Juicing is an excellent method to harness the nutrient benefits of various fruits and vegetables. It not time consuming, and you are assured of the potency of nutrients. As it is impossible to eat a variety of fruits and meals in one meal, juicing is the equivalent of liquid foods. The most important factor is that your digestive tract can assimilate and absorb up to 95 % of the liquid food. In most people, it is considered lucky to digest and absorb 60% of the foods we eat.
In general, most people do not chew the foods well, they rather inhale the food. In proper chewing (at least 10 times) the saliva gets mixed with the foods, reducing the burden on the gastro-intestinal tracts to break down the food. If health is compounded with weak digestion and/or malabsorption and chewing is challenged with an infection of the esophagus, juicing is a viable alternative.
When heat is used to cook foods, it destroys a substantial portion of the nutrition, vitamins and enzymes. This is also depends on the duration of the cooking time and temperature of heat. Enzymes are live micronutrients that are destroyed by even the most minimum processing and heat. Fresh pressed juice is ideal for quick assimilation of nutrient, fasting, detoxification and regeneration of the human body.
Choose fruits in season as there is less chance of preservatives. Fruits that come from far away are plucked before they are ripe and treated with chemicals to induce ripening. It is best to buy tropical fruits in summer. Always peel the skin of the fruit or vegetable and remove seeds before juicing.
Most commercial juices are 50% sugar. Sugar is added to addict the consumer to the taste of beverage. Pop drinks are even more concentrated with sugar. A liter of pop contains 12 tablespoons of sugar. If you are prone to Candida infections stay away from commercial juices and pop drinks. If you look at the ingredient list on the bottle, the ingredient with highest concentration is listed first. This is either always water or sugar (glucose, fructose + calories) followed by two to three tablespoons of the juice, flavor, vitamin C or A, coloring, and preservative.
Fresh vs. Commercial juices (pasteurized)
All commercial juices are boiled to sanitize them against pathogens (bacteria and disease causing organisms). In the process all live enzymes are destroyed and also most heat sensitive vitamins. So you are left with nutritionally depleted liquid food. Most of the nutrients of juices oxidize when it comes in contacts with air, heat and light. Hence the brown color when carrots, apples and other fruits are cut and left in the open. Apple juice, is the most common example. Fresh apple juice is white, bottled apple juice is brown because the vitamins/antioxidants have come in contact with air and light.
When you juice at home, drink it immediately. But do not forget to sip and savor it. If you are on a fast or weekend cleanse, it might be handy to have fresh juice available. To store fresh juice it must be stored in a dark sterile glass bottle. Pre-chill the bottle. Fill the bottle right up to the top to reduce the presence of air to minimize oxidation. If you take it out of the refrigerator and the bottle comes in contact with light, heat, as you open it and close it, oxidation starts. Thus it is worthwhile to store in a few different bottles. Only take out the bottle that you are going to consume.
Another option is to store it in a pre-chilled thermos. You will be available to store it in the thermos outside the refrigerator for a full day. If the juice has oxidized, it will have a “tingling”sensation or a “bite”. In extremes cases it could have foul smell or coagulation of juices. Personally, I would not recommend purchasing fresh juices, stored in ice that is in available in see through plastic cups at many cafes or restaurants. Due to the transparent cup and expose to light, air (as the cover is already pierced to insert a straw) oxidation has been going on for a while. Plus you have no idea when the “fresh” juice was extracted.
It is generally not recommended, in solid foods combination, to combine fruits and vegetables together in one meal. Different digestive enzymes are involved in digesting proteins, carbohydrates, starches, acids, and alkaline fruits. Hence it is not a good to consume all these fruits in one sitting.
There are some exceptions in juicing. Avoid mixing acidic fruits, lemons, grapefruits, oranges, etc. with other fruits. It can curdle the other juices in your gastro-intestinal contributing to fermenting of the foods. Fermentation contributes to flatulence. However apple and lemon are synergistically used in salads preparation as they can cross over the fruit/vegetable line (the digestive enzyme, malic acid in apple can cross the liquid to solid group). Lemons juice is sprinkled over salads.
Color of life
Visuals are an important component of inducing appetite. In color therapy, colors have different healing properties. In colder weather, red color juices boost digestive fire. In summer, lighter colored juices cool the body. The same theory holds for juicing as in eating a healthy meal from a rainbow selection of foods.
1. Red food is excellent for digestion (boost digestive fire) and heating the body. This is known as ‘agni’ in Ayurvedic or ‘yang’ energy in Chinese Medicine. Examples of these foods are beets, watermelon, radish, tomatoes, cherries, red cabbage, red pepper, hot pepper, etc.
2. Orange food is anti-spasmodic and good for pains and cramps. It strengthens the lungs and general respiratory system. It is known for its properties of vitality and mental clarity. Emotionally, the color orange is synonymous with joy and expansiveness. Examples of the foods are oranges, tangerines, carrots, apricots, pumpkin, etc.
3. Yellow food is a motor stimulant. Helps you get the day started especially in the morning. It helps strengthens digestion, nerves, and minimizes constipation. Foods in this category are lemon, lime, pineapple, grapefruit, peach, banana, mango, papaya, corn and yellow squash.
4. Green food is a blood cleanser, bactericide, alkalinizes and nerve tonic/natural tranquilizer. Excellent choices are all green leafy foods such as sprouts, wheat grass, barley, kamut, Green +. Green drinks are great when you are exhausted. Green + is one of my favorites. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, co-enzymes, cell salts, standardized herbs, botanical extracts, soluble and insoluble plant fibre from organic, nutrient and alkaline -forming foods. It can be mixed with water or juices.
5. Blue food is ideal for headaches, spiritual and mental work. It is cooling to the body and strong in ‘yin’ properties. Good choices are blueberry, grape, plum, celery, asparagus and nuts.
Quantity of juice
Fresh juices, are concentrated forms of foods. It is a challenge to eat five carrots or four oranges in one meal, so be moderate in your consumption. Think of your juices as a meal. Stick to one or two cups most a day. Remember that fruit juices are also high in fruit sugar. Sip your juice, versus gulping it down in one mouthful.
Blends and pulp
Apple + pear, apple + pear + pineapple, orange + pineapple, apple + watermelon, apple + prune, apple + cranberry, apple + grape, carrot + beets, carrot + beets + orange, grapefruit + orange, grapefruit + orange + cherry, carrot + celery + parsley, cucumber + watermelon, etc. Use your imagination. Some juicers separate the pulp and some do not.
Each fruit juice has specific properties. It is know that grapefruit is an inhibitor of the P450 pathway in the liver and can affect certain medications. Speak to your pharmacist if you are on medications and consume grapefruit. In general most fruits have a cleansing effects on the system. The high water content of fruits flushes the digestive tract, kidney and purifies the bloodstream.
Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, pineapple and grapefruit have a strong solvent effect on the system. These fruits also have a strong effect in flushing the body of mucous build-up and purging effect on the liver and gallbladder. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain encourages the secretion of hydrochloric acid which assist in the digestion of proteins.
Grape has a strong cleansing effect. Use the natural seeded variety. It is advised to dilute grape juice before consuming. It is said that Concord grapes are the strongest.
Apples are excellent for intestinal cleaning. The malic acid and galacturonic acid in apples remove toxins. Pectin in apples prevents fermentation of protein in gastro-intestinal tract. In addition apples act as a bulking agent in the intestine.
Cranberry, parsley and watermelon have diuretic properties. Cranberry is effective for urinary tract infection. It bitter taste is beneficial to the kidneys. Watermelon has a high alkaline fluid, which neutralizes acids and flushes toxins out of the kidneys.
The rind of watermelon can also be used in juicing. Prune and apricot are good for constipation and improving bowel movement. Beet is also excellent for enriching blood and flushing the kidneys. Recommend to juice one beet per day, as it has strong cleansing action.
Cabbage juice is good for the stomach, soothing for ulcers and gas. Cucumbers have a cooling effect and are good for the kidneys; it has stimulating effect on the kidneys. Spinach and kale are hard on the kidney as it is high in oxalic acid. It stimulates peristalsis of the alimentary canal.
Aloe vera tones the intestinal tract, detoxifies the bloodstream and lymphatic system. It is recommended not to drink more than an ounce or two ounces of Aloe juice per day. Too much Aloe can cause diarrhea.
1. C. Calbom and M. Keane. Juicing for Life
2. S. Meyerowitz. Juice fasting and Detoxification.
3. Michael T. Murray. N.D. The Complete Book of Juicing
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