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Juicing

What are the benefits?

Including juices in your diet can be very useful for people with hepatitis C. We know that sometimes eating large meals can be a problem and juices can provide a way of getting some quick energy. They can also help to add variety to your diet and assist the body to absorb some of the nutrients found in fruit and vegetables.

Most importantly - juices taste great!

It’s worth noting that there is very little evidence to suggest that juicing provides any more health benefits than eating whole fruit and vegetables. Also as juices don’t contain any fibre, it’s important to also eat whole vegetables and fruit, preferably steamed, stir fried, baked or in salads.

What are good combinations to try?

It can be a good idea to combine different fruits and vegetables together as you then get a mixture of flavours and health benefits. Popular combinations include

  • carrot, apple, beetroot, ginger
  • cucumber, carrot, beetroot,
  • celery, carrot, beetroot

You might also like to use small amounts of ingredients like broccoli stalks or wheatgrass, watercress, parsley and ginger – these all have a strong taste and are more concentrated (aside from broccoli), so it can be a good idea to stick to adding a small amount to start with.
Tip: Make sure you drink your juice straight away to minimise the loss of any nutritional beneifts.

It’s good to water vegetable juices down slightly as they are strong – this especially applies to beetroot juice.

How much to have

Try having just one glass in the morning first thing and see how you feel. It’s best not to have more than 3 glasses a day, to avoid digestive upsets and too much beta-carotene which is found in high levels in carrots

Properties of particular vegetables that can be good for the liver

Celery – is thought to lower blood pressure, aid digestion and help arthritic joints as it seems to prevent calcium deposits. It also acts as a good nerve tonic and contains beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin B3 and B12.

Beetroot – is thought to be a fantastic blood purifier. It also contains a lot of folic acid which is necessary for the proper absorption of all other B vitamins. It is very concentrated so it’s good to mix it with other juices and water it down a bit. In general use about 20% of beetroot to your other vegetables included in a juice.

Ginger – a lot of people report that it prevents nausea. It’s also thought to improve circulation, can be good for menstrual cramps, is an anti-inflammatory, and can alleviate flatulence, wind and indigestion. It contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Cucumber – is thought to clean the kidneys, lower high blood pressure and improve skin problems.

Parsley - is very high in chlorophyll which helps to clean the blood and acts as a tonic. It is rich in vitamin C, iron calcium and sodium. Do not use too much in juices as it has a strong flavour, just add a few stalks to your main juice.

Broccoli - is rich in glutathione which is an antioxidant (antioxidants change toxic free radicals into a less toxic chemical – and free radicals are thought to damage liver cells), is an anti-inflammatory, high in folic acid which helps in red blood cell formation, high in sulphur - which enhances detoxification and protects against heart disease. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Apples – contain malic acid which is thought to help soften gallstones. Can help relieve constipation and reactivate beneficial gut bacteria. They contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, beta-carotene and pectin.

Carrots – they contain calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene which is a great antioxidant and phosphorus and folic acid and B12. They are also thought to help kidney function.
Watercress – is thought to be good for purifying the blood and reducing phlegm. It acts as a diuretic and can help break up kidney stones. It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Wheatgrass - Wheatgrass has an extremely high concentration of nutrients and is fast and easy to grow. Extracting the juice is the best way to get the nutrients. It is high in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. it is also high in vitamin B, including B12. It also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. You can buy the seeds in health food shops and grow your own trays of wheatgrass, which take about 5-10 days to grow. This makes a much cheaper than buying trays of already grown wheatgrass.

Types of juicers and price ranges

Below are some reviews on different types of juicers – based on the personal experiences of our Health Days Manager.

There are many different types of juicers on the market with prices ranging from around £20 to £300. The more expensive ones also juice leafy vegetables and wheatgrass, which you can’t put in an average juicer. (For wheat grass you can buy a separate mangle-type manual juicer as it is literally like grass! See Manual Juicers below). Spinning at lower speeds means oxidation of juices is avoided and juicers with this action are usually the more expensive ones.
An inexpensive juicer can be a good way of beginning if you haven’t done juicing before as they are cheap and you don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money only to find you don’t use the juicer much. You can buy them at places like Argos for example.

There are 5 types of juicers available on the market:

The Centrifugal Juicer

This is the basic juicer costing £20 - £50 and available in high street shops and electrical stores. Centrifugal describes the way in which the juice is separated from the pulp. In this case it is by the fruit or vegetable being spun round at a high speed and effectively "grated" against a spinning disk with "teeth" on it. This enables the juice to be extracted, filtered through, with the remaining pulp collected in a separate unit. It’s not really possible to juice leafy vegetables or wheat grass in this type of juicer. They can be little fiddly to clean, but easy to buy and cheap and so they can be a good one to experiment with.

Manual Juicers

These are like the old fashioned meat mincers that you clamp onto the table and so require a lot of work turning the handle! They are a cheap and eco-friendly option if you want to use wheat grass. You can juice, hard vegetables and hard fruit and leafy vegetables. Cost is around £30 with more sophisticated machines for around £100

The Masticating Juicers

These are called masticating juicers because like teeth they tear the plants cell walls apart and free the juice from the fibre of the vegetable (masticate it!) They don’t cope well with leafy vegetables but are easier to clean than centrifugal juicers and yield a bit more juice. Prices range from around £245 and upwards.

Twin Gear Juicers.

These juicers can cope well with all vegetables including green leafy ones and wheatgrass. They crush the vegetables between two rotating gears at low speed which has the advantage of giving more juice. Prices range from £300-£400.

The Crush and Squeeze or Single Auger Juicer

This is the newest kind of juicer. Quick to clean and juices everything including all leafy vegetables. Has a 10 year warranty. They are a bit cheaper than Twin gear juicers.

Other Links

www.ukjuicers.com - This website can be a good place to start looking for more information if you are thinking about buying a juicer – personally I think their L'Equip Juicers are a good buy. It’s an easy one to use and clean!

You can get a 10% discount on any juicer by quoting HEPA01 when you order. Call 01904 757 070 or visit the website