Integrative Health Blog

Health Benefits of Green Juicing

Posted by Julianne O'Dwyer on Mon, Oct 03, 2016

green_smoothie3.jpgMost of us do not eat enough vegetables each day. One of the best ways to consume more vegetables is to drink them!

Freshly made raw, green juice is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes which can be readily absorbed by your body because they do not need to be broken down and processed by your digestive system.

Drinking raw, green juice first thing in the morning can give you and your family a natural energy boost without resorting to stimulants like coffee. Since raw, green juice is already in an easily digestible form, it can help revitalize your energy levels quickly. Other health benefits include reducing belly bloat, strengthening your immune system to prevent colds, flu or disease, and flushing your body of built-up toxins.

I recommend using raw vegetables to make green juice instead of fruit. Although fruit is very nutritious when consumed whole they contain natural sugar and fructose which, when added to a green drink, may affect insulin levels dramatically, cause cravings and trigger weight gain. The only fruit I recommend be included in a green drink are lemons and limes, which are high in Vitamin C, and apples, which are low in sugar and do not spike insulin levels.

It is best to drink raw, green juice on an empty stomach which allows the vitamins and minerals in the juice to move directly to your bloodstream. When you drink raw, green juice on a full stomach, it slows down your body’s ability to quickly absorb  nutrients. It is best to wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink green juice and wait 20 minutes after drinking a green juice to consume a meal.

Juicing naturally increases your vegetable intake

To start making green juice, I recommend using cucumber as a base because it provides volume at less cost. Additional vegetables used may depend on the health of your thyroid. Some people find that goitrogen vegetables such as collard greens, kale & spinach eaten raw inhibit hormone production by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. Steaming goitrogens lightly removes these properties. I suggest you experiment to determine how your body responds to these wonderful vegetables.

Alternatives to goitrogens for juicing can include green & rainbow chard, romaine lettuce, celery and beets, which are high in antioxidants. Also, add cilantro, which detoxifies heavy metals such as mercury, aluminum and lead in the bloodstream and parsley, which detoxifies the kidney and boosts level of the master antioxidant glutathione. Add crushed garlic and onions which are nature’s ‘antibiotics’ to build your immune system. They contain sulphur which detoxifies your body.

The mineral iodine improves thyroid function. So, once a week include toxin-free sea vegetables or sea weeds, which are a unique source of iodine and may play a role in lowering the risk of estrogen-related cancers, in your juice. I recommend spirulina, hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu. However, to avoid ingesting sea vegetables that have been exposed to mercury or other heavy metals, make sure that they are harvested from uncontaminated waters.

According to the guidelines of proper food combining, fruit is best when eaten alone. However, lemons, limes and apples are the only fruit I recommend for your juice. Apples contain a lot of pectin, which attaches to bad cholesterol and heavy metals and eliminates them from the body and cleanses the intestines. As you reduce your cholesterol with apples, this helps prevent gallstones and improve heart health.

More Benefits of Green Juice:

Essential nutrients are more quickly absorbed

Liquids are absorbed more quickly by your body than food. This means that essential nutrients provided by vegetables are directed to your cells and bloodstream which fuels your body. Many people experience improvements in energy, sleep, digestion, skin, hair, nails and mood!

Cleanses liver with raw, leafy greens

Bitter tasting leafy greens such as dandelion greens, mustard greens and arugula, cleanse the liver and may be more easy to drink than chew. They are extremely high in plant chlorophylls, which enables them to extract environmental toxins from the bloodstream. They help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood. They also neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides.

Shifts your body’s pH to a healthy, alkaline state

Your body’s pH level is a measure of the level of alkalinity or acidity in your body. A healthy pH balance should be more alkaline than acidic within a range of 7.3-7.4. Consuming excessive sugar, gluten/wheat, diary, soy, carbohydrates is acid-forming, which creates an environment in which disease and illness, such as candida can grow. Acidosis causes your body to work hard to counter these acidic effects and bring the pH into the neutral range. Drinking raw, green juice helps keep your body in an alkaline state.

Promotes natural weight loss
Many people find that the weight starts to drop off as they drink raw, green juice several times a week. You can also replace one meal a day with 32 oz of raw, green juice, which provides needed nutrients that are more readily absorbed than consuming solid food. As your body becomes more alkaline, it functions optimally and works less to digest solid food.

Triggers detoxification
Drinking raw, green juice gives your digestive system a rest so that it can focus on releasing built-up toxins and waste, which can be reabsorbed if they are not eliminated. Detoxifying the body is an overlooked but essential aspect of preventing and maintaining good health. Fasting one day and one night each month and eventually more frequently is a helpful step in detoxification.

What kind of juicer should you purchase? There are 2 schools of thought on whether you should drink raw, green juice WITH fiber or WITHOUT fiber. You may want to do some investigation but DO TAKE ACTION! Getting started juicing could be the healthiest activity you can engage in for you and your family!

Nutribullet DOES NOT remove the fiber. It is a low, cost way to get started juicing. It is easiest of all the juicers to clean and is promoted by David Wolfe, superfoods expert.Breville, Hurom, Green Star and Jack LaLanne juicers DO remove fiber and are more expensive options.

 

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Julianne O'Dwyer is a health coach at National Integrated Health Associates. Her own journey to wellness taught her how to regain control of health. As part of the Health Essentials Coaching and Wellness Program, she teaches clients to support their body with proper nutrition, detoxification and lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on health.

 

 

Topics: juicing, holistic nutrition, health coach