Most people who get into juicing recognize that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy and would like to get more daily servings into their diet. However, they may not be aware of the specific health benefits that juicing can provide, as well as the capacity of fresh juices to both combat existing diseases or health conditions and prevent chronic disease Prodotti tipici siciliani.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain several key nutrients, notably, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. Most people understand that vitamins and minerals are essential for life and many take daily supplements to ensure they are getting enough, but the critical roles of enzymes and phytonutrients are not as well understood.
Enzymes are necessary for a variety of important chemical reactions in your body, including food digestion, absorption, and conversion into energy. Therefore, a deficiency of enzymes can lead to impaired digestion, impaired elimination, malnutrition, and low energy levels due to a low metabolism. Not only does juicing replenish these enzymes, but actually spares the body from depleting its enzyme supply by breaking down the fiber and cell walls of fruits and vegetables, making the nutrients more bioavailable to the body’s cells. Juicing raw vegetables is also preferable to cooking them since enzymes are denatured (destroyed) by heat. Enzymes will improve many aspects of health, but for those looking for ways to increase their metabolism in order to lose unwanted pounds, juicing raw fruits and vegetables is particularly beneficial.
Phytonutrients are a more recent discovery and more of them are being discovered all the time. Phytonutrients may have a range of effects, including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. For example, sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and several other vegetables, is believed to inhibit tumor growth and may also have anti-microbial effects. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is a potent anti-oxidant and may also have anti-cancer properties. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found primarily in dark, leafy greens and have been shown to inhibit age-related macular degeneration. Considering that the most common causes of death and chronic disease today are believed to stem from inflammation (cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, etc) or unregulated cell growth (cancer), increasing one’s intake of fresh fruits and especially vegetables is a great idea. Juicing promotes consumption of these extraordinary nutrients by facilitating a greater daily intake of fruits and vegetables and by making certain vegetables more palatable in raw form.
One additional nutrient, only found in plants, deserves mention. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that is responsible for photosynthesis, or the process of obtaining energy from sunlight, is another often overlooked nutrient. Chlorophyll is known for its beneficial effects on the blood and circulation, notably increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin formation – and thus oxygen delivery to tissues – and dilating blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. Interestingly, the chlorophyll molecule is identical to the hemoglobin molecule attached to red blood cells, which binds and transports oxygen throughout the body, with the exception that its central atom is magnesium rather than iron (which gives it a green rather than red color). This similarity is almost certainly responsible for chlorophyll’s beneficial circulatory effects. Since many leafy greens are difficult to eat by themselves, juicing provides a simple way to consume them with other fruits and vegetables that neutralize or soften their flavor.
While all fruits and vegetables benefit health in some way, people focusing on healing from or preventing certain diseases and conditions should focus on particular ones that contain the critical nutrients. Below are listed several common health challenges and some fruits and vegetables that can be juiced to overcome these conditions:
Alzheimer’s: grapes (including the seeds)
Arthritis: yams, asparagus
Asthma: apples, bell peppers
Cancer: broccoli, kale, collard greens, cranberries (colon cancer)
Diabetes: artichokes, sweet potatoes, artichokes
Kidney stones: cranberries, green beans
Stomach ulcers: cabbage
Urinary tract infections: watermelon, blueberries
Before deciding whether or not to use juice to boost your health and combat disease, it is worth pointing out some important differences between freshly juiced fruits and vegetables and the commercial juices available at most supermarkets (and even many health food stores). First, many of these juices, even the organic ones, contain added sugar and preservatives. These are things to avoid. Second, these juices are often made from concentrates, which means you aren’t getting the full range of nutrients present in the whole fruits or vegetables, and the water used to reconstitute them likely either comes from tap water or well water from industrial zone property. If you don’t enjoy ingesting pharmaceutical drugs, chemical resins, and other harmful impurities in your juice, then these are options to stay away from. Finally, commercial juices are required to be pasteurized before being sold, which kills any microorganism, but also damages and destroys the essential nutrients discussed earlier in the article. Considering that the extraordinary health benefits of these nutrients are a prime reason for drinking juices in the first place, doesn’t it make sense to make your own fresh, unpasteurized juices?