What is it?
Juice therapy is the use of fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juice to nourish, detoxify, and support the body. Juicing can be used during periods of stress, illness, or periodic cleansing to help improve a person's health.
For hundreds of years, the juice from fruits and vegetables has been used for their healing and nutritive qualities. These juices contain many helpful substances.
Fresh juice is the best way to extract the important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are stored within the plant cells. When a fruit or vegetable is juiced, the plant fibers are discarded and the juice of the cell containing sap, natural sugars, starches, proteins, enzymes, and other phytonutrients are released into the liquid.
Juicing allows a person to obtain more nutritional benefits from fruits and vegetables than would be possible by eating the foods themselves. For example, it takes almost five pounds of raw vegetables or fruits to make one quart of juice. Eating five pounds of these foods would be very difficult, but one can easily consume one or two quarts of juice during the day.
Fruit juices contain a high amount of natural sugars and should be diluted with equal parts of water. High amounts of sugars can cause blood sugar problems and should be used in moderation and avoided by diabetics and people with hypoglycemia. Fruit juices can be used for quick energy and for improving the taste of vegetable juice mixes. Vegetable juices contain high amounts of vitamins, natural enzymes, and minerals.
Fresh juice prepared immediately prior to drinking is the most beneficial. Many of the important enzymes and vitamins degrade very quickly after preparing the juice. Organic produce is also recommended because it has a higher vitamin and mineral content and do not contain pesticides, petroleum fertilizers, and other pollutants contained in conventionally grown produce.
Anyone interested in juice therapy should invest in a juicing machine. The juicer grinds the produce and separates the fruit and vegetable fibers from the juice. The juice is collected and consumed while the pulp can be used in cooking meat (or vegetable) loafs, breads, or for composting. You may also obtain fresh juices from a local health food store or juice bar. Bottled juices will not have the same nutrient content of freshly prepared juice.
Different juices have special qualities helpful for different conditions. Apples have a gentle laxative property. Grapes and blueberries have natural virus-killing properties. Unsweetened cranberry juice is helpful with urinary tract infections. Cabbage juice may help heal stomach and duodenal ulcers. Carrot juice has high amounts of beta carotene, trace minerals, and natural health promoting and anti-cancer nutrients. Cherries can help treat gout. A small amount of garlic can help as a natural antibiotic and can help with high cholesterol problems. Lemon juice can help strengthen appetite. Pineapple juice contains natural enzymes that have anti-inflammatory effects.
Juicing should not take the place of medical care for serious medical conditions. Proponents of juice fasting suggest a five day juice fast done in the spring and fall every year.
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (800) 206-7610
- International Association of Professional Natural Hygienists (305) 454-2220
- Northwest Naturopathic Clinic (503) 224-8083
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Last Updated: 11/4/2014