• The Benefits of Juicing

    The Benefits of Juicing with Passionate About Fitness

    When you don’t get enough of the nutrients you need for good health, you run the risk of becoming malnourished. These nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. This is a concern if you have lived on processed foods and McDonalds, or what is commonly referred to as the Standard American Diet (SAD).

    The impact of this SAD diet is that more than 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. [1] This is something to be concerned about as vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of bone conditions such as osteomalacia, as well as autoimmune diseases, certain cancers and obesity.

    Another common deficiency is magnesium with 72% of Americans deficient in magnesium [2]. After calcium, magnesium is the most important mineral in our bodies. Magnesium regulates more than 325 enzymes in the body, the most important of which produce, transport, store and utilise energy.

    Zinc deficiency is quite common in the developing world. Even in the United States, about 12% of the population is probably at risk of zinc deficiency, and perhaps as many as 40% of the elderly. [3] Zinc is important for a healthy immune system.

    After ditching smoking, the most important thing you can do for your health is to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. [4] Most of us only eat three portions, and one in five of us virtually none. This malnourishment can have long term consequences. For example, one piece of fruit a day is enough to lower heart disease risk by 20 per cent. Also, five weekly servings of red fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon, can lower lung cancer risk by a quarter [5].

    But with the soil becoming more depleted of nutrients due to intensive agricultural practices, the fruit and vegetables we eat today are not nearly as nutritious as they once were. One study found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19%, iron 22%, and potassium 14% over a 50 year period (1930-1980) [6]. Another study concluded that you would have to eat eight oranges to get the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have got from just one. You get the picture.

    Juicing is a great solution to overcome any nutrient deficiencies as you can easily consume more fruit and vegetables in a quick and simple way.

    When you juice fruit or vegetables the fibre is removed and you are just left with the juice. Whereas in the past I thought of this as a bad thing, now I realise this is ideal as it makes it much easier for our bodies to digest. This means your body absorbs more of the nutrients. It is said to only take fifteen minutes for the nutrients to reach your cells after drinking the juice. That is incredible.

    I become interested in juicing after exploring the work of Max Gerson. Max Gerson was a German doctor who cured himself of illness by juicing, and taking coffee enemas to remove toxic waste from his liver. That was in the 1950s, today his daughter, Charlotte Gerson, runs a health institute in Mexico following his health principles. Charlotte is 91 years old and is in great health, exactly what you would expect. People from all around the world travel to her health institute in Mexico with terminal illnesses, and many are cured with good nutrition through juicing, and again coffee enemas. The success they have is astounding.

    Some people prefer to take vitamin supplements instead of juicing. The problem is that even the most complete supplement cannot match the nutritional complexity of a fresh fruit and vegetable juice.

    How to Juice

    To begin juicing you will need to buy a juicer. As you are just starting out I would just opt for a middle priced machine. You can check out different ones online. I selected one where I could juice whole apples and this really works for me as it saves any chopping.

    My favourite fruits and vegetables to juice include:

    • Carrots
    • Apples
    • Cucumber
    • Beetroot
    • Kale
    • Romaine Lettuce
    • Chard
    • Ginger
    • Lemon
    • Pear
    • Spinach
    • Orange
    • Limes

    I would recommend to start off with foods you feel comfortable with, and to take it from there. If you have any sugar imbalance issues, it would be better to stick to green juices as they shouldn’t prove a challenge for your body.

    Where possible, opt for organic produce as they are likely to be higher in nutrition as the soil is not affected by pesticides and fertilisers. Ideally you want to buy from local organic farmers. If your foods are not organic you can wash your fruits and vegetables with a natural rinse to remove any pesticide or other chemical residue. You can make your own rinse by mixing equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Then, soak your fruits and vegetables in the solution for a minute or two, and rinse.

    The next step is to juice the vegetables and fruit, which you should find really straightforward. I would recommend drinking your juice immediately, as this maintains its nutritional value.

    I tried to persuade my parents to start juicing, and the one thing that stopped them was the perception that it was too messy and difficult. This can’t be further from the truth. As long as you clean your juicer immediately after you finish juicing, it is really simple.

    Add juicing into your daily routine instead of replacing it. You can’t replace your meals with juices as they don’t contain enough protein, fats, and fibre. Juicing is a great way to promote your health, so why not give it a try?

    Easy Juicing Tips

    • Buy a juicer where you can juice whole apples to save unnecessary chopping
    • Keep the juicer out on your kitchen worktop and not stuck away at the back of your cupboard
    • Get an organic vegetable box delivered straight to your front door
    • Aim to juice daily and make sure you buy enough fruits and vegetables to last the entire week
    • Wash the juicer immediately after you use it

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    References
    [1] Archives of Internal Medicine study 2009
    [2] Gallup research study, 1995
    [3] http://www.naturalnews.com/028404_zinc_health.html
    [4] UK Department of Health
    [5] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-95080/The-health-benefits-juicing.html
    [6] British Food Journal study.

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