Juicing for Parasitic Infections

If you've ever had traveler's diarrhea, you already have an intimate knowledge of parasitic infections. Most common in developing countries and rare in developed ones, parasites can infiltrate your body through your mouth or skin, causing myriad symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, fever, skin rashes, anemia, and weight loss.

Because parasites can't produce their own food, they use you as a host, and can thrive inside your body for years on end without causing any symptoms. Studies show most Americans are unknowingly hosting at least one parasite in their body because symptoms are often vague or nonexistent.

Parasites cause deficits of vitamins A, B6, B12; iron; calcium; and magnesium. They can diminish immunity, leaving you susceptible to serious diseases. Predisposing factors include malnutrition, a compromised immune system, chemical or metal poisoning, chronic fatigue, and pre-existing viral, fungal, or bacterial infections, especially candida and AIDS.

According to Cherie Calbom, M.S., author of The Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health and herself a victim of intestinal parasites, the best natural remedy is a diet rich in vegetable and fruit juices, healthy oils, and no sugars from sucrose. Because parasites feed on sugar, you should also avoid full-strength fruit juices and dried fruit, and eat fresh fruit sparingly. Produce that helps fight parasites include pumpkin, garlic, onions, cabbage, almonds, kelp, and radishes.

For additional protection, Calbom recommends juicing lots of produce high in vitamin A and carotenes, which help increase your body's natural resistance to parasitic larvae. They include carrots, kale, parsley, spinach, chard, beet greens, watercress, broccoli, and romaine lettuce. Herbs that may help parasites include barberry, goldenseal, Oregon grapes, black walnut, citrus seed extract, and pinkroot.

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