Nope, they are just popular. Popular is hardly healthy. Although it is usually disguised as such.
From Western sciences view, you can clearly see that juicing and smoothies are hard on and imbalance the digestion and lead to disease.
The nuts and bolts of it:
From a Western science view (not and ayurvedic view), your digestive system breaks down nutrients you consume in food, converting them into small molecules that your cells, tissues and organs use as fuel and for hundreds of metabolic functions. It takes hours to complete this complex process depending on the persons digestion as well as the quality and the quantity of the food ingested. This results in simple sugars, fatty acids, glycerol and amino acids. After you break food into small pieces by chewing it, specialized enzymes made in different parts of your digestive tract act on it to finalize the process.
The beginning of digestion… the most important part:
As food enters the mouth, otherwise known as the “Buccal Cavity”, and mechanical digestion of the food starts by the action of mastication, a form of mechanical digestion, and the wetting contact of saliva. Saliva, a liquid secreted by the salivary glands, contains salivary amylase, an enzyme which starts the digestion of starch in the food. After undergoing mastication and starch digestion, the food will be in the form of a small, round slurry mass called a bolus.
The enzyme is made in two places. First, salivary glands in your mouth make salivary amylase, which begins the digestive process by breaking down starch when you chew your food, converting it into maltose, a smaller carbohydrate. When starchy foods like rice begin to break down in your mouth, you might detect a slightly sweet taste as maltose is released. Saliva is secreted in large amounts (1-1.5 litres/day) by three pairs of exocrine salivary glands (parotid, submandibular, and sublingual) in the oral cavity, and is mixed with the chewed food by the tongue. Saliva cleans the oral cavity, moistens the food, and contains digestive enzymes such as salivary amylase, which aids in the chemical breakdown of polysaccharides such as starch into disaccharides such as maltose. It also contains mucus, a glycoprotein that helps soften the food and form it into a bolus and also make proteins resistant to proteolysis by digestive enzymes. Proteolytic processing of polypeptide chain after its synthesis is necessary for the production of an active protein. It is also important in the regulation of some physiological and cellular processes, as well as preventing the accumulation of unwanted or abnormal proteins in cells. Then also an additional enzyme, lingual lipase, hydrolyzes long-chain triglycerides into partial glycerides and free fatty acids.
Without this very mandatory beginnings of digestion, the rest does not happen correctly and disease ensues.
Amylase is a digestive enzyme that acts on starch in food, breaking it down into smaller carbohydrate molecules. This is necessary for the body to be able to absorb sugars and use them for energy. Amylase also helps break down starch, the main storage form of sugar in the plants we ingest, and allows for its digestion. Amylase can be detected in the blood in small amounts, but high levels of amylase can help in the diagnosis and monitoring of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.
Lingual lipase is a member of a family of digestive enzymes called lipases that use the catalytic triad of Aspartate, Histidine, and Serine to hydrolyze long-chain triglycerides into partial glycerides and free fatty acids. It digests fat. The enzyme, released into the mouth along with the saliva, catalyzes the first reaction in the digestion of dietary lipid, with diglycerides being the primary reaction product. However, due to the unique characteristics of lingual lipase, including a pH optimum 4.5 -5.4 and its ability to catalyze reactions without bile salts, the lipolytic activity continues through to the stomach. Enzyme release is signaled by autonomic nervous system after ingestion, at which time the serous glands under the circumvallate and foliate papillae on the surface of the tongue secrete lingual lipase to the grooves of the circumvallate and foliate papillae. The hydrolysis of the dietary fats is essential for fat absorption by the small intestine, as long chain triacyglycerides cannot be absorbed, and as much as 30% of fat is hydrolyzed within 1 to 20 minutes of ingestion by lingual lipase alone.
Okay, so what all does that mean?????????
The act of chewing a solid food not only breaks down the food into smaller particles but also releases several liquids that start the digestive process in not only digestion of stuff but it also makes the food into a clump that sticks together to be digested in the rest of the digestive process.
What if this piece of digestion is skipped? Well, the rest of the digestion does not happen properly. If a piece is missed, not predigested the further digestive actions are hampered.
What if the meal is liquid already? Notice that the body naturally creates chewed food into a bolus, not a liquid. The natural digestive processes that take place in chewing are missed as well as the natural holding together of those materials for further digestion.
From just this you may be able to see the multitude of diseases that are just being caused by not chewing enough. Lets now put this view into drinking your meals. Does the body cope well with having excessive dense nutrients poured down a gullet without the beginning phases of digestion doing their jobs?
Why has there been a huge increase of digestive diseases (and other diseases) since juicing and making smoothies became popular? Hmmmmm? More diseases but yet we are eating “healthier”? (scratch of the head)
Amylase deficiency is associated with severe problems. Skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, allergic reactions, dermatitis, etc. Amylase deficiency is also known to trigger respiratory distress and contribute to asthma attacks. Skin breakouts, hypoglycemia, depression, mood swings and allergies have all been found to also be connected to amalyse deficiency. In severe cases, individuals may suffer from chronic pancreatitis, hepatitis or pancreatic cancer. Amylase digests carbohydrates (converts them to sugars) along with dead white blood cells. When you are low in amylase you are a candidate for blood sugar imbalances, Hypoglycemia, Type II Diabetes, carbohydrate cravings and allergies. Amylase is also involved in anti-inflammatory reactions such as those caused by the release of histamine and similar substances. Asthma and emphysema may also be exacerbated by an amylase deficiency.
Improper lingual lipase in digestion leads to malabsorption disorders as well aching feet, arthritis, bladder problems, cystitis, acne, gall bladder stress, gallstones, hay fever, prostate problems, psoriasis, urinary weakness, constipation, diarrhea, and heart problems as just a few of the many symptoms and diseases of deficiency. Since lipase digests fat, fat-soluble vitamins and balances fatty acids. Lipase deficient people can be expected to have a tendency towards high cholesterol, high triglycerides and difficulty losing weight. The future outcome of these tendencies is heart disease, which kills more Americans than any other disease. Lipase deficient people also have decreased cell permeability, meaning nutrients cannot get in and the waste cannot get out.
If you’re digesting your food better, does that mean that you get more nutrition from it? Yes! If your not digesting your food properly you are not. Longer chewing has been shown to increase the amount of protein your body can absorb from foods and put to use in building your system. Drinking your food will have the opposite effect. The first step of digestion is needed for the rest of the digestive process to function properly.
If you really want to be healthy, stop looking outside yourself to find stuff to make you healthy. Start looking inside at how you are functioning. It does not matter the amount of healthy food you are putting in if you are not digesting it properly. It will only result in toxicity. Putting higher density of nutrients in will only make the matters worse. Add to that making that high level of sugar and nutrients and you are creating problems.
The funny thing about all of this is that we will feed ourselves the most popular diets that are supposed to be healthy and then those diets are actually creating the problems that we end up taking digestive enzymes and other supplements for.
Your body knows what to do naturally. We are the ones that are inhibiting health from happening with unnatural food combinations, eating habits, and diets.
So what does this say about juice cleanses? Are you really cleansing your body when you are destroying the capability of the body to digest?
Today, with all the global warming or bio engineering going on to supposedly control the weather or whatever they are doing we are seeing a huge disruption of natural weather patterns and the seasonal norm is greatly being changed. As Ayurveda explains, this dosha, or abnormality in the seasons causes severe disruption in the health of a human being. So what to do? How do we balance the balance when the balance is so all over the place?
Depending upon where you live, the seasons have followed a strange pattern. To balance the balance we need to be utmost aware of what is going on in the environment around us as well as what is going on inside us. This winter places that did not see the cold winter that builds kapha, saw flowers blooming that should only be blooming in spring. This is a great sign to advise us of the imbalance that is being bestowed upon us. If kapha is not built in the system, the immune system and strength of the body is lacking for the entire year to come. This also means that kapha has not been built in anyway to then have any cleansing or purification done. To do cleansing at this point will destroy the body. It can be seen like picking a unripe lemon and trying to squeeze the juice out of it. it will destroy the fruit and yield no juice.
Places that have experienced the extremes of cold are still cold showing no signs of spring time coming.
Once again one must be in touch with what is going on for their individual as well as what doshas are showing their signs and symptoms of aggravation and peaking. If one doesn’t have this awareness, there is no wisdom to pull from.
The best thing to do is to see what imbalance is going on in the environment. From this, it will show what needs to be followed in an individuals daily regime and lead to a knowledge of what is to be done for a balance of the imbalance.
Ayurveda is not a book with a check list and list of foods to eat or avoid. Everything has to be comprehended and embodied. Following a check list or a seasonal regime blindly will only create imbalance of the system and lead to disease without the understanding of the dynamism of weather, the seasons, and their effects on dosha.
It is all in the elements baby.
Western medical science is fast developing, while Ayurveda is already a fully developed science of its own kind. The two have very different approaches. Conventional medicine and its research methodologies are largely based on classical Newtonian physics and related biological considerations. In contrast, Ayurvedic life sciences are based on a holistic logic now emerging in quantum science. This is why Ayurveda does not follow the organ-oriented anatomy and physiology, and adopts its own function-oriented approach through its alternative theories of Panchamahabhuta, Tridosha, Dhatu, Agni, Ama, Ojas, and Srotas, which cannot be fully explained in terms of conventional anatomy and physiology.
Over the past 50 years, the fundamental sciences have been gradually modifying many notions in physics and bioscience, gradually shifting to quantum logic and nanoscience. In the same sequence, modern science has developed unified field theories in quantum physics, similar to the ancient Indian concept of a unified field of consciousness, in which individual human consciousness (Atman) and universal cosmic consciousness (Brahman) are realized to form a continuum. However, such a unified field of consciousness seems to involve a kind of nonphysical energy, in contrast to the unified field concept in conventional science, which merely refers to physical energy.
The entire basic bioscience of Ayurveda is based on this philosophy, and is in conflict with the conventional reductionist approach that identifies material structures and their functions, that is, structure–function relationships. In this context, it is pertinent to quote the Cambridge Nobel laureate, physicist BD Josephson, who states “The basic premise of western science is that of an objective reality that can be reduced to a measurable uniform formula. Eastern philosophy on the other hand places emphasis on conscious experiences and subjective reality. Quantum theory poses problems for the idea of objective reality. There is difficulty in reconciling the two approaches because the reality is too complex to be reduced to an objectively identifiable formula. Subjectivity has to play an important role.”
The other moment i was speaking to a friend of mine. He shared with me that he was most likely going to get married soon. I inquired about it and found out that it was an arranged marriage like normal here in India. Of course my curious mind wanted to explore what that is like from their paradigm. See, no matter who i speak to about something like this in America, the first thing they do is express their judgement from their own bias or perception and that only comes from the cultural paradigm that they are from. This is my point of this entire post. Unfortunately I am not going to type out the entire conversation but to share the main points instead because i figured it would be a peek into a different paradigm.
I asked my friend, explaining that i only know what marriage is to an American, if he could explain what all of it means to him, what excites him about it, how he feels, anything he could say about it. I explained that in America people express, without thinking, that they could never do that and that this and that that…. blah blah blah.. I explained that from a Western paradigm they cannot fathom an arranged marriage and all I have even heard back from Americans is judgement of it.
He replied that it is very normal here. I asked him what emotions he has about never meeting this girl before. He looked at me for a second as if i had asked him a question that stumped him. he said, “you know, I told my parents i wanted to meet her and her family for a few times prior. I told them that tradition is tradition but things have changed and that it is his right.” He said, “I want to make sure she wants to get married and is not being forced into it.” This is all he wanted, was to make sure she wanted to get married. i thought this said volumes.
In our conversation, i asked him about being attracted to her and if he has any worry if it might be a problem like if he didn’t find her attractive. I felt like a stupid American for asking it as I don’t even worry about such things but the American paradigm this is the most important thing. He explained that marriage here is not like that at all. I just saw this as more of the advanced culture that they are or were and what is being lost as they try to be like America in so many ways. All of this said so much, why relations are sacred here and are not in the west. the family dynamic is so much of a foundational focus here as the entire family lives together and that is considered absurd in America. Our children fly the coop when they are 18 and go off to start a new life where as here they stay with family unless the jobs of today take them away.
To me this is incredibly insightful to the different paradigm, the heritage and the ethics that India comes from. I am not going to go into what all of it means but i am hoping you do. I am hoping this stimulates your thinking and allows you to see for a moment the deep biases we have as culture created. This is just a glimpse into understanding a paradigm from where all of the vedic sciences come from. A glimpse into their true depth, not a westernized take of it from some book by a guy trying to make it understandable to a western mind. This speaks to yoga as well and what it really is in its purity and where it comes from. It is a far cry from a westernized version of exercise classes and 200 hr courses for becoming a teacher. It is from a different paradigm where the rules of being a human being are quite different from the start.
Surya, who had not realized that Samjna had been replaced by Chhaya, had two sons through Chhaya. They were named Savarni Manu and Shani (Saturn). As soon as her own children were born, Chhaya no longer displayed as much of love for Samjna’s children as she used to do. Vaivasvata Manu was a quiet sort of person and he ignored the implied neglect. But Yama was not the tolerant. Besides, he was also younger. He raised his leg to kick Chhaya. At this, Chhaya cursed Yama that his legs would fall off. Yama went and complained to Surya. ” I have not really kicked her,” he said. “I only threatened to. And does a mother ever curse her children?” ”I can’t undo the curse, ” replied Surya. “At best, I can reduce its severity. Your legs will not actually fall off. Some of the flesh from your legs will fall off onto the earth and create worms. Thereby, you will be freed of your curse.” But nevertheless, Surya felt that there was some truth in Yama’s asking whether a mother would ever curse her children. He taxed Chhaya with the truth, but Chhaya would not reveal anything Surya then grasped her by the hair and threatened to curse her. Since her conditions were now violated, Chhaya blurted out the truth.
In an extremely angry mood, Surya dashed off to Vishvakarma’s house. Vishvakarma tried to cool him down. “it is all because of your excessive energy that this has happened, exclaimed Vishvakarma. “If you permit, I will shave off some of the extra energy. Then Samjna will be able to look at you.” Vishvakarma decides to help his daughter, and puts Surya on his great lathe and cuts away an eighth of his effulgence. This fiery power was redistributed among the other gods, primarily as weapons. Vishnu got a discus, Siva his trident, Skanda his spear, and so on. The weapons are connected to direction (dig) as well as the deities.
The best time to worship the sun there is at the time of sunrise. One has to face the east and draw a lotus flower on the ground with red sandalwood. The lotus flower must have exactly eight petals. A copper vessel has to be placed at the center of the flower and filled with paddy, sesamum water, red sandalwood, red flowers and sacred grass. One prays to Surya to descend on the lotus flower that has thus been drawn. If one worships Konaditya (surya) according to these prescribed rites, the sins of seven preceding generations are forgiven.
The twelve adityas are nothing but different forms of Surya. Their names are Indra. Dhata, Parjanya, Tvashta, Pusha Aryama, Bhaga Vivasvana, Vishnu, Amshumana, Varuna, and Mitra. As Indra, Surya destroys the enemies of the gods. As Dhata, he creates living beings. As Parjanya, he showers down rain. As Tvashta, he lives in the trees and herbs. As Pusha, he makes foodgrains grow. As Aryama, he is in the wind. As Bhaga, he is in the body of all living beings. As Vivasvana, he is in fire and helps to cook food. As Vishnu, he destroys the enemies of the gods. As Amshumana, he is again in the wind. As Varuna, Surya is in the waters and as Mitra, he is in the moon and in the oceans.
In each month of the year, it is a different aditya who shines. Indra shines in the month of Ashvina, Dhata in Kartika, Parjanya in Shravana, Tvashta in Falguna, Pusha in Pousha, Aryama in Vaishakha, Bhaga in Magha, Vivasvana in Jyaishtha, Vishnu in Chaitra, Amshumana in Ashada, Varuna, in Bhadra and Mitra in Agrahayana. Vishnu has twelve hundred rays, Aryama one thousand and three hundred. Vivasvana seventy-two, Amshumana fifteen, Parjanya seventy-two, Varuna one thousand and three hundred, Tvashta one thousand and one hundred, Indra two thousand and two hundred, Dhata eleven hundred, Mitra one thousand and Pusha nine hundred. Apart from the names of the twelve adityas, Surya has twelve other names as well. These are Aditya, Savita, Surya, Mihira, Arka, Prabhakara, Martanda, Bhaskara, Bhanu, Chitrabhanu, Divakara and Ravi.
Surya is the source to which all the living beings owe their existence. All the deities derive their effulgence from Surya, who in turn derives its own radiance from Lord Mahadeva.Time is determined with the help of Surya’s movement. One can not even imagine the various units of time, like Kshana, muhurta day, night, fortnight, month, season etc. without the existence of Surya. The Sun, which illuminates the whole world is nothing but the medium through which the almighty Rudra manifests himself. The Sun sheds thousands of rays among which seven are prominent- Sushumna, Rishikesh, Vishwakarma, Vishwatyacha, Annadh, Sarvavasu and Swarah.