Vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. Most of us could include more vegetables in our daily diet. Current recommendations call for 6-8 servings of veggies per day as a minimum, but the more the better! I like to include a serving with each meal, but sometimes that can be a challenge. And, even with the best intentions, you can get to the end of the day and not have hit your target servings.
I like to start each day by getting most of my veggie servings in early. A steaming plate of broccoli may not be too appetizing first thing in the morning, so instead I opt for a tall glass of fresh juice.
In fact, juicing your vegetables is a great way to increase the amount of raw vegetables in your diet. It's important to have a good mixture of raw and cooked vegetables each day. Some vitamins and nutrients are lost when cooked, while evidence shows some antioxidants are increased when cooked.
1 - Quantity. It's much easier to consume the recommended amount of veggies in the form of juice. 8 servings of raw broccoli is 4 cups. Thats a lot of broccoli.
2 - Digestion. Juicing helps break down the raw vegetables, which increases your body's ability to absorb all available nutrients, rather than having them pass through unabsorbed.
3 - Variety. We tend to get into ingrained habits with the foods we consume. Best practice for our diet is to consume many different vegetables. When you juice these vegetables, you can make many combinations, including veggie choices you may not have made if you were eating them whole.
Never juiced before? Here are some tips to help get you started.
1 - Choose a juicer that is easy to clean. If you find the task of juicing and cleaning up daunting, you won't do it. The goal is to actually consume the juice, not have a gorgeous juicer sitting in your cabinet.
2 - Juicing vegetables is much preferred to juicing fruit. It's very easy to consume too much fruit sugar by juicing only fruits. Choose vegetables that you enjoy - you can try them alone, or in combination. If 100% green juice is too much, add a small amount of fruit. Lemons add great flavor without too much sugar.
3 - Use organic produce if possible. Give the outside a good scrubbing, and you can juice the peel and all. If you are not using organic produce, peel your produce to eliminate the consumption of pesticides.
4 - Drink your juice right away! It's best to not let it sit on the counter or in the refrigerator.
What veggies should I start with?
You can juice just about any fruit or vegetable. Remember, best to focus on vegetables while adding in only a bit of fruit to keep sugar levels low. Some good green vegetables to start with are Cucumber, Spinach, Fennel, Kale, Celery. Add in a carrot or two, a quarter lemon - make sure you include the pith - the white part beneath the peel-even if you are peeling your lemon. Get creative! Start with the veggies you love to eat, then add some you've never tried.
One of my favorite Juice Recipes :
Joey's Morning Juice:
3 sticks celery
1 whole cucumber
3 handfuls spinach
1 handful Kale
3 sprigs parsley
5 large fresh Basil leaves
Give juicing a try. I promise you will have more energy and feel better each day.
For more from Joey Rubino including his upcoming Hawaiian Retreat in September 2012, go to http://joeyrubino.com/ , on Twitter @JoeyRubino & Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JoeyLondon1