Fresh juice - the secret of good health
In the 1980s our eating habits were challenged and changed forever when a health and nutrition revolution, with its emphasis on low-fat, low-cholesterol, sugar-free, salt-free and high-fibre foods, took place. Now we are about to witness an extension of that revolution through the use of fresh and natural juice. The addition of fresh juices to a well-balanced diet immediately makes eating habits healthier.
- Juices are full of nutrients and enzymes that help fight diseases and promote a healthy and strong immune system.
- Juices provide instant nutrition. Because they are fibre-free they are rapidly absorbed and go to work immediately - healing, energising, revitalising and generating healthy growth.
- Juices provide instant sustainable energy that can increase perfor-mance potential, unlike the 'quick-fix' energy that is associated with high-fat, high-sugar junk foods.
- Juices are filling while being low in kilojoules and high in water, and they also speed up the body's metabolism.
- Juices can assist in alleviating stress by correcting the body's acid/alkaline balance.
- Juices can play an important part in anti-cancer and cancer-healing diets.
The Therapeutic Nature of Juices
The human body needs at least 8-10 glasses of fluid each day. Most people take this fluid in the form of coffee, tea and alcohol. These are all acid-forming, which can be detrimental to our health and the way we feel, and also contain stimulants that are addictive by nature. They tend to dehydrate rather than add vital fluids to the body. Alcohol is fattening and caffeine in coffee and tea unrealistically raises our blood-sugar levels. In addition, tag water today varies greatly in its composition.
On the other hand fresh fruit and vegetable juices are high in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They are also alkaline in nature, which in itself is therapeutic.
Juices are easily digested and assimilated, allowing maximum nutrient value to be absorbed at a faster rate without the body expending unnecessary energy. Toxins and wastes are easily and efficiently eliminated from the body.
By following a purely fresh fruit and vegetable juice diet for short periods or by adding fresh juices to an already well-balanced diet, you can help accelerate and enhance the process of restoring chemically starved body tissues. In this way you will not only restore the body to good health, but possibly defer the ageing process, prevent poor health and the onset of many of our so-called modern-day degenerative diseases.
Many experts today believe that it is the enzymes found in raw foods that hold the key to our wellbeing and longevity. These enzymes are not only responsible for breaking down elements within foods to make them more digestible and nutritionally valuable, but they are also known to stimulate certain types of cancer-fighting enzymes. These 'phase two' enzymes break down cancer-causing chemicals such as car fumes or nitrites, which are present in cured, pickled and highly salted foods, and allow the body to flush them from the system before they cause cellular damage to tissue. These enzymes are destroyed when we heat and cook food.
By adding fresh juices to your diet you will automatically improve your health. Just on a day-to-day basis you will look and feel better as your skin, hair, eyes and nails begin to show the benefits of drinking fresh juice. You will also be pleasantly surprised at your new-found energy and the need for much less sleep as your body flushes toxic material from its system and replaces it with the life-giving forces of juices, which also heighten your mental awareness and ability to taste foods more definitively. Best of all, though, juices taste delicious!
The potassium/sodium factor
In the early 1920s a young German physician, Dr Max Gerson, first raised the theory that the beginning of all chronic illness lies in the potassium/sodium imbalance in the body. Potassium is an important nerve conductor and acts as a catalyst for many body enzymes. It is an important alkalising agent and maintains the acid/alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. Potassium is essential for muscle contraction and proper heart function and the liver uses it in the production of glycogen from glucose (liver glycogen regulates the level of sugar in the blood; in muscles, glycogen is converted to glucose when the body needs energy). It promotes the secretion of hormones and helps the kidneys to detoxify blood. Too little potassium can cause high blood-pressure and can lead to chronic fatigue.
Sodium is closely linked to potassium and chlorine in carrying out many vital functions in the body. They work together to neutralize acids and maintain electrolyte balance - the fatigue-combating ability of certain essential minerals - in cells. They also regulate body fluid levels.
Sodium and potassium are nutritional antagonists. We need to have them in balance for good health. Our diet today tends to have an overabundance of sodium - we add salt when cooking, during the processing of foods and at the table. Many drugs also contain high levels of podium. This excess sodium leaches vital potassium from cells, disturbing their vital function, thereby creating an environment for disease.
Gerson believed that by correcting this imbalance by eating potassium-rich foods the body would be invigorated and cleansed as respiration was improved at the cellular level. Potassium-rich food, he believed,
would also mobilize white blood cells, which fight and destroy cancer cells. Using this theory, Gerson cured his own chronic migraines, when specialists had failed, by experimenting with diet until his condition improved. Through these experiments he developed a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, which he also used successfully to treat other migraine sufferers as well as a patient with lupus (a tuberculosis of the skin), at a time when there was no known cure for lupus. However, it was not until Gerson cured Albert Schweitzer's wife of a severe case of tuberculosis of the lung that he fully realised the importance of his fresh fruit and vegetable diet.
The symptoms of cellular breakdown begin with fatigue and decreased immunity and end in disease. Raw foods rich in potassium (see 'Minerals in Fruit and Vegetables', page 41) bring about cellular recharge and the potential for an environment that stimulates good health. A diet high in fresh juices is one way of correcting the potassium/sodium imbalance and achieving the level of health that is our birthright.
The acid/alkaline factor and stress
The acid/alkaline balance in the body is central to good health. An acid environment results in a lack of energy, chronic fatigue and susceptibility to disease. If you are stressed your acid/alkaline balance is out of kilter - emotional stress can be the result of a chemical imbalance of ingredients that, in the proper proportions, can otherwise help you 'ride the storm'.
However, stress can come in many forms. A diet based on acid-forming ingredients, such as coffee, sugar, meat, white flour and processed foods, will also make you feel stressed (some of us do not recognize this state as we have never experienced an unstressed state). Hormones released by the body in a stressed state are also acid-forming. ( As all fruit and vegetables are highly alkaline, drinking fresh juice is ' the easiest way to correct an acid/alkaline imbalance. Fig juice and all green juices are particularly alkaline-forming. Watch your intake of acid-forming foods, such as oysters, fish, meat, eggs, rice and nuts, if you are prone to an acid/alkaline imbalance (note that while grains tend to be acid-forming, sprouted seeds and grains become alkaline in the sprouting process).
Chlorophyll, found in all leafy green vegetables (especially kale, alfalfa, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, watercress, wheatgrass, parsley, celery, cucumber and green capsicum), is recognised as a powerful blood and cell builder, internal body cleanser and potent regenerative tonic. The chlorophyll molecule is similar to that of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
Chlorophyll has been used in the past to treat heart disease, atherosclerosis (a form of hardened arteries), sinusitis, osteomyelitis and depression with impressive results. It is also believed to be capable of blocking the genetic changes brought about by cancer-causing substances.
There are eight major amino acids that the body can only synthesise from fresh foods: lysine, leucine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, methionine and isoleucine, all of which are essential for the maintenance of health. If these amino acids are not present in the diet the body is unable to rejuvenate cells properly. A deficiency of just one of these amino acids can cause ill health and premature ageing, while children need them all for growth and good health.
All fresh juices contain amino acids that are easily digested, the highest concentration being found in sprouts and leafy green vegetables.
Many would argue that food enzymes are just another protein and useful amino acids from which new proteins are built by the body. However, there is another argument that suggests these food enzymes are essential for the body to break down and fully utilise the nutrients in our foods. When we heat foods we destroy these enzymes, making it difficult for the enzymes in our gut to digest them further. As a result the nutritional value can be lost.
Enzymes found in raw food are believed to be a powerful support mechanism for the body's own enzyme system. Foods in their raw state contain vitamins, minerals and trace elements, along with the right enzymes to help break down the food. When food minus its natural enzymes is eaten unnecessary stress is placed on the body's ability to produce these enzymes.
Bioflavonoids, pigments found in concentrated levels in the pith of most citrus fruit and in lesser amounts in all raw plant food, are known to have a potent health-enhancing and restorative effect. Two of the vital ingredients of bioflavonoids - nobiletin and tangeretin - assist certain enzymes to rid the body of drugs, heavy metals and car-exhaust fumes,
which are associated with causing the cellular damage that becomes the environment for cancer. So, indirectly these bioflavonoids play a role in cancer prevention. Remember, when you juice citrus fruits, always leave a little of the white pith on.