Juicing For Health
The Healing Power Of Raw Juice
It hasn’t got any! That’s right, juice itself has no healing power…. but it deserves mention in the context of health and healing because of the fantastic contribution it can make to our well being. Providing the body with a wide range of nutrients in an easily assimilated form is the basic principle behind juicing to combat or prevent ill health. Juice can only be regarded as medicine in the sense that it provides the body with what is needed in order for it to heal and repair itself. This theory is given great credibility by the successes associated with nutrition-based therapies. The Gerson Therapy has had great success using juicing as part of a diet-based approach to curing serious illness, particularly cancer. Patients who have been written off by conventional medicine have seen their illnesses improve or disappear completely when they follow such therapies. Nick Ledger, managing director of UK Juicers, has built this business selling juicing machines as a direct result of his personal battle with ulcerative colitis. Nick used juicing as part of a nutritional approach that cleared up his symptoms and brought about a dramatic transformation in his quality of life, so he decided to make a living promoting this positive lifestyle choice to a greater audience. You don’t need to be ill to experience the very real benefits of fresh vegetable and fruit juices though, everyone can benefit.
The Scary Bit
Cooking is bad for your food! That can be a disappointing revelation if you enjoy food. Don’t be deterred! You can add juicing to the routine and ensure you are still getting what cooking takes out.
Heat dramatically alters the structure of the nutrients in our food. Vitamins are depleted, enzymes are destroyed, minerals become less absorbable, and protein becomes more difficult to digest. The more heat you apply the greater the changes. Perhaps its no coincidence that humans and the animals they keep are many times more likely to suffer disease; they are the only species consuming heat-treated food. As more links between diet and ill health are established the argument in favour of raw, natural food becomes more compelling. The science is complex but certain compounds in food can potentially become harmful to health when they are heated.
The Good News
Drinking the juice from a far greater amount of produce than one could easily chew is an excellent way of delivering a super-dose of nutrition that assists the body in its processes of repair and regeneration. It also helps combat the effects of our less careful choices about what we eat or drink.
Most people notice an increase in energy levels and general vitality when they juice regularly. Skin and hair can become more lustrous and healthy looking and appetite often reduces as the body is no longer craving the elements missing in cooked food. The fact that juice is easy for the body to digest is one of the most significant factors when using it to combat ill health. Cooked and badly combined food can place a strain on the digestive system, fresh juices provide nutrition in the form that the body is best able to use. There is simply no comparison between the nutritional benefit of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and that of heat-treated, packaged juice available in the high street. Even so-called freshly squeezed orange juice is often pasteurised.
Everyone can benefit from fresh juices and by investing in a good quality juice extractor you are investing in your health. Some Masticating Juicers, such as The Omega 8004, are capable of making wheatgrass juice, which is a concentrated ‘superfood’ rich in chlorophyll. A one-ounce shot of wheatgrass juice is believed to have a similar nutritional content to a couple of pounds of fresh vegetables. A twin gear juicer can even juice sprouted hempseed, producing a delicious and highly nutritious hemp milk which is rich in essential fatty acids and proteins. Good quality masticating juicers extract more nutrients in the juice because of their grinding and chewing action, which strips the plant fibres more effectively. As well as juicing greens and wheatgrass efficiently, most of these types of juicer also have other food processing capabilities. The Champion Juicer for example can make nut butters and delicious sugar free frozen fruit ‘ice creams’. For those who prefer to spend a little less on a juicer, a centrifugal juicer such as The Sage Nutri Juicer Cold offers a great introduction to raw fruit and vegetable juices and though it won’t quite achieve the same juice quality as a masticating juicer, the benefits are still great and it is perhaps the simplest and easiest to use.