By Dr. Michael T. Murray
One of the most common questions people have about juicing is, “Why juice?” After all, the fruit juice we can buy in bottles, cartons, and cans has impressive vitamin and mineral content, according to the nutritional information printed right on the label. Why bother with juicing fresh fruits at home?
Drinking freshly extracted juice is super healthy–even healthier than the store-bought juices. Oh, and by the way, it also tastes better! Let’s look at some advantages of home-made fresh fruit juice.
Raw fruit juice increases our energy.
If you think about it, the body actually converts the foods we eat into juice so it can be absorbed. So juicing it before you consume it saves the body energy, resulting in increased energy levels.
Juicing delivers more soluble fiber, faster, than whole fruits.
Whole fruits are great to eat because they have lots of insoluble fiber that helps with digestion. But as a complement to the fresh fruits and vegetables we need to eat daily, freshly juiced fruit is packed with soluble fiber–that’s the kind of fiber that’s been shown to lower cholesterol.
Juicing helps with digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Juice is easier to for our bodies to digest than whole fruit, and thus allows for quick absorption of high-quality nutrients.
Raw fruit juice has more nutrition than store-bought counterparts.
Fresh juice contains greater nutritional values–vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional compounds, such as enzymes and flavonoids–than its canned or bottled counterparts, which have been cooked (pasteurized) to keep them on the shelves longer. Cooking can cause the loss of up to 97 percent of water-soluble vitamins (B vitamins and C), and up to 40 percent of the fat-soluble vitamins (A,D, E, and K).
Homemade juice has increased antioxidant, antiviral, and anticancer properties.
A study comparing commercial apple juice with freshly juiced apples found that fresh, raw juice had more antiviral compounds than the store-bought versions (here’s the link). Another study found that fresh, raw apple juice and berry juice (especially raspberries and blackberries) has more ellagic acid, a potent anticancer and antioxidant compound that is stripped from juice when it’s been processed.
Juicing helps to rid the body of toxins.
Fresh fruits contain ample glutathione, a small protein composed of 3 amino acids, manufactured in our cells, which aid in the detoxification of heavy metals such as lead, as well as the elimination of pesticides and solvents. Processed fruit juices do not. To derive the greatest benefit from our foods, we should consume them in their freshest forms.
Fresh juice can help with weight loss.
Raw food juicing is a phenomenal way to reach the goal of ingesting 60 percent of total calories from raw foods. Diets containing a high percentage (up to 60 percent of calories) of uncooked foods are associated with significant weight loss and lowering of blood pressure in overweight individuals. (Here’s a study link.)
For a delicious, nutritious fruit juice, put two whole apples, sliced in quarters, and 1/2 cup each of raspberries and blackberries through a juicer. Drink it up right away for a blast of energy and nutrients.
About the author
Michael T. Murray ND is a naturopathic physician regarded as one of the world’s top authorities on natural medicine. An educator, lecturer, researcher, and health food industry consultant, he is the author of more than 30 books, including his new book, The Complete Book of Juicing, Revised and Updated: Your Delicious Guide to Youthful Vitality (Clarkson Potter, 2014). Learn more at www.DrMurray.com.