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General Health: Juicing

Q: Why Juice?

A: Juicing is a natural way to supplement your diet with natural vitamins and enzymes.  Juice is able to enter your system with very little work for your digestive system because it is already broken down.

Q: Are organically grown foods better?

A: By all means.  Organically means "natural" which always produces better quality and in most case, is pesticide free.

Q: Some juicer companies make a lot of health claims about their machines, are these claims legitimate?

A: A juicer is not a healer.
No juicer has any effect on the user nor the juice it extracts.  But, a juicer must be able to liberate the hidden values from fibers and place them into the juice under pressure without loss by aeration or static in order to obtain the full nutritional value of such juices extracted from fruits and vegetables.

Juicing Tips from Cherie Calbom's book "The Juice Lady's Juicing for High Level
Wellness and Vibrant Good Looks"

1. Wash all produce before juicing; fruit and vegetable washes are available from many grocers and health food stores. Cut away all moldy, bruised, or damaged areas before juicing.

2. Use organic or unsprayed (transitional) produce whenever possible to ensure that you have the purest juices possible. (See Organically Grown, page 180.)

3. Because the skins of oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits contain indigestible, volatile oils that can cause digestive problems and taste bitter, always peel these citrus fruits before juicing. (Lemon and lime peels can be juiced, if organic.) You shoud leave as much of the white pithy part on the citrus fruit as possible, since it contains the most vitamin C and bioflavonoids (phytonutrients with antioxidant acitvity). Always peel mangos and papayas, since their skins contain an irritant that is harmful when eaten in quantity. Also, I recommend that you peel all produce that is not labeled organic, even though the largest concentration of nutrients is in and next to the skin; the peels and skins of sprayed fruits and vegetables have the largest concentration of pesticides.

4. Remove pits, stones, and hard seeds from fruits such as peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, and mangos. Softer seeds from oranges, lemons, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and apples can be juiced without a problem (we at Aim for Better Health disagree about apple seeds, they are toxic and should be removed). Because of their chemical composition, large quantities of apple seeds should not be juiced for young children; they should be okay for adults.

5. The stems and leaves of most produce, such as beet stems and leaves, strawberry caps, and small grape stems, can be included in the juicing process; they offer nutrients as well. Larger grape stems should be discarded as they can dull the juicer blade. Carrot and rhubarb greens should be removed, however, because they contain toxic substances.

6. Most fruits and vegetables have a high water content, which makes them ideal for juicing. Those with much less water, such as banana, mango, papaya, and avocado, will not juice well. They can be used in smoothies and cold soups by combining them with fresh juice in a blender (for recipes, see pages 13-67).

7. Most fruits and vegetables should be cut into sections or pieces that will fit your juicer's feed tube.

8. Juice can be stored in an airtight, opaque container in the refrigerator or in a thermos for up to 24 hours; light, heat, and air will destroy nutrients quickly. Melon and cabbage juices do not store well. Be aware that the longer juice sits before you drink it, the more nutrients it loses. If juice turns brown, it has oxidized and lost a large amount of its food value. After 24 hours, it may spoil.

9. Place a thin plastic bag - the kind that is free in the produce section of a grocery store - in the pulp receptacle of your juicer. When you are done juicing, you can toss the pulp or use it in cooking or composting, but you won't need to wash the receptacle.