Get Juiced – 4 Health Benefits of Juicing for PCOS

- June 23, 2012
Get Juiced – 4 Health Benefits of Juicing for PCOS

When I drank my very first green juice, I prepared myself for the worst. I pinched my nose and threw back the glowing green kryptonite concoction like it my first shot of tequila.  But I was left pleasantly surprised.  It actually tasted really good – very fresh, almost vibrant and I could instantly tell I was doing something good for me.

I truly believe food has the power to heal (or harm for that matter). A nutrient rich, plant-based diet is my first line of therapy in managing my PCOS.  You can see just what I eat by downloading my Meal Plans. Veggies and fruits are loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and enzymes that build red blood cells, enhance brain function and balance blood sugars just to name a few benefits.  I would much rather be eating or drinking veggies than popping prescription pills down the road.

For the last couple years, I have been juicing veggies and fruit everyday.  This helps me blow away the USDA’s 5-a-day recommendation.  It actually takes over 1lb of veggies to make just one juice!

There are not many research studies on juicing, but I can share that a recent in-depth survey of 500 raw foodists showed that people who followed an 80 to 90% raw foods diet for 2 years reported marked improvements in immunity, digestion, allergies, weight moderation, chronic illness, and mental, and emotional well-being.(1)  Juice is the ultimate raw food.

“Drinking the juice of green plants infuses the body with the sun’s energy, renewing every cell it reaches. It cleans the blood through its rich alkalinity, near bio-identical makeup to haemoglobin, delivers the most absorbable form of minerals, floods the body with fresh Life Force Energy, and makes you feel absolutely fresh and energetic” ~ Natalia Rose, Detox 4 Women

While I am not recommending that everyone run out and become a raw foodist, I do think drinking raw  green juice can provide many benefits for women with PCOS. Here are some benefits -

Balances Body PH

Our cells thrive in a slightly alkaline environment (a pH between 7.365 and 7.45). Seven on the pH scale is neutral. Our body becomes more acidic as our pH drops below seven and more alkaline as it rises above seven. The standard American diet (SAD) is filled with acidic foods, such as refined sugars and grains, soda, coffee, meat, milk, cheese, alcohol and anything heavily processed are all acidic foods. Alkaline foods include veggies, greens, almonds, sprouts, avocado, millet, some fruits and of course, green juices are at a pH of seven or above. Refer to this acid/alkaline food chart for more details.

Nutrient Infusion

Juices are striped of fiber so they need very little if any digesting. Juicing is the easiest way to get phytonutrients in their most absorbable form because the concentrated nutrients go straight into your bloodstream.

Free radicals are the by-products of the burning of oxygen by cells in your body to produce energy. These by-products are damaged molecules. They are missing an electron, and they take electrons from important components in your body, such as DNA.  Phytonutrients actually have at least one extra electron. Why is that so valuable? The electron attaches to the free radicals deactivating their destructive potential.

Source of Enzymes

Raw juice is a rich source of enzymes. Enzymes act as catalysts in hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions that take place throughout the body, enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of food, for conversion of food  into body tissue, and for the production of energy at the cellular level. Since the enzymes in your juice begin to break down immediately, it’s best to drink it within 20-30 minutes.

Energizing

Whenever my clients start juicing, they start feeling better, lighter, and they have more energy as time goes on.  Their sleep improves and mood stabilizes.  I have experienced these results too.  I like to juice at 3PM before my kids get home for school.  It gives me more energy than coffee ever will. So how do you get started?  First things first – you’ll need to go shopping.

Purchase a  Juicer

Two years ago I dipped my toe into the world of juicing with the Jack LaLanne JLPJB Power Juicer Juicing Machine. It is still running strong, although I don’t think it extracts as much juice as other higher end juicers may.

I have heard good things about the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor and would love to upgrade soon (If my husband is reading -it would make a nice anniversary gift)

Clean your juicer while you are drinking your juice.  If you let things sit it makes cleaning a real chore.

Shopping for Produce

I try to purchase organic veggies whenever possible.  Please refer to this guide from the Environmental Working Group when buying produce.  If the produce is not organic is is important to peel the skin to reduce pesticide exposure.

Purchasing in-season produce at my local farmer’s market is much less expensive than the grocery store.  Also consider purchasing a farm-share from your local CSA –everything in my basket is juicable.  To locate one near you visit Localharvest.org

What to juice?

As women with PCOS, we have to be very careful with our juice combinations.  Juicing too many fruits and sweet veggies like carrots and beets without any fiber to blunt the insulin response, can get us in trouble.  I try to stick with  a 3 to 1 ratio of veggies to fruit.

My perfect juice combo is cucumber, kale, green apple and a little lemon.  You can use the guideline below to come up with your perfect juice.

50% cucumber, celery, zucchini rhubarb or broccoli stems.

25% dark leafy green like kale, collards, cabbage, spinach or romaine,

25% green apple, pear, strawberry, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, orange, carrot, beet

Extras: lemon, lime, ginger root (a little goes a long way), mint, cilantro, parsley

No fasting

I recently watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with my family.  You can watch it free online. In the movie, Joe Cross chronicles his 60-day juice fast where he transfoms his health and body.  You ‘ve been reading about all the benefits of juicing, but I don’t think juice fasting is a good idea for women with PCOS.  Vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat, so by itself it is not really a complete food. It isn’t balanced and it really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it.

I would love to hear from you about your adventures in juicing.  Please share your favorite combos in the comment section and on Facebook.

(1)http://www.iowasource.com/food/lenkastudy_0806.html

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26 Comments

  • Kat says:

    Wonderful article. I have been juicing for the past few months and feel great! I prepare carrot and celery alternating with spinach juice. “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body” by N.W. Walker D.Sc. is a great little book to have on hand as a guide for juicing. In it he mentiones all sorts of ailments that can be relieved by juicing.

  • Lisa says:

    I have juiced before and love it! As someone who struggles to get in a lot of veggies, I find it much easier to drink them! You recommend having a juice as your snack? Should you add protein somehow? or eat protein with it?
    Thanks!

  • Taylor says:

    I am excited to try this but would you mind sharing when the best time is to do this during the day?

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks so much for the info.I too recently watched the “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”and I was wondering if juicing alone was going to be a good idea with the PCOS.I love juicing and if I dont have enough in a day I dont feel right.
    Thanks for all the information!

  • Farrah says:

    I have been suffering from PCOS since I was 20, I am 5’7 and weighed about 120 up to when I started grad school and was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s ( often accompanies PCOS). My highest weight was 163 , I am now 150. I have been struggling to lose 30 pounds for a while now. I finally for the past 2 months have started making exercise a regular part of my week i.e 4-5 times a week. Why am I telling you all this, well because I just purchased a Breville a week ago and have been juicing green juice with green apple daily. For the first time in at least 5 years I am starting to feel more energetic, have a flatter tummy, better skin, and it has only been a week, I can’t wait till I am juicing for 3 months. I have to say buying the organic veggies does get expensive but I see it as an investment in my health and to prep my body for when I would like to have kids. Thank you for having this site by the way, having PCOS you often feel like you have a secret condition that no one knows about. You encourage me educate myself and heal my body as naturally as possible.

  • Excellent article Amy. I’ve been juicing for 5 years now. I love it. I feel better mentally and physically. I cant remember the last time I was sick, I contribute this to juicing and eating a clean diet.

  • Hope says:

    I have suffered with PCOS since my Teenage years but never really put much care in it. Just a year ago I got married, even before I was engage told my husband that there was a chance I wont be able to have any children which he accpeted but still has his faith in God..So now that I know I have someone supporting me and giving me the encouragement to hold on and no matter what I need to learn to be healthier for so many other reasons, for life itself! (It just makes it easier when you do have a support system!)
    Iam truning 32 in a month and I want this year to be dedicated to my health and nothing else. I will try this Juicing, maybe not on everyday basis but at least 3 times a week..I will come back to to give my results!!Thanks for the motivation!!

  • Ellen Alexander says:

    I juice every single day. I am amazed at how great it makes me feel. I have taken 8 plane rides in the past 2 weeks . . . I am not sick! I attribute this directly to juicing and my increased vitamin intake.
    My version of Mean Green, pour it in a wine glass and cheers:
    1 cucumber
    1 green apple
    3 bunches of kale
    1 handle full of spinach
    1 lime
    Sometimes I add whole cranberries, broccoli stems, celery, lemon, strawberries or anything that is in my frig.

    Do you have left over salad from dinner? Just toss it in the Juicer-
    What do I do with the left over plant materials? Throw it in the yard and compost!
    Why do I feel so tired and run down? You are not juicing!
    GO MEAN GREEN!

  • Patty says:

    Hello-

    I also have pcos and want to give juicing a try. As someone that has pcos, I try to keep my carbohydrate total to 50-60 grams a day.

    Would you consider these green juices high carb?
    Thanks!

  • dominika says:

    its carrot not good idea for juice ,?ifeel good after juicing but why soo hungry?

  • doro says:

    Would making a “Healthy” smoothie (ie with protein powder, no added sugar, ice, and your 3 to 2 ratio) have the same effect?

  • Katie says:

    What are your thoughts on juicing Goiterogenous vegetables such as kale, spinach… I have been told those are bad for the thyroid.

  • Gail Thomas says:

    I’d like to do a three day juice cleanse at my local juice bar, Nektar. Do you not recommend? What if I add a few raw almonds for protein? Thanks

  • Bethany says:

    I don’t agree- Kale works wonders in smoothies! Don’t be fearful of this! For PCOS I use frozen organic fruits and yogurt as well, in combination with liquid herbs for homonal balance, protein, and ground flax seed. This tastes amazing, and also meets my body’s true needs. I recommend one similar smoothie a day. It’s made huge shifts in how I feel!!

  • llemmingtron says:

    This article is great, but as usual I have one caution that I’d like to mention. Anytime you begin eating a lot of one particular food group, there can be problems, so I just want everyone to be aware!

    I would like to say that if you begin juicing and you find yourself actually feeling WORSE (and not just because of detoxification, but actually FAR WORSE) then you are not juicing the right produce or you may even have to stop, depending on what’s going on. In the general population juicing makes people feel better and more energized; however, not all humans are the same in their reactions and body chemistry!

    Allow me to explain:

    Most juices are high in oxalates, and those with recurrent kidney or gallbladder stones are going to find that juicing greens on a regular basis will make this worse. Also, women who have vaginal pain during intercourse will find that juicing will make this condition worse. Body pain, such as joint or mild muscle pain/fatigue, are also indicators that you have ingested far too many oxalates. Over time, the buildup of oxalates can affect your brain and destroy vital organs, so it’s important not to ignore these symptoms if they crop up.

    There is actually a large group of women who are on a diet that is purposely low-oxalate specifically for that condition and you can find them by going to Yahoo Groups and searching for “trying low oxalate”. One of them works in a laboratory and tests the oxalate content of foods on a regular basis, providing members with a list of foods and their content.

    It is difficult to get an accurate list of foods that are high in oxalate (which is why I mention the group–that is where you can get the most accurate information), but in general leafy greens are very high oxalate and if you have this trouble you will have to avoid certain types. Juicing them would obviously just leave you with such a high concentration of oxalates that you can imagine what a sorry state you’d be in from drinking it. It may look a lot like a detox reaction and in fact initially you won’t be able to tell the difference. A good rule of thumb is that if after two weeks you still feel terrible, get a list of low-oxalate greens/veggies/fruits and juice those instead and see if you can get rid of symptoms. Keep in mind that oxalates are in all foods, so it’s not about eliminating them, but keeping your exposure low. So, if you’re still experiencing trouble, lower your dosage of oxalates even further. Some women who have overdosed on oxalates have to avoid them altogether for a few weeks before reintroducing them.

    As with any restrictive diet that I might recommend, please do not restrict oxalate-high foods unless you actually need to. Again, recurrent kidney/gallbladder stones, mild muscle and joint pain/fatigue, and vaginal pain during intercourse are signs of an inability to process oxalates.

    The condition which also prevents people from juicing and feeling great is HISTADELIA. I have this. It’s an inability to release histamines from the body. If you find your allergies are KILLING YOU while you juice, then this may be your problem. The solution is to only juice with low-histamine fruits/veggies/greens. Also, you may take high doses of vitamin C and calcium (apart from each other) to keep histamines low in the body. Those with oxalate issues can use dandelion root and nettle instead, as vitamin C is very high in oxalates.

    The great news about histadelia is that low-histamine fruits/veggies/greens are abundant and it’s very easy to avoid the high-histamine ones.

    Otherwise, I say juice away! It is the absolute best way to detox your body and keep yourself in great health!

  • Courtney says:

    I am wondering if you can successfully juice using a food processor. I don’t have the money to run out and buy a juicer right now, but I am interested in starting to incorporate some juicing. Now, if I love it, I will probably save for a juicer, but to start..

  • Ella Johns says:

    I’d love to hear more combinations of truly healthy juices using your 3-to-1 ratio! I just purchased my first juicer and am eager to begin, however I know that with PCOS some fruits naturally high in fructose could raise my blood sugar and end up doing more harm than good. Finally I broke down and decided to get a juicer, because it seemed an easier way to add more fruits and veggies into my daily diet. Has anyone experimented with protein powder or whey, nut butters or flax seed in their juices? Thanks!

  • Amy says:

    You can blend too. I just prefer my veggies juiced.