Juicing is an important part of following the GAPS diet. I have used it as a gentle and very effective way to detox. I’m going to share everything you need to know about doing GAPS diet juicing.
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GAPS diet juicing
The GAPS diet is a big part of our family’s journey to health. Read all about how the GAPS diet changed our lives here.
GAPS diet juicing is something that Dr. Natasha recommends starting in the introduction phase stage 4. She recommends it as a very gentle and effective way to help the body’s own detox system work well.
So, what do we do about all these heavy metals and other toxins lurking in our patients’ bodies? We can’t just forget about them. Well, there is a time proven way of detoxifying, taking out of the body not just the heavy metals but a lot of other poisons as well without any side effects or harmful complications. And a very tasty way too. Children in particular love it! This way is juicing. – Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, page 303
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Juicing for the GAPS diet: What does it do?
Is carrot juice good for leaky gut? Following the GAPS diet has two main goals: resolving leaky gut, and restoring the balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. An unhealthy gut is a source of toxicity to the whole body (source).
An unhealthy gut also doesn’t allow the body’s own detoxification system to work properly. As a result, lots of toxins accumulate in the body.
Making the digestive tract healthy again by rebuilding leaky gut and restoring the beneficial bacteria allows the body’s detox system to function properly (source).
Where does juicing come in with all of this? As Dr. Natasha says, we have to deal with the large amount of toxicity that has accumulated in an unhealthy body. The recovering body needs some extra help moving all those toxins out, and juicing is a great way to do this.
Why juice instead of blending?
When you juice, you get concentrated nutrients from vegetables and fruits, without fiber. Dr. Natasha recommends avoiding fiber while the digestive tract heals.
Blended drinks, like smoothies, include fiber. All that fiber can be very irritating to a leaky, unwell digestive tract.
Nutrients from freshly pressed juices are absorbed very quickly, and need very little digestion. That makes them perfect for a body that is trying to recover from a damaged gut.
What should you juice?
Dr. Natasha recommends starting with fresh vegetable juices in stage 4 of the introduction diet. She says to use carrot juice first, and start with just a few spoonfuls, diluted in water or mixed with homemade yogurt.
You can then gradually increase the amount of carrot juice until you’re having a full cup. From there, you can gradually introduce the amount and add to the variety of vegetables and fruits juiced. Dr. Natasha recommends adding celery, a small amount of beet, lettuce, cucumber, and other leafy greens to the juicing vegetables.
In stage 5 of the introduction diet, Dr. Natasha says to start adding fruits to the fresh juices. Apple, pineapple, orange, and mango are great choices. She says to keep about half of the juicing ingredients to therapeutic vegetables, and about half tasty choices, like the fruits.
Since the concentrated nutrients without any fiber can be a source of natural sugars in the body, Dr. Natasha recommends mixing the juice with homemade (preferably raw) yogurt or cultured cream. Adding fat in this way helps keep the blood sugar stable. I’ll talk more about this later when I talk about the GAPS milkshake.
When to drink juice
Dr. Natasha recommends drinking the fresh juices on an empty stomach. This is because the juices are digested so quickly. You don’t want other food in there being digested more slowly at the same time.
Our favorite times to drink juices are first thing in the morning and the middle of the afternoon. Dr. Natasha recommends having juices once or twice a day.
GAPS diet juice recipes
The fun thing about juicing is that you can get creative and try different vegetables and fruits, depending on what you like and what’s in season. The possibilities are really endless!
Here are some combinations to get you started when juicing on the GAPS diet:
- Carrot, celery, a little bit of beet, and an apple
- Celery, cucumber, green grapes
- Carrot, lettuce, pineapple, mango
- Cabbage, mint, orange
- Kale, lemon, green apple
The GAPS milkshake
The absolute best way to enjoy juices on the GAPS diet is by turning them into a GAPS milkshake. It’s easy and very tasty.
Just take your fresh juices, and add one or two dollops of homemade (preferably raw) cultured cream. my favorite is kefir cultured cream. Then add one or two raw egg yolks from organic, pasture raised chickens. Blend it all together, and enjoy.
Dr. Natasha recommends the GAPS milkshake especially for anyone struggling with constipation on the GAPS diet, as well as for resolving gall stones.
Choosing a juicer
Thankfully, there are some good inexpensive juicers on the market that work really well. The one I’ve used for many years (and still have going strong!) is the Breville Juice Fountain.
You can also often find lightly used (or new in the box!) high quality juicers at thrift stores, on Craigslist, or on Facebook marketplace for a fraction of the full price.
Any juicer that effectively extracts the juice and leaves the fiber behind will work well.
How to juice with a blender
If you’re not able to get a juicer but still want the benefits of juicing, you can use a blender. It’s a little more work, but still doable.
Just add your juicing ingredients to the blender, and blend as much as possible. Then strain the juice from the fiber using some organic cotton muslin or a nut milk bag.
My experience with juicing
When I followed the GAPS diet for the first time years ago, I enjoyed a GAPS milkshake made with fresh carrot, celery, beet, and apple juice every morning for breakfast. I found that it was an excellent way to gently detox my body, as well as boost my liver and gallbladder function.
Today I make some fresh juice every afternoon, make it into a GAPS milkshake, and share it with my kids and husband. It’s something we all enjoy.
More on following the GAPS diet
Do you juice?
What do you like to juice? What benefits have you experienced? Share in the comments!
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GAPS to Go is a 30 day meal plan for the GAPS introduction diet that tells you what to eat each day, with complete cooking instructions, and guidance on when to move to each intro diet stage. Check out GAPS to Go here.
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