How often do you drink juice?
Most people only enjoy it once a week or so, choosing soda and coffee over fresh juice.
However, case reports are beginning to show that juicing may hold the key to reversing debilitating diseases like diabetes.
A young man who wishes to remain anonymous, found out that he was suffering from diabetes after complaining to his doctor that he was always thirsty. He left his doctor’s office with a diagnosis of diabetes caused by pancreatic failure.
As he began taking insulin and leading a more active lifestyle, he believed he was getting closer to managing his disease. However, the man found that the more pills he was prescribed, the more health problems he began to have, including high cholesterol.
As 2013 rolled around, the man decided to make a life-changing New Year’s resolution and was inspired by Dr. John Zirdum to begin juicing and eating raw foods.
In just 25 days, he had lost 11 kg. In four months, he had lost 20kg, lowered his blood pressure and cholesterol to normal levels and no longer had to take medication. He had succeeding in reversing his diabetes (1).
While this man’s story seems unbelievable, he is far from the first type 2 diabetic to heal his disease through juicing and raw food.
In another account of healing, an older gentleman named Thomas turned towards juicing after suffering from a heart attack.
In as little as 4 months, he had lost 1/4 of his body weight, weaned himself off all drugs he had been taking for over 15 years and experienced a 15% improvement in his eyesight (2).
Thomas also overcame his high blood pressure, arthritis and high cholesterol.
How Does Juicing Work?
Unhealthy habits such as poor diet and inactivity are known to contribute to the development of diabetes. In fact, the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is overweight or obesity (3).
Losing weight, eating healthy and being active are part of early intervention in the prevention of diabetes in prediabetics as well as the treatment of the disease in diabetics (4).
Juicing helps reverse diabetes by nourishing the body with vitamins and minerals that helps manage insulin resistance, which prevents unhealthy cravings and overeating.
It’s also quicker than cooking a full meal and allows you to consume more fruits and especially more vegetables than if you were eating them raw.
Better Than Juicing
Although juicing is a great way to get more nutrients, it can lead to constipation and energy bursts because it doesn’t contain a lot of fiber. Fiber is actually what’s left of the fruit once the juice is extracted.
That’s why nutritionists suggest using a blender instead, which preserves dietary fiber and makes it easier to digest. This fiber controls how quickly carbohydrates are digested and absorbed as well as ensuring a more steady supply of energy (5).
Because dietetics are sensitive to fluctuating blood sugar levels, blended juice are always a better option for them.
The 80/20 Rule
By rule of thumb, juice should contain 80% vegetables and only 20% fruit.
This is because fruits contain higher levels of sugar than vegetables. In fact, greater consumption of fruit juices without veggies is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (6).
Thankfully, choosing your fruit wisely can actually reverse the disease: “Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lowering diabetes risk,” said senior author Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH and assistant professor of medicine at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (6).
Sun and her team found that two servings a week of whole fruits like blueberries, grapes, and apples reduced the risk for type 2 diabetes in prediabetics by as much as 23% when compared to one serving a month.
When it comes to fruit, berries tend to be a better option to juice or blend because they have a lower carbohydrate content than other fruits (7).
Green Juice Recipe
If you don’t know where to start your juice journey, try this recipe!
- 2 green apple
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 lg kale leaves
- 1 med cucumber
- ¼ c fresh cilantro
- ½ lemon, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- Wash all the ingredients and pat them dry.
- Core the apple and remove the stem from the kale leaves.
- Next, peel and juice the lemon. Discard the seeds, keeping the juice, pulp and rind.
- Chop up the remaining ingredients into fine slices.
- Blend until smooth and drink immediately.
To get the most out of your new diet, it’s important to make sure that your other meals are healthy and include fresh vegetables, lean protein and complex carbs.
If you’re thinking of swapping your meals for juice, it’s best to consult your nutritionist, naturopath or general practitioner to make sure you’re on the right track.