By Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva (updated February 2021)
Is juicing beneficial for PCOS? It absolutely can be. Juicing is an excellent way to be sure you are getting in lots of nutrients from plant sources every day. The trick is to do it in a nutritious and tasty way that becomes a healthy habit.
When I drank my very first green juice, I prepared myself for the worst. I pinched my nose and threw back the glowing green kryptonite concoction like it my first shot of tequila. I was left pleasantly surprised. It actually tasted really good – very fresh, almost vibrant, and I could instantly tell I was doing something good for me.
What is the power of juicing for PCOS?
Food has the power to heal (or harm for that matter). A nutrient rich, plant-based diet is my first line of natural therapy in managing my PCOS. You can see exactly what I eat by downloading my Meal Plans. Veggies and fruits are loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes that build red blood cells, enhance brain function, and balance blood sugars just to name a few benefits. I would much rather be eating or drinking veggies than popping prescription pills.
There are not many research studies on juicing, but a recent in-depth survey of 500 raw foodists showed that people who followed an 80 to 90% raw foods diet for 2 years reported marked improvements in immunity, digestion, allergies, weight moderation, chronic illness, and mental and emotional well-being.(1) Juice is the ultimate raw food.
“Drinking the juice of green plants infuses the body with the sun’s energy, renewing every cell it reaches. It cleans the blood through its rich alkalinity, near bio-identical makeup to haemoglobin, delivers the most absorbable form of minerals, floods the body with fresh Life Force Energy, and makes you feel absolutely fresh and energetic”
~ Natalia Rose, Detox 4 Women
Here are 5 benefits of juicing for PCOS –
1) Balances Body PH
Our cells thrive in a slightly alkaline environment (a pH between 7.365 and 7.45). Seven on the pH scale is neutral. Our bodies become more acidic as our pH drops below seven and more alkaline as it rises above seven. The standard American diet (SAD) is filled with acidic foods, such as refined sugars and grains, soda, coffee, meat, milk, cheese, alcohol, and heavily processed foods. These are all acidic foods. Alkaline foods include veggies, greens, almonds, sprouts, avocado, millet, some fruits and of course, green juices are at a pH of seven or above. Refer to this acid/alkaline food chart for more details.
2) Nutrient Infusion
Juices are striped of fiber so they need very little if any digesting. Juicing is the easiest way to get phytonutrients in their most absorbable form because the concentrated nutrients go straight into your bloodstream.
Free radicals are the by-products of the burning of oxygen by cells in your body to produce energy. These by-products are damaged molecules. They are missing an electron, and they take electrons from important components in your body, such as DNA. Phytonutrients actually have at least one extra electron. Why is that so valuable? The electron attaches to the free radicals deactivating their destructive potential.
If you choose to juice, be certain that you still get a good amount of fiber elsewhere in your diet. Fiber lowers blood glucose (and, as a result, insulin) and estrogen levels all while flushing toxins and keeping your GI system moving.
3) Source of Enzymes
Raw juice is a rich source of enzymes. Enzymes act as catalysts in hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions that take place throughout the body. They are essential for digestion and absorption of food, for conversion of food into body tissue, and for the production of energy at the cellular level. Since the enzymes in your juice begin to break down immediately, it’s best to drink it within 20-30 minutes of blending.
Whenever my clients start juicing, they start feeling better, lighter, and they have more energy as time goes on. Their sleep improves and mood stabilizes. I have experienced these results too. I like to juice at 3PM before my kids get home for school. It gives me more energy than coffee ever will. So how do you get started? First things first – you’ll need to go shopping.
Purchase a Juicer
Years ago I dipped my toe into the world of juicing with the Jack LaLanne JLPJB Power Juicer Juicing Machine. It is still running strong, although I don’t think it extracts as much juice as other higher end juicers may.
Now I use the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor and am very happy with it.
PRO TIP: Clean your juicer while you are drinking your juice. If you let things sit, it makes cleaning a real chore.
Shopping for Produce
Try to purchase organic veggies whenever possible. Please refer to this guide from the Environmental Working Group when buying produce. If the produce is not organic, it is especially important to peel the skin to reduce pesticide exposure. Toxins are a particular risk for those with PCOS since endocrine disrupting chemicals throw our hormones further out of balance.
Purchasing in-season produce at my local farmer’s market is much less expensive than the grocery store. Also consider purchasing a farm-share from your local CSA –everything in my basket is juicable. To locate one near you visit Localharvest.org
What to juice
Those with PCOS have to be very careful with our juice combinations. Juicing too many fruits and sweet veggies like carrots and beets without any fiber to blunt the insulin response, can get us in trouble. Try to stick with a 3 to 1 ratio of veggies to fruit.
My perfect juice combo is cucumber, kale, green apple, and a little lemon. You can use the guideline below to come up with your perfect juice. Also, consider using a greens powder like PCOS Diva Power Greens. It is a no muss way to pack in extra, easy to digest, greens! You can even throw in a little fiber powder to replace that which is lost in the juicer!
50% cucumber, celery, zucchini, rhubarb, broccoli stems
25% dark leafy green like kale, collards, cabbage, spinach, or romaine
25% green apple, pear, strawberry, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, orange, carrot, beet
Is a juice fast good for PCOS?
I recently watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with my family. You can watch it free online. In the movie, Joe Cross chronicles his 60-day juice fast where he transfoms his health and body. You ‘ve been reading about all the benefits of juicing, but I don’t think juice fasting is a good idea for people with PCOS. Vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat, so by itself it is not really a complete food. It isn’t balanced, and it really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it.
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.