Singularly and collectively these juice-centered phrases are common buzzwords in the health industry. But juicing, when understood, is much more powerful than a trend or fad health tip. Juicing fruits and vegetables for nutrients and health benefits has been practiced for eons. In fact, using juiced food as a vehicle for wellness and healing dates back to early civilizations documented in the Dead Seas Scrolls between 150 B.C. to 70 A.D. Therein, it is referenced that “a pounded mash of pomegranate and fig” resulted in “profound strength and subtle form.” Since this time, humans have used juicing as a powerful tool for health and wellness.
But, what exactly is juicing?
According to Dictionary.com, juice is defined as “the natural fluid, fluid content, or liquid part that can be extracted from a plant or one of its parts, especially of a fruit; or any extracted liquid.” Hence, juicing is defined as the act of extracting the juice or fluid from a plant or one of its parts. In the health industry, juicing is more commonly associated with the extraction of liquid from fruits and vegetables to be easily consumed for their nutritional value.
As previously mentioned, early civilizations understood the power of juicing. Early apothecaries would use tools like a mortal and pestle to extract juice and nutrients from vegetables, herbs and fruit. In the 21st century more developed techniques and education about juicing became available to wider audiences. In 1920, German scientist, Max Gerson, developed a therapy combining a vegetarian diet and raw juices. His work is still carried on today through the Gerson Institute and is called The Gerson Therapy. In 1936, Dr. Norman Walker published the book Raw Vegetable Juices. The Norwalk Juicer, resulted from this book publication, and was known as “The World’s Juicer.” In the 1970s, Jack Lalanne, an American fitness, exercise, nutritional expert and motivational speaker, began discussing the power of juicing and the health benefits from fresh, non-processed foods. He coined the phrase “That’s the power of the juice!” and produced a line of popular juicers that are still available for purchase today.
Juicing carries such powerful health benefits because it keeps naturally occurring enzymes in fruits and vegetables intact. Most cooked and processed foods have been stripped of not only vital nutrients, but of their enzymes. Enzymes are natural proteins produced in tiny quantities by all living organisms that function as highly selective biochemical catalysts in converting one molecule into another. In layman’s terms, enzymes are LIFE proteins, and they promote actions like digestion and heightened metabolism in cells. These LIFE organisms are delivered quickest to the body’s cells by consuming juice, in comparison to eating raw, cooked or processed fruits and vegetables.
The variety of fruits and vegetables is endless. The same can be said about the health benefits that each fruit or vegetable juice provides to the human body. Here is a list of a few fruit and vegetable options for juicing.
Apples are full of antioxidants and pair well with other fruits and vegetables. They have the power to tone down the assertive or bitter tastes that other fruits and vegetables may have. Apples also help cleanse the digestive system, reduce cholesterol and boost the immune system.
Pineapples have lots of natural sweeteners, which make them extremely palpable for beginner juicers. This fruit also contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain that aids in digestion. Pineapples are also anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial.
Berries come in several varieties, and are natural antioxidants that are good for blood and circulation. Popular juicing berries include: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Citrus fruits contain carotenoids, bioflavonoids and high levels of Vitamin C. This makes juicing citrus like, grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges necessary for fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure and helping reduce plaque in arteries. Citrus fruits are also antiviral and antibacterial.
Celery is great for cleansing the digestive system of uric acid. High levels of uric acid in the bloodstream can lead to conditions like gout, kidney stones and diabetes. Celery is also a natural diuretic that relieves bloating, and is high in potassium.
Carrots are high in beta carotene, which makes them great for producing younger looking skin and keener vision, heightening brain function, fighting cancer, protecting arteries, fighting infections and boosting the immune system. Carrots also have a sweet and pleasant sate when juiced.
Dark greens like spinach, kale, collards and variety of others carry a plethora of health benefits that are amplified with juicing. Most dark greens contain Vitamin K, which aids in helping blood to clot. Dark greens also contain a host of other vitamins and minerals like calcium, and are a great source of protein.