Juicing: Why NOT?
by Neesha D. Meminger
In today’s world, pollution and chemicals come at us from all angles; our water contains toxic levels of metals and chlorine; our produce is tainted with pesticides; and our meat and meat products are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. It is small wonder that so many of us fall prey to chronic ailments and disease. So much so, that conditions like allergies, PMS, and migraines have become as common as a cold or the flu.
In order to live a healthy and vibrant life in today’s modern, fast-paced world, it has become absolutely critical to eat consciously; including as much whole, unrefined, unprocessed grains, meats, and produce as possible; supplement the diet with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids; get plenty of rest and relaxation; reduce health-eroding emotions like anger, resentment, and fear; eat organic whenever possible; and include plenty of antioxidants in the form of dark, leafy greens and fruits and vegetables.
All of these components are necessary in the building of Optimum health and success, as well as combating and preventing illness and disease.
Most North Americans do not get even close to their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and juicing is an easy way to accomplish just that. Extracting fresh juice from raw fruits and vegetables and drinking it right away, allows many of the vital nutrients and enzymes to remain intact. And, since enzymes act as catalysts in almost every bodily function, juicing plays a significant role in the fight against free radicals. It allows nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, and trace amounts of essential fatty acids to enter the body in a more bioactive form than supplements. In other words, the body is better able to absorb all of nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables when they are juiced. The result of all of this maximum and efficient nutrient absorption is increased energy and vitality.
In fact, Vitamin A, if taken in large doses in supplement form, could lead to toxicity; whereas, beta-carotene, which is the pre-cursor that the body then converts into Vitamin A in the body, is water soluble, and carries almost no risk of toxicity. Fresh vegetables, especially carrots, contain large amounts of the more easily assimilated, and non-toxic form of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, which is released with the rupture of membranes when the vegetable is juiced.
Juicing is also a better way to get your vitamins and minerals because all of the phytonutrients, soluble fiber, and many other complex compounds that exist in the natural fruit also exist in its juice; whereas, each nutrient is individually extracted when it is in supplement form. Since all nutrients work symbiotically with one another, with each enhancing or balancing the other, drinking freshly extracted vegetable juice allows you to get the nutrients in combinations that exist in the food when it is in its natural state.
Additionally, juicing provides a lot of soluble fiber; therefore, the nutrients that are contained in the insoluble fiber of a fruit or vegetable are released so that the body can make use of them. When fruits or vegetables are eaten whole, these nutrients would not be available to the body as they would be contained within the indigestible fiber. Since fiber is such an important factor in the elimination of waste and toxins from the body, and keeping the colon and bowel cleansed, a high fiber diet is highly recommended for optimum health and wellness. Soluble fiber, as well as aiding in the body’s elimination and detoxification processes, is also the fiber that has been found to lower levels of cholesterol.
Most of the bottled juices that are available in supermarkets, and even health food stores, have been pasteurized in an effort to eliminate harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, the process of pasteurizing includes subjecting fresh juices to extremely high temperatures. There are valuable and fragile enzymes, phytonutrients, and other nutritional compounds that are destroyed with the addition of heat. Cooking, refining and processing food strips it of its maximum nutritional value.
Freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juice also provides another, major key nutrient: water. Everyday factors like caffeine, over-the-counter medications, salt, cigarette smoking, and alcohol all act to dehydrate the body. These factors, combined with the fact that most Americans do not consume nearly enough water just to reach the basic daily intake, never mind compensate for what’s lost, can contribute to ill health. Since fresh juices contain ample amounts of this vital substance, this is yet another reason that juicing could be such an important addition to an overall Optimum health and wellness plan.
The benefits of juicing are many, while the downsides are few to nil. In a culture where the number of people who get their daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, is dismally low, juicing should be an absolute necessity and priority. I have educated many of my clients in the particulars of juicing, and every single one of them has returned to my office full of vitality, increased energy, and a great enthusiasm for fresh juice. They often go on to become staunch advocates of juicing themselves. When faced with skeptics, my question is usually, Why not juice?
About the Author
Copyright Neesha D. Meminger, 2005. All rights reserved.
Neesha Dosanjh Meminger is an Optimum Health, Wealth, & Success Coach who works with people to actualize their full potential using the Five Modalities of Optimum Success™ program that she developed over years of consulting and coaching. Contact her at Neesha@seeitbeit.com for a free collaborative interview.