Friday, 1 February 2013


Juicing is probably the best thing I do for myself each day. What if I told you that when it comes to fruit and vegetables, five a day is not nearly enough, particularly if you're recovering from disease. Juicing is the best way to incorporate more fresh, raw produce into your day than you could ever manage to eat, and it's a fast way to alkalise and repair the body. Just one 8oz glass of vegetable juice delivers a densely packed nutrient hit. The gut can assimilate these live enzymes, minerals and vitamins incredibly quickly (within half an hour) as it doesn't have to process any fibre. For this reason it's important to rely mainly on green vegetables to avoid overdosing on sugar. Even root vegetables like carrots and beetroots have a high sugar content. At the Hippocrates health Institute, recovering cancer patients are banned from drinking carrot juice for this reason.

Other cancer protocols (like The Gerson Therapy) recommend 13 fresh juices a day, taken hourly to give the body the constant stream of enzymes that it needs to heal. These take the form of carrot, carrot and apple, green, and one fresh orange juice a day.

We should each aim for at least one 8oz green juice a day. Because of the volume of produce being eaten, it's imperative that it's organic. My favourite recipe is kale/chard, green pepper, broccoli, cucumber, celery and apple, but you can include anything green and in season. 

So what's in a juice? One of the key ingredients is potassium, necessary for the function of every living cell. Green juices are also loaded with magnesium, needed by muscle tissue, and used to aid the absorption of calcium. Carrot juice is full of beta-carotene, a cartenoid which is converted into vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is vital for growth and development. The brassica family (particularly broccoli and kale) contains the powerful phytochemical Sulphoraphane, which has been proved to help regulate hormones, and inhibit the growth of cancer tumours. Watercress contains calcium and iron. Chlorophyll in green leafy vegetables is a great blood cleanser and booster, and increases magnesium levels in the body. Wheatgrass is particularly high in chlorophyll, but the potent flavour can take a little getting used to. Maybe surprisingly, green juice also contains protein. 

There are many different juicers on the market. The perceived best is the Norwalk, (which uses a two step, grind and press process), but at £1500 this is a big investment. The second best option is a twin gear juicer, like my trusty Greenstar. It's best to avoid centrifugal juicers if you are recovering from disease, as most of the precious enzymes and nutrients are lost in the spinning process.

Initially, green juices can be challenging for the body, sometimes sparking an uncomfortable healing crisis. A healthy approach would be to begin slowly with carrot and apple, gently introducing green vegetable juices over time, starting with cucumber and celery bases. Be aware that the vital enzymes will start to break down and oxidise within 15 minutes of preparation, so it's always best to make your juice fresh. Ideally, it should be drunk on an empty stomach, or at least an hour after meals. Also, avoid combining fruits and vegetables, with the exception of apples, as they require different digestive processes.

Something else to consider is the green smoothie. Rather than juicing, this drink is made in a blender. It's a great way of getting fibre into your diet because it uses the whole fruit/ vegetable. It's filling enough to serve as breakfast, or an afternoon snack. I start with an almond milk base, add a banana, blueberries, a little raw honey and spinach. You can add super-foods like chlorella, bee pollen or chia for an extra boost.

I'm so used to my daily green hit that I start to feel a bit toxic and twitchy if I miss one. Juicing will give you noticeably increased energy and focus. Working up to 32oz a day will bring an unbelievable sense of clarity. Once you start, it becomes a difficult habit to break!

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