Super Juicing For The Summer

Summer is here and it is a great time to enhance your health! Since the availability of fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods are much more abundant this time of year I am encouraging you to take advantage of these disease fighting superfoods into your diet.
One of the ways to consume a much higher level of plant foods is through juicing and blending. Juicing is extracting and concentrating the juice from the fiber and blending involves the liquefying of the whole food and not separating the fiber. Both methods are very healthy although I prefer blending since most people require more fiber. As well, a lot of the disease fighting compounds known as phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) are found in the fiber.
Studies show the strongest prevention of cancer and heart disease is achieved through the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables. Most studies suggest that between 5 to 9 combined servings of fruits and vegetables per day has the strongest protective effect. The minimum an adult should consume per U.S. federal dietary guidelines is 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. The American Heart Association recommends eating 8 or more fruit and vegetable servings every day.
The problem is that that research shows Americans are not eating anywhere near a healthy amount of these foods. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites research showing that half of the U.S. population consumed less than 1 cup of fruit and less than 1.5 cups of vegetables daily!
 A study published in the British Medical Journal involved a review of 16 studies that examined the intake of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of cardiovascular, cancer, and all cause mortality (death). Researchers found that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, especially cardiovascular.
An increasing number of doctors are recommending a preventative approach to cancer through the intake of plant foods. The types of cancers that are most likely to be protected against with fruits and vegetables include lung, mouth, throat(pharynx), voice box(larynx), esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum. I also recommend patients with cancer increase their intake of plant foods through blending and juicing.
The phytonutrients (as well as vitamins and minerals) in plant foods generally have one or a combination of three protective effects against cancer. They block the metabolic activation of carcinogens (cancer causing agents), prevent the formation of carcinogens from other substances, and suppress cancer cell formation in cells previously exposed to carcinogens.
There is also another benefit for many Americans from blending and juicing-improved bowel regularity.  Too many people rely on pharmaceuticals to move their bowels. Research suggests that constipation affects up to 20% of the North American population. A lot of money is spent on prescription and over the counter laxatives. Between the two Americans spend approximately 1.5 billion dollars annually! Most people will be able to throw away their laxatives if they make blending/juicing a part of their daily regimen. Regular elimination is critical for reducing cellular toxicity that affects cardiovascular and immune health.
Blending/juicing is a great way to optimize your intake of plant foods. By doing this you will help the body fight off acidity, which is all too common from the American diet loaded with salt, sugar, red meat, and grain products. Potassium and bicarbonate rich plant foods help push the pH of the blood toward an alkaline balance which fights inflammation and helps natural energy production and cellular detoxification.
Getting started
Following are some recipes to get you started. You will need to get acquainted with the different tastes of the plants you are blending/juicing. Many of the greens will have a bitter taste. If this is too strong you can cut the taste with carrots, water, and fruits. Of course, choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. You can be creative and make your own formulas. In general, try to make your formulas dominantly vegetables (75-80%) to minimize sugar levels. I have developed the following formulas for blending but they can be adapted to juicing as well.
Note: If you have kidney disease then check with your doctor first before consuming these formulas since many are high in potassium.
Easy greens
1 cup filtered water
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup parsley
1 cup celery stalk
Optional: 1/4 cup blueberries
The Alkalinizer
1.5 cups filtered water
4 ounces coconut water(optional)
1 cup Beet greens
1 cup Swiss chard
½ cup Avocado
½   cup Carrots
1 cup Spinach
½   cup Tomato
½ cup Apple
King Kale
1 cup kale
½ cup apple
½ cup carrots
1 cup filtered water
Blood pressure ease
1 cup filtered water
½   cup carrots
½ cup parsley
1 cup celery
1 cup kale
1 cup peeled orange
Inflammation Fighter
1.5 cups filtered water
½ tablespoon turmeric powder (or 1 small knob of fresh turmeric, peeled)
½ tablespoon ginger powder (or 1 small knob of fresh ginger, peeled)
1 cup carrots
1 cup apple
Strawberry Surprise
3/4 cup low-fat organic vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1 cup cabbage
1 cup carrots
Blend to medium thickness
Table of Phytonutrients that protect against Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Carotenes: carrots, squash, spinach, turnip, peas, kale, tomatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and fruits such as cantaloupe, citrus, apricots, grapefruit, watermelon.
Catechins: green tea
Chlorophyll: spinach, parsley, garden cress, arugula, leeks
Coumarin: carrots, celery, beets, citrus fruits, fennel
Curcumin: turmeric
Ellagic acid: berries, grapes, apples, tea
Flavonoids: berries, grapes, tea, apples, broccoli, kale, thyme, hot peppers, parsley, citrus fruits, legumes, soy, onions
Gallic acid: tea, blueberries, apples, walnuts
Glucosinolates: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, turnips
Indoles: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, turnips
Lignans: flaxseeds, sesame seeds, broccoli, apricots
Limonoids: citrus fruits and peels
Organosulfur compounds: garlic, onions, chives
Phenolic acids: broccoli, berries, tomatoes, cabbage,
Polyphenols: green tea, grapes, berries
Sterols: soy, peas, sesame oil, kidney beans
Sulforaphane; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, turnips
Powdered Juices
Powdered juices containing vegetables and fruits are available. Make sure to choose an organic version and follow the daily dosing directions.
Selected References
American Cancer Society. Common questions about diet and cancer. Accessed May 19, 2021 at https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/acs-guidelines-nutrition-physical-activity-cancer-prevention/common-questions.html
United States Department of Agriculture. www.choosemyplate.gov
American Heart Association. About Fruits and Vegetables. Accessed May 19, 2021 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/About-Fruits-and-Vegetables_UCM_302057_Article.jsp#.WQOPCtLyuUk
Wang Xia, Ouyang Yingying, Liu Jun, Zhu Minmin, Zhao Gang, Bao Wei et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies BMJ 2014; 349: g4490