Welcome back to my series on juicing for better health. I know some of you probably checked out the documentaries I mentioned yesterday, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Super Juice Me, and you are wondering: Is juicing really healthy? So I want to address that right away, so you’ll feel confident to continue reading the rest of this series.
In anticipation of some of your questions, here are some things I have learned about juicing and how it relates to your health.
Juicing Repairs Without Starvation
Many times fasting from food involves receiving no nutrition at all, only water. Juicing gives your body a chance to go into the repair mode without starvation, while over-dosing your body on vitamins and minerals that will give it the building blocks to conduct the repairs it needs. This is also why juicing should be a part of your over-all healthy diet, meaning adding it to your daily diet is a great idea. It’s also a tremendous way to help your body get over an illness or to simply get back on track with proper eating habits if you’ve not been doing well in that regard.
Juicing Boosts Your Immune System
By hydrating your body with nutrients that you cannot consume any other way than juicing you will improve your body’s natural immune response tremendously. There are particular juice combinations that can relieve pretty much any problem that you have whether it is inflammation, digestive issues, trouble sleeping, or skin conditions. It is true that God has provided much of what we need for healing in food.
Juicing Aids in Digestion
When you juice fruits and veggies you take out the fiber, so your body doesn’t have to work as hard to get the nutrients into your system, your digestive system is given a rest. If you are experiencing irregularities in your digestion, from irritable bowel issues to constipation, indigestion or heartburn, you can get relief with thoughtful juicing.
Juicing Gets Rid of Parasites
Believe it or not many of us have a problem with parasites. I know this is a very unpleasant topic and one that is not often discussed. But, the fact is parasites exist and they can destroy body organs and suck the energy right out of us. According to the CDC, parasites are one of the most common health risks in the world, and not just in the developing world — they are an issue right here in the U.S. Some symptoms are: gas, bloating, cramps, anal itching, vomiting, weight gain or loss, headaches, IBS, rashes, fatigue, poor sleep, anemia, cramping, joint pain, allergies, sugar cravings, being hungry all the time, brain fog, and more.
Juicing Helps You Drop Extra Weight
You absolutely will experience weight loss when juicing if you do it long enough. I have lost a few pounds every time I have fasted — a total of 23 lbs with my first fast (26 days). So far with this fast, I have lost 18 lbs, including 4 lbs during my prep week. However, it is more important to get your long term eating under control than to fix your weight with a juice fast. It’s a great way to kick start weight loss, heal medical issues, and gain control over your eating — but like any type of diet, if you go back to the unhealthy eating patterns that made you gain weight in the first place, you will gain the weight back. I am living proof of this.
Can’t I Just Eat the Fruits and Vegetables? Why juice?
I know — you’re thinking, “Can’t I just do all of that by eating fruits and vegetables?” And the answer is yes, you can –if you actually eat all of those fruits and vegetables. Stay with me for a moment. Actually, let’s take a pause for 30 seconds (count to 30; I’ll be back in a half a minute).
Okay . . . so while you were just counting to 30, I went out to my kitchen and poured myself a glass of fresh juice. This morning, when I first got out of bed, I juiced up a concoction of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, apple, pineapple, lemon, and ginger. I then poured all the juice I made into several pint-sized Mason jars and put them in the fridge. The whole process took me about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Now normally, when I need a snack I grab a piece a fruit (one piece — and usually a banana), or a handful of almonds, maybe a spoonful of peanut butter to smear on the banana. There’s nothing wrong with any of those options — they are all “healthy.” But consider that I am now sipping on all of those fruits and veggies I juiced this morning, filling my body with all of the nutrients equal to eating 8 fruit and veggies, and a handful of almonds kind of pales in comparison. So while we can talk all day long about how it’s just as healthy to eat all of those fruit and vegetables, how many of us actually do it? I know I don’t.
Juicing will also help you become more mindful of what you are eating the rest of the time. Simply put, if you are spending the time, money and energy to juice in order to heal your body and/or lose weight, you are less likely to binge on Krispy Kremes. I know this because “talk like a pirate day” happened the first week of my fast. And I dressed like a pirate with my son and off we went to get our 2 dozen free glazed beauties. How many did I eat? Zero, zip, zilch, nada . . . not a one. Why? Because I was juicing and didn’t want to reset back to the beginning.
Done properly, while paying close attention to your body’s response, juicing can be a healthy way to ensure that you get the nutrients your body craves – allowing your body to repair itself, lose weight and become energetic and vital again. I am not saying you should stop eating fruits and vegetables. I would be miserable if I did that. I’m just saying that it’s not likely any of us are eating enough of them to meet the nutritional requirements of our bodies, especially those of us sufferning from autoimmune illnesses. So why not do both (and add some blending in there, too).
Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about cleansing and detoxing since I’m sure you’re thinking hard about parasites and the role they play in illness.
You may even be wondering if you have them.
(you probably do!)
Recipe of the Day
Here’s another mild recipe great for beginning juicers. It’s slightly sweet with the pear and very refreshing.
Green Juice with Pear
- 2 pears
- 1 small or 1/2 large lemon
- 3 celery sticks
- 1/2 English cucumber
- Large handful baby spinach
- Wash all produce well
- Peel the lemon
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 16 oz.