Ayurveda on Juices
First of all let’s make it clear, that what Ayurveda calls juice is a fresh beverage made from fresh fruit, vegetable, or herb which is consumed right away at room temperature. All other beverages are not juices but something different, no matter how they claim themselves to be: 100% fresh, organic, anti-oxidant etc.
Ayurveda views juice (svarasa) as one of the five main forms of medical preparation among with paste (kalka), decoction (kvatha), hot infusion (phant), and cold infusion (hima). Cold infusion is the weakest form, while juice is the strongest one. That means that only qualified doctor can prescribe a juice diet for a prolonged period of time. Juice is a medicine with all resulting consequences in case of improper use.
Why is juice a medicine? Nature created an apple as it is not by mistake but on purpose. The solid part has ingredients that help metabolize the liquid part and vice versa. How many carrots can you eat in one serving? One or two. When we make juice of five carrots we knock down the liver administering food in too concentrated form. Often the body gives us a sign, when we feel faint, shivery, or like have swallowed a rock. If we ignore that fore warnings, an illness will manifest eventually.
Here are some rules how to enjoy fruit and vegetables in a healthy way.
- ·The whole fruit is always better when juice extracted from it. Fruit is food , while juice is medicine. Our body knows exactly how much of food it needs, while juice can overwhelm the system.
- ·It’s always better to eat one sort of fruit at a time, not making the body secrete ferments that may contravene each other. If you are sure that these fruits combine well, use three different sorts maximum.
- ·When making fruit salads, eat them fresh, with no dressing especially such as chocolate, ice cream, or whipped cream. Fruit is considered to be heavy to digest because it has a lot of prana (life force). It becomes even heavier if combined with such a bomb as whipped cream or chocolate. If desired eat some whipped cream with desserts made of cooked fruit. Chocolate is not good for anyone according to Ayurveda.
- Canned fruit have too much sugar and other preservatives and are not a substitute for fresh ones.
- ·Fruit, especially sour, change PH to alkaline, so the body needs time and resources to bring it back to normal. To help with this process we can take a fruit with half a cup of warm water or dilute juice with warm water 50/50. In this case no stress occurs.
- ·Vegetable juices are not as stressful for the system as fruit ones. They also should be made out of maximum three or four different vegetables and not mixed with fruit.
- ·Some fruit such as melon and watermelon must be eaten alone or left alone since they do not combine well with other food. Don’t eat them directly from refrigerator since it makes them even more hard to digest. And of course it’s a bad idea take them as desserts.
- ·Choose a juice that is good for your constitution.
Vata can enjoy fresh, diluted, not cold apricot, carrot, cherry, grape, grapefruit, mango, orange, or pineapple juice.
Pitta does well with warm to room temperature diluted juices made of generally most sweet fruit: sweet apples, sweet apricots, sweet cherries, red and purple grapes, ripe mangoes, sweet pineapple, pomegranates and sweet plums.
Kapha should favor not cold diluted juice made of most astringent fruit like apples, apricots, cherries, cranberries, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and prunes.
- ·Orange juice is not something that can be carelessly consumed by everyone just like water. It aggravates Pitta and Kapha in excess and is OK for Vata. The only thing is, that when taken cold , it will aggravate Vata too. In any case it should be fresh made and diluted.
- · Juice of sweet pomegranate is an anti Pitta remedy. It is considered to clean the blood and colon. Some authors compare it with Triphala (See Triphala – an Ayurvedic panacea). The dose is not more than ½ cup of fresh juice taken with ½ cup of warm water once a day. Do not mix pomegranate with alcohol, oils, or fats.
TODAY’S TIP: The more the better doesn’t work in case of juice consuming. Having half a cup of fresh home made diluted juice from a single type of fruit or vegetable at room temperature and with accordance with your dosha and the season will bring much more benefits than gallons of preserved cold “juice” made of a dozen of different fruits which don’t get along well. Regularity is the key. Our body can assimilate only that much as it can, everything else turns into toxins.