I’ve been doing some more juicing lately and am seriously thinking about doing a 60 day juice fast. “Why in the world would I do such a crazy thing?!” you might ask…well let me back up and explain my journey.
Ever since hearing about a dear friend’s diagnosis of breast cancer, who was only in her mid thirties in 2009, I have been eager to learn all about health and healing from more natural ways. A couple weeks ago I found out that my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily, he caught it very early and has time to heal. So my studying has kicked up a notch, as you can imagine I just ordered the book: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. And the boys and I just recently watched three fantastic documentaries: Ingredients, Food Matters and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The latter was all about…you guessed it- JUICING!
In my research over the years, juicing has come up time and time again. So let me try to explain it: Juicing is an integral part of maintaining good health but especially in healing and cleansing the body of toxins. Drinking fresh juices made with produce raised with organic methods is critical to renewing and maintaining wellness. FYI- when I say organic methods, I mean using techniques of planting and growing produce without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers, on farms, groves, orchards or vineyards that have been free of such chemicals for 7 years.
Not only does juicing provide sufficient fluid intake, but these fresh juices provide nearly all of the nutrients-vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, herbals, and other vital food substances, including proteins–required for your body to heal itself. When you’re trying to heal a degenerative disease like cancer, it’s even more important to juice your food rather than simply eat the whole food. Why? When you take fresh whole fruits and veggies and juice them, you are putting them into a much more assimilable form for use by the gastrointestinal tract. The enzymes actually begin to absorb into the bloodstream as soon as they enter the intestinal tract. Also, since juicing removes the indigestible fiber, these nutrients are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the piece of fruit or vegetable was eaten whole. For example, because many of the nutrients are trapped in the fiber, when you eat a raw carrot, you are only able to assimilate about 1% of the available beta carotene. When a carrot is juiced, removing the fiber, nearly 100% of the beta carotene can be assimilated. WOW, that’s a huge benefit!
To put it another way, when I do this all juice diet/cleanse in May, I will drink thirteen- 8 ounce glasses of juice–that’s about 104 ounces– a day! That would be equal to approximately 15-18 pounds of produce each day. Few people (probably no-one) could eat that much whole food during one day. However, juicing it allows me to ingest massive amounts of nourishment in a short amount of time.
Ok, so let’s assume you’re ready and want to begin juicing with me, what kind of juicer should you use? Well there are 5 kinds of juicers:
Centrifugal The Breville is an example of the centrifugal juicer, which is what I presently own.
The Triturator (Grinder)/Press Combination: The Norwalk and the K & K Company. They are priced from $800- 2,095 USD. When considering your investment in a juicer, know that the triturator machine produces more juice from less produce than any other type and most likely offers greater value in the long run.
So I plan to invest in the Norwalk in the near future…
For more detailed info about basic kinds of juicers look here.
Apple and carrot juice recipe:
I want to include our favorite juice recipe of all time and it just so happens to be the most cleansing juices of all. We use granny smith apples because their tartness off-sets the sweetness of the carrots. Yum!
- Use apples and carrots in approximately the same proportions.
- Rinse apples but don’t peal. Cut and remove core.
- Rinse carrots but don’t peel.
- Juice and drink immediately for the most nutrition.
Carrot juice’s nutritional values:
Beta carotene is one of about 500 similar compounds called carotenoids, which are present in many fruits and vegetables. The body changes beta carotene into vitamin A, which is important in strengthening the immune system and promoting healthy cell growth. However, beta carotene is much more than the precursor for vitamin A. Only so much beta carotene can be changed into vitamin A, and that which is not changed contributes to boosting the immune system and is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals and help prevent them from causing membrane damage, DNA mutation, and lipid (fat) oxidation, all of which may lead to many of the diseases that we consider “degenerative.”
Beta carotene is not the only carotenoid. Often overlooked, and also found in carrots, is alpha carotene. According to an article in NCI Cancer Weekly (Nov. 13, 1989), Michiaki Murakoshi, who leads a team of biochemists at Japan’s Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, contends that alpha carotene may be more powerful than beta carotene in inhibiting processes that may lead to tumor growth. Murakoshi indicates that neuroblastoma (cancer) cells coated with carotenoids experience a drop in N-myc activity compared to untreated cells. N-myc is a gene that codes for cell growth-stimulating proteins and can contribute to cancer formation and growth. Alpha carotene was found to be about ten times more inhibitory toward N-myc activity than beta carotene. Murakoshi concludes that all types of carotenoids should be studied for possible health benefits.
In sum, alpha carotene and beta carotene, like all nutrients found in vegetables and fruits, have health benefits. Indeed, The 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. government, states that “The antioxidant nutrients found in plant foods (vitamin C, carotene, vitamin E, and the mineral selenium) are presently of great interest to scientists and the public because of their potentially beneficial role in reducing the risk of cancer and certain other chronic diseases.”
Apple juice’s nutritional value:
Raw apple juice is a tasty and beneficial beverage that promotes health while delivering essential vitamins and nutrients. A 2009 Alzheimer’s study conducted in Amsterdam found that regular consumption of apple products can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Regularly drinking raw apple juice as part of a balanced diet can safeguard your health and encourage well being.
Vitamins A and C
The U.S National Library of Medicine states that vitamin A, found in apples, is essential in the maintenance of healthy teeth, skin and tissue. Additionally, vitamin A can improve your vision and promote reproductive health. The majority of vitamin A is in the apple peel, extracted during juicing.
Apples also supply vitamin C, a necessary compound that is instrumental in the growth and repair of body tissues. It’s presence is required for collagen production, which aids in skin, scar, ligament and blood vessel creation. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C prevents free radical damage–the by-products of transforming food into energy as well as external pollutants. Vitamin C also prevents various health conditions such as heart disease and inflammatory conditions that can deplete your overall quality of life.
Apples contain an abundance of phytochemicals, which are non-nutritive plant compounds that prevent disease and protect your body. For example, enzyme stimulant phytochemicals aid in the breakdown of toxins within the body while preventing damage at the same time. Alternately, the presence of flavonoid phytochemicals, commonly known as the antioxidants citron and vitamin P, can inhibit inflammation, regulate the immune response and protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis. Consuming raw apple juice greatly increases health by providing essential phytochemicals.
Your body requires fiber for proper digestion and eliminating toxins that can accumulate in your body. Regularly drinking raw apple juice for fiber can prevent constipation and treat diabetes and diverticulosis. As a raw solution, this juice contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease, while insoluble fiber speeds the passage of food through your digestive tract.
Ok, so that’s a lot of boring info, I know, but I felt very strongly that I should share it all with you.
So in May I plan to do an all-juice fast. 60 days of pure yummy juice… who’s in with me? Dad?