If health and improved energy is your goal, and the large amounts of micronutrients you get from eating raw vegetables aren’t enough, try juicing them! Condensing fresh vegetables in a juicer at home produces a power-packed liquid which is rapidly absorbed in your body, giving your digestive system a rest from having to break down protein, fiber and fat.
Micronutrients are the substances the body uses in small amounts to keep you healthy, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Deficiencies can often be corrected through diet and supplementation, but if you want to ensure you’re covering the bases, juicing fits the bill. Carrot juice is high in vitamins A and E. Dark leafy vegetable juice contains magnesium, potassium and calcium. Fresh fruit juice is loaded with antioxidants, and all of these raw foods contain enzymes, a juicer’s treasure.
Enzymes are specific proteins your body uses to carry out chemical reactions, from digestion of the food you eat to the manufacturing of hormones. According to a study published in the February 2000 issue of “Medical Hypotheses,” enzymes in food work synergistically with enzymes in your body, giving you the most nutritional value from the foods you eat. Cooking destroys these delicate proteins. Raw juice can replete your enzyme stores.
Many civilizations and cultures, past and present, practice some form of fasting from food. A 3-day fresh vegetable/fruit juice fast provides rapid delivery of many of the micronutrients your body needs for health. Drinking water only for 3 days may be uncomfortable, but ingesting fresh juice rich in micronutrients and taste is not only tolerable, you may find it exhilarating. In a 2003 study published by the “National Academy of Sciences,” intermittent fasting has beneficial effects, including resistance to stress and increased lifespan.
Providing the digestive system a rest can increase your vitality level since the energy normally spent in digesting food is at a bare minimum. Detoxification is enabled at the same time your cells are receiving vital nutrients. You can expect many benefits after a detoxification process: weight loss, improved digestion, less depression and anxiety, better sleep, increased energy and mental clarity, and overall sense of wellness.
If you have diabetes you will want to keep fruits and vegetables containing natural sugar at a minimum. Even if you don’t have an illness, it is a good idea to limit juicing fruits and vegetables high in sugar, such as carrots and beets. Green vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, should always provide the bulk of your juice. Drink as much fresh juice as you desire, and enough water to assist the kidneys, which have the job of flushing out toxins. Break the fast with a salad and eat light for a couple of days afterwards. These tips will help you stave off hunger and increase your chances of success so that you can fully experience the benefits of your 3-day juice fast.
By Valerie Robitaille
“Medical Hypotheses”; Effects of Food Processing on the Thermodynamic and Nutritive Value of Foods: Literature and Database Survey; L. J. Prochaska et al.; February 2000