Vegetable this and vegetable that. Are you getting bored with all of the advice about eating your veggies?
Virtually every health authority recommends eating 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits every day, but the truth is, very few of us actually get that. Why? Some dislike the taste, preparation can be time-consuming, and trying to eat on the run is tough. Nonetheless, the concern for health and maybe shedding a few pounds this year might be your focus. The solution is juicing.
When you squeeze the juice out of a fruit or vegetable, you receive a concentration of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. So, on those days when you have neither the time or motivation to eat your daily serving of vegetables, three to four glasses of juice per day can ensure that you receive more nutrients than you would if you just gave vegetables a pass altogether.
It is, however, important to keep in mind that not all juices are created equal—cooking and processing food destroys important nutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition. Pasteurization kills active enzymes and lowers vitamin content. This means that while juices such as Naked and Odwalla have great ingredients, they are pasteurized and are not organic, so they’re not as healthy as fresh-squeezed, unprocessed juice. To reach an advanced nutritional level and maximize the health benefits, avoid all processed foods and eat (or juice) only organic vegetables and fruits whenever possible.
Three Good Reasons to “Juice” in 2012
1 | Juicing helps absorb all nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you and receive most of the nutrition.
2 | Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. As a general guideline, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight each day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice. Remember, it is still important to consume actual raw vegetables throughout the day.
3 | You can expand the types of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same types of vegetables every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation (mixing up the variety of vegetables and foods within your diet) and can increase your chance of developing an allergy or sensitivity to a certain food. However, with juicing, you can easily juice and mix a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
Juicing is an easy, efficient way to guarantee you will reach your daily target for vegetables and fruits, while keeping the active enzymes and high vitamin content. Give it a try!
Suneil Jain, NMD, is a naturopathic physician and the founder of Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics. Rejuvena is located in North Scottsdale and is one of the leading practices in the United States specializing in wellness and healthy aging. For more information on Dr. Jain and his practice, please visit www.werejuvenate.com or call (480) 551-9000.