Generally speaking, when I mention drinking juice to people they immediately think of V8, orange, apple or grape juice. Those juices 'sound' healthy and we've been trained to think that they are good for you. However, because of food laws, the juices you find on the shelves at grocery stores are pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process by which liquids are flash-heated up to a maximum of 280-degrees to reduce the spoilage time and to kill any threat of bacterial organisms growing in the food product.
The problem with pasteurization is that it also kills most of the enzymes that are necessary to digest the foods properly. In addition to pasteurization, preservatives and sugars are then added to the juice thereby rendering the juice almost nutrition-less by the time it reaches your table. The addition of sugars & preservatives will also cause a spike in blood sugar which can lead to a host of other problems.
This is NOT the juice I'm referring to. I'm talking about freshly extracted vegetable and fruit juice with ALL of it's vitamins, minerals and enzymes in tact. This kind of juice contains only the nutrition from the fruit or vegetable making the nutrients immediately available to the cells for food. Why is this important?
Well, in order to take control of yor health, start feeling better, lose weight and have more energy you must rebuild your cells so they can function in the most dynamic way. A great way to do this is by juicing.
Dr. Ann Wigmore, who is known as the founder of the raw food movement, proved that wheatgrass juice has amazing healing powers. And decades ago, Dr. Max Gerson helped many patients recover from advanced stage cancers by feeding his patients freshly extracted juice throughout the day. His therapies are still being practiced today with great success.
Freshly extracted, raw, organic juice has an alkaline pH and by adding this to your regimen will help to bring your blood to a more alkaline state. When you have a diet of sugary and processed foods and animal products, the blood becomes acidic which is the perfect environment for disease to grow in and proliferate. However, disease can not survive in an alkaline environment.
There are many great benefits to juicing and juice fasting. Below are a few:
- Detoxification - If you have cravings, or are experiencing chronic pain, low energy, depression, brain fog, infections or an illness you will benefit tremendously from a juice fast or juice feast. A juice fast is simply drinking 1-2 quarts of juice a day and eliminting all solid foods for a certain period of time. You can do this for 3 days, 10 days or how ever many you decide. A juice feast, however, consists of drinking one gallon of fresh juice a day for 30 and up to 90 days. You will get all of the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals you need during this period from the juice you're drinking. When you fast or feast with juice, you're giving your digestive system a rest and helping to speed up the growth of new cells which promotes healing. Of course, before going on any type of fasting protocol, please check with your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you to embark on that journey.
- Weight Loss - Your prime detoxification organ is your liver. The liver also happens to be your prime fat burning organ. So, when you detoxify your body, you're freeing up your liver to do it's job and thus burn fat. However, you don't necessarily have to fast or feast in order to received the weight loss benefits from juicing. You can start slowly, maybe one 12-oz juice per day, and work up to a fast or feast. You may find that the one juice per day does wonders for your detoxification and weight loss goals.
- Reversal of disease - There are countles testimonies of people who have done extended juice fasts and feasts and have reversed their diseases or chronic conditions. Joe Cross, a highly successful Australian businessman, suffered from a chronic illness for 9 years and was on the verge of a heart attack and diabetes. He decided that medications weren't going to make him better and that he needed to take control of his health. Joe committed to and completed a 60 day juice fast. He documented his results and has inspired tens of thousands of people to do the same. His results were nothing short of a miracle. He reversed all of his conditions, got off all medications and lost over 100 pounds.
Juicing isn't hard to do and the rewards that your body, mind and spirit will reap is well worth the 10 minutes a day you spend in your kitchen making a juice. You can juice virtually anything. However, be careful of some of the stronger flavors that may make your juice a little pungent. For example, garlic, onions, leeks, rhubarb and potatoes. Some fruits that don't make much juice are avocados, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and kiwi.
Here are some good combinations to try out:
- Carrot, Green Apple, Ginger (small piece)
- Cucumber, Celery, Carrot
- Romaine, Parsley, Apple
- Kale, Cucumber, Carrot
- Lemon (whole or peeled), Kale, Cucumber, Celery
- Beet, Orange, Celery
These are just a few examples, so I would encourage you to experiment on your own and see what you like best. There's no right or wrong answer, it's a matter of preference and taste.