose fitting clothes ;-)
The essential nutrients that you may be lacking at cellular level will be rejuvenated and replenished, having a wonderful ‘knock-on’ effect in the body. You only have to take a good look at Mother Nature to understand that when we live a more natural lifestyle we don’t need medications and hospitals. The typical western diet has ensured that we have starved ourselves of life giving enzymes and we are a nation of sick people as a result.
Freshly squeezed green juices can have a profound impact on healing the body of diseases. A few ounces of chlorophyll (found in green leafy vegetables) every day will give a surge of energy in a relatively short space of time. If you couple juicing with a ‘clean up’ of the diet then the results are magnified. By alkalizing the body, you are speeding up your healing time as well as closing the door to diseases.
Don’t be confused with alternatives in a carton – they are not the same. In order to have a shelf life, the mixture has been pasteurized which leaves the contents deficient of any life force. There is no substitute for the real thing!
To get the best out of you’re juicing:
1. Take them on an empty stomach – first thing in the morning (preferably) after a mug of lemon water is perfect.
2. Always ‘chew’ your juices. In other words, mix each mouthful of juice with some saliva before swallowing.
3. Try and drink your juices immediately after making them as this ensures minimal oxidation. Having said that, if you store in an airtight container with the liquid right up to the top in a fridge, you will get a few hours out of it. If you use a masticating machine rather than a centrifugal one (see FAQ for the difference) you will get even longer.
4. To make your juices tasty, add a little fruit. You don’t want to put yourself off before you’ve even got going. You can decrease or eliminate fruit when your taste buds have adapted. Personally, I like a little fruit in my juices and smoothies.
5. When you become a total Juice Junkie, you will want to add some herbs or super foods to experiment – go ahead and play, its fun! In the meantime if you’re looking for some lovely, easy combinations please go to the juices & smoothies page in the recipe section.
6. Don’t just juice the same ingredients every day – come out of your comfort zone and experiment. Get the kids involved, try vegetables and fruits that you’ve never tried before and make smoothies as well as juices. There are plenty of recipes in the juices and smoothies section as well as on-line. Have fun!
7. Just remember – you can’t juice bananas or avocados. Mango could be a bit tricky too. Personally I would always prefer to use any of these 3 ingredients in smoothies, they are the perfect consistency.
The day will come when you want to do a juice fast and there are plenty of support websites in place to help you.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts:
1. Be prepared – have your shopping done the day before. If you are doing a 3 day fast then buy for the 3 days. If it’s any longer, you may need to go and get fresh supplies.
2. If you have to cook for others in the house, make foods that you wouldn’t normally eat anyway. It makes it easier if you’re not interested in what’s cooking.
3. You may suffer from both detoxing and withdrawal (caffeine etc) symptoms. This can be unpleasant and tiring. Make sure you take plenty of water and rest as much as you can. Be aware that these symptoms are temporary and will pass. Imagine how fantastic you are going to feel when you’ve eliminated these ‘poisons’ from your body.
4. Get some exercise every day – even if it’s only a 30-minute walk.
5. You may start to crave fats, which is perfectly normal. Try having a smoothie made with avocado during the day and this should stop those cravings.
6. 4 x drinks per day should be sufficient but if you need more or less that’s fine too. There are no hard and fast rules – it’s your fast.
7. Be prepared for excess energy. Have a garden to dig or a room to paint
8. Use organic produce where possible. If you cant get organic make sure you scrub the skins of any fruits or vegetables your will be juicing.
9. If you don’t manage to do the amount of days you had originally set out to do (for whatever reason) – IT DOESN’T MATTER!! The fact that you had the mind set and enthusiasm to at least try is enough for the first time. You WILL try again and no doubt next time you’ll do it – don’t beat yourself up.
10. Do enjoy your experience. It’s life changing and worth talking about to your family and friends. Take a few notes on how you feel before and after – you may well be surprised.
*When you are doing your research and looking around at different websites, be aware that there are a few ‘anti’ juicers out there. And that’s okay…. they are entitled to an opinion. I would urge you to start juicing and see how you feel yourself- YOU are the only person that can judge how YOU feel.