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DRINK UP, NATURALLY
published: Thursday | January 15, 2004

By Kinisha O'Neill, Staff Reporter

WHAT IS natural juice? Food asks three sources, "So, what is natural juices anyway?" We found out that natural juices are not what many of us think it is. Juice sold in the refrigerated section of the supermarket cannot possibly be 'natural'. Why? Because as we were told by the owners of Jamaica Juice, a juice bar in Sovereign Centre of Old Hope Road in Kingston, the owners of Earl's Juice Garden ­ popular juice retailers with several locations throughout Kingston, and nutritionist Dr. Joy Callender ­ 'natural' juice has basically one prevailing component at all times... there are no additives.

Additives mean anything added to the juice from a vegetable or fruit source. Natural juice is therefore then extracted juice, done so via a juice extractor. No sugar or water is added. It is strictly the juice from the source. And furthermore, no chemicals are added ­ which is a necessary element in juices that are sold in supermarkets because the chemicals are what give them a long self-life.

Another means of preserving juice is the pasteurisation process in which the enzymes are removed from the juice. Enzymes must be killed so that these juices will not deteriorate quickly on the shelves. The process of pasteurisation, preservatives, added sugar and water has taken them off the 100 per cent natural juice list.

BENEFITS OF JUICING

Sherill Chong, owner of Earl's Juice Garden ­ specialists in natural juices ­ lists these as primary benefits for incorporating natural juices into the diet. Firstly, natural juices are a source of concentrated nutrients. Secondly, they are an excellent source of enzymes, which are essential in all the processes of the body. In other words, natural juices do two things for the body: it gives nutrition and provides enzymes to help bodily functions, mainly those concerned with ridding the body of waste or toxins.

"You can have everything you need to live from juices," says Chong, who deeply believes in the power of juicing and eating a raw diet, two things that are at the heart of her lifestyle. "This is why it fights diseases," she told Food.

According to her, lack of nutrients and the build up of toxins in the body is at the centre of most ailments. Consequently, juicing is a viable way to ward off certain diseases and cure almost anything.

HEALTHY JUICE RECIPES

Green Juice ­ Cucumber and calalloo with either string beans or celery or green pepper or any green vegetable of your choice.

Cucumber is the base of the drink because it has the most juice or water.

Calalloo is always important because it is loaded with chlorophyll, which is good for the blood.

This juice is full of vitamins and minerals

To make a 16-ounce glass of juice. Extract each vegetable's juice with a juice extractor at about this proportion

10 ounce cucumber

3 ounce calalloo

3 ounce string beans

Spicy Mix - Cucumber, beet root, carrot and ginger

This juice gives all the nutrients the body needs. It is a blood builder, and a rich mineral drink ­ high in minerals, vitamins, protein, enzymes and chlorophyll. It also has beta carotene, which has cancer fighting properties. The ginger settles the stomach, stimulates circulation and massages heart muscles. To make a 16-ounce glass. Measure out extracted vegetable juices to these quantities:

10 ounce cucumber

3 ounce carrot

3 ounce beet root

add a thumb size of ginger

­ Recipes courtesy of Earl's Juice Garden

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Nutritionist Dr. Joy Callender lists some special considerations for those who wish to consume large amounts of natural juices in their diets.

1. Dietary fibre (important for good health) is often eliminated from both fruits and vegetables through the process of juicing.

2. Juices are not as filling as whole foods.

3. Be careful of those juices that are not natural and are actually sweetened as they often have excess amounts of calories, especially fruit juices.

4. For diabetics, fruits and their sources are a significant source of carbohydrate and should be incorporated to the diet wisely. Too much fruit will raise blood sugar levels, especially if combined with sources of carbohydrates.

5. Every carbohydrate food has an ability to raise one's blood sugar level. Different fruits therefore can have varying effects on a person's blood sugar.

HOT NATURAL JUICE SPOTS

Some popular 'real' natural juice spots throughout Kingston

1. Jamaica Juice, Sovereign Centre, Old Hope Road

2. Livity Vegetarian Restaurant, Old Hope Road

3. Eden Gardens, Lady Musgrave Road

4. Eden II vegetarian restaurant, Constant Spring Road

JUICING CHANGED MY LIFE

"I used to have this pain in my left side that I found out was caused by bladder problems and kidney stones. Dr. Fowler, an iridologist, put me on a programme to help me get rid of my problem. At the end of it, I began to drink natural juices. I started drinking green juice and carrot juice every day and through that, I stopped feeling the pain. My energy increased and so did my performance level at work. I find that I am more focused. I no longer have sinus problems. I used to go to the doctor very often. Now, the doctor asks what has happened to me because I haven't been there in over a year. The juices I drink every day are a green juice, a juice which consists of beet root, cucumber and ginger and carrot juice. I drink about two eight-ounce bottles of carrot juice per day ­ one in the morning, and another in the evening. Now, I sometimes have two glasses of green juice per week, sometimes more often. The green juice is a blend of calalloo, cucumber, celery and sometimes green pepper."

­Linval Llewelyn, 42 years old

"I was severely overweight. I weighed 238 lb. and was 5'6". I had always been overweight. I didn't have diabetes but I still worried that it would reach me. Two years ago I decided to change my diet by drinking only natural juices and eating only raw food. Since then, I have gotten down to 160-162 lb. It took me about six months, maybe less to lose all the weight. Since I have been drinking juices I am more energetic and less lethargic ­ I used to eat breakfast in the mornings and then feel like going right back to sleep afterwards. I had bought books like 'Vibrant Health' by N.W. Walker and learnt that enzymes from raw food and juices help stabilise your metabolism. After a while, I began to eat cooked food again ­ soups, brown rice, bean stew. But, there is no meat in my diet. Every day I drink a green juice (calalloo, cucumber, celery ­ any green vegetable), a mixed vegetable juice (carrot, beet root, cucumber, celery), and cane juice."

­ Lance Ludlow, 43 years old

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