You may have noticed I'm on a bit of a juicing kick lately. After living so long without a juicer I'm remembering all over again just how powerful fresh vegetable juices are.
Fresh vegetable juices are the quickest way I know of getting vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients into my body. Because the juice doesn't need to go through the normal digestive process, you get all these nutrients while expending very little energy, unlike eating solid food.
Since I've started juicing I've cut way back on the amount of coffee I consume, because I'm getting that uplifting and energizing buzz from the juice instead. And fresh vegetable juice has an alkaline effect on the body, unlike coffee which is turns the body more acidic.
Ingredients (organic if possible):
1 lb carrots
4 stalks celery
small piece of beet
3-4 handfuls of spinach
1/2-1 lime or lemon (unwaxed)
Juice everything, including the entire lime, peel and all (but only if it's unwaxed). There is a lot of goodness in the pith but it's not as tasty to consume just by itself. I notice juicing the entire lime (or lemon) tends to make the juice a little creamier.
Drink as soon as possible. The longer you leave the juice before drinking it, the lower the nutritional value. However, I maintain that if our bodies are able to continue to function (to some degree) on the Standard American Diet (SAD) of highly processed and junk food, that drinking juice several hours after you've made it is still better than not drinking it at all.
…the juice doesn’t need to go through the normal digestive process…
Exactly how do you think we digest juices, then….some special pathway?
She is obviously using the word normal here to mean typical. The body doesn’t need to expend as much energy when digesting juices as it does when going through the typical or “normal” process of breaking down solid foods in the stomach and in the small intestine and emulsifying fats in the small intestine.
Exactly, thank you Chris for clarifying that!
I’m relatively new to juicing and am wondering what advice you could provide in response to this article:
Spinach has been a staple in my green juice, but now I’m having second thoughts.
Tom, I can empathize with you. It’s really confusing and hard to know what’s actually true in the world of diet and nutrition. I’m not an expert, and so many people who say they are experts have opposite conflicting views that I don’t know how they can all be experts. If you read down in the comments you will see people talking about their experiences in curing themselves of the very types thyroid issues that the author of the article claims raw spinach will cause, by juicing and eating raw spinach. I’m not any kind of health or medical practitioner, so I can’t really give you advice. But what I do is just listen to my body. I have found that if I eat something and I don’t really like it, or my body has an adverse reaction to (sometimes it’s subtle), I have often found out later that I have an intolerance or allergic reaction to that food. For instance, I have never loved most breads, and it always felt like it was sitting heavy in my stomach for a long time instead of digesting. Eventually I found out that I had a wheat intolerance… I’m not sure if it’s a gluten intolerance, or just wheat, either way I know now that if I eat wheat I will suffer. When I eat eggplant I sometimes get ridges swelling up on the sides of my tough. They are painful and itchy, so I’ve come to the conclusion that eggplant isn’t good for my body. I have never liked tomatoes much, so now I’m even thinking that maybe I have an intolerance to the nightshades in general. Sometimes you have to experiment for a bit, going without and then trying with the food added again to notice the difference. So you might want to go 2-3 weeks avoiding spinach in your juice, then adding it in and noticing how your body feels and responds.
I understand your position, as well as your response. I was hoping for a more definitive answer, but am beginning to think suspect there isn’t a 100% answer on either side of the question.
I juiced spinach and kale for a few months, rotating to collards and chard every other week and never had issues. I’ve also eaten spinach salad, raw broccoli, and coleslaw most of my life with no issues.
I would feel better knowing that thyroid issues weren’t a concern at all, vice something that could develop after long term use of specific vegetables.
For now, some of the recipes you’ve posted are delicious without the spinach, and I can live with that.
I appreciate the response.
Thank you Tom! I think you might be right about there isn’t a 100% answer. I think different bodies respond differently. Cabbage is one of my very favorite vegetables, it’s a comfort food for me. Often I cook it, but I will also eat it raw in salads and I love it fermented, as sauerkraut. I’ve eaten a lot of coleslaw, and raw cabbage in salad, I’ve had a litre of green smoothie a day for months at a time with heaps of spinach and kale in them. When we had huge harvests of kale I made kale chips and was addicted to them. I’ve never noticed any ill effects, in fact I felt great both times in my life I went completely raw. Even when I’m not eating raw I eat lots of raw veggies. When I don’t eat raw veggies, I’m eating my veggies all cooked is when my energy drops, I feel lethargic and not as happy and like something is missing. So I really don’t know what the answer is, I’m just going to try to listen to what my body tells me.
I now believe that our lineage, our ancestry plays a part in the foods our body does well with and those it does not. People around the world traditionally can have vastly different diets from each other. Over generations and generations our bodies have adapted to working with those foods that were eaten by our ACTUAL ancestors. I think people are being too simplistic when they cite raw vegan or paleo diets as the ideal diet because “it’s what our ancestors ate”, but they are generalizing like we all came from the same ancestors. If your ancestors were Indian, they cooked everything, and a raw vegan diet might wreak havoc on your body. I’m sure similar examples could be made for every other diet which is based on that same founding logic that “it’s what our ancestors ate”.
We own a Detox juice company and deal with many people, everyone asks the specific questions of benefits, weight loss and tolerance, the simple answer is, “most people” as sure as there are differences of fruits and veggies, not everyone is made alike either. People experience similar and general reactions to a detox and a juicing diet, but not all will have the same exact end result, like they say “your mileage may vary”.