Here we are talking about organic, raw, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, made in your own home with a juice extractor/juicer of some type[1]. Ideally, fruit and vegies should be organically grown to avoid chemical spray residues[2], and fresh, because vitamin content diminishes quite rapidly from the moment of harvest, even with organically grown produce.

The really important benefits of fresh, raw juices, whilst certainly valuable for vitamin, mineral and trace elements content, is in the value of the enzymes they contain.  Enzymes have been called the "vital energy" or "life force" of living cells, ours and plants.  Enzymes are needed to bring about change; they are needed especially in the digestive tract, and in the cells of the body itself, to effect the change of our "food" into the building blocks and molecules of energy we need.  There are over 10,000 different enzymes that we know about, (probably as many again that we don't yet), with more than 1000 working within the liver alone; some are secreted into the gastro-intestinal tract, others stay within the cells to act in the building of proteins and energy molecules.  Without enzymes, minerals and vitamins are powerless.

In a perfectly healthy person (and I haven't yet met one), all the necessary enzymes in proper amounts would be made by the body.  In an unhealthy body, they are not.  The enzymes[3] in organic, fresh, raw juices are available to stand in and do the job.  Plant enzymes are destroyed by cooking, heating, canning, pasteurising, processing and storing, so "fresh is best, naturally".   There is no doubt that the day man learnt to cook, he opened the door to disease in a big way.  Animals living from raw, fresh fruits and vegies rarely get sick, if they do it is mostly from some injury.  We've come a long way since then, at least in knowledge?    

Why Juice?[4]

  • In states of illness, requiring detoxification, the vital elements of fruit and vegies are more easily assimilated directly into the blood stream without putting an unnecessary strain on the digestive organs. Digestion of juices takes very little energy, and absorption is very efficient.

  • This rapidly helps to normalise body processes, supplying necessary elements for the body's own self-healing processes, speeding up recovery.

  • Raw juices and vegetable (potassium) broths provide an "alkaline surplus", extremely important since blood and tissue contain large amounts of acids during illness and fasting. Cancer excretes acid wastes that need to be neutralised and detoxified.

  • With illness, the process of waste elimination from / of cells slows down, interfering with nourishment of the cell (cellular constipation), hence energy production is reduced.  During the juice fast, waste elimination is speeded up again so normal metabolic rate and cellular oxygenation are restored.

The proof of the healing power of juice-based diets is to be found in the great healing centres of Europe[5] where for many years raw juices have formed the basis of curative programs for everything from colds and infectious diseases to arthritis, heart disease and cancer.  It ought to form the basis of naturopathic care here as well.

Kids love juices; use fresh fruit juices as a base, you can blend in frozen fruit for smoothies and shakes, and you can freeze juices in plastic pop containers as a healthy alternative to commercial ice-blocks / paddle pops which frequently contain no fruit at all, and lots of sugar and preservatives.

Some Notes on Juicing

  • It is better not to mix fruit with vegies (but not imperative) .

  • To any or all vegie juices, add some fresh, raw ginger, garlic and/or onion (get used to the flavour gradually by starting with small amounts and adding more and more). Turmeric is also very beneficial, especially in inflammatory conditions, including cancer.

  • To absolutely get the best, these juices should be made from organically certified produce, and should be as fresh as possible[6]; herbs such as parsley and ginger can  ideally be grown in your own gardens or in deep planter tubs on a sunny balcony.

  • Juices are very concentrated with nutrients, so it is best if they are diluted with pure water in ratio 1/3 water: 2/3 juice. 

  • Unlike vegetable broths, which can be stored in the fridge for several days, once raw juices are made, the juice should be drunk straightaway to avoid oxidation damage; however, if they are immediately chilled, they can be stored in a refrigerator for a few hours (at most). 

  • To get the very best from the juice, take with a spoon (ie drink slowly), mixing it with saliva;  juice digestion begins with an enzyme in the mouth, salivary amylase; mix it in thoroughly.

  • Sometimes single-type juices can be made, also "salad-type" juices where you might mix in 4 or more different types of fruit or vegies.  Try pineapple and (a little piece of) ginger root (like a "sweet and sour").  In vegie juices, don't forget the leafy greens, such as silverbeet, parsley etc.  Be adventurous, and try different combinations.
  • Certain juices are specific to certain conditions (diseases), so see our Juices Part 2[7].

[1]We recommend a Samsung or Oskar (about $500). These are a slow juice action machine, and do not heat the produce thus degrading enzymes.  A good juicer is possibly the best investment you can make in your own, and in your family's health

[2]If you don't grow fruit yourself, even non-organic fresh fruit juice is better than juices that are commercially packaged

[3]eg abscisic acid, anti-cancer, stops cancer cells growing, destroys the growth hormone cancer cells make; strongest in wheatgrass, green vegies, mangoes

[4]Juicing is not a substitute for eating fresh fruit and vegies regularly because of the value of the fibre they contain. But juices form a vital role in health, as either a valuable part of health maintenance, or as the basis of a healing treatment program.  Neither are juices intended to be a substitute for pure water.

[5]See Raw Energy by Leslie and Susannah Kenton, (1985), Century Publishing, UK;
      Also Health Secrets From Europe  by Paavo Airola, (1970), Parker Publishing, NY, USA

[6]Whilst not the preferred option, however, if you have to buy pre-manufactured juices, select the ones free from preservatives and sweeteners (especially aspartame). The problem with canned/packaged juices is that they are often made from old, damaged fruit/vegies, and they are cooked/pasteurised; on both counts, the amounts of nutrients, especially enzymes, left in them will be very low.

[7]NB. The vegetables and fruits as selected in Part 2 because of what is known of their biochemical constituents; you can make up combinations for yourself too.

  2010 - 2015 © Adrian Jones Naturopath   Global Star Services