Juicing For Digestive Health – The Pros And Cons
If the thought of chewing celery or broccoli makes you panic, then juicing for digestive health could the answer your looking for.
Juicing has become hugely popular over the last ten years with a growing number of advocates and celebrities endorsing its health benefits, particularly when it comes aiding our digestive system.
Importance Of Enzymes To Our Health And Why We’re Not Getting Enough
The key benefit of juicing is contained in one magic word – enzymes. The food we eat cannot enter our bodies until it is broken down into smaller molecules of fat, proteins and carbohydrates. This process of breaking down food is the responsibility of digestive enzymes.
The body produces its own enzymes, which are released in the mouth and the digestive tract. However, our enzymes can erode over time as a result of age and poor diet. As we get older it becomes vitally important to replenish these lost enzymes as this will enable our digestive system to work more efficiently.
For these reasons we need to eat foods – live foods – that are rich in these enzymes.
Unfortunately, the Western diet is dominated by highly manufactured and processed foods that contain no enzymes or nutrients whatsoever. Processed foods are homogenized and pasteurized at high temperatures killing all enzymes.
A diet lacking in enzymes puts pressure on your digestive system. Your pancreas has to tap into its own enzyme reserves in order to breakdown the food so that nutrients are absorbed. Over time your pancreas becomes enlarged, impaired and unable to produce sufficient enzymes required to digest food and absorb nutrients effectively.
Undigested food in the gut begins to rot and putrefy and this creates an environment that encourages the growth of disease causing pathogenic bacteria. These harmful microbes can cause havoc in your digestive system and lead to a number of intestinal infections and digestive disorders as follows;
- food allergies
- acid reflux – heartburn
- excessive gas
The Benefits Of Juicing For Digestive Health
By juicing whole fruits and vegetables you can reverse many of these digestive disorders because you will be flooding your system with live enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
One of benefits I found by juicing is that it helped me overcome my craving for sugar and caffeine. I loved coffee and needed at least 3 (large) cups to help me get through the day. In the end it started to give me the shakes, but I could not stop drinking the stuff. However, after a week of detox juicing, I never looked back. I also found that juicing curbed my appetite, which made me eat less and helped me maintain a healthy weight.
However, the most noticeable benefit was the increase in energy. This was not like the spiked energy you get after drinking coffee or a sugary snack, but a constant feel good buzz throughout the day. After 5 days of juicing I felt a real positive difference in how I felt.
One of the key problems with fruit and particular raw vegetables is the fact, that not everyone likes the taste. I was the same as the mere thought of raw spouts or spinach would fill me with dread. When we do eat them, they are usually overcooked, which means their nutritional value is degraded. That is why juicing is a great and fun way to boost you digestive health.
Spinach And Carrot Juice For Digestive health
I knew raw spinach was full of nutrients, but I just could not eat it raw. Now that I can juice it I can’t get enough of it. The trick I use is to combine the spinach with carrots as they add a natural sweetness.
These two vegetables combined are a great way to cleanse your digestive tract. Spinach is a rich source of iron, which helps stimulate the secretion of enzymes in you intestinal tract.
The beta carotene in carrots are converted into vitamin A by your body and this can help boost your immune system. They are also considered an anti-oxidant – these guys hunt down and neutralize free radical cells that speed up aging and increase cancers.
All you need of this is about 6 carrots and a handful of leaf spinach. It is best if these are fresh and organic. Remember to wash the both veggies thoroughly. Juice half of the carrots first, then the spinach and put in the remaining carrots.
The reason for doing it this way is because the last batch of carrots help to compress and force the spinach through the juicer filter. This squeezes out more of the juice from the very fibrous spinach.
Drink within 20 minutes to ensure you benefit from the live enzymes. If you want to keep the juice pour it into an air tight glass jar and store for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Make Sure You Juice A Kiwifruit
The kiwifruit is highly nutritious as it contains vitamin C and E and the minerals potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium. It also contains prebiotics and phenolic compounds.
Prebiotics are soluble fibers that dissolve in your lower intestinal tract and produce nutrients for your intestinal flora – your good bacteria – to feed on.
Phenolic compounds are boiactives that have both anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant qualities. The phenolics work along side the prebiotics to ensure the harmful bacteria in your gut are kept under control.
The main drawback with juicing is that it extracts the juice from the fruits and vegetables and discards the fibre contained within the pulp.
Dietary fibre is an essential component of digestive helps because it improves absorption, cleanses the colon of bad bacteria and stimulates bowel movements. For this reason, you should also include a few whole fruits and vegetables in your diet to increase your fiber intake.
Alternatively, you can choose a good quality digestive health supplement. We recommend this particular kiwifruit prebiotic supplement by MaxaLife because they use a unique water based extraction process that preserves the fruits natural enzymes.
Unlike juicing the whole fruit is used including the pulp and skin, which actually contains the highest concentrations of dietary fiber, prebiotics and phenolic compounds.
Whether your juicing for digestive health or taking a natural kiwifruit prebiotic supplement, you will be safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to improve your overall health and well being.