One of the best health benefits of raw juicing is boosting the immune system. One of my favorites raw juices is my Immune System Boosting Raw V8 Juice Recipe. This raw juice is not only delicious but a recipe you will want to keep in your files for a quick nutritious snack and also for ramping up your immune system during the cold and flu season.
The health of your immune system is vital in preventing viruses such as cold and flu. Taking advantage of the bountiful vegetables found in your local farmers’ markets is an excellent way to work on boosting your immune system in the fall and winter months. Consuming this Immune System Boosting Raw V8 Juice Recipe will also support your liver and digestive tract. ~ Loretta Lanphier, NP, BCTN, CN, CH, HHP
Health Benefits of Immune System Boosting Raw V8 Juice
This immune system boosting juice is no exception when it comes to being full of health benefits. Let’s look at some of the health benefits your body will enjoy from the ingredients in this all-natural V8 juice.
More than a dozen different types of antioxidants are responsible for the health benefits of celery. Those included are phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, plus flavonols like quercetin. These support overall health, especially during the aging process, by fighting free radical damage (or oxidative stress) that can lead to inflammation. These antioxidants in celery make it helpful in supporting a wide range of health issues that are made worse by inflammation. Some of these include joint pain (from arthritis), gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections, just to name a few.
Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, which contributes to their bright color. Beta carotene supports the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts. This support makes it difficult for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Carrots also contain antioxidants, which aid your body in fighting free radicals, cell damage, as well as inflammation. The vitamin C in raw carrot juice provides an extra immune system boost and can help you get through the cold and flu season.
Beets contain an assortment of nutrients that make them very beneficial for detoxification, especially for your liver, digestive system, and kidneys. One of my favorite natural detox foods, organic beets contains a group of antioxidants called betalains which are superb for liver detoxification and support. Beets also contain betaine which helps to decrease liver inflammation. Antioxidants found in beets support the liver’s phase 2 detoxification pathway which is heavily nutrient-dependent. It is during this phase 2 detoxification that the liver adds extra chemicals such as glycine to toxic chemicals previously processed in phase one detoxification in order to make them innocuous. This phase makes the toxins water-soluble which allows for easy excretion and removal from the body. Beets also stimulate lymphatic flow and aid in increasing oxygen by cleansing the blood. Beets also improve enzymatic activity. In addition, beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, vitamin B folate, fiber, potassium, and manganese. Some health benefits you might experience from the detoxification ability of beets are reduced blood pressure, reduced inflammation, enhanced stamina, and increased liver function.
The natural health benefits of tomatoes are varied and many. For example, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, copper, niacin, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, vitamin E, and even protein.
Some of the health benefits of spinach include high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, vitamins A, C, E, and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Spinach contains about 30% of soluble fiber, which can prevent your body from absorbing the fat and cholesterol that come with food. With a glycemic index of 15, spinach can be considered a perfect vegetable to help boost weight loss and even eliminate cellulite. Ample flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and shield your body from free radicals, especially in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for the cardiovascular system, and magnesium can help lower high blood pressure. Studies also show that spinach helps maintain your dynamic brain function, memory, and mental clarity.
Eating a half-cup of cooked cabbage provides 47% of your vitamin C needs for the day. Cabbage also provides 102% of vitamin K, 8% of manganese, 6% of folate, and lesser amounts of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium, and thiamin. Cabbage contains the antioxidants choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin as well as the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin, and apigenin. Raw cabbage has a cholesterol-lowering ability.
Most of us know that oxidative damage in the body leads to unwanted inflammation and inflammation is usually the beginning of most diseases. It is also this combination of unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress that puts our blood vessels at risk of unwanted plaque formation and clogging. Garlic’s unique set of sulfur-containing compounds helps protect your body against both possibilities—oxidative stress and unwanted inflammation. Consuming garlic can boost the number of T-cells (virus-fighting) in your bloodstream which is very important since colds and the flu are caused by viruses. The University of Florida nutrition scientists reported in the 2012 Journal Clinical Nutrition that taking aged garlic extract reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms and showed symptoms went away faster in those who consumed garlic than among those who didn’t The scientists theorized that the garlic extract worked by boosting participants’ immune cell function.
Onions contain certain phytochemicals that act as stimulants for vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C boosts your immune system by fighting against toxins that can lead to many diseases and chronic illnesses. Onions are chock-full of immune-boosting nutrients such as selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. Onions contain higher concentrations of the trace mineral selenium than most other vegetables, which helps to reduce inflammation and stimulates immune function. One study published in April 2012, “Antioxidants and Redox Signaling”, reported that selenium helps start the immune response and also prevents excessive immune response. When immune cells are deficient in selenium, they undergo more oxidation which causes them to develop and reproduce inadequately. Selenium-deficient immune cells also have a difficult time producing proteins and transporting calcium. Selenium may play a large part in the control of viral, inflammatory, and allergic conditions.
Did You Know?
Juicing is really just a smoothie with the fiber removed. This means that fresh vegetable juices are an opportunity to load up on nutrients, at much higher densities than with smoothies. You can only drink so much, and with a smoothie, the fiber adds volume that fills you up using a fraction of the produce that your stomach could hold if you removed the fiber and drank it as juice. Does that mean smoothies are out? No, smoothies definitely have their place, but if one needs nutrient dense food (who doesn’t these days?), raw vegetable juicing is not only digested quickly and more efficiently, but definitely the most beneficial.
If you are a fan of store-bought V8 juice or have always wanted to try V8 juice but without additives and preservatives, now you can make your own, fresh raw V8 juice recipe. The added benefit is that you get the benefits of all the vitamins, minerals as well as live enzymes. As a reminder, be sure that the vegetables are organic or locally grown in an organic manner.
Immune System Boosting Raw V8 Juice Recipe
All produce should be organic or locally grown.
- 6 organic medium-sized carrots
- 1 small organic beet
- 3 large organic tomatoes
- 1 bag organic baby spinach or a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1/4 head fresh purple or green cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 stalks organic celery
- 1/4 sweet onion (Vidalia)
- 1/2 clove garlic or less if you don’t care for garlic
- Kale leaves (a little goes a long way so be careful)
- Chili pepper to taste
- Himalayan salt to taste
Wash all vegetables thoroughly. Run all the vegetables through your juicer (not a blender). Add chili pepper and Himalayan salt to taste, and then sit back and enjoy the healthiest V-8 Juice around.
If you prefer a cold juice, keep the vegetables stored in the fridge until use and/or added some ice cubes made from purified water to your juice.
Tabasco sauce (organic such as Biona brand) to taste can be substituted for the chili pepper.
Some people prefer to add some Worchestershire sauce to their Raw V-8 Juice. This is fine as long as it’s organic.
For most of us, trying to get enough vegetables in our diet is often difficult. For that reason, I believe that drinking fresh, raw V8 juice is good for your health. When you consider all the health benefits, the low calories, and the nutrition in the raw V8 juice recipe, it’s a smart choice as either a healthy snack or as part of a healthy immune-boosting meal. Always try to eat a variety of organic fresh, frozen fruits and vegetables every day as well as drinking a good amount of purified water. You will most likely find that your health will improve and your energy will soar.