In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we at the Purple Fig want to spread golden nuggets of nutritional wisdom that not only promote organic living, but provide the ingredients needed to boost the body’s greatest line of self-defense: your one and only immune system!
Believe it or not, 70-80% of your immune tissue lies within your gut. If your gastrointestinal system is exposed to high levels of toxins and bacteria- and unfortunately for the average American, unnatural toxins from pesticide-heavy processed foods is a daily struggle -then your immune system is consequently weakened and vulnerable to a plethora of diseases.
A body with a poorly maintained diet is ultimately a breeding ground for harmful diseases, infections, food intolerances, allergies, arthritis, inflammation, and all forms of cancer…but luckily for us, the immune system is resilient. A quick and permanent re-evaulation of eating habits can not only eradicate toxins within your body in a short amount of time, but serves as a 100% natural protective barrier against future diseases!
Raw + Organic = Essential
Fruits and vegetables in their raw, organic state may seem irrelevant (and even demonized) in today’s modern culture, but in terms of healing, they’re the key to harnessing the power of nature. As much as mankind has evolved, the human body is still biologically linked to the eating habits of our ancestors: generally uncooked produce and grassfed meat completely absent of preservatives and chemicals.
Although eating a plant-based diet of baked, sautéed, and grilled vegetables and fruits is a wonderful lifestyle choice, cooked produce does not retain the nutrients that were once present in their raw forms. If it’s cooked over 114 degrees, any food automatically loses its beneficial enzymes. According to the Living and Raw Foods Community:
Enzymes are your body’s work force. Acting as catalysts in hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions that take place throughout the body, enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of food, for conversion of food stuffs into body tissue, and for the production of energy at the cellular level.
In order to activate these enzymes, however, our body needs a steady supply of organic plant compounds called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients, also referred to as phytochemicals, are the compounds that give vegetables and fruits their colors, and contain a massive variety of disease-fighting benefits:
The last step in detoxifying your body is ensuring that your produce is organic. To put it plainly: the cleaner the food is in your digestive tract (and invariably your immune system), the less foreign chemicals your body has to expel.
What Is Juicing?
The phrase “eat the rainbow” truly hits home in this case! Different combinations of veggies and fruits jumpstart a detox process that targets specific areas of the body (liver, colon, intestines, etc). Even if you show no signs of diseases like breast cancer, juicing creates a stable, self-regulating internal defense.
Juicing, or the extraction of a plant’s liquid content, is the fastest way to ingest several servings of raw produce every day. The thought of eating 4 raw carrots, half a cucumber, 4 stalks of celery, and 2 apples in one sitting seems ludicrous…unless you have a juicer!
Juicing removes all of the insoluble fibers in vegetables and fruit, leaving only pure phytonutrients such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, iodine, and flavonoids. Since fiber takes more energy to digest, juicing gives the digestive system a break while simultaneously absorbing phytonutrients at maximum speed.
Here’s a few more benefits juicing has to offer:
- Boosts immune system
- Increases energy
- Natural weight loss
- 95% of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes come from 16 oz. of raw/organic juice
Tips for Juicing
- Remember NOT to peel your veggies and fruits before juicing them.
- It’s ideal to chop your veggies and fruits moments before you juice them.
- Beware of oxidation. Oxidation occurs when the inside of the fruit is exposed to the open air, for instance when an apple slice begins to brown. Beneficial enzymes dissolve due to oxidation, depleting the nutritional value of the fruit– so drink the juice immediately after blending, or store it in an airtight glass container in the freezer. Don’t store it for more than 1 hour.
- Drink juice either on an empty stomach or one hour before your next meal.
- Add coconut milk or coconut water to sweeten the juice naturally. Sugar should NEVER be added to juice.
- Alternate juice meals with other plant-based snacks for maximum detoxification.
- Everyone reacts differently to juicing. Cravings are normal, and will subside as your body adjusts to the routine. If cravings persist, evaluate your solid food intake: too much processed or sugary foods will create a feeling of constant hunger.
A Few Basic Recipes
Ready to take the leap into a healthier version of you? Check out these sites for more tips and delicious juice recipes!