Juice up for World Cancer Day

Feb 3, 2012 at 1:35 p.m. ET

Juicing is becoming a homeopathic trend among those fighting cancer -- and for good reason. Fresh juices are an excellent way to pack in cancer-fighting nutrients and antioxidants.

Woman using juicer

Whether you are fighting cancer yourself or just want to strengthen your immune system and keep your body detoxed and healthy, fresh juice is a great addition to your diet. Feb. 4 is World Cancer Day and is a perfect time to add juicing to your daily regimen.

Green juice

Many studies have shown that juicing provides significant health benefits to cancer patients. Even so, this in no way should this alter or eliminate any treatment plans determined by your doctor. Juicing should not take the place of any treatment, but is certainly a healthy addition. Juicing provides an opportunity to significantly increase the amount of antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients you are receiving from your diet.


Antioxidants protect the body from cellular damage and are proven to be effective at boosting the immune system. Juicing is an easy way to work in lots of foods that are chockfull of antioxidants. Berries, such as blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, are particularly high in antioxidants and make a delicious and nutritious fruit juice.


Enzymes are present in a variety of raw fruits and vegetables. A chronic deficiency in enzymes can weaken the immune system and ultimately leave the body more susceptible to illness. Since the body best retains enzymes when they are consumed raw, juicing is an ideal way to boost enzyme levels.


Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that have powerful disease and cancer-fighter properties. They boost the immune system, are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and promote cellular repair. They are found in colorful whole plants like tomatoes, grapefruit and spinach.

Choose organic

Juicing is a fantastic way to incorporate a good amount of nutrients and antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables into our diets, while reducing the amount of toxins. I recommend juicing fruits and vegetables with the skins on -- since that is where a significant amount of nutrients and fiber live -- so organic fruits and vegetables are the best choice as the skins are not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. The whole point is to reduce the amount of toxins in the body, so let's not let them sneak in in another form!

The best kind of juicers

The two most popular types of juicers are masticating and centrifugal. While the centrifugal juicers tend to be more affordable, splurging on a good masticating juicer is a worthwhile investment. Not only do they tend to last longer and have longer warranties, but they literally chew the fruits and vegetables using a single gear, resulting in more fiber, enzymes and phytonutrients. They also can extract more juice than centrifugal juicers from the same amount of food. One of my favorite juicers is the masticating Vert VRT350 from Omega, which is available for purchase on their website.

Grab some produce, make the investment in a juicer and observe World Cancer Day by kicking off your new juicing regimen. Here are some of my favorite juices to try, but don't limit yourself to these. Part of the fun is experimenting and coming up with your own custom blends.

BerriesAntioxidant-packed berry juice recipe

2 servings


  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1-1/2 cups raspberries

AppleApple, beet and ginger juice recipe

1 serving


  • 1 beet with greens
  • 3 apples
  • 1-inch piece of ginger

KaleKale detox juice recipe

1 serving


  • 4 leaves kale
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon (peeled)

SpinachSuper green juice recipe

1 serving


  • 3 cups spinach
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro with stems
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lime (peeled)

More ways to work antioxidant-rich foods into your diet

7 Super spices for super health
Antioxidant power: Polyphenols and why you need them
Foods that fight cancer