Guest Post by Calie at Broccoli Cupcake
Whether you are a picky eater or just responsible for feeding one, you probably know that consuming the recommended 8-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is more than a challenge. The task can be daunting for even the most health-conscious eaters. Think about it: To get close to this recommendation, you have to eat a fruit and/or veggie with every meal, plus three snacks, and that still leaves most of us two shy.
The National Cancer Institute’s new campaign recommends three servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables a day for a minimum requirement of eight servings. Many of us consume less than three servings total, and surprisingly, some can go a full 24 hours without noshing on a single fruit or veggie.
The good news is there may be a simple way to dramatically increase your fruit and veggie intake. It’s called juicing, and it’s long been thought to have healing powers. Let me be clear: I’m not talking about juice you buy at the grocery store. I’m talking about raw, fresh juice prepared in a juicer, and it may actually be healthier than eating your fruits and veggie straight up.
Because they are raw, valuable enzymes (critical to nearly every metabolic activity that takes place in our body) remain intact, rather than being destroyed by the heat of cooking and steaming. As an added bonus, the body can easily absorb and digest the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from raw juice. In fact, they enter the bloodstream within 30 minutes of consumption, which means it can be a great energy boost. Picking up a bottle of sweetened and preserved fruit juice – even the ones with veggies mixed in – doesn’t come close.
Below are a few more reasons to consider integrating raw, fresh juice into your daily diet.
- A diet high in fruits and vegetables can prevent and possibly cure a wide variety of ailments.
- Different plant chemicals affect different ailments and cancers, making variety almost as important as quantity. Juicing is a great way to combine a large variety into one serving.
- Juicing green vegetables provides access to chlorophyll, something rare in most of our diets, which enhances the body’s ability to transport oxygen by producing hemoglobin. It also helps to detoxify the liver, rebuild blood cells and prevent and remove cancer cells.
- Citrus fruits have substances that make it easy for your body to remove carcinogens. Specifically, lemons help the liver in its daily detoxifying process making it great for high-fat diets and those high in animal protein.
- Raw, fresh vegetables juices are extremely alkaline, which helps keep the body from becoming overly acidic. An overly acidic body is generally an ill body.
- Calcium, potassium, and silicone can be found in fresh vegetable juice. These minerals prevent premature aging of our cells and overall disease.
- Juicing gives our digestive systems a much needed rest allowing our bodies to focus on the necessary step of elimination.
- Juicing has long been thought to have healing powers. Many people claim that juicing with specific combinations of fruits and vegetables has helped them cure specific illnesses including IBS and certain types of cancer.
- It is said that juicing can improve your overall health and appearance, and it may even assist in weight loss.
Tip: Always drink your juice immediately after preparing it to get the most nutritional value. Don’t miss out on the healing power of garlic – one large clove is enough to get the health benefits without creating a social faux pas.
Recipe: My favorite juice starts with a base of carrots and lemon. From there I add beets, celery and a red apple for sweetness. The most commonly juiced vegetables are: kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, mustard greens, rutabaga, peppers, cabbage and carrots. The most commonly juiced fruits are: berries, apples, grapes, and lemons. Herbs make great additions as well – especially parsley and cilantro. Garnish with a lemon wedge or celery stalk for fun and serve to the whole family!
Do you juice? What’s your favorite recipe?
About Calie at Broccoli Cupcake:
Broccoli Cupcake is a place to find and share information about living a happy, healthy lifestyle. The contents are fueled by Calie’s personal journey to improve her health and the health of her family. Calie is a work-from-home media relations consultant, mom to two unruly boys, and health and wellness junkie. Tune in every other Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. for Calie’s healthy living tips on Fox 17 Tennessee Mornings.