A Naturopathic Doctor's Take on Juicing

A Naturopathic Doctor's Take on Juicing

Written by Dr. Bahareh Moshtagh, ND

We know drinking juice is good for us... but why? We wanted a health professional's thoughts on what it is about cold-pressed juice that can help our bodies feel so good and Dr. Bahareh Moshtagh came through with some excellent information about how juicing can support our health & wellness goals. Read on to hear what she had to say!

When it comes to health and wellness, cleanses and detoxes, we hear a lot about juicing. Juicing can be used for juice aided fasting, a detox program, reduction in total body inflammation, healing the gut lining, weight loss, and improving nutritional and hydration status. There is no doubt about the fact that juicing is beneficial to our overall health and wellness. The best source is organic produce that is cold pressed. Glory Juice does a great job of making this the foundation of their method. They also have cleanse kits which are a great way to jump right into a cleanse without giving it too much thought. They have 3 options: Green Juice Cleanse, Active Juice Cleanse, and Starter Juice Cleanse.  

A Quick Word on Health Shots 

Typically, health shots consist of a strong turmeric, ginger, lemon and black pepper shot which is highly anti-inflammatory, stimulates digestive fire, is antiviral, and detoxifying. These shots are a great way to start the morning, end the evening, or both.  

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing Juices

Aside from added sugars, of which there should be none, the total content of sugar in the juice is something that should be strongly considered. This is because juicing removes the fiber from fruits and vegetables that help feed our good gut microbes, create stool bulk, and reduces blood sugar spikes. So, the sweeter the fruits chosen for the juice, given there is no fiber, the higher the blood sugar spike. We have to be conscientious about choosing a lower total sugar content, especially when using juices for detox, cleanses, or hydration.  

The meaning of juice has slowly changed from processed, high sugar content fruit juices to more wholistic green juices. Typically, the best vegetables to incorporate for juices are ones that are seasonal, as local as possible, organic and cold pressed. Incorporating more root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and greens such as celery and cucumber (which have a lot more water content than spinach or kale), make a great base for your juice. Limit highly sweet fruit choices to 2 such as carrots and apples, or make sure it occupies a small percentage of the entire juice.  

Therapeutic Reasons to Drink Juice 

When we choose a 3- or 5- or 7-day juice cleanse, we need to first ask ourselves what outcome we are looking for. Often my goal for prescribing a juice fast for my patients is to reduce gut inflammation, reduce global body inflammation and give the body a chance to get ahead of detoxification and repair. Especially for people with autoimmune conditions where skin rashes, fatigue, brain fog, gut issues are prevalent. Juices allow the immune system to get a rest and for neurons to repair themselves at a faster pace. Typical diets with meat and carbohydrates make the body acidic. When we incorporate citrus fruits and greens (alkaline foods), we balance the body's PH. One of the main benefits of doing a juice fast or even incorporating more juice into our daily practices is that it maintains hydration and replenishes vitamins and minerals. Depending on what you are trying to heal or accomplish, I would recommend starting with a simple 1- or 3-day juice cleanse or even starting with one green juice each morning by itself, then having a late breakfast.   

Detoxification and Juicing 

Any time we are not adding to our bucket, we are still removing. Eating clean, refreshing juices even if only for a day; allows our bodies a chance to get ahead of detoxification. Our bodies are always detoxifying on a cellular level. Depending on the amount of Brassicaceae vegetables in our diet which induce enzymes in the liver to boost detoxification or the incorporation of activated charcoal, chlorella, and spirulina powders, we can amplify detoxification. It is important however to reduce the consumption of raw Brassicaceae vegetable juices as this can inhibit thyroid function.  

 

Dr. Bahareh Moshtagh, ND is a naturopathic doctor who practices in North Vancouver and takes on a holistic, functional medicine approach to diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. She believes that health is a continuum not a destination and aims to educate and empower her patients to create meaningful long lasting change. Learn more about working with Dr. Moshtagh at https://www.drbahareh.com/

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