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Drink in the health benefits of nature

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published March 19, 2019

 Beyond Juicery and Eatery has a variety of items on the menu, including pre-packaged juices for detox cleanses.

Beyond Juicery and Eatery has a variety of items on the menu, including pre-packaged juices for detox cleanses.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Dr. Joel Kahn, founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity, is a fan of juicing as a way of upping the intake of plant-based nutrients.

Dr. Joel Kahn, founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity, is a fan of juicing as a way of upping the intake of plant-based nutrients.

Photo provided by Dr. Joel Kahn

METRO DETROIT — Have you ever wondered if your trusty family physician gets miffed by that old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”?

We’ve got it on good authority that she doesn’t. In fact, your doc would be pleased as punch — a very nutrient-rich punch — to hear that you’re getting in daily servings of apples, berries and, especially, green vegetables.

Consider Dr. Joel Kahn in that lot. He’s the founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity in Grosse Pointe Farms and a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine in Detroit. He’s a big fan of juicing for himself, for his patients and for whoever wants to generally feel better.

“Juicing is extracting the liquid from vegetables and fruits using a juicer, leaving the fiber to be used elsewhere or discarded,” he explained. He said the practice really never went away after Jack LaLanne popularized carrot juicing back in the late 1980s.

“Then there was an explosion of interest from the documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,’ with Joe Cross,” Kahn added.

The idea, he said, is to “flood the body” with nutrients to promote healing and weight loss, predominantly with green vegetables. There are a variety of home juicers at varying price points that families can purchase, but fresh juice can be purchased too, with a shelf life of nearly eight weeks thanks to the advent of high-pressure processing bottles.

These days, Kahn said, juice fans are looking for concoctions with turmeric and ginger mixed in, and celery juice — revered by many for its supposed hydrating properties, as well as its nutrients and vitamins — is popular these days thanks to online influencers.

Pam Vivio-Alanis is the co-owner of Beyond Juicery and Eatery stores around metro Detroit, with locations in Birmingham and Troy, to name a couple. She said customers have been filing in to get prepared juices for structured detoxifying cleanse regimens in recent months.

“It’s been pretty crazy lately,” Vivio-Alanis said. “We’ve had a huge increase in the number of cleanses we’ve been selling. I think with all the toxins in our environment, not only in our food and drink, but in the air we breathe, people want to detoxify every once in a while to get rid of all that.”

She explained that Beyond Juicery and Eatery’s one-, two- and three-day cleanses consist of six green juices each day and a nut milk at the end of the day to help with satiation. Why? Because on a cleanse, those juices are all you’re putting in your body, besides tons of water.

“Some people think it’s an opportunity to lose weight, and weight (loss) can be a byproduct of a cleanse, but it’s really a way to reset your body to give yourself that increased energy,” Vivio-Alanis said. “It’s great for someone who eats a lot of fast food; your body will be out of whack, and this is a great way to make a transition toward a better lifestyle and diet.”

The juice cleanse isn’t what you might imagine: It’s not mangos, pineapples and berries throughout the day. In fact, Vivio-Alanis said that while many of us would gravitate toward the tasty sweetness of fruit juices, it’s the veggies we really need: cucumber, kale, romaine, parsley, spinach, collard greens, etc.

“In doing a cleanse, you want to limit the amount of sugar, even natural sugar from fruit,” she said. “Cold-pressed juices allow nutrients to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, so it should be pretty easy to get through the day with six juices and a nut milk. The juices should really fill up anybody, regardless of weight or age.”

Will a strict juice cleanse, or even a juice each morning, turn you into Mr. LaLanne? Probably not. But it’s not a bad place to start, Kahn said.

“The two biggest diet deficiencies globally are inadequate fruits and vegetable intake, in that order. Juicing may be a notch below eating the whole produce, but it’s still far better than soda, energy drinks and doughnuts,” he said. “People are desperate to find a shortcut to nutrition — there’s no shortcut. When you mainly or only (eat) whole fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains … health will flourish. Juicing can be an introduction (to an) ongoing habit for health, so I encourage it.”