By Dr. Mercola
As noted at the very beginning of this 26-minute health documentary by juicing expert Jason Vale: "More people die from chronic diseases than all other causes put together."
This is a remarkable state of affairs when you consider that the human body is actually designed to maintain healthy homeostasis, given half a chance.
What's worse, chronic diseases strike the very young as well as the very old. Children are now developing diseases previously relegated to seniors, such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, heart disease and even cancer.
Toxicity appears to be a major factor driving this burgeoning wave of chronic disease. Toxins are in our food, in our water and air, in the medications we take, in the products we use each day to clean ourselves and our homes; they're in beauty products and our furnishings and building materials.
"All chronic diseases are caused by two, and only two, major problems," Charlotte Gerson, founder of the Gerson Institute, says. "Toxicity and deficiency."
Toxicity and Deficiency Are Core Problems
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), PREVENTABLE chronic diseases are now the world's biggest killers. And the combination of eating nutrient-deficient foods and being over-exposed to toxins is at the core of our current health crisis.
The answer to this dilemma is certainly not to take medication to mask the symptoms of toxicity and deficiency. The solution is to remove toxins, clean up your system and increase the nutrient density of your healthy food.
Plants — fruits, berries and vegetables — are "live" foods. Provided they've not been severely processed, or are eaten in excess and out of season. Ideally, the best time to eat fruit is in the summer when you have plenty of exposure to sunshine and can tolerate higher net carbs.
They contain many phytochemicals your body can use to heal and nourish your cells. The appeal of juicing is that you can consume more nutrient-dense vegetables than when you eat them whole or Vita Mix them in a blender.
This allows you to consume far greater amounts of vegetable nutrients than you would normally be able to eat whole or blended with the fiber.
Juicing Is a Great Way to Boost Nutrient Intake
Some will argue that consuming more veggies than you could normally chew through is unnecessary, but when you consider how nutrient levels in most foods have dramatically decreased since the introduction of mechanized farming in 1925, juicing really makes sense.
Healthy soils contain a huge diversity of microorganisms, and it is these organisms that are responsible for the plant's nutrient uptake, health and the stability of the entire ecosystem.
The wide-scale adoption of industrial farming practices has decimated soil microbes responsible for transferring these minerals to the plants, and synthetic chemicals sprayed on the crops have further destroyed overall soil quality.
For example, as explained by research scientist August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, today you'd have to eat 36 apples!
How could you possibly get 36 apples into you? Even with juicing that would be a remarkable feat, and would likely overload you with natural sugars as well, so I wouldn't recommend it.
My point is that even when juicing, you may not get the same amount of nutrients our ancestors used to get from even a fraction of the foods they ate, so you're unlikely to get superfluous amounts of nutrients by regularly drinking fresh vegetable juices.
When you drink fresh, live juice, it's almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals and enzymes because they go straight into your body without needing to be broken down. Since juicing is essentially "mainlining" live nutrients, it's no surprise it can produce rapid and profound health benefits.
Food Addiction Is a Profit Center
There's a conscious effort on behalf of food manufacturers to get you addicted to foods that are convenient and inexpensive to make. This system is detailed in investigative reporter Michael Moss' book, "Salt, Sugar, Fat" — the top three substances that make processed foods so addictive.
One of the guiding principles for the processed food industry is known as "sensory-specific satiety." Moss describes this as "the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm your brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more."
The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their "craveability" to complex formulas that pique your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain's inclination to say "enough."
"Vanishing calorie density" is another term used to describe foods that melt in your mouth, which has the effect of making your brain think it doesn't contain any calories. As a result, you keep eating.
In short, as noted in the film, the big food companies are "manipulating our food so that we keep eating more, and more, and more." And, as stated by Cherie Calbom, also known as "The Juice Lady:" "It's corn and soy, and wheat and sugar and salt and chemicals — that's primarily what people are eating."
So is it really any wonder that so many are so sick and overweight? Many health authorities make it seem as the obesity epidemic is a great mystery, and largely blame it on laziness. "If only people exercised more, they'd be fine," the reasoning goes.
But this simply isn't true, and by sweeping the proverbial elephant under the rug and ignoring the fact that our food supply is the problem, these authorities have done us all a shameful disservice.
Remember, it really isn't about calories, it is about insulin resistance. And processed foods, sugars and high net carb foods will make it virtually impossible to normalize your metabolism and get lean.
Modern Medicine Is Another Profit Center
Many times, even severe health problems have simple fixes. For example, in the film, Vale, who's also the author of "The Juice Detox Diet," explains that what prompted him to try juicing in the first place was a severe case of psoriasis — an autoimmune disease that causes cells to build up on the surface of your skin, leading to thick, unsightly scaly patches that are very itchy and often painful.
He also had eczema and severe hay fever and asthma. For years he used steroid tablets and various inhalers to manage his symptoms, but he wasn't getting any better. "Not once did anyone look at what might be causing the problems; they only wanted to treat the symptoms," he said.
The turning point came when one of his doctors suggested a coal-tar treatment for his psoriasis. He'd be slathered in coal-tar, the same gooey tar placed on roadways, and covered in bandages for six weeks. The idea of resorting to such a bizarre and clearly toxic intervention was the final straw. "There's GOT to be another way," he thought.
Indeed, toxicity and a narrow focus on managing symptoms — not actually addressing the root problem, which might result in a full remission or cure — are hallmarks of modern medicine. This mode of operation has turned healthcare into a massive for-profit business that has become increasingly reluctant to embrace strategies that might actually remove an individual from the paying patient pool.
This is tragic, since research exists showing that raising your vitamin D level, for example, can help heal psoriasis, especially if you're vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D supplements are very inexpensive, and if you optimize your level by getting regular and sensible sun exposure, which is the preferred and ideal way, it's free (provided you live in a sunny area and don't use a therapeutic sunbed).
In Vale's case, juicing was the answer, and he no longer suffers from any of his previous problems. His asthma completely vanished within a month, and his skin gradually cleared up until there was not a trace of psoriasis or eczema left. His weight also dropped "at a rate I didn't think was humanly possible," he says. As noted by Dr. Dwight Lundell, author of "The Cure for Heart Disease," who is featured in the film:
"Not one single person will be cured of heart disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, arthritis, obesity and, of course, diabetes, with our current medical approach."
Inflammation Is the Driving Mechanism Behind Most Chronic Disease
Toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, processed foods, sugar and excess net carbs promote inflammation, and chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually every chronic disease there is. When your inflammation levels are low, it's very difficult for disease to take root. When healthy, your body is simply too well-equipped to address foreign invaders and can easily clean out minor toxic exposures.
As noted by Lundell, when we investigate what we're doing differently today, when inflammation levels are high, compared to decades past when chronic disease rates were much lower, the main difference we find is the foods we eat.
We've gotten away from eating fresh, whole foods, most of which come from the plant kingdom, and most of what we eat are processed foods laced with a myriad of chemicals that were never in our food supply before. "In my opinion, this dietary change is the cause of most chronic diseases," he says.
It may appear as though all these different chronic diseases are very different, and therefore would have different causes. But these variations are deceiving. In the vast majority of cases, the root problem can be narrowed down to inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, caused by toxicity and insufficient amounts of "building blocks" (nutrients) to maintain optimal biological function. The differences in manifestation primarily relate to individual weaknesses.
"It just stands to reason and common sense that if the vast majority of those diseases are caused by diet and lifestyle, then the simple answer, surely, is to change the diet and lifestyle, and they'll just get better," Vale says.
Calbom adds: "We should be juicing, because so many people have impaired digestive tracts, and digestion is impaired because of the diet we've been on. Along come your beautiful juices; they go right into your intestinal tract, and those nutrients get absorbed into your system.
They're going right to work within about 20 or 30 minutes. They're there feeding your body, rejuvenating, giving you energy; giving your body life! This is why you should juice … Juice every day; this has got to be a way of life, because that's when you're going to notice your life changing."
Eat 'Low Human Intervention Foods'
Vale wisely suggests that if a food has a label, it probably shouldn't be in your diet. What you're really looking for is real food, or what he calls "low human intervention foods," meaning foods that has passed through as few human hands and processes as possible. Ideally, you would be growing your own food and eating out of your garden.
In the summer, the majority of my main meal comes from my garden: sunflower spouts, red bell peppers, oregano, rosemary, turmeric and spinach. If you are unable to grow your own, your next best bet would be to get locally grown organic produce that has not been waxed, cut up or processed in any way.
"When you look at the fact that the food you eat really creates the life that you live, everything starts to change," Philip McCluskey, author of "Weight Loss Blueprint," says.