“Raw vegetable juices…are digested and assimilated within 10 to 15 minutes after we drink them and they are used almost entirely in the nourishment and regeneration of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body. In this case the result is obvious, as the entire process of digestion and assimilation is completed with a maximum degree of speed and efficiency, and with a minimum of effort on the part of the digestive system.”
- Norman Walker, "Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices", pg 9
juices your body can do the same job in minutes!
Of course, there is nothing wrong with fiber – it is an essential part of a raw food diet. You have to eat food! Juicing is only one tool you need in a raw food lifestyle to assure yourself of getting the high nutritional density a raw food diet needs to b successful. But it isn’t a replacement for eating real food. In addition, juicing is ideal for cleansing and detoxification as well as for people with very sensitive digestive systems that may be sensitive to a high fiber raw food diet when the first start.
The benefits of zero fiber means juicing is easy on your digestive system, so is often used for juice "feasts" or fasts as a method to gently cleanse and detox the body while giving the digestive system a rest. Smoothies and drinks made with blenders don't do that. A high powered blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec cracks open the cellular wall of your fruits or veggies, releasing all the nutrients and making them easier to assimilate – but it is much more lick eating a meal since you still have all the fiber and other ingredients in the smoothie. You get better assimilation, but not the concentrated nutritional density of juice because you couldn't ever get as much food into a Blendtec or Vitamix as you get when you make just one glass of juice. For example, a typical juice recipe for me includes:
5 large kale leaves
1/2 a bunch of parsley
1 large cucumber
8 large stalks of celery
1 knob of ginger
You could never eat this much all at once if you had to thoroughly chew it. Blending it would include a lot but still no where near as much.
I use my Blendtec regularly to make smoothies almost every morning instead of breakfast. This is part of my Fast, Easy 75% Raw Food Strategy. The way that works is based on the fact that (with snacks counting as one meal) we normally eat 4 meals a day. So if you have 2 raw meals plus raw snacks you are automatically a 75% raw foodist! To make that easy I usually have a smoothie every morning, a big salad for lunch or dinner, all raw food snacks and then anything I want for dinner (within reason of course).
I use my juicer to occasionally replace meals when I want to lose a little weight, for a quick pick me up or during a fast – even a one-day fast. Finally, sometimes you want a smoothie with all the fiber to help "chimney sweep" the colon. Juice has no fiber so doesn't cleanse the colon at all. So both are good, ,but if I had to start with one I would start with a Blendtec or Vitamix because it is much easier to start a raw food program with smoothies than juices.
It is important to remember that even fresh, raw juices are highly concentrated, processed foods - only you did the processing yourself. So when you make fresh juice you are concentrating whatever is in the fruits or vegetables, from the vitamins and minerals (good) to the sugar (bad)! Of course, we all know that fruits are loaded with of sugar, but even fresh raw vegetable juice can be high in sugar – especially non-greens like carrots or beets.
The reason you have to be careful about making juices too sweet is that they can elevate your blood sugar, which is a problem for anyone with blood-sugar issues like diabetes or hypoglycemia. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypoglycemia or diabetes you could have subtle symptoms that aren’t yet diagnosable from decades of eating processed foods that always have added sugar in them! If you have known blood sugar issues please talk with your medical professional before you start juicing.
It is easy to forget that both smoothies and juices are processed FOOD and quickly chug them down like water. But you must always remember when enjoying juicers or smoothies to “drink your solids and chew your liquids.” Because digestion actually begins in the mouth, it is best to chew your smoothies and juices to thoroughly mix them with the digestive enzymes in your stomach. Neglecting this can cause imperfect absorption, or even gas and bloating.rawfoodlife juice health facts