The Elements of a Long and Healthy Life
Fresh juices are fantastic! As Nature’s own nutrient-packed thirst quenchers, cleansers, and tonics, they can’t be beat. Yet, as good as fresh-squeezed juices are, they are but one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. The greatest benefits of fresh juices are derived by combining them with a wholesome diet and a regular exercise program.
Most of us are born with the potential to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Why then do some of us fall short? There are at least three reasons.
The first reason is our belief system. We believe that as we age we become helpless and sickly—even though we see examples of youthful and energetic seniors all around us. It is important to believe in the examples of people whose health and longevity at advanced age seems remarkable. Their vitality is not an anomaly. It is our birthright.
The second reason we fall short of our potential is our lack of consistency. By not adhering to a lifelong regimen of wholesome diet and regular exercise, we do little to foster our own health and longevity. It is not what we eat or drink occasionally, but rather what we consume on a daily basis, that determines our level of health. That’s why it is important to choose the freshest, most wholesome foods; those that are locally grown are best. It is equally important to find fresh, clean, spring water with which to drink and cook. And we must try to be active each day.
Our bodies thrive on moderate exercise, sunshine, and fresh air. That’s why we should try to go outdoors daily and, whenever possible, go to places where we can marvel at the wonders of Nature. We can walk, run, play tennis or basketball, swim, mountain climb, or ski. Or we can try gardening, chopping wood, building, or other active and enjoyable hobbies.
The third reason we may fall short of our potential is that many of us hold an unfocused picture of the quality of our lives. For as the quality of life becomes unfocused, often so does life itself. Therefore, being conscious of the quality of our life is essential if we wish it to improve. A life filled with quality in work, thoughts, companions, and activities can strengthen our natural immunity to germs, viruses, and negative hereditary influences.
Lessons on longevity and happiness can be found by studying the lives of modern-day peoples who live in traditional cultures. Perhaps the most prolific examples of long life are found among the Hunzakut of Pakistan, the Vilcabamban of Ecuador, and the Abhasian of the Soviet Union. As individual groups, these societies enjoy a greater degree of immunity from illnesses of almost every type. They live closer to Nature in the foods they eat, in their work, and in their play habits. Conversely, Western society has strayed from Nature and somewhat from the intuitive ability to choose the foods, work, and habits that will bring its members true health, happiness, and long life.
The return to wholesome foods and fresh juices can be your first step on the journey to a more healthy and happy life. I hope this book will help you to take that first step.
Variety is Key
I am delighted with the publication of The Juicing Book.
During my more than fifty-eight years in the healing art as a clinical nutritionist, I have seen hundreds of dietary fads come and go. Juices were not among them. Why? Because juices are not a fad. Juices are here to stay.
The fresh juices of fruits and vegetables are a food—an important, nutrient-rich, health-enhancing food. I’ve recommended fresh juice to my patients from my earliest days, and I still recommend juices, for very good reasons.
In my professional experience, I consider nutritional deficiencies to be among the most common and least acknowledged contributors to the development of disease and illness in our time, because so many people are not using balanced food programs centered around whole, pure, and natural foods, as they should.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices contain a broad array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and various co-factors that both enhance and complement individual nutrients, so your body gets the most good from them. Because juices are assimilated with very little effort on the part of the digestive system, their nutrients have a health-building impact at a relatively low cost in energy. What this means is that juices are excellent for you whether your health and energy are at a low ebb right now or whether you’ve never felt better in your life.
This is not to say that adding more fresh juices to your diet will compensate for poor day-to-day nutrition habits. Rather, by adding fresh juices to a balanced food regimen, you will help accelerate and enhance the process of restoring nutrients to chemically-starved tissues. It is on these very tissues that disease and illness thrive. In terms of prevention, therefore, the importance of juice cannot be overstressed.
I believe in fresh juices. I have always considered fresh juices to be a necessary part of my Health and Harmony Food Regimen, a nutrition program that has helped thousands of my patients get well and stay well.
Perhaps because I live in the heart of California’s citrus belt, people expect me to recommend orange juice over everything else. Let me share an important secret with you.
Variety is one of the most important, yet least practiced, food laws of Nature. We need to eat a variety of proteins, starches, fruits, vegetables, and juices to prevent disease and build health. Our bodies need a broad array of nutrients to defend against disease and to sustain well-being. We need a variety of juices!
My advice to you is this: enjoy reading this book, make practical use of this book, and use the many different varieties of fresh juices featured in this book to supplement and enhance your diet. You’ll be glad you did.
Dr. Bernard Jensen
Juice Fact and Fiction
Americans are well acquainted with juices. We begin our days with orange juice, or grapefruit juice, or maybe a taste of prune juice. Both canned and bottled juices are popular at snack time and meal time. Quality-conscious consumers have created a market for commercially produced, 100-percent-natural juices. To round out their juice lines, manufacturers now offer several all-natural fruit juice blends from concentrate.
With all this attention focused on juices, why write a book on them? And, for that matter, why read one? Because drinking fresh juices is an excellent health habit that cannot be reinforced enough. Fresh juice is more than an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, purified water, proteins, carbohydrates, and chlorophyll. Because it is in liquid form, fresh juice supplies nutrition that is not wasted to fuel its own digestion as it is with whole fruits, vegetables, and grasses. As a result, the body can quickly and easily make maximum use of all the nutrition that fresh juice offers.
Most of us already know that fresh juices are far more healthful than soft drinks, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages. But consumers may not be aware that many canned, bottled, and cartoned juices are not what they appear to be.
Did you know, for example, that Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. was recently indicted on charges of selling millions of bottles of flavored sugar-water labeled 100-percent apple juice between 1978 and 1983? Executives of the food company allege they did not know about the phony contents of thousands of imported barrels marked “apple concentrate.”
Or did you know that “Florida-Squeezed” juices may be made from fruit treated with banned pesticides? To save money, some juice manufacturers import cheap citrus fruit to the United States, where it is then “Florida-Squeezed.” This advertising fib might be forgivable if it ended there. It does not. Consumers should be aware that imported produce—and juices made from imported produce—may carry traces of banned pesticides. Several countries that export fruits and vegetables, including Mexico, continue to use pesticides such as dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), though the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the use of DDT and several other such carcinogenic pesticides on U.S.-grown produce. (Read more about pesticides in Chapter 7.)
Other little-known juice facts center on the new “juicey” type “natural” juices. Did you know, for instance, that these are made from fruit concentrates and not whole fruit juices? Though many concentrates are of the highest quality—if not the highest nutritional value—they are only as good as the liquids with which they are reconstituted. Enter industrial water. Consumers who prefer to drink spring water, or who are sensitive to the many chemical resins found in municipally supplied water, might want to know that both imported and domestic fruit concentrates are reconstituted with filtered tap or well water from factory property in industrially zoned areas.
Finally, to this ample list of caveats, the caution on additives is attached. By now, it is common knowledge that food manufacturers routinely add artificial colors and flavors, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and chemical preservatives to their products—and juices are no different.
But are commercially manufactured juices really the bad guys of nutrition? Granted, the results of drinking less-than-fresh juices are not fatal. But by advertising their products as “natural” or “health” beverages, juice manufacturers often mislead consumers who seek to build vitality with alternatives to chemical-filled, carbonated soft drinks. At the very least it is ironic that many consumers don’t realize many packaged juices are as nutritionally vapid as the soft drinks they would replace!
For those seeking more healthful alternatives, this book advocates drinking pure, fresh juices made at home with an electric juice extractor. The key word here is “fresh.” For, as we recommend several high-quality bottled juices in this book (see Chapter 8), fresh juices remain the superior choice in both taste and nutrition. Just one pint of fresh carrot juice, for example, contains more than 20,000 international units (IUs) of pro-vitamin A in its purest and most natural form. That is four times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A. (Read more about RDAs in Chapter 1.)
Because of their nutritional excellence, juices may prevent diet-related illnesses. A growing body of research reveals that juice may even cure a variety of illnesses and conditions, as well. For instance, cabbage juice contains vitamin U, which has been shown to heal peptic ulcers; while fresh apple and prune juices are excellent laxatives. Green juices contain enzymes that foster weight loss by stimulating the metabolic system. Alfalfa sprout juice supplies vitamin K, a blood coagulant important to the health of pregnant women. Watermelon and cucumber juices have a safe, natural diuretic action. Studies done by the National Academy of Sciences conclude that the pro-vitamin A content of orange, yellow, and green vegetable juices may help prevent some forms of cancer.
While the list of juice therapies continues to grow, it’s only half the story. Granted, eliminating disease is a worthy goal, but should it be our only aim? Or, rather, should we strive with equal resolve to achieve and maintain optimal healthfulness? If we choose the latter course, we cannot ignore the effects of daily nutrition on long-term health. And although fresh juice provides excellent nutrition, it is not a “magic bullet.” The maximum long-term health benefits will be achieved by incorporating fresh juices into a nutritious and balanced diet.
Unfortunately, our diets often sabotage our best health interests. Most people living in the Western world today eat too few fresh fruits and vegetables and too many overcooked, processed foods that contain excess fat and protein. To be truly healthy in this age of fast foods, environmental pollutants, and stress, many nutritionists now recommend that we get two to five times the RDA for several key vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many of these nutritionists prescribe the high-tech solution: synthetic multi-vitamin/mineral pills. Why is this the wrong approach?
Most vitamin/mineral pills are synthesized from coal tar or other petroleum derivatives. For this reason, while they may be chemically identical to vitamins found in foods or fresh juices, they may have only a fraction of the biological activity of vitamins found in live foods. Synthetic vitamins are not absorbed as well as those found naturally in foods. One laboratory study revealed that, when mixed with non-nutritive synthetic food bases, synthetic vitamins are unable to sustain human life. They are missing “something” that scientists have not been able to synthesize in their labs. That something includes live enzymes. It is called the “life force.”
Compared with synthetic vitamins, naturally derived vitamins from fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, grasses, and their juices were designed by Nature to supply high-quality nutrition capable of sustaining human life. One pint of fresh vegetable juice, for example, supplies the same live vitamins, minerals, and enzymes found in two large vegetable salads. The human body assimilates these nutrients in minutes. If a large vegetable salad is added to this juice intake daily, along with healthy portions of lightly-cooked vegetables and plenty of whole grains, it will exceed the RDA for several key vitamins and minerals by as much as 500 percent. (We will discuss these key nutrients in Chapter 1.)
Beyond their healthfulness, fresh juices are simple to prepare. And many people agree that their uniform consistency makes them even more delicious than the fresh fruits or vegetables from which they are made. To prove it, I have included dozens of my favorite fresh juice recipes in Chapter 7. Once you try them, you’ll see why juicing is such a simple good habit to develop. The conclusions on the nutritional benefits of fresh juice deserve a place with none other than the greatest health discoveries this century. You can prove this to yourself over the next few weeks. Read this book from cover to cover, purchase a juicer (the better models are reviewed in Chapter 3), and drink one or two glasses of fresh juice daily. In only a few days you will begin to look and feel better, all the time gaining valuable confidence in your ability to reach optimal health and well-being. Then you’ll know firsthand the difference between juice fact and fiction.
Juice and Nutrition
Though advances in the natural and technological sciences have catapulted humanity forward, the science of nutrition remains at a comparative standstill. Perhaps not regarded as “high-tech” research, the study of nutrition is nonetheless equally capable of unlocking mysteries that hold men hostage to ignorance.
At present, relatively little documented research exists on the nature and importance of food enzymes or the role of digestion in disease prevention. The United States Food and Nutrition Board’s Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) are sorely in need of revision, health advocates say. More mainstream research is needed, as well, to support evidence that there are significant differences between the body’s use of synthetic and natural vitamins. We will learn more about these topics and their relationship to fresh juices later in this chapter.
Debate about nutrition lies at the crossroads of health in America. The good news is that people are aware of the importance of proper nutrition. The bad news is that many consumers accept the message sent out by the $2 billion vitamin industry that poor nutrition can be counteracted by popping pills. The truth is, it cannot.
While dosing ourselves and our families with synthetic vitamin pills may appear to be a convenient way to get optimal nutrition, in reality it is an ineffective long-term choice. The fact is, virtually all of the so-called “natural” or “organic” vitamins and other nutritional supplements sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, and health food stores today are compounded of more than 90 percent unnatural ingredients. The 10-percent balance may have been derived from a natural source, such as a plant; but it is certainly not “organic” if it is not alive. It is precisely because synthetic supplements are manufactured from chemicals and dead food that the body does not absorb, use, or dispose of them as well as organic vitamins from fresh, “live” foods. The only way to supply our bodies with natural or organic vitamins and minerals is to eat the fresh foods that contain them.
SUPPLEMENTS MAY BE HARMFUL
But synthetic supplements are not simply undesirable because they supply inferior nutrition that the body then uses inefficiently. Prolonged use or misuse of vitamin and mineral supplements may actually hurt us more than help us. By taking too much of one supplement, we initiate a negative chain reaction that destroys the balance of all other chemical levels in our body. This does not mean that taking, say, an iron pill for a few days will cause illness. It probably won’t make a difference. But, over a prolonged period, taking iron pills to treat iron-deficiency anemia may accentuate the problem.
To illustrate, let’s examine in detail the body’s reaction to self-treatment with high doses of synthetic iron pills. Adrenal glands are stimulated by the introduction of excess inorganic iron. As a reaction, sodium levels rise. Rising sodium causes magnesium levels to plunge. This signals calcium levels to sink, which in turn causes the potassium level to jump; which in turn decreases levels of copper and zinc. The net result is a chemical imbalance capable of producing a host of symptoms from headaches to heart palpitations. Most significant, however, this chemical balancing act depletes iron further, leaving the body more anemic than when it began.
If, on the other hand, the anemic person had eaten an abundance of fresh, iron-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, prunes, black raspberries, and Bing cherries, the body would have absorbed all the organic iron it needed and excreted the excess. The body knows when to say “no” to iron in its natural, organic form; it can’t always tell when to stop with a continuing barrage of synthetic supplements.
Now that you have seen what types of gyrations the body must perform to balance vitamin overdoses, perhaps you can understand how certain nutritionists and health professionals suspect that long-term overuse of synthetic supplements may lead to some diseases.
THE DISCOVERY OF VITAMINS
In the early 1900s, a Polish chemist named Casimar Funk developed the vitamin theory while examining the causes of four widespread diseases: beri-beri, pellagra, rickets, and scurvy. At first, Funk believed these illnesses were caused by poisons in the diets of the sufferers. However, continued research disproved this theory. By process of elimination, he concluded that elements missing from the diet were the causes of these problems.
Funk set out to identify these missing elements. By administering various natural components to diseased patients, he was able to observe their effects firsthand. He concluded that deficiencies in four specific elements were responsibile for causing the symptoms of these diseases. Funk identified vitamin B-1 deficiency as the cause of beri-beri; niacin deficiency as the cause of pellagra; vitamin D deficiency as the cause of rickets; and vitamin C deficiency as the cause of scurvy. To prove his theory, he administered the element to the patient with the corresponding deficiency and, in each case following a brief period of vitamin therapy, the disease abated.
Funk named the elements he discovered vitamins, literally, “union of vitality.” His choice of this name reflects his belief that vital, uncooked, or “live” foods are important to maintain health.
THE FUNCTION OF VITAMINS
Throughout this century, scientists and nutritionists have added to the body of knowledge about vitamins. Thanks to their efforts, we now know that vitamins are organic compounds, effective in minute amounts, that the body cannot manufacture on its own. They are used as fuel to energize essential processes such as metabolism, growth, and repair. Though humans need only minuscule amounts of a broad spectrum of vitamins, a deficiency of only one can rapidly produce symptoms associated with disease.
Fresh juices are excellent sources not only of vitamins, but of a host of other important nutrients, as well. Incorporated into a balanced, whole foods diet, fresh juices will provide more than an adequate supply of vitamins and nutrients to maintain optimal health. And unlike synthetic supplements, fresh-squeezed juices will do this without danger of toxicity, buildup, or imbalance.
Fresh juices are excellent sources of vitamins and a host of other important nutrients.
RDA, ODA, AND JUICES
As we have seen, organic vitamins and minerals are, clearly, essential to good health. But just how much is enough?
At present, within this country’s medical and nutritional communities, there exist divergent opinions about the validity of the nutritional guidelines we know as the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA). The RDAs have served as a guide for Americans to follow to achieve good nutrition for more than forty years. But growing evidence points to the possibility that RDAs may, in many cases, represent only a fraction of the actual amounts of vitamins and minerals we require. Those who cite this evidence say that the one-size-fits-all mentality behind the RDA is uneven. At best, they say, the RDA represents the “minimum wages of nutrition.”
To compound this problem, many Americans aim to satisfy the RDA by eating commercially-grown, processed foods which have, in many cases, lost substantial nutrient value. The effect of seeking minimum nutrition from nutrient-deficient food sources is, quite possibly, nutritional disaster.
To resolve this problem, many nutritionists and concerned health professionals now recommend adherence to an Optimum Daily Allowance (ODA) guideline to achieve not minimum but optimum nutrition. For an example of how the ODA compares to the RDA, refer to Table 1.1.
A personal ODA is arrived at by weighing several factors: age; weight; family history; emotional, physical, and environmental stress. These amounts are often, although not always, in excess of the amounts found in the RDA. The important point is not that one plan exceeds another, but rather that the ODA is a personalized approach to nutrition.
Fresh-squeezed juices can play a major role in satisfying your ODA. Unlike processed foods that are the mainstay of many Americans’ diets, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fluids, enzymes, amino acids, and chlorophyll. We’ll examine each of these nutritional components in the pages that follow. For more detailed nutrient information, you may refer to Appendix A and Appendix B.
Table 1.1 Comparison of RDA and Sample ODA Profiles
The above chart illustrates how different people require different amounts of nutrients. Note that the two ODA profiles match or omit nutrients in the RDA. The important point about the ODA is not that it exceeds the RDA, but that it is personalized.
VITAMINS IN FRESH JUICES
If you’re looking for vitamin potency, fresh juices deliver. Just choose the vitamins you want and drink the juices that contain them. It’s as simple as that.
Vitamin A (retinol) promotes normal growth and development, fosters proper eyesight, maintains clear, healthy skin, and has been linked to cancer prevention. Fresh carrot or green juices contain an abundance of pro-vitamin A (beta carotene). Pro-vitamin A is easily converted to usable vitamin A in the liver. Unlike synthetic vitamin A, which is toxic in high doses, pro-vitamin A from food sources is safe even in large amounts.
The vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that works together to help the body digest and use the energy in carbohydrates. B complex also promotes resistance to infection.
Components of B complex are: vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamine), biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA, and pantothenic acid. Whole grains are among the best natural sources of B complex vitamins. But fresh juices, especially green and sprout juices, and citrus juice made with a high-speed juicer contain significant amounts of B complex vitamins, as well.
Vitamin C is regarded popularly as a panacea, capable of curing colds, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. However, the clinical evidence that vitamin C does any of these things is inconclusive. What has been proven is that vitamin C is an antioxidant—a substance that protects important molecules and structures in the cells from being destroyed by oxygen. It helps protect the nerves, glands, joints, and connective tissues from oxidation, and also aids in the absorption of iron. All fresh fruit and vegetable juices are excellent sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant. It helps the heart to function, and promotes the use of fatty acids. Because studies on animals show it to be true, scientists hypothesize that vitamin E may also protect fertility in women and men. Fresh beet, celery, and green juices contain vitamin E, as do whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
MINERALS IN FRESH JUICES
Minerals found in foods are quite different from those found in supplemental mineral pills as we learned in the explanation at the beginning of this chapter. In foods, minerals are always combined with specific amino acids; sometimes with vitamins. The process of bonding mineral to amino acid or mineral to vitamin is called “chelation.” Chelated minerals are preferable to synthetic minerals because the body easily recognizes and uses minerals in chelated form. This is why a diet rich in easy-to-assimilate organic minerals will help ensure the body maintains all its important minerals in proper ratio.
The balanced, chelated minerals in fresh juices help keep the body’s energy level high; the nerves calm; and the muscles, heart, hair, teeth, bones, and nails strong. They also keep the blood clean and the blood pH (its relative alkalinity or acidity) balanced. They do this by neutralizing acid and alkaline ash, waste products of human digestion and metabolism.
In addition to these general functions, each mineral has a specific function. The specific functions of several of the major minerals contained in fresh juices are described below.
Potassium is responsible for the electrochemical balance of tissues of the heart and all other muscles. Iron is a component of red blood cells. It transports oxygen to the lungs and aids in cell respiration. Phosphorus is essential to the proper function of the brain and nerves. Calcium maintains the acid/alkaline balance of the blood and strengthens bones.
Sulfur aids the functioning of the brain and nerves. It is a body cleanser. Iodine fuels the thyroid gland, which controls the body’s metabolism. Magnesium aids in muscle relaxation, protein synthesis, energy production, and is a natural laxative.
Manganese is necessary in the functions of the brain. Germanium aids in the function of the immune system and bowels. Studies show it may help alleviate mood disorders. Selenium works with vitamin E to delay oxidation of fatty acids.
Sodium, with potassium, calcium, and magnesium, works to neutralize acids, maintain cell integrity, and keep tissues’ electromagnetic energy intact.
FLUIDS IN FRESH JUICES
Another valuable health property of fresh juices is their fluid content. At least 65 percent of the body is composed of water. Water is a major component of the blood. Blood feeds the cells and carries away waste products of metabolism. Therefore, the more healthy the blood, the more vital the cells and overall bodily health. Fresh juices help to cleanse the blood while improving its important chemical and electromagnetic qualities. They transfer live plant energy to our bodies.
Beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, flavored drinks, alcoholic beverages, and municipal water contain sugar, additives, preservatives, chlorine, fluoride, caffeine, and a host of other ingredients that the body must eliminate before it meets its needs for purified fluids. Key organs of elimination such as the kidneys and liver are taxed by the work necessary to expel the many foreign elements and non-nutritive substances in these beverages.
Unlike the fluid in these drinks, the fluid in fresh juices is pure water, distilled by Nature in the plant or tree. It contains no harmful substances. It does not tax the organs of elimination.
Not simply healthful, the pure fluids in fresh juices are excellent for quenching the thirst, as well. You can make a superior mineral-electrolyte drink to take after strenuous exercise by juicing four parts watermelon rind with one part each cucumber and celery, and mixing an equal proportion of this juice with spring water. Packed with minerals, this juice has a slightly salty taste.
ENZYMES IN FRESH JUICES