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What is Juicing
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Juicing fresh fruit and vegetables works by providing the body with a vast array of living, vital nutrients in a form that it can easily assimilate. Juice bars are an increasingly common phenomenon in the high street, but anyone can gain the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable juice at home with a domestic juicer and some fresh ingredients. Produce is washed and prepared to fit into the feeding chamber of your chosen juicer and fed through the machine where it undergoes some kind of pureeing and separation process, depending on the type of juicer.

There is no need to peel most produce before juicing it with a fruit and vegetable juicer providing it is washed. Oranges are the exception, where the peel contains bitter oils; people generally use a citrus juicer for these, which only necessitates halving the oranges before juicing. The juicer then separates the juice from the fibres of the produce you are juicing and dispenses it into a jug. Apart from the fact that juice is delicious, the main reason for juicing is to obtain a supply of raw nutrients from the produce we are juicing. The moment heat is applied to food we start to destroy the enzymes, vitamins and minerals it contains. By taking raw juices we are ensuring the body gets a good supply of these easily digested nutrients in the form the body is best able to deal with.

There is simply no comparison between the nutritional value of fresh raw produce and that of cooked and processed food. Juicing helps to cleanse the body of toxins and assists in its processes of repair and regeneration. Some therapies for serious illness have juicing as part of their regime because of the curative powers of proper nutrition. Raw fresh juice is an abundant source of antioxidants and enzymes which assist in the elimination of free radicals and enable the bodies metabolic processes at a cellular level.

Apart from preserving intact the vital nutrients contained in fresh fruit and vegetables, juicing also gives an additional advantage over simply eating raw produce. It allows us to obtain the nutrition from raw produce in greater quantities than chewing can achieve. Its easy and delicious to drink a large glass of carrot juice, but chewing your way through a kilo of fresh carrots could be a bit daunting unless you are a horse! Agrochemical residues are believed to be mainly fixed and stored in the fibre of plants and as we discard almost all of these fibres when juicing, we have an additional advantage in taking in less toxins.

There are very few people who would not benefit from the inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetable juices in their diet. However people suffering illness or taking prescription drugs should consult with their doctor before drinking large quantities of juice regularly, as the detoxifying effect of the juice can alter the way the body metabolises drugs. For example, although juicing is used in treating conditions like cancer, taking a lot of juice during chemotherapy can work against the drugs by helping the body in its natural process of eliminating these 'toxins'. In a case like this, juicing would be used outside the period of chemotherapy.

For the reasonably healthy individual, juicing is a safe and convenient way of significantly increasing the body's intake of vital nutrients. It can be of benefit to pregnant and nursing mothers and people of all ages, and it fits in well with most peoples normal diet. However much or little you juice, you are likely to be healthier for it. It is difficult to 'ovedose' on juice and once the benefits are experienced, juicing usually becomes a daily routine for the enthusiast.

Where a cooked meal can often leave us feeling a little tired and depleted as we divert our energy to the process of breaking down our food, raw juice is very easily absorbed and can have the opposite effect, leaving us feeling energised. However we never recommend an all or nothing approach to juicing and while some people live healthy lives on a mainly raw diet containing a lot of fresh juice, we would caution against reducing variety in your diet without expert advice.

By Paul Hellawell
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Biography: Paul has worked for a number of years in health related areas; as a vegetarian chef, in health food wholesale and, more recently, as a director of UK Juicers. UK Juicers came into being as a result of advice that Paul gave to his nephew who was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. He found that incorporating raw fruit and vegetable juices into a mainly raw approach to nutrition helped lead to a complete recovery from this condition. Paul has been juicing for over twenty years and at forty four years old runs an average of twenty miles a week.

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