Drink your Medicine

These delicious, fresh juices and smoothies please the taste buds and provide a host of health benefits.

| May/June 2001

Try these juice blends and smoothie recipes:

With juice bars and “elixir cafés” springing up in cities throughout North America, it’s tempting to think that juicing is a new trend. But it’s really just the latest manifestation of a centuries-old health practice. And in this new age of genetically modified, over- refined, chemical-laden nonfood, this “rediscovery” of juicing has never been more welcome.

Research consistently shows that people who consume the greatest quantity of fruits and vegetables are about half as likely to develop cancer as those who eat little or no fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s not surprising that the United States Cancer Institute recommends eating five servings of fresh vegetables and three servings of fresh fruits daily. In fact, the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables hold the keys to preventing other illnesses, such as heart disease, as well as debilitating conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and allergies.

Still, even the most disciplined person can find it difficult to eat all those fruits and vegetables daily. So why not drink them? Raw fresh juices, blended drinks, and frozen treats are an easy and tasty way to ensure that adults and children get their “daily eight.”

The Benefits of Juicing

Easy assimilation. In whole fruits and vegetables (or even in drinks that contain pulp), some enzymes, phytochemicals, and vitamins A, C, and E—along with minerals such as iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine, and magnesium—are trapped in the indigestible fiber and cannot be assimilated by the body. But once “liberated” from the cellulose in pulp, those nutrients can be taken into the cells of the body within fifteen minutes (as compared to the hour or more it takes for nutrients to be assimilated from drinks with the pulp intact). This saves the energy required for digestion and allows the body to rest while detoxifying or cleansing, before or after physical activity, or while recovering from an illness.

Water supply. Our cells consist mostly of water, which is essential to their proper function. That’s why we should consume at least eight glasses of water daily. Unlike coffee, soft drinks and alcohol, which require the body to use stored water to metabolize them, raw juice supplies the water needed to replenish lost fluid while also providing all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals. Also, juices promote the alkalinity of body fluids, which is vital for proper immune and metabolic function.

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