Saturday, December 03, 2005
Is Juicing Worth The Effort?
By Roger Haeske
For many years now, juicing has been promoted as a miracle cure and a way to get super nutrition, above and beyond what you could get from whole foods. In this article, I'm going to analyze this theory and give you my findings.
** Why Juice?
People juice because they feel they aren't getting enough vital nutrients in their diets. The theory is that by juicing, you remove the fiber and therefore your body can easily absorb much higher levels of nutrients directly into the bloodstream.
This may indeed be true. But there are some problems with doing this. If you juice foods that are high in sugar content like fruits and carrots, by removing the fiber, you will get a high spike in your blood sugar levels.
Habitual juicing of sweet fruits and carrots is definitely not a healthy thing to do, regardless of the fact if some nutrients become more absorbable. These super high spikes in blood sugar are not healthy. You always have to look at the overall effect of eating a food on your health, not just how many nutrients a food has.
Many times these so-called super foods also have high levels of toxins in them which make the result of eating them, less than ideal for your health. Garlic is a perfect example of that. In addition, garlic isn't really a food but a condiment.
That is a whole long story that I won't get into here, but I do discuss it in my 31-Day Course to Raw Food Diet Success which you can get here if you didn't already get sign up for it.
Many experts agree with me that juicing sweet foods isn't the wisest thing to do, but they promote juicing dark leafy greens instead. The good news is if you do this you won't get a high spike in blood sugar levels and you may indeed absorb more of certain kinds of nutrients.
But this can cause several problems as well. Your nutrient levels will become imbalanced. Just as getting too few nutrients is bad for you, so is getting too many.
When you have excess nutrients in your bloodstream, your body has to get rid of them or store them in your fat cells. This causes the body extra work and therefore, you're body has less energy and time to heal and repair itself.
Our bodies have a limited capacity for nutrients. There is only so much it can absorb. anything above that amount becomes an overload and is actually toxic. This actually happened to me when I used to take this super powerful supplement. I started getting pains in my side. As soon as I stopped taking the supplement the pains went away.
There's also another serious flaw in the whole juicing theory. What is removed during juicing is also a vital nutrient. Fiber is removed during the juicing process and as we all know fiber is an important nutrient, which helps in the digestion process.
Another interesting point about fiber is that the most nutritious part of a food is often in the fiber. Many of the nutrients in food are actually found in the fiber. An example of this is an orange. The albedo or the white skin of an orange is loaded with phytonutrients. That healthy fiber is removed in the juicing process.
In my opinion, juicing makes a food less nutritious, not more nutritious. I personally know some people who started getting constipation when they started juicing. It's no wonder since they are removing the fiber from the food.
A raw food diet is great because it's very high in fiber, why remove that fiber by juicing?
** My Results With Juicing:
The most juicing I ever did was before I ever went on a 100% raw food diet. I can tell you that extensive juicing did little if anything to improve my health. I was as depressed and miserable as ever.
But going raw made quick and dramatic improvements in many areas of my health. There is no comparison. There is so much more to health than just vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
** What You Don't Eat, Is More Important Than What You Do Eat:
One of the most important aspects of going 100% raw is what you don't eat. Because when you stop eating toxic: cooked, processed and chemical laden foods, you lower your intake of toxins dramatically.
This is actually much more important than the nutrients you take in. Because most people have enough nutrients and in many cases they have an overload of nutrients.
Everyone wants to believe they can take a magic pill or juice and their health will all of a sudden become better. But their nutrient levels are probably alright to begin with. On a health scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, for most people, nutrients only count as a 1 to 3 in importance to their overall health.
But lowering your toxic load by eating raw, is at least an 8-10 in importance for most people. So if you could sell a supplement that could truly lower your toxic load then that indeed would be the magic pill.
But there is no such supplement, although many supplements manufacturers try to make that claim. The only way to ideal health is to eat a 100% raw food diet, which also happens to be made up of the true superfoods for humans, raw fruits and vegetables.
The other big problem with juicing is how time consuming and expensive it is. You have to buy so much extra food to turn it into a decent amount of juice. You have to use about 8 to 12 carrots for a large glass of juice.
What I hated the most was all the preparation and clean up time. Making juices took a long time because all the foods had to be cleaned and cut into small pieces. Then the cleanup took another 15 minutes or more. It's a true waste of time and money and you get an inferior product as a result.
** A Powerful Alternative To Juicing:
I like to blend my foods with a high-powered blender like the Vita-Mix 5000. The great thing about using the Vita-Mix is that you can make whole food juices. That way all the nutrients are in the food including the fiber. It's a whole food.
It's the ultimate kitchen tool for the raw foodist. So many of us use a Vita-Mix many times a day to quickly make delicious meals. There are several reasons I can think of why owning a Vita-Mix will help you to succeed at going raw. For one thing it makes eating raw even more delicious.
Let's say you want to eat breakfast. Maybe you're bored of just eating mono meals of bananas and other fruits. You can quickly and easily make delicious raw smoothies. (Note you can do this with a regular blender as well, but preparation time and clean up time is a bit longer with a regular blender.)
A favorite of smoothie of mine is wild blueberry / banana. It tastes unbelievably good when you use really ripe bananas with just the right amount of wild blueberries. Regular blueberries also taste pretty good, but the wild ones taste even better to me and their antioxidant levels are much higher.
What about making a strawberry / banana smoothie? It tastes great as well and is a surprisingly compatible food combination. Normally it's not recommended to eat acid fruits and sweet fruits together.
So a Vita-Mix can help you to add variety and improve the flavors of your raw foods. It helps you to stay raw because you can make so many great tasting raw food recipes with it.
But it also does something else. It helps you to eat more food. For some of you that is a problem, when you go raw you just don’t eat enough calories, you're not used to stretching out your stomach and so you can get really skinny and lack energy.
By making smoothies you'll find it easier to eat more bananas than without smoothies. Therefore, it can help you to get enough calories during the day. For some reason it's just easier to eat more when the bananas are in the form of a smoothie.
This is a good trick for people who become underweight on a raw diet.
Another great thing about the Vita-Mix is the ability to make big blended salads. There are four big advantages with making blended salads.
1. You don’t have to make a salad dressing. The whole salad becomes like a thick or thin soup depending on how you make it.
2. It again allows you to get down more greens. I sometimes eat more than a large head of romaine in a day, plus lots of tomatoes, cucumber and celery with the use of my Vita-Mix. It has a large 64 oz container so that I can make a big blended salad in one shot. Normal blenders I'd have to make two blended salads instead of one because they have much smaller containers. Plus they are much slower and I can't put in harder ingredients like carrots.
3. It saves time as well. Eating a large regular salad takes me at least 45 minutes to eat because I chew my salads thoroughly. The Vita-Mix has done all of my chewing for me. Now I just need to eat a mouthful and swish it around in my mouth a few seconds to let my salivary juices flow and help in the digestion process.
I can eat this big blended salad in ten minutes.
4. The final benefit is similar to what juicing claims to do. There are some people in the Natural Hygiene movement who believe that by making blended salads we can actually absorb more nutrients from the salads.
I don't know if that is true or not, but I know I can definitely eat more greens because of making blended salads and this will of course increase my nutrient absorption.
In my blended salads, I also add carrots. This something a regular blender can't do because it doesn't have enough power. Just one carrot and you've got a full day's supply of vitamin A. Plus carrots are a great thickener and flavor enhancer. You can use them to make low-fat raw pâtés.
If you want to make raw pâtés, you need a high-powered blender like the Vita-Mix. A regular blender doesn't generate enough power to make these pâtés. You can also grind flax seed or any seeds into a fine powder or flower.
For a summer treat, you can make the most delicious, low fat, raw ice creams. This is a powerful tool for the aspiring raw foodist. I highly recommend you get one for yourself. It makes raw eating more fun than ever.
If you are interested in getting your own Vita-Mix with a 7-year warranty (which you can't get if you buy it from eBay), then please visit this page. I've added some super bonuses if you order from my link.
Just follow the directions at this page:
To Your Radiant Health, Happiness and Fitness, Roger Haeske