The Amazing Health Benefits of Juicing
The idea of making fresh vegetable juices came from Norman Wardhaugh Walker (January 4, 1886 – June 6, 1985). He was a British businessman and pioneer in the field of vegetable juicing and nutritional health. He advocated the drinking of fresh raw vegetable and fruit juices, both to regain and to maintain one's health.
Based on his design, the Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer was developed, and this juicer continues to be produced and sold today. Walker also wrote at least six books on nutrition and healthy living, including the internationally famous book The Natural Way To Vibrant Health and Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices, What’s Missing In Your Body? Dr. Norman W. Walker is recognized throughout the world as one of the most authoritative students of life, health and nutrition. For almost 70 years, Dr. Walker has researched man’s ability to live a longer, healthier life. He is his own example of vibrant health through proper thought, diet and body care.
Thousands upon thousands of people credit Dr. Walker's live-vegetable-juice therapy for healing them of "incurable" diseases, including Jay Kordich, known to the world as "The Juiceman." When Jay Kordich had cancer, he met and was tremendously inspired by Dr. Walker. After healing himself of cancer through The Raw-Food Diet and juice therapy, Jay worked with Dr. Walker beginning in the 1940s up until Dr. Walker's death in the mid-80's at an age of well over 100.For more than 100 years, Norman W. Walker, Ph.D., proved through research and experience that well-being and long life go hand-in-hand. Now thousands of people are juicing fruits and vegetables themselves. With an investment of few hundred dollars, anyone can set up their own in-home juice bar. Then, with very little patience, it's possible to make fresh juice a regular part of your daily diet.
And given the current state of health in America, the trend couldn't come at a better time. Recently, the National Cancer Institute began a campaign to get people to do one simple thing - EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Specifically, the recommendation was to eat five servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day, and their reasoning was simple: a diet high in fruits and vegetables will prevent or cure a wide range of ailments.
Breast cancer, cancer of the colon, esophagus, stomach, lungs, ovaries, and rectum - pick and ailment these days, it seems, and researchers somewhere are searching for chemicals in plants that will prevent them, or offer a cure. These plant chemicals, known as phytochemicals, are the cutting edge of nutritional research because they hold the keys to preventing some of our most deadly diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, as well as some of our most common, like asthma, arthritis, and allergies.
In some ways, this isn't news. For years, epidemiological studies that compare disease states and diet in large populations of people have already been bearing out the value of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Such studies, which have been done in Africa, China, the Mediterranean, Russia, and elsewhere have shown that in cultures where the diet consists of the unrefined carbohydrates and fiber found in fruits and vegetables, a number of diseases that afflict North Americans simply don't exist. For example, during more than 30 years of study, British researchers working in Africa didn't find a single case of such common ailments as diverticulitis, hernia, cancer of the colon, or cancer of the prostate. The only reason that they could attribute to the lack of these diseases: differences in diet.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute, at the department of Agriculture, and elsewhere, to begin looking for specific substances in foods that could be providing protection against disease. In the process, they have found quite a few.
A tomato, along with vitamin C, vitamin A, and several minerals, also has 10,000 other chemicals in it, most which researchers are trying to isolate, identify, and study.
The phytochemicals that researchers have uncovered are changing the way we think about food, especially fruits and vegetables. For example, broccoli contains a substance that may prevent - even cure - breast cancer. Citrus fruits have substances that make it easier for your body to remove carcinogens, thus decreasing the chance of contracting cancer. Grapes contain a phytochemical that appears to protect each cells' DNA from damage. Similarly, a number of green vegetables contain phytochemicals that appear to offer protection against cancer-causing substances. The list goes on and on: bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnip greens, red beets, peppers, garlic, onions, leeks, and chives are but a few of the vegetables that appear to have cancer-preventing phytochemicals.
The problem, though, is that most of us don't eat enough fruits and vegetables to reap the benefits they offer. For example, although the National Cancer institute recommends five servings of vegetables and three of fruits each day, the truth is this: The average American eats only 1 1/2 servings of vegetables and, on average, no fruit on any given day. Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.
While you can certainly juice fruits, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol it is best to limit using fruits until you normalize these conditions. The exception would be lemons and limes which have virtually none of the offending sugar, fructose, that causes most of the metabolic complications. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark deep leafy green vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing.
Reasons to Juice
There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:
1) Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
2) Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If your metabolism requires mostly carbohydrates, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
3) You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer. The cheap centrifugal juicers break easily, produce low quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss. They also don't last very long. My favorite are the single gear juicers which are relatively fast, less expensive and easier to clean than more expensive juicers like twin gears or even the $2000 Norwalk juicers. Many people initially think that juicing will be a real chore, but the majority are pleasantly surprised to find that it is much easier than they thought it would be.
Vegetable Juice is Not a Complete Meal
It is important to note that vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat so by itself it is not really a complete food. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it. So unless you are undergoing some special fasting or detoxification program it is probably unwise to use juicing as a meal replacement. Ideally it can be consumed with your meal or is perfect as a between meal snack.
It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant -- not make you feel nauseous. Your stomach should feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should not be eating. Some people notice that they can't juice large amounts of cabbage, but if they spread it out, they have no digestive problems. The health benefits of juicing are immense for adults and children.
Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and juicing quickly:
Lesson 1: Use pesticide free veggies.
It is wise to choose organic whenever possible. However, some vegetables are worse than others. Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide loaded ones according to the Environmental Working Group (go to www.ewg.org/foodnews/ to download the guide). So it would be wise to only purchase these vegetables if they are organically grown. The worst ones are listed first: Celery, Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Lettuce, Carrots and Cucumber (not as bad if you peel the skin).
Lesson 2: Get ready to juice!
Please note that the order listed below is only intended for those that are new to juicing so you do have a pleasant experience with it. However, if you use ¼ to ½ lemon or lime to the juice you can start experimenting with the more bitter greens early on as the lemon and lime effectively counter their bitterness. (Please note it would be FAR better to use lemon or limes than carrots, beets or apples, which have far more fructose than lemons or limes.)
Step 1: If you are new to juicing, I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate: Celery, Fennel (anise) and Cucumbers. These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green vegetables. Once you get used to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable, but less palatable, vegetables into your juice.
Step 2: When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables: Red leaf lettuce, Green Leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Endive, Escarole, and Spinach.
Step 3: After you're used to these, then go to the next step: Cabbage, Chinese cabbage and Bok Choy. (An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.)
Step 4: When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well: Parsley and Cilantro
Step 5: The last step: Only use one or two of these leaves, as they are very bitter: Kale, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Mustard Greens (bitter)
(When purchasing collard greens, find a store that sells the leaves still attached to the main stalk. If they are cut off, the vegetable rapidly loses many of its valuable nutrients.)
Lesson 3: Make your juice taste great.
If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements: a quarter to half a lemon or lime (leaving much of the white rind on) or some cranberries if you enjoy them. Researchers have discovered that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. In addition, they are chock-full of phytonutrients, and can help women avoid urinary tract infections. Limit the cranberries to about 4 ounces per pint of juice.
Fresh ginger: This is an excellent addition if you can tolerate it. It gives your juice a little "kick"! And, as an added boon, researchers have found that ginger can have dramatic effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL).
Lesson 4: Drink your vegetable juice right away, or store it very carefully.
Juicing is a time-consuming process, so you'll probably be thinking to yourself, "I wonder if I can juice first thing in the morning, and then drink it later?" This is not a good idea. Vegetable juice is HIGHLY perishable so it's best to drink all of your juice immediately. However, if you're careful, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This is really helpful if you are bringing your juice to work with you so you can consume it during the day.
How to store your juice
Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will "oxidize" and damage the juice. Purchase a food vacuum pump like Food Saver with a Ball jar attachment. You can pour your juice into a pint jar and put the lid on and use the Food Saver to suck out the air in the jar to vacuum pack it. This will remove most of the oxygen that will damage the juice. Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready. It is best to drink it as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours of juicing. Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule, please feel free to choose whatever meal works best for your lifestyle.
Lesson 5: Clean your juicer properly
If you buy a high-quality juicer, the whole process should only take about 5 minutes. Whatever you do, you need to clean your juicer immediately after you juice to prevent any remnants from contaminating the juicer with mold growth.
Rev. George Malkmus, Norman W. Walker: Juicing Pioneer
Mercola.com, "Juicing: Your Key to Radiant Health", Nov 13, 2011
National Cancer Institute