_3 Health Benefits of Juicing

Serves: 5



With today's trend toward a more healthy lifestyle, it should come as no surprise that fresh fruit and vegetable juices have been steadily gaining in popularity. Like the ascent of eating salads in the 1980s, drinking fresh juice became the new boom for the 1990s and into the new millennium. Millions of us have discovered that drinking fruit and vegetable juices is a natural way to fulfill our bodies' needs for critical nutrients, and if that weren't a great enough enticement, fresh juices are also delicious and virtually fat-free and low in calories, cholesterol, and sodium.

Health authorities, such as the National Cancer Institute, send a recurring message that we must include more fruits and vegetables in our daily diets to reduce the risk of a variety of serious ailments. But accommodating the recommended three to five servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit each day in an ordinary diet can be difficult. The good news is that even with a hectic lifestyle, we can still achieve this lofty goal by simply including fresh juices as part of our daily diets. Can you think of a better, or easier, way to accomplish this than by enjoying a tall glass of fresh carrot juice made with eight carrots or a chilled glass of apple juice made with three to four apples? By just adding two to three glasses of juice to your diet, you can quickly satisfy your daily requirements and at the same time enjoy a great taste experience. Juicing fruits and vegetables essentially eliminates their indigestible insoluble fiber and enhances the availability of important nutrients. For example, when you eat a fresh carrot, many of the important nutrients become trapped in the fiber so that you only assimilate approximately 1 percent of the vegetable's available beta-carotene. But when you juice a carrot and remove the fiber, almost 100 percent of the beta-carotene is absorbable. By drinking the fresh juice of many other fruits and vegetables, you are able to more easily digest and absorb the maximum number of nutrients and enzymes they provide within minutes.

On the subject of enzymes, they are the body's workforce. They spark thousands of chemical reactions that occur throughout our bodies and are responsible for most of our metabolic activity every second of the day. Enzymes play an essential role in digesting and absorbing food, converting food into body tissue, and in producing energy at the cellular level. This is one more reason that drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices is especially important in maintaining good health.

Another advantage of drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices is the health benefit of true freshness. None of the vital nutrients are lost when juice is consumed IMMEDIATELY after it is made. Just as important, no additives, preservatives, sugars, or sweeteners are added, and the juice has not been pasteurized to extend its shelf life. Fresh juice is absolutely pure, and you know exactly what it contains.

As scientists have learned more about the bounty of antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables, it has become increasingly apparent why it is important to enrich our diets with these nutrient-packed powerhouses. Today, this goal can be easily achieved with a few flavorful swallows, since drinking three 8-ounce glasses of juice can provide the nutritional benefits of up to 3 pounds of fresh fruits or vegetables.

The list of health benefits goes on and on. For example, it is extremely important to include a healthy amount of liquid in our diets. When you drink fruit or vegetable juices, you are also consuming untreated pure water. More than 65 percent of the tissues and cells in our bodies is water. Water also acts as a conduit for carrying necessary nutrients and blood cells through our bodies. By drinking an adequate amount of water, we put less stress on our bodies and promote the smooth operation of their natural processes.

As you glance through the chapter "Power Juices for Your Health," you will become aware of a number of recipes that include health boosters to enhance juices that are already inherently healthful. These ingredients can be eliminated if you like your juice straight however, I have included them for those who prefer an added health benefit to their diet regimens. Examples of some of the health boosters you will find are:

Bee pollen
This natural substance is thought to increase sexual performance and stamina. It is 35 percent protein and contains twenty-seven minerals, most of the known vitamins, as well as many enzymes.

This herb boosts the immune system and is especially helpful when you are ailing from a cold.

Gingko Biloba
This extract comes from the fan-shaped leaf of the gingko tree. It is thought to increase blood flow to the brain and enhance several of its functions, such as memory.

Another herb believed to be capable of normalizing various body functions, increasing mental alertness and vitality, relieving stress, and enhancing immunity.

Vitamin C
This critical nutrient buttresses the immune system to help increase resistance to cancer.

So, the next time you want to treat yourself to a wholesome taste sensation, head for the nearest juice bar and hope a seat is available. Better yet, don't take the chance that there may be standing room only and invest in a juicer so that your health takes center stage in your own home.

From ULTIMATE JUICING: delicious recipes for over 125 of the best fruit and vegetable juice combinations. Copyright © 2000 Donna Pliner Rodnitzky. All Rights Reserved.

This _3 Health Benefits of Juicing recipe is from the Cook'n Ultimate Juicing Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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