Juicing: Are There Any Benefits?
I know there are many books written on the benefits of drinking fresh juice and they all talk about the reason why drinking freshly made, natural juice is beneficial for your health.
But, before we even begin to talk about the health benefits, the most important thing is this…
You need to start drinking it!
It sounds obvious right? But if you own a juicer and are not making fresh juice daily then you are not getting the benefits. It’s like having a gym membership and not going to gym.
You won’t get any benefit if you aren’t doing it!
So, my first suggestion is – start making fresh juice part of your daily routine.
Benefit #1 – More Raw
Most of us know it’s important for our health to eat more fruits and vegetables. But let’s be honest, how many of us do it? Even if you follow a plant-based diet, you still need to drink juice to get more raw nutrients in.
Did you know that we are the only animal on the planet that cooks our food? Yes, that is a fact, so it’s even more beneficial to your health to get more raw (uncooked, unprocessed) fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Why raw? One word… Enzymes!
Whilst we all love our cooked foods, the truth is we miss out on all of the valuable ‘heat-sensitive’ nutrients and enzymes that nature offers, as they are mostly destroyed in the cooking process.
Water-soluble nutrients like Vitamin B & C and a group of nutrients called Polyphenolics seem to be the most vulnerable to degradation in processing and cooking.
Any cooking of fruits or vegetables will destroy enzymes that are naturally found in raw food.
In fact, any sustained heat of approximately 48-54 celsius (and above) destroys virtually all enzymes.
So, why are enzymes important?
Because enzyme-rich foods actually “pre-digest” a significant portion of what we eat.
This means a lot less work for our body, and we don’t get the feeling of fatigue either after eating a big, cooked meal.
Raw food, whether we eat it or drink it, is actually broken down via the natural enzymes before it enters the lower stomach. What this does is it takes a lot of stress off the pancreas (and the entire body) by providing the natural enzymes required for digestion.
So, how do you know if you need more raw nutrients?
By listening to your body. Your body will actually give you signs and symptoms to tell you if you need more raw enzymes, they are easily identified, particularly after meals and can include:
- Acid re-flux
- Bloating, gas
These ‘seemingly insignificant’ health concerns can lead to other more serious health conditions like; arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The key is to get more cold pressed juice into your body as it will provide raw nutrients and enzymes that your body will love and use!
Humans eat a lot of cooked, processed food which destroys valuable raw enzymes and heat sensitive nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables. Cold press juicing keeps most of the nutrients and enzymes available in the juice.
What is cold pressed juicing?
All juicing involves extracting the liquid nutrition from the flesh and skin of fresh fruits and vegetables. The pulp is removed and only the fresh juice remains.
Cold pressed juicing refers to a type of juice – one that is created in a ‘pressing machine’. This type of juice machine crushes and presses the fruit and vegetable for the highest juice yield.
This type of juicer does not produce heat, which means you will receive a healthier and more nutritional juice.
Many people are familiar with a centrifugal juicer, which is a juicer that has metal spinning blades. The blades rip and tear the fruit and vegetables in order to extract the juice which means that many of the heat-sensitive nutrients and enzymes are destroyed.
Cold pressed juice has the added benefit of a longer fridge-life due to the fact that no oxygen is sucked into a cold press juicer to make the juice, this means that if stored in glass bottles in the fridge, you can easily keep your cold pressed juice for 3 days.
This is quiet different than what happens with a centrifugal juicer as the oxidation process begins the minute it rips and tears the fruit apart with its metal blades. This type of juice will not store and must be drunk immediately.
Cold pressed juice can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge, ready for when you are. It will enrich your life and give you a new way to include many important living ingredients that Mother Nature has to offer.
Cold press juicing squeezes produce to extract juice at slow speeds to reduce oxidation and heat.
Are juice diets good?
We clean our house, our car, our teeth and dirty dishes and just about everything else because we understand the benefits of living in a clean environment.
You wouldn’t go out at night with your family or friends if you didn’t look good and smell clean – would you?
So, what about inside our bodies?
It’s not something we think about it right?
We just leave it to nature to take care of us and hope that she does a good job. And, whilst most of the time your body is capable of cleansing itself, after years and years of overloading it with unhealthy habits, our body starts to slow down and need some assistance.
Doing a juice cleanse is the assistance the body needs in order to cleanse itself.
But wait, there is more than just “house cleansing” going on when you do a juice cleanse.
Many health conditions respond to a juice diet, especially those conditions that are caused by diet and lifestyle.
- high blood pressure
- auto immune / lupus
- high cholesterol
- arthritis / osteoporosis
- Crohn’s / IBS / colitis
- eczema / psoriasis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- some cancers – colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer
- chronic liver disease or cirrhosis
- heart disease / stroke
- chronic renal failure
Other benefits include:
- getting more nutrients into your cells from juicing fruits and vegetables, than you could possibly eat in a day
- taking in a variety of plant-based nutrients that you might not normally eat, especially in their raw form
- giving your digestive system a much need break
- feeding the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut from fresh, cold pressed juice
- normalising your blood sugar levels
- increasing energy levels because you are not spending all your energy trying to digest large, heavy meals
- shedding unwanted weight
- speeding up your metabolism
- balancing hormones and mood swings
- improving your sex drive
- releasing stored emotions due to the fact you can’t “shove” then down with food
- increasing the natural healing processes in your body to work more efficiently
Why juice when we can eat it whole?
I often get asked why we don’t just eat the fruit and vegetables instead of taking the time to extract the juice and then drink the juice.
Well, of course you can do that!
Eating more raw fruits and vegetables is one of the best habits you can add to your daily eating plan, but the thing is, most people just don’t do it!!!
Most people find it hard to eat 10 serves of fresh, raw, fruit and vegetables every day, as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) which is why I recommend juicing… it makes it simple and easy to get more raw nutrients into your diet.
In fact, eating just raw fruits and vegetables for a short period of time, is a form of cleansing. As I mentioned above, you are a juicer and it’s only the juice that feeds you – so, when you eat only raw fruits and vegetables you are technically juicing!!!
On the other hand, when we cook our food, many of the heat sensitive nutrients are destroyed. The fibres become life-less, acting like a wet mop, swabbing through the intestines. These fibres when combined with man-made sauces, dairy and other animal products can leave a coating on the walls of the intestines which, over the course of time can accumulate and cause the colon to become sluggish. The signs of a sluggish colon is constipation, colitis, diverticulosis and other digestive related diseases.
Again, this is another benefit of juicing… it cleanses the colon and helps the body remove all the accumulated, toxic matter that coats the colon and causes dis-ease.
Eating more raw fruits and vegetable is key to excellent health. If, however, you are struggling to improve your health then following a juice diet for a short period of time may help you clean house and reset your physical and emotional health.
Juicing vs Blending: Which is better?
Without doubt, the first question I always get asked when talking about juicing vs blending is…
“What about the fibre?”
“If a juicer removes the fibre don’t, I need it?”
Whether you juice or blend, you will still get the fibre you need because there are two kinds of fibre and here’s how they work in your body:
1. Soluble fibre – This fibre remains in the juice when cold pressed, it is soluble and wherever the juice goes, so does the soluble!
When you drink a juice, the soluble fibre (eg. pectin) absorbs water in your intestines, forming a gel that helps slow the transit of food through your digestive tract. It also acts as pre-biotic to support healthy bacteria in the gut.
2. Insoluble fibre – This fibre remains (as does the soluble fibre) when you blend.
The part of any plant food that cannot be digested or absorbed by the body is insoluanle fibre (eg. celluslose) – it is insoluble which means it cannot be dissolved!
Insoluble fibre makes you feel full because it literally takes up more room in your stomach. This fibre helps to keep you regular when you eat food. And, since your body doesn’t absorb insoluble fibre it adds bulk to your stools.
I like to look at it this way.
If you want a meal replacement that makes you feel full, make a smoothie.
If you want to flood your body with more raw nutrients and enzymes for health and healing, make a cold pressed juice.
Blend if you want a meal replacement that takes time to digest. Juice if you need to give your digestive system a break and flood your body with more raw nutrients and enzymes.
Juicing for weight loss
If you start any type of calorie restriction diet, like juicing, you will lose weight.
This is because the first response of the body to not eating is to break down glucose stores for energy. When the stores of glucose are exhausted, ketosis begins which is when your body starts to break down any fat to release energy.
The real question about weight loss and juicing is… will you keep it off after juicing?
When you add more fresh juice into your daily diet you are less likely to eat the “bad stuff” because you are giving they body all the “good stuff” it needs. In this way juicing can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals. You only GET what you GIVE so give yourself the good stuff.
In my experience, those who have weight to lose, do, and those who don’t, don’t.
I have seen people juice fast for 7 days and lose weight and others juice fast and not. The thing is if you haven’t got any obvious fat to lose, you might find that you clean up in certain areas – around your face, arms, legs, neck – places that don’t hold a lot of weight. These areas might lighten up after a juice fast.
You’ll be surprised how much padding you carry – particularly around your neck and face.
If you are juicing for obvious weight loss don’t over do it on the first go and don’t set unrealistic expectations. You are not going to get a flat stomach in 3 days. Getting to your ideal weight through gradual small improvements will be more sustainable long term then any fast, rapid weight loss.
Your Mental State
The best effect you get from juicing is how it affects your mental state. Going for at least three days on nothing but freshly extracted, living juice and stopping caffeine, refined sugar and radical fats will help you think clearer with a heightened state of mental sharpness. Cravings for junk food are reduced and the desire to eat and drink well are increased.
I believe there is something special that happens when you start juicing, maybe it is just me but don’t take my word for it. Do it yourself and see!!!
Juicing for weight loss is not a magic wand that will wash away years of overindulgence of food and beverages. It is a simple solution to help you make change both physically and mentally.
A juice cleanse can help you detox
Now that you’ve read about the benefits of doing a juice cleanse you might be wondering whether you need to do one or not? How do you tell?
Look at it this way… when your body is performing well, your natural elimination systems easily cleanse through our four elimination channels:
But when you are stressed and busy and living an unhealthy lifestyle with bad eating and lifestyle habits (over many years) your body may be struggling to eliminate and work at its optimum best. And this leaves you all backed up, low on energy and overloaded with both physical and emotional toxins.
It’s time to detox!
Have a look through the list below to identify whether your body is giving you signs and symptoms that it needs some support to remove the toxic overload.
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Sinus problems
- Joint pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Brain fog
- Bad breath
- Irritable Bowels
- Digestive discomfort
- Psoriasis and skin issues
- Fatty liver
- Weight gain
Your body is always cleansing and detoxing itself naturally. Juicing doesn’t make you cleanse, it helps you do it better!
Check out these great juicing books
Many people have written books about the benefits of juicing including myself and my wife Julianne. Some are scientific, some are stories about people’s lives and some are from research. Most of the books about juicing are written because someone got benefits. They used juicing to improve their health and are now they are sharing what they found with others.
If you are interested in learning more the maybe these juicing books will be of interest.
Juicing for me offer two main benefits. Firstly, it helps you remove toxins that are stored or built up in your body. Secondly it helps flood your body with an abundance of raw nutrients than most people are lacking from poor eating and drinking. One of my mentors taught me that all disease comes from cells being either toxic or deficient and in many cases both. Juicing does the opposite. It supplies your cells with nutrients and eliminate toxins. Therefore juicing is not only good for your health but vital for it!
Gary is passionate about healthy eating and lifestyle. He is a qualified Plant-Based Professional Chef with certifications in Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition and Natural Juice Therapy.
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