Juicing can change your life! I know, because it changed mine. An auto accident left me with a brain trauma, overweight, insomnia, high blood pressure, poor night vision, and other health problems. After years of trying everything, I started juicing and just a few weeks later my health began improving dramatically.
From the start this these posts and articles have been about achieving optimal health by juicing fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. And, for you (and me) that means understanding what’s going in your body, and how it impacts your health.
More to the point: it’s your front-row seat to an exploration of heath and nutrition. And, oh, who could imagine where the journey would lead?
wonderful claims backed by science
but endless speculation
and claims, claims and more claims . . . including crazy, unbelievable claims (which I did not publish)
More than anything else, I realized that credible, science-based information about the health benefits of juicing is poorly organized, and many claims are based on a misunderstanding of study reports (or worse yet, based on puffed-up headlines in magazines that were clearly written by editors who didn’t even read the articles).
At this point last year, I’d juiced twice a day for nearly three years — so, loaded with passion, I figured I knew enough about the nutritional benefits of each commonly juiced fruit or vegetable to write a weekly article that you’d find helpful. Heck — that’s why invested in a juice bar!
But, while these articles helped to gather and filter information, it’s clear that to create an excellent information your input is needed.
YOU should challenge any claims you find skeptical. YOU should link to better sources of information — or especially sources that expand what is covered in the article.
“As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another” and together we can cut through the misleading claims and ambiguous studies to create a resource – the go-to resource – for anyone who wants to improve their life in what I believe more than ever is the safest, most powerful way possible.
So, what’s on tap for 2019, and how can YOU help?
First, you’ll notice that each blog will begin listing claims for juice ingredients that look to be unsubstantiated with science. If you have a resource for that claim — please comment with a link!
Second, visuals. Topics will begin to be organized around health benefits. Soon, you’ll see icons that will quickly direct you to the articles that are about the benefit or topic you’re seeking. Additionally, infographics about each topic are being created for you to download (or receive via email). You’ll really like these, and may even want to create a juicing notebook!
Third, beginners rejoice! You’ll see articles about basic juicing techniques, and more specifics about what to press-juice versus centrifugal juice versus blend.
Fourth, you’ll see articles about herbs (yes, herbs!). Why herbs? In my studies about juicing articles about beneficial herbs just kept popping up! The more you’ll look at this topic, the deeper you’ll find that the rabbit-hole gets, and the more it also calls out for organization and clarity. So, here it begins.
Fifth, new veggies and fruits will be explored and researched.
So, that’s what you’ll see new in 2019. Oh, and you’ll learn when new articles are published via email so that you’ll not miss a beat!
Here you begin. Starting any new health adventure can feel a bit like almost being struck by lightning: either it’s super inspirational and freedom forming or it’s immobilizing. No worries, I got your back.
It’s not surprising you’re here, either. After all, the path your nutrition has taken to this point in your life is almost certainly one that’s either “FDA Approved” (as in that poisonous, bloated simple-carbohydrate food pyramid), or one that sold to you repeatedly as having nutritious ingredients (pizza), luxurious (milk chocolate), weight-loss food (800-calorie sub sandwiches), healthy (practically vitamin-free protein bars), or even sexy (beer, anyone?).
It’s a wonder we’re not all comatose — especially considering that here in America some eat less than a SINGLE serving of fruits or veggies everyday!
Here’s the good news: no matter what is happening in your life, there’s a way to support your health through juicing.
Throughout the last two decades, juicing has transitioned from the old breakfast standards of orange, grape or apple juice to complex juice blends chosen for their great taste and health benefits. Today, you’re here because you already know (or suspect) that juiced combos of fruits and vegetables nourish, refresh and detox the body, leading to lower blood pressures, better vision, increased energy, weight loss, healthier skin and hair, and the prevention of ailments from colds and flu to cancer and diabetes.
More and more, we are seeking ways to create access to a richer array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll (link to spirulina) by tapping to the vitamins nature provides us. And, juicing is the perfect way to do it.
Juicing is a powerful contrast to the “vitamin pill” culture, or even the “healthy” supplement culture because your body will actually absorb much more nutrients because they are natural nutrients accompanied by enzymes and cofactors that unlock your cells to let the nourishments in.
But when you’re starting out, it’s difficult to know just how to begin, and what/how much to drink. That’s why I’m here to help.
First, Do No Harm The first rule of medical doctors (“do no harm”) is just plain good advice — especially when you’re “letting food be your medicine” (Hippocrates of Athens*). So, I suggest you begin with a food sensitivity test, such as one by Everlywell. It’s the one I use, and when I took it I was surprised by what I’m sensitive to (such as yeast) as well as what I’m not (I can eat Almonds and soy, even though I thought for years I was allergic to both; now, I enjoy them both). When you eliminate foods that are causing your inflammation, you are a long way to achieving better health from the start!
Second, You Need A Juice Plan! To get the most benefit out of juicing, especially if you’ve been fighting a chronic illness, you’ve got to begin by being consistent with juicing so you’ll feel powerful changes occurring. I’ll cover more about specific plans in a moment . . .
How Often Should You Juice? My suggestion is to drink 8 ounces of fresh pressed or bar-made juice at least twicedaily. That’s not twice every day or two, and it’s not once four days a week and twice three days a week. It’s twice. Daily. In fact, going from one juice a day to two is when my noticeable results started.
What Juices Should You Start With? You can start with simple, low-sensitivity juice ingredients such as carrots, apples, celery, cucumber and kale. Unless you’re sure you don’t have an allergy, save the herbs and beets and exotics until your sensitivity-test results come in.
This is not just the nutritious choice, it is also habit-forming. And, the benefits you will see in how you look and feel over the next six to twelve weeks will motivate you to keep you going — your friends, family, and hairdresser/barber will be just the first few to notice!
Specific Juicing Plans Juicing plans guide you through both maintenance/support plans and cleansing plans (3, 5,7 or 30 or more days long). Many plans are specifically targeted to provide the nutritional support you want. And by delivering results, the plans will encourage your consistency and deliver healing.
In addition to a juice plan, consulting with a juice coach can help you match the right juices to meet your health goals.
Juice coaches can take a plan one-step further by taking into account your nutritional needs in light of your age, geography, and short-term health goals. When you have one of these ‘designer juice plans’ you’ve got a game-changer!
Which Juice Plan is Right for You?
I’m glad you asked. That’s why we’re offering for the first time this QUIZ, to help guide you to the right plan.
Of course, any food or exercise plan should be undertaken only after and with the consultation of your doctor, who’ll know how to monitor your progress and bring any concerns to your attention.
And, if you have questions about juice plans, including having your own custom designer juice plan created, be sure to contact your local Juice Shack or another juice bar near you!
*to be clear, I would never advocate food being literally your medicine — especially that prescribed by your doctor.
How did I lose 40 pounds? It started with cutting sugar out of my diet, and watching not my carbs, but rather keeping my intake of added (a/k/a “processed”) sugar to under 20 grams/day (now it’s under 10 grams/day).
I am not the least bit shocked that we’ve all become highly addicted and accustomed to sugar. I believe that there are two reasons this is true: (1) the FDA and pop-culture in the 1980s dumped what worked for mankind for about 10,000 years and began embracing ‘high-carb diets’ (after which obesity rates began to soar!), and (2) we use it to self-medicate against an extremely stressful lifestyle.
Stress pushes our bodies to generate hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and these play a huge role in how you experience and access your energy levels . . . and blood sugar.
See, whenever you get stressed your body gets the signal to prepare itself for famine, and so it goes about making sure we will have enough energy stored (a/k/a fat) to us should a crisis continue.
Under stress, your insulin level drops, and glucagon and adrenaline levels begin to climb. Simultaneously, HgH cholesterol and cortisol make your muscles and fat less permeable and less sensitive to insulin response. This keeps more free-access glucose on hand in the blood stream.
This, my friend, defines a pre-diabetic state.
The disease known as diabetes was once misunderstood, in that we were once taught to believe it was due to having too much sugar in the blood. Now we know that it’s rather a sign of faulty blood sugar regulation, and actually responds well to good carbohydrate ingestion to promote glucose tolerance.
Let’s look for causes (not the disease-named effects) . . . for it is certain that sugar causes an effect. It’s so powerful that scientists across the globe now study it, and universally conclude that sugar consumption is detrimental to our health. According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) “Many countries set quantitative targets for added sugars, justifying this by expressing concern about the likely impact of sugar on weight control, dental health, diet quality, or metabolic syndrome.” Additionally, it’s been proven to effects our cognitive function.
So, what’s missing? What’s so dangerous about sugar?
Well, here’s the thing: substance quality matters just as much as quantity does.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re ingesting about 32 teaspoons (about ¾ of a cup) of sugar per day! It’s everywhere, added to our food, pasta sauce, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals, and beverages: even “vitamin water”. And it’s all adding up 260 cups or 130 lbs. of sugar each year!
That’s literally an extra 500-calorie meal every day made of added processed sugar!
What’s crazy is that pure sugar cane juice has nutritional benefits! It has fewer calories (than processed sugar), it is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. It is said to even have some medical value. Now, I don’t mean to imply that any amount of natural sugar is fine — anything in excess can harm the body. It’s just that processed sugar delivers such a dramatic punch to the body’s systems that it deserves to be singled out.
Wanna Hip Fracture? Eat Processed Sugar – Sugar Depletes Minerals.
Get this: – for every molecule of sugar ingested your body uses 54 molecules of magnesium just to process it. The insulin surge it causes consumes up your zinc. Sugar also depletes potassium and robs your bones of other minerals. A high sugar diet results in increased losses of chromium (which regulates sugar in your blood) through the urine! You also lose vitamins D and C.
Let’s watch this play out:
1) Since Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, sugar indirectly suppresses your body’s intake of this essential mineral, leading to greater chances for inflammation, infection, and even autoimmunity reactions including dementia or cancers. And, remember, calcium is responsible for the growth and health of bones and teeth and helps our blood to clot.
2) Magnesium is a vital for your good mental health, and its deficiency is one of the most common physical reasons for depression, anxiety, agitation and even hallucinations. It mineralizes your bones, builds protein, and supports nerve impulses.
But, High blood sugar and elevated insulin increases magnesium excretion by the kidneys and causes the body to use up its reserves. The fact that when we eat sugar, we are immediately impacting the very mineral required for effective blood sugar regulation (which just makes sense), means sugar is extremely harmful to the proper retention of magnesium. Just to be clear: your body needs magnesium, it does not need sugar.
3) Zinc produces our genetic material and proteins, and chauffeurs vitamin A in and through the body. It’s important for healthy zygote motility in males. Zinc enables taste perception, helps heal your wounds, and ensures normal fetal development. Insulin destroys your zinc reserves.
4) Sugar depletes iron, which is a part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the body’s cells. That’s kinda important.
5) We need Manganese for all our cell responses and our potassium stores maintain our electrolyte balance, cell health and nerve impulses. Sugar depletes these minerals as well.
So, let me be blunt: Processed Sugar Kills.
One more quick aside: I’m not saying that sweet fruit, or sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, birch syrup, jaggery, or the like are purely “wholesome sugar.” You can consume too much of these as well. However, these natural sugars come packed with nutrients, and are much less disrupting to your body than processed sugar.
So, when you make dietary choices that deplete your body, instead of restoring it, you are adding to the body’s existing stress level.
Maybe we should be finding ways to add more mineral rich foods into our daily diet to help calm the system and boost our mineral balances in an easy, absorbable way…
One of the strangest things about modern culture’s obsession with anti-aging is that it perpetuates the idea that beauty (or health) is only skin deep.
Do you doubt me?
Simply consider the dollars spent on aging technologies like Botox, plastic surgery, spray-tans, hair dye, etc. It’s only about what can be done to the surface.
With the advent of thousands of new dermatology technologies and facials and lasers, very few people talk about what’s going on beneath the skin.
With so many plastic surgery and laser rejuvenation techniques, we have become so used to artificial anti-aging — do you even recognize that bleached white teeth are a mere façade? Good teeth, like the rest of your body, are built from the inside out.
When it comes to aging in particular, it turns out that what we feed ourselves, and what kind of environmental space we choose to live on a day to day basis, will have a lot to say about our skin and our quality of health. Since skin is clearly important to people, let’s start with it.
Photo aging shows up as wrinkles, slackness, loss of collagen, and texture changes. You can also lose pigmentation, or gain excessive pigmentation in areas of high exposure.
In both chronological and photo aging, the best support begins with your diet. After all, you wear the biggest organ in your body: your skin.
So, what’s happening? It’s all about replication.
Your body’s cells constantly replace themselves by replicating, and each replication takes a toll on your DNA (literally). That’s chronological aging.
However, over-exposure to the sun damages your DNA’s ability to provide a quality replication. Now, I’m not saying to stay completely out of the sun. And guess why? Some exposure to the sun actually HELPS your DNA function better!
Another way to think about cell replication is to compare it to a photocopier. What happens when you begin to run out of ink? It’s kinda like that with aging. Our cells, including skin cells, make copies of themselves, but after too many copies are made (or with over-exposure to the sun), they begin to make poorer and poorer copies. Ergo, we age.
And, on a grander scale, what we see happening to our skin is also happening inside our bodies.
What’s great is that juicing helps us restore much-needed nutrients and hydration levels, and helps clear away the cell-wastes that make it difficult for cells to accurately replicate.
Did you know that your skin has natural compounds that protect you from sunburns, and that more of these compounds are created by, and operate optimally by getting good nutrition?
In fact, there’s been a lot of talk in recent years about your body working with the sun naturally, and science emerging about possible dangers with conventional sunscreens. (Link:) Did you know the ancient Aztecs and Mayas used cocoa butter for sun protection?
In reality, we are built differently — each of us — with varying levels of sun-efficiency based on our ethnic background and heritage, with the ability to produce our own SPF naturally. And the reason why we can do this is because of MELANIN.
Melanin is that substance which dictates the colors of nature: hair, skin, and eyes (and feathers, fur or scales in other branches of the animal kingdom). In humans, it provides the physiological differentiations that we call skin color. It all boil down to the amount of melanin we have.
In the skin, melanin is capable of transforming damaging ultraviolet light waves into heat (a process known as ultrafast internal conversion). This transformation keeps ultraviolet radiation from damaging our DNA. In other words – it’s our natural sunscreen. It’s no wonder (as any child may point out) that most people who have traditionally lived close to the equator are rich in natural.
But, did you know that, to a point that is different for each of us, you can help your body produce more melanin?! This means that eating quality, nutritious food IS skincare.
For example, a proper diet and UV exposure lead to melanin production and vitamin D production!
POP-QUIZ: Did you know that Vitamin D is necessary for every hormone in our body? Yet, over 75% of people in North America are deficient in vitamin D.
They key is: hydration and a nutritious diet — like you get when you juice raw fruits and vegetables
So, what works?
TOP 4 Nutrients for HAPPY YOUTHFUL SKIN
Now that we know how to safely get our Sunshine, let’s learn a bit more about the key nutrients we need to be ingesting to regrow and restore collagen and hydrate our cells, repair the capillaries and normalizes skin tone. Not to mention, all those sumptuous antioxidants.
How to get it: Oranges, tangerines, limes, guava, lemons, papayas, strawberries, black currants, grapefruit and mangoes, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbages, spinach.
How to get it: raw coconut, dark leafy greens
How to get it: blackberries, bananas, apples, kiwi, avocadoes
How to get it: coconut, bell peppers, bananas, pineapple and watermelon, collard greens, kale, and bok choy, watercress.
Mulberries support our bodies with an incredible ability to access our natural rejuvenating process within the protective layers of our skin. According to one source, “Mulberries do this by regulating melanin synthesis.” They are so rich with vitamins and minerals, so they’re excellent for supplementing all kinds of disease regimens.
When it comes to anti aging, they are rich in one very important ingredient that fights against this – Vitamin C. As you may already know, it’s an antioxidant that regulates your body’s free radicals. Who knew that by using using mulberry juice (Midwesterners rejoice!) you can get rid of those premature aging signs that nobody wants, like wrinkles, altered pigmentation.
So, where do aging problems start?
Often, they actually begin by spending too much time indoors. If you live in a temperate climate, when you experience winter you’re inside more and you lose your protective stores of critical vitamins. Ever wonder why you begin feeling better in the spring when you naturally begin to spend more time in the sun? The sun is using the nutrients in the food you consume to replenish those empty cells, and your brain is rewarding you with dopamine! Some people even report feeling a “tanner’s high” (is this is sign of vitamin deficiency?).
So, ultimately, getting some sun — but not enough to burn you — and eating (and drinking) a good diet will give your skin, and you, a healthy, energetic glow!
Interesting in learning more? Check out these resources!
You’ve heard that eating an alkaline diet can have positive effects on your health – heck Superbowl quarterback and MVP Tom Brady swears by it. And maybe you’ve purposely jumped towards a more plant-centric diet or even a largely raw diet in part to alkalize your own body. Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to buy Ph tape that you keep dutifully in the lavatory.
It’s irrefutable that finding a beneficial balance in your blood chemistry can bring about astounding health changes. But why the fuss about alkalinity versus acidity? Let’s talk a little about how acid and alkaline states play out in the body.
First: What is acidosis?
Whenever your body fluids contain too much acid (which is anything beginning below the natural alkaline balance of about 7.4) that’s by definition acidosis. Just like in high school chemistry class, a lower (7.35 or lower) pH means that your blood is more acidic, and a higher pH means that your blood has more base – or alkalinity.
Acidosis is indisputably dangerous. In fact, it can lead to numerous health issues, and can even be life-threatening.
Most people may have seen Ph urine tape in their health food stores — or perhaps you are someone you know has endured them during pregnancy to check proteins and other markers. But here’s the thing: for Ph – we’re looking for the alkalinity in the blood, and urine can’t tell us that. Neither can saliva.
The truth is that blood pH is tightly controlled in the body, and our survival and good health require that it stay in balance. But, without using blood samples it’s not possible to determine the blood pH.
So How Do We Know If We’re Out of Balance?
Well, we have to pay attention to the signals are body is giving us, specifically what our lungs and kidneys are telling us. While it’s true that there are several bodily processes which can contribute to the production of acid to overwhelm the bloodstream, it’s your lungs and kidneys that are at work to compensate for normal or small changes in our internal pH, but these two organs are also the top candidates as “canaries in the coal mine” when it comes to excessive acid accumulating in our bodies.
<<Fun FACT :: did you know we are like oceans on the inside? Diluted seawater contains almost the same concentration of minerals and trace elements as blood plasma, and its sodium content matches that of blood>>
So, now we get specific. There are two types of acidosis: respiratory acidosis or metabolic acidosis
Respiratory Acidosis occurs when the lungs cannot remove enough CO2 during normal breathing. The accumulation of hydrogen ions or loss of one’s bicarbonates in the blood and body result in a decrease in pH.
This typically results from an injury, or chest deformation (such as that caused by a broken rib).
Metabolic Acidosis is much more common and typically originates in the kidneys. It shows up as a complication with:
Diabetes – this occurs most often when the disease isn’t being managed, and you lack insulin and build up too many ketones in the body and blood. That’s acidosis.
Lactic Acidosis – this occurs because of lactic acid buildup, which can be caused by a prolonged lack of oxygen, or cancer, or liver failure, or cardiac issues.
Hypercloremia – this occurs when you’ve been ill and dehydrated, or because of vomiting such that sodium bicarbonate and electrolytes are lost.
Renal Acidosis – this occurs when the kidneys can’t excrete acids well, which causes acids to build up when they usually leave in our urine. It can apparently also be caused by aspirin or methanol.
Here’s the point: acidosis usually occurs secondary to some underlying disease; and while mild cases can be overlooked; severe cases can still present and present themselves by muscle twitching, involuntary body or eye movement, cardiac arrhythmias, disorientation, and even coma.
No wonder so much talk about this scares people!
Now that you know more about Metabolic Acidosis that it’s much more common, do you have any guesses as to why?
HERE’S WHY: HIGH ACID-FORMING LIFESTYLES OFTEN START WITH ACIDIC DIETS … AND END IN ACIDOSIS.
When we introduce too much acid into our cells, we are interrupting the normal, revitalizing and health sustaining functions that keep cells alive. We are inviting systemic inflammation and disease into the body. Some sources believe that if our cells are consistently acidic, then pre-cancerous conditions can be created.
Without consistently oxygenated and alkaline cells, our bodies tend to become infected — in other words, we start to grow mold and fungus and create viral breeding grounds internally. Pretty gross huh?
In contrast, some (such as followers of Gerson Therapy) say that our cells could remain healthy indefinitely if the fluids of its environment were clean and alkaline. In fact, Gerson Therapy was the first to advocate that people alkalize their diet.
Sure Fire Ways to Invite Dietary induced METABOLIC Acidosis:
High fat, low-carb diets, and ‘low’ plant food diets are acid-favoring, as are: ultra-processed foods, (frozen dinners, store-bought cakes and soda pop, caffeinated energy drinks), milk (although raw milk products are alkaline forming), alcohol, processed cereals, artificial sweetener, peanuts, eggs, pasta and wheat products, minute rice, processed meats like hot dogs and “deli meat” cold cuts, or instant oats.
Now, that pretty much sums up my diet at about the time I was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease.
So, What Do You Do? Alkalize.
The good news is that the vast majority of raw fruit and vegetable juices are alkalizing! Simply avoid/skip corn and winter squashes (who juices these, anyway?!), and enjoy blueberries, cranberries, currants, and plums/prunes in moderation.
Yes, there’s a LOT more to it than that, but start with the above as your general rule and you’re 85% of the way there!
HOW TO ALKALIZE
ACID is a killer, it’s powerful stuff! It can eat through a truck carburetor: AKA it eats metal!!! What does that do to your soft tissues or digestion or your joints or your heart? It dissolves them tissue and forces the body to pull from its alkaline reserves in bones and teeth; got a sensitive mouth?? Maybe you need to mean, green and alka-leen…
See, because ultimately it doesn’t matter what the condition or symptom is – the common denominator to illness and disease is an acidic under-oxygenated body.
Mix that with being overstressed and overworked and gee- is it any wonder we’re walking inflammatory time bombs? No wonder so many of us wake up every morning without the energy we need, no wonder that so many Mondays feel almost impossible.
Here are 6 Ways to Start Some Serious Self-Care + Two more
Breathe. Do something to focus on your breathing three times a day. Look into Ujjayi. Not only will you find greater energy, you will also help your body by respiration fully and this can get rid of some of the most damaging acid in your body, carbon dioxide which is 120 times more acidic than every other acid in your body COMBINED, including the acid in your stomach!
Hydrate-and coffee doesn’t count That’s right – juices alone don’t count: every morning start with either 2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar or the juice of half an organic lemon in a litre of water. Then get on with the next steps.
Avoid or Minimize Harmful Acids caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, soda, processed food, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated water all gotta go.
Drink Your Greens & Minerals. Having a fresh, organic, green juice daily is an incredible way to pack nutrient-dense alkaline superfoods into your body. Pound down that produce liquid stylie!! a small amount of fruit (green apples or berries) will get the ball rolling.
Exercise for 20 minutes every day. Your body will always try and detox through the skin whenever it can, and sweating is great method to instigate the release of toxin acids stuck in the lungs, and fat cells. Try bouncing on a trampoline or rebounder – fantastic way to clean up t blood.
Go 80/20. In other words, eat 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods. Easy.
But to get the most benefits, you’ll want to learn the details. So, sign up for my free guides on getting alkaline through juicing today!
BONUSES: this is a juicing blog, so aside from drinking mean and green on the regular, celery juice and watermelon juices are wonder of wonders (we’re speaking about drinking them separately). Try juicing a head of celery everyday for 21 days. Or ½ a small watermelon for 14 days and see enjoy the juiciness in your blood and mood.
Lime-juice, like lemon (link) and other citrus (link) is a wonderful addition to our daily routine. Popular in Latin American, Thai and Caribbean cuisines, this little round jewel is rich vitamin C and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous. They’ve also been shown to protect against coronary heart disease.
They’re the fruit that gave the Naval Brits their sea-faring epitaph: “limeys” because they could be hauled in transatlantic voyages without spoiling, while preventing scurvy (a sailor could hardly be thought to do his high-sea duties with the bowed legs, flaccid muscles, and tooth loss inherent in a scurvy malaise — which is why many scurvy-ridden pirates are depicted this way).
But that’s hardly all:
Limes can improve digestion, provide relief from constipation, peptic ulcers, gout, and bleeding gums. They accelerate weight loss, and can even help with urinary tract issues and respiratory disorders. Ayurveda (a form of ancient natural Indian medicine) talks about limes’ ability to support the expectoration of phlegm and mucus.
And like all things rich in Vitamin C, it’s great for skin and collagen formation, and shortens the duration of colds. All Vitamin C rich foods are a great way to reduce arthritis symptoms and also wonderful support for the prevention of atherosclerosis. Limes have an astringent effect on our capillary beds. And limes are filled with anti-cancer compounds such as kaempferol. Research has shown this flavinol anti-oxidant stops cell division in different kinds of cancers!
HERE ARE THE TOP 4 REASONS LIMES ARE SUBLIME
1 Limes are Anti-Carcinogenic
According to J. Robert Hatherill Ph.D., a research scientist, limes contain cancer-fighting compounds called flavonoids. In his book “Eat To Beat Cancer,” he writes about the biological activity of citrus juice has anti-cancer effects that prevent the invasion of cancer cells. Go kaempferol!
1. Limes And Antibiotic Properties
Limes contain flavonol glycosides, so the same substance that fights off cancer also serves as an antibiotic. Kaffir limes, those bumpy-skinned limes found in India and Southeast Asia, have been shown to fight off E. coli. Further, these lime-antibiotic compounds have been shown to protect against the contraction of cholera!
Limes Empower The Liver
Limes contain eight (8) different kinds liminoids which promote enzymatic activity in the liver. This allows your liver to detox a variety of cancer-causing chemicals that otherwise tend to take up residence there. Limes help the liver to deactivate them and then promote their excretion from your body.
Limes Improves Digestion
When you’re getting set to juice, go ahead and throw in some lime! Limes are mildly-acidic and actually help the enzymes in our saliva break down food more efficiently. Better enzyme action = better digestion. Plus, the flavonoids in limes naturally stimulate our digestive juices. It’s great to add into savory juices with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. Or, add to watermelon or pineapple bases for tangy-tart kick.
Did you know that a single lime can provide 32 % of your daily RDA of Vitamin C? Did you also know that just consuming 100 milligrams of the vitamin C found in limes helps increase iron absorption by 67%? (see: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). And, we all know iron is critical to the production of our blood and hemoglobin. It’s what assists our body in keeping oxygen levels right where they need to be. Symptoms of deficiency include anemia, dizziness, brittle hair and nails, alopecia, and fatigue.
One of the places commonly associated with growing limes is Key West, FL. home of the key-lime pie… However, almost no limes are grown there today. They are mainly grown in subtropical climates, such as Mexico, India, and Egypt. And, in case you’re wondering how they arrived in the Americas, well it seems Christopher Columbus brought lime trees to the New World on his second voyage.
Even with the abundant variety of fruits and vegetables that are always gung-ho, there are in fact a handful of fruits and vegetables that just shouldn’t be juiced, and there are some which just don’t do well being juiced.
Some fruits and vegetables will simply tear up certain types of juicers (especially centrifugal juicers). Others will go through centrifugal juicers, but produce no juice!
Meanwhile, other fruits and vegetables can tear up your insides.
And then are some items, which are easy to juice but really shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Especially when you’re just starting out, learning these pointers “the hard way” can be really discouraging, and even cause you to want to quit trying — but, don’t despair! Avoid these few traps and you’ll more quickly enjoy the benefits juicing has to offer!
No Juice to Juice:
Avocados, Bananas, and Figs This may seem very obvious but some still ask whether it’s possible. Uhm: no not really. They’re both very fiber rich and one (avocado) is very fatty. Not much juice to them. Don’t clog up your juicer. Stick them into smoothies by blending them instead. As for Figs, just eat them and enjoy.
Not Safe To Juice:
Did you know apple seeds contain arsenic? While it’s just a trace amount, it’s enough that you should maybe pause on just cutting up the whole apple or tossing the whole fruit into the juicer out of convenience. Apple seeds just really shouldn’t be juiced.
Some folks caution against citrus rinds: like oranges and grapefruit, because the natural oils in the peels can be indigestible and hard one the stomach. It’s not going to cause you severe injury if you juice the peel, but if you find you’re sensitive to it, maybe consider keeping it out. Lemons and limes, however, seem to be fine.
Rhubarb is really only best to eat once it’s cooked. Rhubarb is known to contain oxalic acid. And while it does not have enough to be toxic, be aware that oxalic acid has been shown to bind with calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, and potassium in the intestine and interfere with your body’s absorption of these minerals. If you have kidney stones, or have suffered them in the past rhubarb is a major no (and so is spinach). Never eat rhubarb leaves! They have a high oxalic acid content. And, avoid all rhubarb that has been damaged by severe cold or frostbite for the same reason (below freezing, the high oxalic content in the leaves migrates to the stalks). Lastly, its fiber is really hard on the juicer.
Beet greens have similar oxalate concerns to rhubarbs.
In fact most hearty greens do best steamed (kale, collards, spinach, chard), both for the nutritional value and our ability to digest them.
Or are they?
Carrot Greens –some say carrot tops are not edible, that they are toxic and potentially deadly and should not be eaten, let alone juiced. But this is not true of carrot greens themselves. Some say that the mix-up comes from the fact that the modern carrot was cultivated from Queen Anne’s lace (and Queen Anne’s whose taproot of is edible – it was often believe to be a natural contraceptive) closely resembles poison hemlock, a wild weed that can cause muscle and respiratory failure if eaten… (remember Socrates? This is how he died). But today, carrot tops are sold as vegetable stock in European Farmer’s Markets. They taste like a bitter version of parsley with a slight lemon-citrus quality.
Winter Squash is very difficult to juice. And the best way to get all the wonderful nutrients is to
lightly steam it and then make it into a smoothie or soup .
Totally Safe But Probably Too Much of A Hassel to Juice (Oh, and They Tear Up Your Blender):
Mangoes can be juiced if you catch them at the right time — when they’re green. Which are still tasty, but definitely not as delicious as when they’re fully ripe. That said, ripe mangos make incredible tasting smoothies.
Papayas “can” be juiced if you have a strong press-juicer. Otherwise, leave them to the blender.
Watermelon rind can be tossed into your juicer because it increases your total yield and delivers important chlorophyll. Additionally, watermelon seeds can be crushed and added to your juice, offering up magnesium and zinc. However, they are hard on centrifugal juicers.
Note: Because this blog is not about health benefits, I’ve skipped the links to sources. Please let me know if you want them added in the future.
Let’s be honest: Do you ever think about cranberries outside of the week of Thanksgiving? Maybe you toss a few “craisins” in your salad when you’re feeling fancy.
Then again, if we talk about cranberry juice, ladies may think about this more often because they’ve heard it’s good for bladder or urinary tract infections. Otherwise, cranberry juice more commonly appears in alcoholic drinks and cocktails, or mixed with vodka rather than something we drink regularly.
That’s really too bad, because it’s got so much to offer. A cousin to the blueberry, (and a native to North America) cranberries provide vitamin E, and K, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and zinc. It also contains vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6.
They’re rich in antioxidants and deliver over two dozen antioxidant phytonutrients. Some studies indicate that they actually to raise the overall antioxidant capacity in our bloodstream! Now, that’s great news to anyone suffering from oxidative stress — which is pretty much all of us.
Here’s 4 Reasons Why Cranberry Juice Should Become a Part of Your Weekly Diet
1) Cranberries appear to improve Metabolic Syndrome (MetS).
Almost a third of all adults in the US experience some symptoms or affects of the conditions known as Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), which isn’t a chronic disease in itself, but it’s an indicator other diseases: in particular type 2 diabetes and a plethora of cardiovascular diseases. Yet, because of cranberry’s interlinking series of phytonutrients and unique proteins, it appears to lowers fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, and even increases body levels of adiponectin – which is a hormone responsible for decreased insulin and a drop in body fat.
Magic fact-For these studies it was merely 2 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice over a period of 8–12 weeks!
Unfortunately, most people can’t stand the tartness of straight cranberry anything. Sweetening with apple juice or straight up sugar negates most of the natural healing properties of the cranberry. Sweetened juices, like commercial cranberry juice contains nearly 30g of added sugar cup. And dried cranberries (also sweetened) contain about 8g of sugar per tablespoon of cranberry, and sugar is linked to MetS.
2) Cranberry’s Vitamin C Factor
Cranberry juice is high in ascorbic acid (aka FDA vitamin C ) which decreases inflammation in the body and helps to support the creation and repair of good-looking skin and healthy collagen stores.
Interestingly, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that vitamin C may effectively reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, a condition associated with high blood pressure and increased amounts of protein in the urine of pregnant women. So, if you or a friend is expecting, cranberry juice might helpful both for its vitamin C benefits and because it the chasing off invasive bacteria.
3) Did you know nearly 80% of the US population is dealing with pronounced or indirect health issues for to an H. Pylori infection? In addition to causing peptic ulcers, an H. pylori infection also leads to gastric cancer, autoimmunity issues, IBS, and more. Think about that: drinking cranberry juice may help prevent this type of cancer since it helps stop those infections from occurring. That’s a pretty astounding reason to drink cranberry juice!
4) Cranberry May Help Your Smile
These bright-red berries keep your mouth and teeth healthy as well! As an anti-inflammatory, these berries support gum health by reducing irritation and infection. They contain proanthocyanidine which preventsthe formation of plaque on the teeth and so may help prevent periodontal disease.
That said: Cranberry juice is very acidic (and acids can eat-up tooth enamel), so find a balance especially when trying to help your teeth.
Cranberry bushes generally take about 16 months to fully mature. They are typically planted in spring or summer, they are left to go dormant in winter, and then resume growth during the following spring and harvested in early autumn.
So, the next time you’re at your local juice bar, ask for a little “cranberry boost” and watch how your barista looks at you, then just smile.
Immunity — every fall as children return to school and we return from vacations and go back to the office, new forms of the common cold and flu viruses (and many, many more viruses) begin to accelerate through our neighborhoods and across the USA. As our family and neighbors begin to cough and hack we begin reaching for the Kleenex, and if we’re smart, for juice!
Let’s begin with how the immune system works, then cover what you can do to boost your immunity (starting right now!).
The Immune System: Basics
Sometimes your immune system is triggered by a virus, sometimes it triggered by something the body believes is a virus (this non-virus that triggers a response in the body triggers a “non-benign substance”).
Your body’s immune response is generally divided into either (1) innate immunity, or (2) adaptive immunity.
Innate immunity is the immunity your body has which responds to ‘everything’ – as opposed to a specific pathogen. It expresses itself immediately as soon as any of your cells recognize a new pathogen in your body. For example, your body get hot – causing a fever – in the absence of a specific-immune response. Another example is the inflammation your skin produces after it is scratched.
Adaptive immunity is triggered by the innate immune system in response to specific adaptive immune responses (called antigens).
All of our long-term Immunity depends on ‘immune system memory’ and follows the adaptive response. Here, mature adaptive cells, which are “highly trained” to attack specific pathogens, are retained in the ‘immune memory’ for later use.The benefit to building long-term immunity to pathogens is the creation of immunity memory across genetic and hereditary lines. It’s why the Black Plague is no longer an issue (and the basis of the movie War of the Worlds).
But this doesn’t actually happen through shots or drugs — by entering the bloodstream directly they by-pass the primary layers of our body’s defenses. Instead, genetic immunity (also called ‘herd immunity’) can only result from a healthy, fully functioning immune system, which is passed down through birth and enforced with proper support.
If prior to your birth your mother got the chicken pox, or mumps, or other types of infections that she successfully fought off, all those aspects of her adaptive immune system pass on to you through natural birth and breastfeeding.
Prior to vaccines, over time herd immunity grew. But because a vaccine is a direct and artificial trigger to the “original antigen”, it bypasses the innate system while directly triggering the adaptive system it doesn’t promote herd immunity.
So, when you encounter a virus in the future, your immune system only (at most) mounts the same defense it originally created, and never passes on the “killer cells” of immune memory that create a response that passes along genetically. Over time, that memory lapses, and you must either renew the vaccine, or risk catching the strain.
This means that from a societal point of view, the best thing we can do with colds and flus and other misery-producing illnesses is to fight it naturally so as to build herd immunity. That’s why once your body has defeated a virus, you’ll never need a vaccine for it afterwards.
Yes, Your Own Cells Produce Antigens
We develop a tolerance to particular antigens. For instance, the immune system is generally tolerant of self-antigens. This is why (when it’s working right) your body does not attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and organs. However, when this tolerance is lost, autoimmune diseases and food allergies are the result.
Fortunately, certain naturally occurring enzymes increase the body’s tolerance to antigens. Most of the most powerful immune-boosting juices carry a powerful and flavorful punch(!) and include ginger (link), chilies, turmeric, lemon (link), grapefruit (link), garlic, papaya seed (link), and pineapple. (link)
My Favorite Immune Boosting Juices
1. Apples (link) contain quercitin, a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and flavonoid which works well in tandem with Vitamin C. It’s rich in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce the spread of the common cold. It also benefits the heart, reduces risk of cancer, and also helps suppress allergies.
2. Carrots are a super-carotenoid (meaning that they provide lots of beta-carotene (Vitamin A), and beta-carotene fights infections). They strengthen the heart, lungs, skin, eyes, and immune system. We often think that the orange in carrots comes from beta-carotene, but it’s orange color actually originates from the alpha-carotene, lycopene (red), lutein, and zeaxanthin. And, all of these natural colorings strengthen our immune defenses.
Red Tomatoes/raspberries/cherries/strawberries/pomegranates. Speaking of colorful enzymes, the ellagic acid in these fruits is equally as powerful as that in carrots.
4. Citrus (Oranges/Grapefruit) and Ginger will stimulate circulation and boost anti-inflammatories. Ginger in particular has undergone long-term studies to prove its ability to fight multiple drug-resistant pathogens that cause upper respiratory and gut infections.
Turmeric, Garlic and Greens. Curcumin is a component of turmeric, one of the most powerful naturally occuring chemo-preventive and anticancer agents in the world. Researchers say “its biological effects range from antioxidant, anti-inflammatory to inhibition of angiogenesis,” and it’s also shown to “possess specific antitumor activity.” When you add an anti-inflammatory juice with a natural antibiotic like garlic and add some amazing alkalines (such as lemon juice), you’ve got a recipe for success!
So, to boost your immunity today, fix yourself one of these juices or run out to the Juice Shack near you and enjoy one its immunity selections!
The most consumed beverage on the planet second to water is tea (then third is beer, if you’re wondering). As for Coffee, which was brought into the European scene by the Dutch shortly after the Battle of Vienna (where it played a prominent role), it’s dominant in the Americas and continental Europe. Tea, on the other hand, is preferred across Asia, Russia, and its historical territories. Worldwide “three cups of tea are consumed for every one cup of coffee.”
A little about the history of coffee and . . .
While both beverages have been around for a long time, tea definitely has the longer history. Legend has it that tea was first “discovered” by a Chinese emperor around 2700 BCE when, while boiling water over an open fire in a grove of trees, some leaves fell in. When he returned to the water, he discovered that the water was now more pleasant — the “steeped” flavor, no doubt.
Somehow I don’t think it was the emperor doing the boiling and discovering, but I digress . . .
Regardless, we’ve had tea for over 4000 years. Soon after its discovery, scholars and priests quickly popularized tea across China and Japan. And, to this day, it seems to be aligned with ancient expectations and images of civility, spirituality, and wellness.
Coffee, on the other hand, is believed to have originated in the Ethiopian highlands. Legend has it that a goat herder noticed that his goats seemed to get energized after eating these red berries. Well, by the 11th century, they were steeping the berries in Sufi monasteries across Yemen, and Persia before making its way across the Arabian Peninsula (which I find interesting, because caffeine is mostly avoided in strict Islamic countries today: they largely opt for lots of mint tea instead) and into Turkey were is was a ‘secret weapon’ that the Sultans used in battle. In fact, coffee as we know it arrived in Europe in the 17th century Battle of Vienna. The Turkish troops were surprise-attacked and fled so fast that they left mountains of ground coffee behind. At first, the Viennese thought that the grinds were gun-powder, but soon discovered that the Sultan’s army would drink coffee for a burst of energy during marches and prior to attacks. . . . and that’s how Viennese coffee culture began.
Now, let’s take on the Pros and Cons one for each, shall we?
According to the Journal of Chinese Medicine (2010), tea catechins fight high-fat diet-induced obesity and type II diabetes, and may lower the risk of coronary disease. This seems to confirm traditional Chinese wisdom. “Real” Chinese restaurants serve green-style wu-long bitter teas with their greasier dishes to boost the nutritional value of the meal.
In fact, you probably already know that the high levels of antioxidants in tea are important for lowering systemic inflammation, and even help prevent hardening of the blood vessels themselves (and atherosclerosis). One study I found makes the case that tea is an anti-cancer beverage, while others I link to here say it significantly lowers risk of stroke, fights age-related memory loss, even seems capable of producing higher bone density levels. No wonder tea is associated with longevity and with anti-aging!
CONS: Yes, tea has (at least one) drawback. In one 1982 study, drinking tea with a meal resulted in a 62% reduction in iron absorption (coffee limited absorption by 35% instead, while orange juice increased the iron absorption by 85%).
According to a 2015 Harvard University Public Health Studies, regardless of whether the subjects drank decaf or regular coffee, those who drank 3-5 cups a day were less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and (of all things) suicide. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinking decreases the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25%. Why? Well, it’s high in antioxidants. It may also may also help you lose weight because it contains magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium, in concert together, regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. So, coffee may work as a sort of natural appetite suppressant.
Coffee’s caffeine levels and compounds also flood the body with oxytocin, the feel good loving and bonding chemical; it’s a reason that you often feel that happy-go-lucky caffeinated lift . . . but that makes me wonder — could coffee cause us to bond to things we don’t really want to bond to? . . . I’ll save that study for the professors, who are probably drinking coffee.
For now, I’m going to go back to the kitchen for another cup of . . .