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The Benefits of Juicing 

What are the benefits of juicing? Depends how you want to look at it.

The epitome of healthy food is a wide variety of whole, raw, ripe, organic fruits and vegetables. Nothing you can do in terms of processing or supplementing will improve on these foods in any way.

Juice can can be organic, from ripe food, and raw, but it's certainly not whole and so falls short of the ideal. While juice may not be everything whole foods are, it does have some uses and is a pleasure to consume, and it's possible to integrate it into a healthy diet.

The Benefits of Juicing: Why Are Whole Foods So Important?

When you juice a food, you remove the fiber, which plays a larger role in how the body digests food than most people realize. 

The standard American diet, or standard western diet, is notoriously low in fiber, which causes all manner of problems. Nutrition experts and government bodies have been harping for years that people need to eat more fiber from whole foods in order to prevent a wide variety of diseases and ensure proper function of the body. Science has found that lipoprotein action, antioxidant defenses and colon function all work better when people consume lots of fiber-rich foods (1).

Benefits of Juicing whole Foods

What happens when, in the case of juicing fruits and vegetables, you remove the fiber, which is present in the form of juice vesicles (pulp)?

One of fiber's main roles is to moderate the uptake of sugar into your system, and without it you get a surge of rising blood sugar instead of the steady and long-lasting rise you find from whole fruits and vegetables (2). With about 12 percent of the US population now suffering from diabetes, and with incidence expected to double in the coming decades, the last thing people need is spikes in bloog sugar.

A wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders and problems have also been linked to lack of fiber, including constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and colon cancer (3).

The Benefits of Juicing: But What If I Want More Of A Certain Vitamin Or Mineral?

The idea of singling out a single nutrient and consuming it in large quantities tends to backfire. If this were a realistic strategy, vitamin pills would easily prevent disease, when we know they do not, and actually cause disease.

First off, we are bad judges of what the body needs. The body knows what it needs, and when we consume a wide range of whole plant foods the body will take what it needs from that supply.

Sure, juicing can allow us to consume a greater quantity of nutrient than we would be able to do if we had to eat the produce, constrained as we are by the size of our stomach.

Say, for instance, that you thought you were deficient in beta carotene and that your health would be improved by taking in more of it. You could decide to eat whole carrots every day, but it's unlikely that you'd eat an entire pound a day because your stomach only has so much capacity. But it's quite easy to juice a pound of carrots and drink the juice, drastically increasing your intake of beta carotene

One of the side effects of this might be that you skin will turn orange, a condition called Carotenemia brought on by too much beta carotene in the diet. Alternatively, you can take a supplement pill for beta carotene in isolation, but science has shown that causes cancer.

Science hasn't even identified the majority of nutrients found in food, yet some insist on thinking they can pick out one or a few to concentrate on and it will heal them. Nutrients work together in a complex, interconnected web that defies easy explanation. It's best to just eat a wide mix of whole foods.

The Benefits of Juicing: But Haven't People Healed Themselves On Juices?

If I don't write this next section, I know plenty of people will tell me they know of someone who healed a disease or disorder by drinking lots of juice or only juice. So doesn't that prove that juices heal?

Benefits of Juicing PapayaNo. Juices cannot heal the body any more than whole foods can. Food, or anything else, does not heal. Only the body can heal itself. Sustenance of any kind is beneficial to healing only in the sense of its ease of digestion and how many toxins it brings into your system. Raw fruits and vegetables are best because they are the easiest to digest and bring in the least toxins, especially compared to cooked grains, meats, etc.

When people go on a fast they are taking in no sustenance except water, yet their rate of healing skyrockets. They heal from disorders that have plagued them for years.

They heal because their body is able to shut down their digestive system (because it wasn't being used) and use all of that freed-up energy for healing.

You might argue that juices are a bit easier to digest than whole fruits and vegetables, but fruit exits the stomach extremely quickly, and the quick exit of juice is at the cost of spikes in blood sugar.

People have healed of diseases when eating the worst a standard American diet has to offer. They've healed on vegetarian diets, vegan diets, and every other kind of diet.

The body will vector toward health when you give it the chance. Whenever you stop causing what is making you sick, and give yourself enough rest to allow the healing to take place, you will get well. So yes, if you were eating McDonalds every day and then switched to only juices, you're very likely to heal because you've given up what was harming you. You can't really juice cheese or a pop tart, after all. People that only drink juices are eating only plant foods, which likely much better than what they were eating.

But you'd be just as likely to heal on whole foods, and it just doesn't make sense that refining a food will make it more health-giving.

The Benefits of Juicing: Juice vs Colitis

Prior to going raw I suffered from a lot of health problems. The most devastating was colitis, a painful and sometimes embarrassing disorder that left me swinging between extremes of long-term constipation and the uncontrollable bowel movements, among other problems.

Luckily, I was able to heal myself by sticking to simple fruits, specifically easy-to-digest bananas. Some people with the condition are in worse straights than I was, though, and even bananas are too much for them. Juices, being entirely liquid, can offer them a lifeline of healing which will allow their intestines to heal. Although a full water-only fast is probably more straightforward way toward healing, juice is one option.

After healing with juices, colitis suffers can switch to whole fruits and other vegetables. A number of other  gastrointestinal disorders can similarly benefit from juices.

The Benefits of Juicing: Everyday Use

Benefits of Juicing Orange JuiceRegardless of whether or not you include the fiber, fruit and vegetable juice still offers a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients, not to mention great taste, and there's no reason why it can't be occasionally included in your diet, so long as the majority of your calories comes from whole fruits and vegetables.

Don't fool yourself into believing that juice is better than whole foods, or even just as good. It's an inferior processed food, but still a reasonably healthy one.

I've recently been introduced to nice thick papaya juice, which I'm a fan of, and fresh-squeezed orange juice is always great. From time to time I like a good juice drink.

Want something healthier? Although blended food is technically processed and has been oxidized, it still retains is fiber and is arguably almost as good as a unprocessed meal.

Some fruits, such as watermelon, can be blended with their fiber intact and still have the pulpless consistency of juice. I highly suggest you give it a shot.

The Benefits of Juicing:Following Up:

Learn how the benefits of juicing can be incorporated into a healthy raw food diet.

Get your raw food nutrition questions answered.

The Benefits of Juicing: Sources

1) Bruce, B; Spiller, GA; Klevay, LM; Gallagher, SK (2000). "A diet high in whole and unrefined foods favorably alters lipids, antioxidant defenses, and colon function". Journal of the American College of Nutrition 19 (1): 61–7. PMID 10682877.
2) Weickert MO, Pfeiffer AF (2008). "Metabolic effects of dietary fiber consumption and prevention of diabetes". J Nutr 138 (3): 439–42. PMID 18287346.
3) Tungland BC, Meyer D, Nondigestible oligo- and polysaccharides (dietary fiber): their physiology and role in human health and food, Comp Rev Food Sci Food Safety, 3:73-92, 2002

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