Yep. It’s true. In 2004, I juiced to beat cancer and turned orange in the process. In this post I’m going to explain why juicing is so important for cancer patients, and why it may turn your skin orange. I’m also going to take you through my daily anti-cancer juicing routine.
The Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute recommend you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day, but 9+ servings per day is essential if you want to transform your health. Most Americans average a measly 1 serving per day.
Our modern processed food diet has left our bodies starving for nutrients at the cellular level, and juicing is the best way to extract massive amounts of nutrients from vegetables, without having to sit down and eat several pounds of vegetables per day.
Let’s review the digestive process, shall we?
When you chew food you are essentially juicing it in your mouth. You are breaking it down into liquid form, and breaking open the cell walls, so the nutrients can be absorbed by your body. The particles that cannot be broken down by your teeth or by your digestive system, pass through. The better you chew your food before you swallow, the more nutrients you are able to absorb.
A major component of my anti-cancer diet was drinking eight 8 oz glasses of freshly juiced organic carrot and vegetable juice every day.
My strategy was to eliminate all processed food from my diet and flood my body with vital raw nutrients in order to give my immune system all the fuel and firepower it needed to repair, regenerate and detoxify.
Juicing releases approximately 90% of the nutrients in food, which is about three times better than you can do with your teeth. Another important factor is absorption. If your body is overloaded with toxins, you could be absorbing as little as 1% of the nutrients in the food you eat. Juices are rapidly absorbed.
My daily routine
First thing every morning I made enough juice (about 64 oz) to last me throughout the day. I recommend putting it in air tight pitchers, or mason jars to keep it fresh and potent throughout the day. I drank about 8-12 oz at a time: early morning, mid-morning, lunchtime, afternoon, dinnertime, and before bed.
Why Carrot Juice?
Raw carrot juice is rich in cancer fighting nutrients: vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids including Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lignans (enterolactone). It also is a good natural source of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sulphur, silicone and chlorine.
“The carotenoids and vitamin A have shown a strong ability to inhibit cancer induction not only by viruses, but also by chemicals and radiation as well. At least part of the effect is from these nutrients acting directly on the genes.”
(Deflora S, Bagnasco M, Vainio H. Modulation of genotoxic and related effects by carotenoids and vitamin A in experimental models: mechanistic issues. Mutagenesis 14: 153-172, 1999.)
There are some natural health advocates out there that do not recommend carrot or beet juice because they think it contains too much sugar and “sugar feeds cancer”. While it is true that cancer cells feed on glucose, every cell in your body feeds on glucose, and the sugars in plant food also deliver anti-cancer nutrients straight to the cancer cells. I’m talking about nutrients that can turn off cancer genes, interfere with cancer cell reproduction, and cause apoptosis (cancer cell suicide). So I never worried about the sugar content in beets and carrots.
I drank so much carrot juice I turned orange. Really orange. The palms of my hands looked crazy. This picture was taken in November 2004. Micah was pregnant with our first daughter Marin and I had been drinking 64 oz of mostly carrot juice every day for nearly 11 months. This photo has not been retouched. I really was that orange! I was also super skinny at 6’2″ 140 lbs. It’s pretty tough to gain weight on an 80% raw diet!
One nurse actually told me I was drinking too much carrot juice. Silly nurse, you can’t overdose on carrots!
Orange skin from consuming a high amount of carotenoids is called carotenemia. Babies get it from eating too much carrots or sweet potatoes. And you can get it from drinking too much carrot juice. But don’t worry, you aren’t hurting yourself. Your body stores excess beta carotene in your skin and when you cut back on carrot juice, the yellow/orange skin tone goes away.
Note: Fruit juice is very high in concentrated sugar which may be problematic if you are sick, so I chose not to drink it. A good rule of thumb is to Eat your Fruits and Juice your Vegetables. Fruit is better in a smoothie because you are still eating it whole. The fiber slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.
There are a million different combinations of veggie juice, but here’s the one I drank the most.
Carrot, Celery, Beet and Ginger Juice :
My basic formula is 5 Carrots, 5 Celery Stalks, 1/4 of a Beet (root and top), and a small slice of Ginger Root about the size of a quarter (the coin). Ginger is a very powerful cancer fighting spice, don’t leave it out! Also don’t get too hung up on the formula. The type of juicer you have will determine how many carrots and celery stalks you’ll need to juice to make a glass. And there’s a million different juice combinations out there, so have fun experimenting. Watch the ginger, it’s strong.
Straight carrot juice is delicious by itself, but the beet, celery, and ginger add a broad spectrum of powerful nutrients. Also make sure you’re buying Organic produce. The last thing you need is chemical pesticides in your juice. You may not like the taste but it doesn’t matter, your not drinking it for the taste. Just down it.
I also like to mix in an alkalizing green powder like Perfect Food Raw. It’s made with 35 Nutrient-Dense Raw Organic Greens, Sprouts, and Veggies and it’s rich in Chlorophyll, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Enzymes, and Probiotics. Feel free to add as many vegetables to it as you want: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, cucumber, etc.
Here’s what I did: I got up every morning and made enough juice to last me throughout the day. This was around 64 oz total, or eight 8 oz servings. I stored the juice in air tight mason jars in the fridge. You may not need to drink that much… If you’re familiar with the Law of Diminishing Returns, you know that there is a point at which you are consuming the maximum amount of nutrients that your body can absorb in one day. It’s hard to know where that point is exactly, so my strategy was to overdose on nutrition, to insure that my body was getting all the nutrients it needed to heal.
Note: I don’t juice leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale because they just aren’t very juicy. You have to juice like a pound just to get a few drops! I prefer to blend leafy greens up in a smoothie, that way you don’t waste any.
A great book on juicing is The Juicing Bible. It’s got tons of detailed information on the nutrient content and health benefits of different veggie juices, and lots of combinations to try.
And if you’re serious about juicing everyday, you’re gonna need a high quality juicer.
I love my Champion Juicer. I’ve been using the one in the picture since 2004. It has a heavy duty commercial motor and is way easier to clean up than most juicers. And believe me, easy clean up will make all the difference in making juicing a part of your regular routine.
If money is tight, there are cheaper alternatives like The Juiceman Pro. Cheap Juicers don’t get as much juice out and they don’t last as long, but if that’s all you can afford, get one!
Here’s my Champion Juicer working like a champ!
Juicing is the first component of my Super Health Triad.