Friday, October 25, 2013

It Finally Came!

I have been watching ebay for weeks for an inexpensive juicer. Unfortunately, since juicing and specifically Breville juicers were featured on the documentary Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, the prices since my parents bought theirs ~4 months ago had sky-rocketed.  Juicers were featured in home magazines and were actually included in catalog kitchen layouts.  My husband is convinced I am jumping on a bandwagon, and I guess only time will tell, but for now I can't wait to start juicing regularly.  I spent most of October off and on sick and knew I had to try something different.  This is my attempt to change my diet and in doing so, a greater attempt to boost my health and immune system.

I chose the Breville Juice Fountain Compact because I wanted Breville quality and simplicity with cleaning, but was unable/did not want to invest too much in an item I was unsure I would actually use long term.

I thought I would share some of the juicing tips I have found through Google and Pinterest over the past few weeks :)

There are definitely some discrpencies as to some of the best fruits & veggies to juice.  Here is a combination of quite a few lists:
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumbers, which are very cleansing and good for skin health.
  • Celery, anti-inflammatory and alkalizing; also said to lower blood pressure.
  • Beets, a super liver cleanser and great vegetarian source of iron.
  • Carrots, rich in beta-carotene, beneficial for eyesight, and also a great liver/gall bladder cleanser. Use caution with carrot juice, as it's also high in sugar.
  • Spinach (occasionally), high in iron, very alkalizing, and great for skin health.
  • Wheatgrass, overall great detoxifier and also alkalizing.
  • Fennel, excellent for digestion, reduces bloating. Great licorice-like flavor.
  • Herbs are great, too; use parsley, cilantro (helps to chelate heavy metals), and ginger (good for digestion and cleansing). Throw in some raw garlic if you're brave or want to ward off vampires. It's great for immune health
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Cranberry
  • Lemon
I found this website most helpful.  There were a few points that I found noteworthy, due to the popularity of juicing specific vegetables.  For example these two points especially stuck out to me:
"Use raw spinach, beet greens and chard sparingly. They contain oxalic acid, which can irritate the the mouth and intestinal tract and block iron and calcium absorption. Oxalic acid has also beed linked to the formation of kidney stones."
"Stay away from juicing raw cabbage, collards, bok choy, kale and broccoli. All cruciferous veggies are goitrogenic, meaning they contain substances that suppress thyroid function when consumed raw. They may also cause gas, bloating and stomach upset in some folks. Don't get me wrong; the cruciferous have wonderful health benefits when cooked or lightly steamed. Cooking deactivates the goitrogens."

I wasn't sure of the site's credibility and I definitly didn't just want to go around spreading unfounded rumors. 
Especially with natural medicine, I tend to question some claims, simply because there is often not research to back them up.  I don't believe research is necessary or infallible by any means, but it never hurts to check more than one source. So, in an attempt to be thorough, I searched Google Scholar and found this case report:

Getting, Jane E., et al. "Oxalate Nephropathy Due to “Juicing”: Case Report and Review." The American journal of medicine (2013).

I did not read the entire thing, but in the abstract I found that the claim made about kidney failure (nephropathy) was sound, as well as this article:

which stated that a study was conducted on women in New Caledonia which found that there was a higher incidence of thyroid cancer in those with iodine deficiency who consumed large amounts of cruciferous vegetables. In case you were wondering, New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Just in case.

Due to the sources available to support those points, I wholeheartedly recommend the MindBodyGreen website when it comes to juicing :)
Here are some links to other sources I found helpful: one two three

I made my first vegetable juice this morning with things I had in the fridge, tomato, cucumber, celery, and some lettuce and so far so good! And clearly Peyton is none the wiser :)

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