Juicing Your Way to Better Health
JUICING is an excellent way to get a concentration of nutrients into your body, whether it be for general health to nourish and help the organs gently cleanse and detoxify, boost overall energy, or to support the body during times of illness.
The health benefits of juicing are seemingly endless, and juicing works as well as it does (when done properly) because the nutrients in the foods are released (and suspended in liquid) during juicing thereby making them (the nutrients) easier for the body to break down, digest and assimilate.
This is incredibly important during times of stress or illness, when the digestive system isn’t able to work at optimum levels; the nutrient-rich juice needs very little “processing” by the digestive system, and passes easily through. Once in the small intestine, the nutrients are readily available for immediate absorption.
Any fibrous components continue on to the large intestine where they are used to provide “bulk” to the waste matter and help to gently cleanse the colon of waste and toxins (keeping the bowels moving regularly is very important on a daily basis and even more so during times of illness).
The juice you extract out of a juicer is NOT the same as the stuff you buy in a carton from the store. Essentially, the stuff from the store is “dead” (yes, even the no-additive kind) because it has been pasteurized (heated) and kept in a carton for an extended period of time.
The longer fresh juice sits, the more enzymes and nutrients are destroyed, so it’s important that when you make your own juices you drink them as soon as possible. Sure, you could juice enough for a day and keep in the fridge – just remember that what you drink later in the day won’t pack as much of a nutritional punch as the juice you squeezed first thing in the morning.
First and foremost, you need a good juicer. If you’re going to do this on a daily basis, invest in something that is not only sturdy but also has the capacity and capability to extract everything out of the fruits and veggies.
You might well be wondering if you can use a blender. Well, you could but then you’d be blending and not juicing.
New on the market these days are “bullet” devices – these are pretty awesome as they pulverize the produce so much that it literally juices it. The difference between these and a blender is that the blender is not powerful enough to liquefy absolutely everything (no matter how good the blender, you’re always left with chunks). The difference between a “bullet” and a juicer is that most juicers kick out the fibre as a waste product. You actually WANT the fibre in your juice, so if it can be liquefied even better.
If you’re going to stick to a conventional juicer, I recommend that you scoop out some of the fibre pulp and put it back into your juice! Also, that fibre pulp makes a great addition to baking (cakes, etc.), or the compost – so don’t toss it in the garbage!
Here are some samples of juicing. There is no need to peel or grate the fruit or vegetables unless they are not organic, or you’re working with citrus (then for sure remove the peel!).
(Note: Unless specified, all of these recipes are for juicing; if you’re using a blender, cut everything up and add some water to help with the blending process. If you’re using a “bullet” device, cut everything up according to manufacturer’s instructions and off you go).
EASY STARTER RECIPE:
This is an excellent introduction to the world of juicing – a combo of fruit and vegetables that tastes good and is good for you.
This is often used as a base for many other recipes, and you can add all kinds of fruits and vegetables to this, including pineapple, melons, berries, pomegranates, garlic, ginger, yams, cabbage, and of course beets! Remember to put some pulp back in!
- 2-4 carrots (if carrots leafy greens still attached you can leave them on, just know that it will probably make the juice somewhat bitter)
- 1 red apple, quartered (if organic, leave seeds and core in; otherwise remove)
- 1-2 stalks celery
Push everything through the hopper.
For an added energy boost add 1 small beet (halved). Beets are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and work on all levels to keep your body strong and healthy.
Drink 1-2 glasses daily
Helps to support the nervous system and soothe frazzled nerves.
- 1 garlic clove
- parsley (small handful)
- 3-4 carrots (depending on size)
- 2 stalks celery
Wrap garlic in parsley and push through hopper with carrots and celery. Pour juice into a glass and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Drink 1-3 times daily.
This mix helps to relax the body and mind. In Herbal Medicine, lettuce is classified and used as a sedative.
- 3-4 lettuce leaves
- 1 stalk celery
- 3-4 carrots
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup pineapple pieces
- ¼ inch slice ginger
The following cleanse, called the “hyper house cleaner” comes from www.freedomyou.com. Depending on body toxicity levels, this could be quite an effective cleanse, therefore it is best undertaken when you have a couple of days off, at home, “just in case”.
- 2 yams
- 1 beet
- 1 slice red onion
- 2 lemons
- 1 celery
- ¼ inch slice of ginger
Push through blender (add the ginger and onion half-way through the juicing process so that they are juiced properly).
Drink 1-2 times daily; ideally do for 2-3 days
Recommended Reading & Other References:
Books & Films:
Juicing for Life (Maureen Keane)
The Complete Book of Juicing (Michael Murray)
DVD: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (Joe Cross)
* First pic courtesy of http://thyroiddiseasesucks.com/
I strongly encourage you to check out this site and see what kind of natural help is available for thyroid disease. There’s even a free e-book download from the site about how juicing can help balance out thyroid issues.
* Rest of pics courtesy of http://www.foodsubs.com