Cancer and Raw Juicing – The Pros and Cons
To understand why cancer and juicing is the subject of this week’s article, I feel it important to firstly refresh our memories on some of the basics of what cancer is.
Cancer involves some very abnormal processes within a cell. A cancer cell, that was previously a normal healthy cell in the body, suddenly ceases to function or mature in the normal way it previously did. The DNA of the cell changes its normal behavior, switching on or off genes that would protect the cell. Thereafter, that cell does not grow old and die like normal cells are programmed to do (apoptosis), but instead it now produces more and more of these re-programmed cells at an increased rate. Because they grow and reproduce so rapidly, they become heavy feeders of your energy and significantly drain your body’s energy resources. Eventually, if left untreated, these abnormal cancer cells reproduce to become cancerous tumors and then they go on to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).
As mentioned earlier, cancer cells are heavy consumers of your energy reserves.
If you have cancer, you will have noticed that it makes you feel much more tired than you used to be. If you are also existing on an average American diet, you will certainly be missing out on vital nutrients that would otherwise assist your body to fight cancer cells more efficiently.
The truth is, a strong and healthy immune system is extremely important in this fight, as is the protection of our genes, and this requires a lot more “supplies” such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
The “5-A-Day For Better Health program”, which was a national initiative, founded in 1991 by the National Cancer Institute, recommends 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, to influence better health outcomes. However, a good proportion of Americans still don’t reach those goals.
Many people with cancer find that consuming enough fruits and vegetables to actually influence their health in a positive way, a very difficult task indeed, leaving their bodies starving for vital nutrients at the cellular level.
About Raw Juicing
What is juicing? Simply put, it is the process of extracting the liquid (juice) from fruit and vegetables and separating the juice from the pulp. This can be done using different types of juicing machines, however some are better at leaving the enzymes more intact, rather than being over-heated whilst extracting the juice. (For help in choosing the right juicer for your needs, see the book “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life! – An A-Z Guide to Juicing” by Dr Sandra Cabot).
Juices should be consumed immediately or very soon after processing. This is because they begin to oxidize pretty quickly. If you can’t consume the juice straight away, freeze it (preferably in a glass jar with lid). Otherwise you can add an anti-oxidant such as lemon juice to the mix to slow the oxidation process down.
Juicing and Cancer
Fresh, raw juicing has been utilized by cancer patients for many years. Some cancer survivors claim juicing helped them survive their cancer with no other treatment. Some used fresh raw juices alone, whilst others consumed 2 or 3 juices per day to supplement an existing nutritious diet, adding additional fuel to their cancer fighting capabilities. These examples can be found in numerous books and on the internet.
I am not here to promote juicing as the cure for cancer, but it is undeniable that for many, it can play a huge role in your journey towards healing. This is an individual decision for you to make, and we hope to provide you with some information (and by no means not all that is available) to help you make the most appropriate choice for you.
So, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons for juicing when you have cancer.
Pros for Juicing
- Anti-Cancer cocktails - Fresh raw juices will energize you, providing concentrated doses of powerful anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are easily absorbed by the body. Citrus juice alone contains around 60 flavonoids and 170 phytochemicals, which is like “calling in the troops” to fight against inflammation and cancer.
- Immune system support – A strong immune system is very important in the fight to survive cancer. Cancer weakens the immune system and so does chemotherapy and radiation. We need a strong immune system to detect abnormal cancer cells and kill them. Cancer patients especially need to implement additional immune strengthening strategies into their diet to fight the spread of cancerous tissues.
- Easier to consume and digest – So many cancer sufferers find it difficult to sit down to a large plate of cooked veggies, let alone the raw ones. Fresh raw juices preserve alive all the goodies such as vitamins and antioxidants etc, as opposed to cooking the veggies, where the vitamin content is often lost. Juices may be easier for some cancer patients to consume, especially if there are difficulties with chewing, swallowing, poor appetite or ongoing nausea.
- When you drink fresh raw juices, you receive highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes, etc, which rapidly enter the bloodstream, absorbing all of the nutritional benefits, giving you added energy and some of your digestive organs get to have a bit of a rest.
Juices may reduce toxicity in the body - Because of their high water content, fresh raw juices are capable of stimulating the function of the bowels, liver, bile and kidneys, which has the effect of increasing the breakdown and elimination of toxic chemicals and waste products from the body.
Cons for Juicing
- Lacks Healthy Fiber - Many types of juicers produce large quantities of pulp, which is usually discarded. This pulp contains the fiber from the skins and peels of the whole foods that were juiced, and some of the goodness. It is possible for juicing alone to create undesirable digestive issues, as the fiber content has been removed. Many people with cancer experience digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea, and fiber is a necessary element in assisting with healthy bowel habits. If you are particularly unwell or unable to eat normally, you may be able to have your fresh juices taken with an additional fiber supplement, such as stirring in some Fibertone Powder, to ensure that you are getting the fiber your body needs.
- Too Much Sugar - Juicing can lead to the consumption of too much sugar, especially in the case of diabetics or rapidly growing cancers. It is true that juicing, especially fruits, increases your blood sugar levels. Aside from this fact, cancer cells do require lots of sugar to reproduce so rapidly, and glucose is high up on their menu. Varying amounts of simple sugars, such as fructose, will be present in fresh juices. Refined sugars are not found in raw fresh juices however.
- Juicing alone is not a balanced diet – Juicing alone lacks a balanced array of protein, complex carbohydrates and fats. Protein helps to balance the carbohydrates in the juice and fats help your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Ideally these items should be included in a balanced diet which includes juicing.
When you include fresh raw juices in your diet, it is best to keep them low in sugar when you have cancer and diabetes. Green juices* made from green vegetables and leaves are especially a good choice, as they are typically low in sugar and high in many of the goodies you need to fight cancer. They contain chlorophyll which helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells and detoxify and heal the body, as well as provide the body with fast energy.
Other healthier choices would be to include more vegetables than fruit, e.g. include one piece of fruit, but make all the other ingredients vegetables (ratio 90% vegetables and 10% fruit). This will have fewer calories and will make the juice tastier too. (See the list of important nutrients and healing properties of fruits and vegetables in the book “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life – An A-Z Guide to Juicing” by Dr Sandra Cabot, pages 22–36)
*Green juices can be made with cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, dandelion greens, parsley, spinach, chard, wheatgrass, alfalfa sprouts. For an extra boost to your juice, try adding my Ultimate Superfood Powder. You could sweeten or dilute your green juices by adding a fresh carrot or an apple. There are many wonderful juice concoctions.
Here is a green juice to try.
Fresh Green Juice Recipe
4 - 5 carrots
3 sprigs of parsley
1 large handful of spinach leaves
1 large handful of kale leaves
1 beetroot including the tops
1 clove of garlic
Fresh lemon or lime
Thoroughly wash all vegetables and pass through your juicer. Drink immediately.
“Raw Juices Can Save Your Life – An A-Z Guide to Juicing” Dr Sandra Cabot.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Second Edition) by James F. Balch MD and Phyllis A. Balch CNC.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.