Are you one of those people who are slurping down a pineapple-blueberry-banana concoction to feel energized, fight disease, strengthen immunity, or just because you want an easy, tasty way to get more servings of produce into your daily diet? With our fast-paced lifestyles, We can’t blame you! After all, most of us are lucky to eat two servings of the suggested nine to 13 servings of produce each day! If you approach juicing with some common sense, drinking juice can be a valuable component of a balanced diet and help you achieve your health goals.
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If you’re in the middle of chemotherapy or radiation treatments, adding a ½ cup of fresh juice to your whole foods diet is adequate, but drinking large amounts of juice or fasting on juice is not recommended during this time. You don’t want a large influx of sugar coming into your bloodstream and potentially suppressing your immune system. It would help if you had whole grain carbs and protein to sustain your strength and cellular rebuilding during treatment. During the early stages of cancer treatment, a brief fast can be introduced. Just be sure to talk to a nutritionist before you begin.
If you’re immunocompromised and your absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is low, you’ll need to avoid all raw produce to reduce your risk of bacterial infection. Wait for the green light from your doctor or nurse before consuming freshly squeezed juices or other raw plant foods.
Ideal candidates for juicing therapy will be people who are no longer in cancer treatment, those who are not losing weight, or those who are healthy and want to flush out their systems.
Invest in a rotary blade juicer; these juicers are very good at extracting the juice from plants and are moderately priced. If you plan on juicing several times a day, get a juicer with a compressor. Sometimes, the juicer manufacture includes a pamphlet of juice recipes; if not, you can get suggestions from any number of juicing books available at bookstores or online. If you choose to chop and dice and slice, Use organic produce as often as possible. Plants grown without pesticides and herbicides tend to contain higher levels of nutrients and pose less of a health threat than regular produce.
To support your immunity by keeping blood sugar levels in check, drink your juice with a protein-based meal or snack. Fresh juices require minimal digestion, so natural sugars from fruits and vegetables are released quickly into the bloodstream, rapidly raising blood sugar levels. Although fruits tend to contain the most sugar, beets and carrots can also cause a sharp rise in blood sugar. Adding a water-washed soy protein powder to your juices can help slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream.
Remember, if you’re in a weakened state, if you’ve lost weight, or are recovering from surgery, now is not the time to juice. Ideally, you can get the benefits of juicing without the mess, sugar, or calories by taking daily whole food concentrates.