Do you drink fresh vegetable juices? Did you try it and stopped doing it because of the hassle (cleaning the machine)? I’ve been juicing fairly regularly for several decades, and when I stop, I wonder why I did. It is one of the healthiest things I do.
I discovered the healing power of juicing through one of my earliest nutrition teachers, Dr. Max Gerson. After experiencing unrelenting migraine headaches during his medical education, and with no treatment available, he began drinking large amounts of vegetable juice which reversed his condition. He subsequently treated a wide range of conditions with his nutritional protocol with positive results.
Most significantly, he treated cancer successfully with an entirely nutritional, rather than pharmaceutical, approach, beginning in the late 1920s. His approach to treating a wide range of diseases was based on his belief that there was healing power in vegetables and fruits. His patients consumed large volumes of fresh vegetable juice and ate plant-based meals to give their bodies high levels of nutrients to regenerate themselves.
Although Dr. Gerson could not have known back then what the most recent scientific evidence shows, he was clearly on the trail of something important. We now know that fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, called phytochemicals, and with biophotonic (from sunlight) energy. All the evidence shows that a high daily intake of these foods promotes health.
The Healing Power of Vegetables and Fruit
Why are fresh fruits and vegetables so important? Although it may sound boring, it was quite exciting to me to learn that some of the most powerful chemicals known to science exist in produce and were not created in a laboratory to be drugs. The phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have health benefits, including the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory, neurological, and metabolic disorders. Phytochemicals offer great promise in preventing cancer and healing damaged brains, hearts, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. They have remarkable properties, including being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic; they also affect genes linked to cellular metabolism, prevent stress, aid in detoxification, and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Leading cancer research institutions are now exploring the power of phytochemicals not only to prevent but also to halt the growth of tumors. Studies have found that the positive effect of food on preventing several different types of cancer is caused by phytochemicals. It is a major area of current cancer treatment research, since phytochemicals play a major role in altering several steps in the development of cancer. Because of epigenetic changes, some phytochemicals apparently have the capacity to even cure some cancers. Mother Nature’s pharmacy is magnificent; and it’s something a drug company could never have created in a million years!
Are you consuming 6 to 8 servings of vegetables and juices every day? Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables. It is one way to easily consume your recommended daily intake of vegetables and fruit.
Juicing for Better Health
For example, a study found the effects of beet root juice on blood pressure. Those who consumed 20 ounces of beet root juice began to experience a drop in their blood pressure within an hour. Two and a half hours later, all participants experienced significant reductions in their blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic readings. Beets contain high levels of nitrates that are health promoting chemicals which lowers the blood pressure. One cup of raw beets has 58 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates. A cup of beet juice is usually around 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, because of the way it is processed. Beets are good sources of nitrates, vitamin C, potassium, folate and other potent phytochemicals.
A study evaluated the effects of drinking a pint (16 oz) of daily fresh squeezed carrot juice for three months on risk markers for cardiovascular disease. The results found drinking carrot juice decreased systolic blood pressure, and dramatically increased the total antioxidant status and by decreasing lipid preoxidation independent of any of the cardiovascular risk markers measured in the study.
Can Juicing Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Unbelievable as it may sound, considering the devastation Alzheimer’s disease causes, a recent study evaluated 1836 people between 7 and 9 years found that those who drank juices fruit and vegetable more than three times per week, compared to less than once a week, had a 76 percent decline in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.