The Art of Juicing

The health benefits of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables are well documented. Fresh juice offers increased energy, and strengthened immunity, flushes the body of toxins, and provides the raw materials to help your body heal more quickly and completely. Vegetable and fruit juices are low in calories and practically fat-free. With juicing, you can learn to control and eliminate food cravings and addictions. Juicing is also a great way to feed the body valuable vitamins and minerals and create radiant health and vitality. Since I started juicing almost two years ago, I've found I no longer need the many supplements I was taking.

When I first decided I was going to juice, I bought a Green Star juicer. Although there are a lot of good juicers on the market, I chose the Green Star for several reasons. For one, the powerful triturating action of the twin gears cuts and juices almost all vegetables including carrots, celery, leafy vegetables and wheatgrass. (Unless a juicer is specifically designed to juice wheatgrass, it won't do a very effective job). Another reason is that the twin gear system incorporates magnetic and bio-ceramic technologies which enables juices made in the Green Star to be stored longer without losing health building benefits. Also the fact that there are three cutting points on the twin gears, set to cut stringy fibers into small pieces, preventing a machine jam, makes juicing hassle-free.

After I chose a juicer, I set out to educate myself about juicing by reading several books I found helpful. They were: the Juiceman's Power of Juicing by Jay Kordich; the Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health; Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices by John Heinerman and Juice Fasting and Detoxification by Steve Meyerowitz.

The cost of getting into juicing may seem prohibitive to some, but ask yourself how much a single trip to the doctor runs these days. Since I started juicing, I haven't been sick a single day! Also I want to share some ways I was able to get into juicing and keep my costs down. The Green Star juicer can generally be found on eBay for $350-$380 new. Some dealers will match the lowest price you find on the Internet and they may also sell used juicers they've taken in on trade for new ones. All the books I read to educate myself on juicing I bought from either Amazon MarketPlace or or eBay. I was able to acquire all the titles mentioned here for just under $25.

As I began to study juicing, I learned about wheatgrass, which is well known in holistic healing circles for its therapeutic benefits of blood purification, liver detoxification and colon cleansing, and began growing and juicing that as well.

When you start juicing, it's good to know a few basics, and I'll provide those here, along with information on some tasty juice combinations and ways some juice combinations may help improve certain physical conditions. I encourage you to read everything you can find on juicing to help you fine-tune your juicing regimen. The following will help get you started.

By drinking juice you're eliminating the digestive process of extracting liquid from the fiber of fruits and vegetables. Fresh juice isn't pasteurized like store-bought juices so it isn't "cooked." This means it is filled with the live cells our bodies need to create good health and vitality. Fresh juices are pure -- free of additives or preservatives. The vitamins and minerals of the fruits and vegetables in the juice are instantly released into the bloodstream.

Juiceman Jay Kordich advocates juicing heavy on the vegetable side. For one reason, vegetables are harder to digest when eaten whole. Secondly, vegetables are the building blocks of life and responsible for strong, healthy muscles, tissue, glands and organs. Consuming vegetables in juice form guarantees you get nearly 100% of the available nutrients, particularly the minerals.

Kordich says it's better to eat fruits than to juice them. They are more easily digested than vegetables and a good source of fiber. Fruits are also revitalizers and cleansers of the body.

Apples are the only type of fruit you can mix with vegetables. Fruits can be juiced with other fruits but not in combination with vegetables. Carrot juice and celery juice are two juice staples. Other vegetables that make great juice are leafy greens such as spinach, parsley and sprouts. I also juice fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, parsnips, beets and beet greens, ginger, and Granny Smith apples.

Fresh juice flushes your body of toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed, energized and relaxed. Adding wheatgrass to your juice will provide your body with a super source of chlorophyll. It has the widest range of vitamins and minerals of any plants.

The following is a list of some fruits and vegetables and their possible health benefits.

PARSLEY juice helps stop hay fever attacks and has more than three times the vitamin C of oranges. A safe, therapeutic dose is one half to 1 c. parsley juice per day. Parsley juice can be toxic in overdose and should be avoided by pregnant women. Parsley juice is also good in treating anemia and multiple sclerosis; it serves as a diuretic that helps decrease inflammation and irritation in the bladder and urethra; it contains beta carotene, magnesium, zinc, B6 and bioflavonoids; and helps produce an overall sense of well-being.

CELERY juice raises blood alkalinity, which helps reduce allergic reactions. Also good in treating insomnia, has a calming effect; contains silicone, strengthens nerve and heart tissue.

DANDELION greens are commonly used in treating anemia. They are a good source of iron, folic acid, calcium, potassium and trace minerals. Also a traditional remedy for osteoarthritis. Recommended a half-cup morning and evening. Dandelion is also a traditional remedy for healing rheumatoid arthritis and tendonitis; contains phytochemicals believed to deactivate the TB bacteria. Fights water retention.

FENNEL calms the mind. Is used as a traditional tonic and found to help release endophins into the bloodstream. These feel-good chemicals create a mood of euphoria and dampen anxiety and fear. Also aids digestion, relieves gas and serves as a uterine tonic.

ASPARAGUS is a good diuretic and traditional remedy for kidney and bladder problems.

GINGER serves as an anti-inflammatory and lowers cholesterol levels.

CARROT reduces cholesterol levels; helpful with fatigue.

GARLIC contains substances that help stop stiffening of the aorta, the body's main artery. Decreases cholesterol and triglycerides; lowers blood sugar levels. Strongly antimicrobal, effective against bacteria, viruses and parasites.

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE is rich in inulin, a substance that increases immune defense mechanisms; helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and helps support the liver and pancreas.

PARSNIPS along with JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES are traditional remedies that help curb cravings for sweets and junk food. Sip the juice slowly when you have a craving for high fat or high sugar food.

WHEATGRASS is a powerful immune builder. Also good for blood purification, liver detoxification and colon cleansing.

APPLE has antiviral properties. Use tart apples such as Granny Smiths or Pippins to avoid consuming too much fruit sugar.

CABBAGE juice has been documented to heal ulcers; also helpful with diabetes.

DAIKON RADISH is used in traditional Oriental medicine to help dissolve hardened accumulations in the intestines; also helps eliminate excess fat from the body.

TOMATO juice contains licopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against digestive tract cancers.

DARK GREEN juices rich in chlorophyll are helpful for depression; help relieve excess menstrual flow.

BEET juice is a good liver cleanser.

TURNIP is a traditional remedy for lung diseases.

SPINACH/CARROT juice helps with blood sugar regulation and liver cleansing.

BEET/CUCUMBER juice helps cleanse the liver and gallbladder.

SPINACH/APPLE juice cleanses and rejuvenates the intestinal tract.