While most of us are aware of the benefits of eating fresh produce, it’s often pushed to the bottom of our priority list.
But a growing body of scientific evidence is proving the health benefits of a whole, plant-based diet. Increasingly, studies are showing that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a reduced risk of health problems, including heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and cancer, due to the large amounts of nutrients and immune-boosting antioxidants in their diet.
Today’s hurried lives can make it challenging to consume balanced meals, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the clutches of convenience food. Too often we eat on the run, wolf down quick mouthfuls at the computer or in the car, or grab something quick from a fast food outlet.
Sadly, the average person no longer prepares nutritious meals but instead relies on packaged foods that are heavily processed, full of chemicals and completely devoid of nutritional value. As a result of these empty calories, many people wind up at the vending machine or coffee pot for a quick afternoon “pick-me-up”—only to perpetuate a vicious cycle of sugar spikes and crashes.
Unfortunately, most people today have bodies that are loaded with toxins as well as deficient in the vital nutrients necessary for optimal function. With organizations like the Cancer Society stating that we need to incorporate at least five servings of fruit and vegetables into our daily diet, many of us are looking for ways to fulfill this goal.
For many, fresh juice is the solution; after all, drinking fresh juices ensures that we are increasing our servings of fresh produce every day. Not only do fresh juices provide us with a wealth of alkaline minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and phytochemicals, they also give our body a rest from the digestive process.
As with all natural, whole foods, the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables are often bound to other nutrients that help absorption. Since the fiber has been removed, the juice requires hardly any digestion and its nutritional goodness gets rapidly absorbed into one’s system.
In fact, studies show that the nutrients from juiced vegetables enter our bloodstream within 15-20 minutes of consumption!
Fresh juices are truly nature’s cure. Most juice advocates report experiencing increased energy, a glowing complexion, a curbed appetite, improved circulation, strengthened immune system, natural weight loss and an alkaline, invigorated body. As an avid juicer for 30 years, I have witnessed and heard of many cures that have taken place through the use of raw juices, specifically green juices.
Why? It’s simple: juice supplies the missing nutrients that are required for radiant health. They also help remove toxins from the body.
Although there are many bottled juices available on the market today, most of their valuable nutrients have been destroyed through the act of processing. Nothing can take the place of fresh, natural, life-giving foods, especially easily assimilated raw juices.
No matter what your age or condition, it’s never too late to start drinking your fruits and vegetables.
In my opinion, juicing is by far one of the simplest and most effective things that we can do for our health. Every time you drink a glass of juice you are infusing your cells with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can protect against disease and premature aging. Once you make juices a part of your daily diet, you’ll feel the difference in no time. It doesn’t take long!
Tips for juicing:
- Wash, scrub and cut your produce before switching on the juicer.
- Start slow. You don’t want to drink too much at first as juices (especially green juice) can be cleansing.
- Begin with vegetables that you like and enjoy.
- Use organic apples, carrots or cucumbers to sweeten your juice.
- Experiment with different vegetables such as romaine lettuce, kale, celery, beets, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, etc.
- Always clean your juicer right away.
- Drink as soon as possible for best nutritional value.
Glowing Green Refresher
- 4 handfuls of spinach
- 1 large cucumber
- A few sprigs of mint
- 1 lemon
- 1 apple (optional)
Juice all ingredients and pour into a tall glass. Cheers!
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Assistant Ed: Dejah Beauchamp
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