Juicing, as defined by alternative health experts, is the practice of removing juice from fruits and vegetables and then consuming the juice. Although juicing can be done by hand, many people elect to use a juicer, which takes the guesswork out of removing food pulp and separating seeds from the juice. The health benefits of juicing are reported to be numerous; alternative health experts claim that juicing can cure ailments ranging from the common cold to cancer, but even traditional health practitioners agree that there are health benefits of juicing because of the juice's rich vitamin and antioxidant content.
Although it has not been clinically proven to reduce the risk for cancer, there are certain components in the vegetables and fruits used in juicing that might reduce cell damage. Vitamins C, A and E, which are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, have been shown to contain molecules called antioxidants, which can prevent molecular oxidation. Molecular oxidation is responsible for creating free radicals, which can damage the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) material of cells, causing cell malformation. Health experts say that consuming these nutrients to reduce the risk of cancer is not recommended, but they do recommend consuming it for its rich vitamin content.
Raw foodists believe that some of the health benefits of juicing are because the juice contains enzymes that help convert food into usable energy. They claim that the only way to get these enzymes is by consuming raw vegetables or fruits, the main ingredients used in typical juicing preparation. Raw foodists also believe that the health benefits of juicing extend to the metabolism, but health experts have disputed these claims, saying that it has little effect on the metabolic processes.
There also are claims that juicing can treat the common cold; its high vitamin C content reportedly reduces or eliminates cold symptoms. There has been no evidence found that vitamin C can treat symptoms caused by the common cold. There is some evidence that it can prevent the recurrence of colds by up to 50 percent.
Both alternative and traditional health experts agree on one fact: juice produced by juicing at home is almost always free of preservatives, additives and other chemicals commonly found in processed food juices. This can make the juice safe to drink for people who have known allergies to these chemicals, such as those who have a food latex allergy. Processed food juices also contain refined sugars, which homemade juice does not.