Fruit and veggies aren`t what they used to be!
The National Cancer Institute in the US recommends a daily intake of nine portions of fruit and vegetables for men, seven for women and five for children as a major cancer prevention strategy. They have recently increased the number of portions recommended to compensate for the falling levels of nutrients contained in fruit and vegetables. Intensive production is a key factor in the dramatic decline in nutrient content over the past 50 years. For instance, broccoli contains 75% less calcium, carrots contain 75 % less magnesium and 48% less calcium, spinach contains 60% less iron, apples and oranges contain 67% less iron.
So why juice?
Juicing fruits and vegetables (termed “living foods”) concentrates key constituents, such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and a wide range of phytochemicals which are known to play an important role in the prevention of disease (http://www.cancerdecisions.com/archives.html). It removes the cellulose “packing”, delivering a rich cocktail of these nutrients in highly absorbable form. A fresh vegetable juice supplies many more enzymes and nutrients than whole veggies, raw or cooked. While fresh veg is an important source of enzymes and nutrients, delivered in juice form they require minimal energy to digest and are, therefore, ideal for maintaining and restoring health. Indeed, several clinics around the world focus exclusively on a diet of raw and juiced foods, such as the Hippocrates Health Institute. Our own Bernadette Bohan advocates juicing as part of her 4-step plan to better health. Juicing is also recommended by advocates of the Metabolic Typing Diet.
Vegetable juices and low-sugar fruits are a superb way of alkalising the body. The average Western diet is full of acid-causing foods, such as sugar and dairy products, which have an adverse effect on overall health, depleting the body of alkaline minerals such as calcium. Stress also has an acidifying effect on the body. Arthritis and osteoporosis are considered to be the result of excessive acidity.
The benefits of regular vegetable juicing really have to be experienced to be believed. The system becomes oxygenated and infused with enzymes, stimulating the digestive system and allowing the body to make the best possible use of all the health-enhancing nutrients contained in fruit and veg. Juices can be used as part of a detox programme, to recover from illness, or simply on an ongoing daily basis to ensure optimal health for all the family. It is of course best to use organic produce, as this usually contains a higher level of nutrients and it won`t contain any chemical residues. It is also good to eat local and seasonal produce, rather than “fresh” produce which has been picked unripe and has travelled half way around the world from foreign climate zones. Organic and local produce is widely available at s` markets, see for a location near you.
What kind of juicer?
Juicers come in many shapes and forms. However, juicing for health necessarily involves using a masticating juicer such as the Green Star which crushes rather than blends fruit and vegetables, maximising the nutrient yield. Don`t be tempted to use a centrifugal juicer which are widely available. These degrade nutrients and enzymes, as they generate heat in the process of blending.
Wheatgrass and barleygrass are termed superfoods, as they contain an extraordinarily high level of nutrients. However, they are extremely fibrous and while the Green Star is suitable for juicing them, centrifugal juicers cannot deal with them.
The grasses can be efficiently juiced using the manual juicer which we also stock
How can I purchase a juicer?
If you are interested in purchasing either of the juicers displayed below please call us, visit us instore or click here to e-mail us. If you want more in-depth information on juicing, either send us an e-mail or give us a call at the store +353 1 496 0399 and we will do our utmost to answer your questions.
- 6 sticks celery
- 4 good size carrots
- 6 sticks celery
- 4 good size carrots
- 1 good size apple
You can add any fruit or veg to the basic juice, e.g. cucumber, spinach, broccoli, pears, root ginger (just a bit!), depending on your taste. The cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain indole-3-carbinole which is known to be a potent anti-cancer phytochemical.
Wheat or barley grass can also be added. If you don`t have the fresh product, add the powdered variety to the finished product.
Powerhouses of nutrients, sprouted pulses and seeds are a wonderful way of enriching your juice. Sprouting increases nutrient value by up to 600%. Adding sprouted pulses such as mung, aduki, chick peas or lentils, adds some protein content to your juices also. Sprouted alfalfa seed is so rich in minerals that it is referred to as the “king of sprouts”.
Fresh wheatgrass, barley grass and sprouts are delivered to The Hopsack twice weekly.
Tips for using your Greenstar juicer
- Make sure you assemble the gears as per instructions. Failure to do this can be costly!
- Make sure you use the plunger the correct way round.
- Leave your juicer on your counter. It will only gather dust in the cupboard!
- Always alternate fruits with vegetables in the feeding chute. The fibrous veggies will help to draw the juicy fruits through the juicer. Too much soft or juicy material at one time can lead to slush coming back up the chute.
- Do use a majority of vegetables and a minority of fruits. Fruits are naturally high in their own sugars and can enrich the flavour of a juice, but should not be the majority ingredient. Sugar of any kind can over-tax the pancreas and acidify the system.
For further information on living foods we recommend Living Foods for Optimum Health by Brian R. Clement. Published by Three Rivers Press. Available in larger bookshops.