It can be very confusing to delve into different natural health communities online and find many different philosophies, protocols and practices. Sadly a large number of half-baked ideas and unhealthy habits abound in the natural health online communities. If you have been in these communities for any length of time you will come across people who swear by herbs, supplements, powdered desiccated grass, green smoothies, watermelon island, grape fasts, and many other questionable practices but none seem quite as prevalent or more heavily promoted than the idea of juicing.
Nothing says “I’m returning to nature” like using a $400 machine to chew your food for you.
Juice is not a whole food. It is a processed fragment of food. Juicing removes the essential fiber, and drinking juice rapidly floods the body with sugar overworking the cells, and leading to excess waste.Juicing is not a Health Practice. Nothing says “I’m returning to nature” like using a $400 machine to chew your food for you. Click To Tweet
Juice is not a superfood or powerhouse of nutrition. Quite to the contrary, when we juice fruits or greens we are losing valuable nutrition. Juice begins to oxidize instantly which means nutrients and enzymes are dying from the moment the first cut is made to the fruit. Depending on the type of juicer being used, juicing crushes or eviscerates the fruit entirely, which results in the vast majority of the nutrition being exposed to air by thousands of tiny cuts or by crushing. Contrary to the marketing we are not getting an added boost of nutrition but instead, we are losing portions of the nutrition of the food when juicing.
“Juices are fractionated foods subject to oxidative deterioration. Oxidation occurs quickly. For example, orange juice can lose up to 60% of its vitamin C within an hour after juicing. Iron is oxidized very quickly in all foods. This may be observed visually if an apple is broken open and exposed to air. Oxidation creates toxic byproducts. An example of this is cooking, which is a much accelerated process of oxidation as well as heat degeneration.” – T.C. Fry
Juicing allows us to consume substances in large quantities which we would normally not eat in the natural human diet or would only consume in small quantities due to their bitter taste or difficulty to chew.
Juicing often means consuming foods that would not normally be eaten in any bulk like carrots, cabbage, kale, or beets, and consuming them in large quantities.
These are not human foods because they don’t taste good in their whole raw form and they are difficult to chew. They are not desirable or enjoyable in their natural state and we would not eat them in large quantities in nature like we would with sweet fruits or tender sweet leafy lettuces.
We might occasionally eat the young sweet tender leaves of a kale plant or a cabbage but the full-grown bitter spicy leaves would offend our senses when our body is clean enough to hear our senses.
These vegetables contain toxins that give them a bitter taste. Bitter is your sense of taste warning you against consuming a substance. Bitter, spicy, excessively salty (burns the tongue), and sour (makes you recoil) are all your senses trying to make you spit out a substance.
Root vegetables are also full of starches instead of sugar which is far less than ideal and may cause food combining issues. If we wouldn’t eat them in large quantities we certainly shouldn’t be drinking them in large quantities and yet it’s common practice to juice a pound or more of carrots or an entire head of celery.
People also often juice irritants like ginger and garlic, sometimes in large quantities. Most juice bars use ginger as an ingredient and often have ginger or garlic shots. These are substances that are destructive to the delicate tissues of our digestive tract and garlic in particular kills the bacteria which create B12 in our digestive tract. These substances should never be consumed and if you tried to eat them raw by themselves by chewing them like a whole food you would be in enough pain to stop and rethink, but when they are hidden in a sweet juice and diluted the burning of the tongue, throat and stomach tissues becomes a stimulant that we mistake for a health benefit.
Unfortunately, we tend to be addicted to stimulation since we have cooked foods forced upon us as young children and learn to tolerate and even enjoy the pain and discomfort caused by irritants and cooked foods. We enjoy the euphoria that is the end result of the body launching a red alert, all hands on deck response to an incoming poison. Whether that poison is cocaine, heroin, alcohol, or something more banal like salt, spices, chilis, or other irritants, the body’s response of increased energy, and release of fight or flight chemicals induces a feeling which can be painful, sedating, or in some cases enjoyable.
One of the most common marketing points for juicing is the idea that juicing provides digestive rest. Consuming juice is slightly less of a burden than eating cooked foods, but juicing offers no digestive rest as is often the claim. In fact, it forces the bowels to work even harder.
Our bowels are a muscle that contracts to move waste through the system. That contraction requires bulk. Fiber provides that bulk. Juicing can lead to constipation because we are putting lots of material in without the fiber it is designed to flow through with. Without that fiber, the body cannot grip and easily move the food through the system, so things get slowed down and backed up. Without that fiber we can also exhaust the digestive system, which is why we hear so often that people struggle to eliminate after returning to whole foods after a long juice fast.
They have overworked their digestive tract for weeks or months, often adding irritants to the digestive tract in the juice as well like beets, ginger or garlic. The result is utter exhaustion of the organ so that when the juicing and irritants stop the body is left depleted and the muscles of the digestive tract need rest. This results in constipation, which unfortunately many in the community turn to herbal poisons to remedy which then leads to even more exhaustion of the muscles and an ever-worsening constipation.
Putting any substance that requires digestion and assimilation into the mouth immediately starts the contractions and actions of the entire digestive system from mouth to exit. Whether we drink juice or eat an apple or eat a hamburger the digestive system in its entirety has to spring into action. When we fast on water then nothing requires digestion and so all of the energy that is normally utilized by the digestive tract can be redirected towards old waste or healing.
Many promote the idea of treating a deficiency in diet with juices. This is the same delusion that people believe in that leads to them consuming vitamin pills – the idea that we can make up for destructive food choices by just putting in concentrated vitamins or minerals that have been isolated from food, or more often have been sourced from rocks or algae that were never food to begin with.
We cannot make up for the hamburger or french fries we ate and the damage they have wrought by supplying more nutrition. What we can do is stop poisoning the body
We need juice to make up for the deficient soil that our food is grown in.
To quote TC Fry :
“The deficient soil/deficient food complex is fostered among health seekers by fractionated food purveyors who are peddling a synthetic manufactured supplement or so-called natural supplements, both of which are far inferior to whole foods. Supplements can in no way make good any partial deficiency that may exist. The synthetic supplements are not usable in any circumstances, and the body treats them as drugs. It is the stimulus of drug effects that we mistake for health effects. We mistake the energy an exhausted horse shows under the whip as beneficient when, in fact, it is pathogenic. Even if part of the supplements are obtained from organic sources (as a fraction of a given supplement, say 5 to 10% only) so they can be represented as natural, they are still worthless. They’re also worthless if extracted entirely from organic sources. The body uses nutrients in context with other nutrients as a team.”
Is it okay to use juices while transitioning?
Juicing is a transitional tool because it enervates the body. When we are coming off cooked foods, alcohol, salt, caffeine, etc we are coming down off a lot of stimulant drugs which we have been using to prop up the body. We naturally look for ways to stimulate in other ways until we realize that we simply require rest. Since juice floods the body rapidly with sugar overwhelming the body the cells must overwork to burn off the excess, so a flurry of energy stimulates the body into action, like whipping a tired horse. What we needed was rest, what we did instead was whip ourselves with a jolt of sugar flooded into the system without the fiber to slow it down. We got high and it felt good, so we used it again the next day.
Common objections and questions:
I don’t believe this is true. There are many books that promote the health benefits of juicing.
There are many books that promote the healing powers of everything from pharma drugs to herbs to dirt to drinking your own urine, all of which ignore the most basic fact that nothing acts upon the body, the body takes all actions. Just because someone misunderstands why lessening the burden on the body allows their body to clean itself more doesn’t mean their mistake is not a mistake.
People go from SAD diet to keto and see some healing. Put a healthy person on keto and they get sick rapidly.
People go from eating McDonalds to cooking at home and see improvements in their health.
Feed a healthy raw fruit-fed body a cooked meal and it rapidly shows you the toxicity of the cooked meal.
If we go from making 100 mistakes to making 50 mistakes the burden on the body is less and the body will respond to the extra energy available by cleaning and repairing more. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t heal faster and work better if we eliminated the other 50 mistakes.
Many people see improvements when juicing because the juice forces out something of a much greater burden. Had those same people simply eaten whole fruits and whole lettuces they would have healed much faster.
What is your take on the celery juicing phenomenon? People seem to swear by it helping them. Just wondering. I find juicing for the most part too severe on my digestive system. Agree with having the whole foods.
Celery is a stimulant herb so people who are trading coffee for celery juice feel great because they are still getting their stimulants.
As you mentioned a healthy body responds with digestive symptoms and may have other symptoms like anxiety when consuming large amounts of celery juice. Celery juice is an adrenal stimulant so it has a similar “wake you up” effect as a cup of coffee but with the similar downsides, minus the acidity. While celery is full of alkaline minerals, coffee is highly acid-forming and contains caffeine. Coffee causes more damage, but the same stimulant response is issued by the body as a form of self-protection.
We can juice a stalk or two, but more than that and we start seeing the negative affects of the mild toxins in the celery, which are stimulating. Most people find that when eating celery whole their body naturally self limits to 2-4 stalks of celery.
There are many testimonials of people on juice cleanse healing from severe chronic conditions on youtube now, one of them was on a 366 day one. Slow juicing still retain some fibre, which helps to carry the released mucoid plaque out. I did 16 days of water fasting before, but I had to stop because I start to get great pain in the colon, which I suspect is more the kidney itself causing it via the nerve. I had to step down to a gentler method…
All of those people would have healed much faster through water fasting and eating their natural diet. Healing is always about the amount of burden we lift off the body. People promoting juice fasts are under the false impression that many people fall for which is that food heals. Food has no ability to heal. Food is dead – inert – it cannot take action. Food is either useful to the body or some level of burden on the body. Processed foods are always a burden on the body but some processed foods like juices are less of a burden then other processed foods like potato chips, candy bars, or fast food hamburgers. If you go from eating cooked food every day of your life to only putting juice in your body you have lifted a huge amount of burden off the body. You still aren’t giving the body what it truly needs, but you have lifted burden and that means the body can do more repairing and more eliminating of waste then it was able to previously. Our bodies are remarkably resilient and can handle a lot of mistakes before they completely break down, but a body that has been properly fed and cared for will feel much worse on juices.
Anytime we stop putting in the worst poisons the body will have less damage and less work to do. People trade juice for potato chips and hamburgers and then think the juice healed them. That is false. It was the elimination of the potato chips and hamburgers that allowed their bodies to make repairs and heal.
If those same people had also traded the juice for whole foods in their whole natural form and periodic water fasting then they would have healed even faster because they would have been providing whole foods, not fractionated, processed substances.
Juicing does not give digestive rest as your body still has to digest fully the fractionated food. It does not give more nutrition because the nutrients have been oxidized, and rapidly so, because of the surface area exposed to air once the juice is separated from the whole substance. All juice does is flood the body with a subpar unnatural substance which slows cleaning.Juicing is not a health practice! Do you see any juicers in nature? If it requires a machine it's not natural and is overworking the body. Click To Tweet
Now I can certainly understand why people get confused. Water fasting often brings up pain because the consequence of putting poison into the body is that poison hurts on its way out as much as it damages on the way in. So if you stop the deep cleaning by putting more burden on the body with fractionated food then you will slow healing which will limit the elimination of old wastes and therefore feel more comfortable. But being comfortable is not an indication of healing. Suppressing symptoms is not an indication of healing. If we put bad stuff in then that stuff has to come out for the body to fully heal. Pain in water fasting can also be due to dehydration. If the person is not drinking 1.5-2 gallons per day then they can be dehydrating themselves through the fast which will further concentrate the acids and cause more damage and pain on their way out. Often when people reach 15-20 days into a water fast they start to struggle to drink water. T.C. Fry and Shelton advise adding a small amount of lemon juice to the water if the person is truly struggling to get in the required amounts of water during a water fast.
The Bottom Line
A glass of juice here and there is okay, but regular juice only adds to the body’s burden. Juicing is not a health practice, it is overworking the body and is far less beneficial than eating foods whole. Oranges, Grapefruits, or other fruits which naturally juice are a better choice to drink regularly, but if it needs to be run through a machine to make juice you are doing far more harm than good. Healing is about lifting burdens, if you go from eating cooked foods to a juice fast you will lift some burden, but you will slow and impair healing compared to the person who goes from cooked foods to raw, whole, unprocessed foods.