By Cal Wansbrough
Everyone talks about the benefits of juice detoxing or fasting – the list is extensive - from boosting energy levels, reducing weight, improving metabolism, lessening aches and pains, clearing mucus from the body, increasing mental clarity, aiding memory, making skin and eyes clearer. I mean the list goes on and on. And wow if there was a pill that could all the above then we would be queuing up outside our medical centre, bashing down the doors, we might even be a healthy and a happy nation (I forgot to mention juicing can alleviate depression and anxiety). It might ease the pressure on the NHS. And clearly it is getting more and more popular – there are juice stores and juice delivery companies popping up all over the place.
So as I am want, I like to understand why juicing can have all these claims. Before I start, so we are clear, a juice fast or detox is where juices and water are consumed (and nothing else) for a period of 24 hours or more.
And another thing to clear up; juicing is different from smoothies. A juice is the liquid of the plant, with all of the plants fibres removed. The juice, water and nutrients are extracted from the vegetable / fruit and we are left with liquid ambrosia. In a study, it was found that 90% of the antioxidants were found in the juice of the plant, not the fibre. A smoothie is a drink composed of blended foods. This means that the foods have been broken down into liquid form, whilst still retaining all of their fibre. Because the fibres are just slightly broken down but not removed, your body will have to do some digestive work in order to fully break down and digest your smoothies, but not as much as it would have to if you just ate the produce.
There are 2 types of juices, a centrifugal juicer and a masticating or cold press juicing machine. With the former, heat is produced and heat destroys the enzymes of the food lowering the nutritional content. With cold pressing or masticating juicer,slow pressure is applied with no heat, therefore the juices are nutritionally more valuable. Also the juice stays better for longer.
SOME OF THE REASONS TO JUICE:
1. Solid foods require hours of digestive activity and energy before they become available to the cells and tissues of the body. With juicing it is almost immediate – the body does not have to do any digestive work in order to extract the nutrients, vitamins and nourishment and they are absorbed directly in to your blood stream and in to the cells and tissues of the body. And this happens within 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Raw fresh juices are also extremely alkalising. Our blood needs to maintain (just like our body temperature needs to be maintained) at a pH for between 7.35 and 7.45. Most of what we do and eat is acidifying, from stress, to breathing polluted air to eating processed and pesticide invested foods. Meats, diary, hydrogenated fat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, grains all create acidity in our body. When we are acidic we feel fatigue, depression, have weight gain, headaches, poor memory, sleep problems, and so it goes on and on and on… juicing alkalises our body and creates the exact opposite…disease, cancer, inflammation cannot survive in an alkaline environment.
3. When you consume juices over a period of 24 hours or more the body starts o detoxify. All the energy taken up with digestion can transfer in to what the body craves – detoxifying and repairing damaged cells and tissues. It’s like a MOT or reboot to our bodies. For a day or so you might have headaches, feel a bit achey, even flu-ey, but afterwards everything starts to function better and more importantly we feel better. Our body settles in to homeostasis, and see first paragraph!!!
4. Juicing is like bathing our internal organs in ambrosia… They are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, trace elements, enzyme and nutrients which supply essential elements required for the body’s healing processes and cell regeneration. Vegetable juices are rich in natural medicines, hormones and antibiotics.
And here are a few examples:
If you are not convinced by the reasons below then try juicing for yourself over a few days. Your friends and family will look at you suspiciously because you will be a newer, shiner, brighter, more energetic version of yourself. And March/ spring is the perfect time to juice…
Here is a list of tried and tested juicing companies which deliver fresh juices to your door over a period of 1 to more days. The list is by no means extensive but it gives you an idea that juicing is big right now and is getting bigger.
- Certain hormones needed by the pancreas to produce insulin are found in cucumber and onion juice.
- Celery and cucumber juice can help regulate blood pressure because of their minerals and traces of sodium. They also reduce water retention (and puffy eyes!)
- A certain compound found in grapefruit helps reduce the excessive production of cholesteral from the liver. A drink of grapefruit juice before bedtime, helps to promote sleep and alleviates insomnia.
- Beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain, which may be able to fight the progression of dementia. Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates which are converted into nitrites….Nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen and also lowing blood pressure
- Carrot’s molecular structure is very close to human’s haemoglobin, making it very beneficial in blood building – you don’t need to eat meat to help anaemia.
- Watermelon is a natural aphrodisiac as it helps to relax blood vessels in certain places and also increases libido… vodka and watermelon juice might be an interesting date night cocktail.
- Green juicing is also pretty awesome as our bodies do not have the enzymes to break down the cell walls found in greens, but when juiced, we have access to these nutrients.
- Green juices are rich in chlorophyll which alleviates blood sugar problems, it reduces inflammation, it is antiseptic, and has detox-ifing qualities.
And some are even offering you, dear readers, a discount. So, no brainer; Juice in to spring and you have a definite bounce to your jog….
Most of the juicing companies offer a 1 – 3 day cleanse, but clearly you can do more days. Most have a choice of 3 -4 cleanses, which go from fruit and veg to less fruit to hardly any fruit. The latter being pretty intense.
Most use cold pressing juice machines (will indicate where not) and most offer fresh juices.
Some put their juices under high pressure processing or HPP which is an environmental process that allows the nutritional and functional properties of the product to remain intact. But the jury, quite literally is out on this one, HPP lengthens the shelf life of the juice to up to 30 days while fresh juice can only last up to 3 days. In the US there are a number of law suits going on which are determining how the juices can be honestly name (they aren’t really fresh, are they?!) And there is debate too whether they can be called raw….
Most use organic ingredients or as much as is possible, and again will indicate where not. In order to be certified organic they need to be certified by the soil association, which asserts all products (not just 1) are organic.
A quick note on organic crops – they have up to 60% more antioxidants (which prevent ageing) than non-organic. They use a limited amount of pesticides - up to 4 times less than non-organic, and therefore are less acidifying. There is less nitrogen in organic crops, and nitrogen has been linked to some cancers.
Some Juice companies offer different juices for everyday of the 3 day cleanse so you don’t get bored. This is a good idea because your 3rd day, believe you me, you are bored of juicing and bored of the flavours. Most will also allow you to create your own package too.
The Juice companies are in no particular order… and I have tried to be as objective as possible:
1. Radiance cleanse
Up to 8 juice programmes – and growing!
5 or 6 x 500ml juices per day price depending on requirements. Price reflects number of juices.
1 day - £75 / £85
3 day - £199 / £225
5 day - £335 / £375
Certified Organic, cold pressed, fresh, non HPP, delivered every 3 days. Great tasting juices.
Nutritional therapist designed juices who is also on call to answer any questions.
Great customer service.
OFFER – 10 discount for our readers – enter "OMEXCHANGE10"
2. Plenish Cleanse
Up to 4 juice programmes (including intermittent fasting option)
6 x 500ml juices per day
1 day - £81
3 day - £240
5 day - £395
Certified Organic, cold pressed, HPP juices, delivered in one batch. Good taste. Great marketing, from shape of bottles to fun stripy straws delivered with your juices. Easy to navigate website.
OFFER – 20% discount for our readers & a free cool bag – enter "OMEXCHANGE20"
3. Raw & Juicy
Up to 5 juice programmes
5 x 500ml juices per day
1 day - £75
3 day - £225
5 day - £375
Organic (90% of ingredients), cold pressed, fresh, non HPP juices, delivered daily. Can select foods to be excluded from juices.
Variety of juices over the days so you don’t get bored. Interesting and delicious flavours. Included in detox pack are daily lemon juice shots, aloe vera juice, activated charcoal, mega greens, spirulina shots, bicarbonate of soda, psyllium husks, sea salts, soap bag, kelp tablets, and vegetable bouillon. 4 day cleanse or more you get an enema kit too.
Great customer service – on call personal advice and assistance. All the added extras makes you feel special and makes you feel they care.
OFFER – 30% discount for our readers – enter "R&J omexchange"
4. My detox Diet
Can select your own juices and offer choice within packages. Very versatile.
5 x 330ml juices plus coconut water or lemonade per day
1 day - £65
3 day - £145
5 day - £248
Option to pick up juices which is cheaper
Not organic, use 50 / 50 organic ingredients, cold pressed and non HPP. Deliver every 3 days.
Include supplements from spirulina to flax seed oil tablets.
Variety of juices over the days so you don’t get bored. Note the size of the bottles. I definitely felt hungry with this small quantity of juices. Or maybe I am just greedy!
OFFER – 1o% discount
Up to 5 juice packages
6 x 500ml juices per day.
1 day - £70
3 day = £185
5 day - £315
Option to pick up juices from shop which is cheaper
Fresh cold pressed juices, non HPP. Great and original flavours and very hip, from the café (under Wolf & Badger) to the names of the juices (uprooted, deep rooted and almond mylk).
Juices are in glass bottles which can be returned to the shop and if you return 10 then you are rewarded with a free juice.
You can create your own programme too with all your favourites.
OFFER – 10% discount- code - OMCLEANSE
2 juice cleanse packages – but you can create you own so there are therefore multiple.
6 x 490ml juices per day plus detox water.
1 day - £37
3 day - £111
5 day - £185
Option to pick up juices from shop. Delivery is only in London and they are not charging for delivery for anything over £25.
Certified organic. Cold press fresh juices, non HPP.
You can create your own juice programme too – with all your favourites and to add variety. Variety is the spice of life and all.
Shockingly good value. And delicious tasting juices. Minimal use of replacement for sugars.
OFFER - no offer as it's such good value anyway!