Most experts agree that one of the keys to health is to focus on good nutrition. While some are at odds about how many carbs versus proteins are necessary to a balanced diet, almost all say that we need to maximize our vitamins and minerals from fruit and vegetables.
Every health authority in the world recommends six to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This is tough to achieve and maintain for many with the pace of our daily lives. Taking the time to plan and prepare three nutritious meals and multiple healthy, balanced snacks every single day can be a chore in itself.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, one of the web’s leading health and wellness experts, cooking food using any method begins to deplete its nutritional value.
“I am firmly convinced that the benefits of juicing are the keys to giving you a radiant, energetic life, and truly optimal health,” he has declared. “I’ve said this in the other levels of this nutrition plan, but it’s so important I’ll say it again: valuable and sensitive micronutrients become damaged when you heat foods.”
Thus the raw trend, which takes vegetarian and vegan to a whole new level. Juicing allows you to receive the nutritional benefits of several raw, fresh foods at the same time as well as making them more enjoyable.
The best fruits and vegetables to juice are organic, which are grown without pesticides which therefore won’t end up in your glass either. When choosing what should be organic and what is okay to get from the conventional method, there is a list of foods called The Dirty Dozen, which are reviewed annually by the Environmental Working Group. This year, the EWG recommends choosing organic apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and bell peppers. Foods that are low in pesticides even coming from large mono-crop farms include cantaloupe, kiwi, pineapple, peas and sweet potatoes.
If you are not a fan of cucumbers or find beets too earthy, try juicing them. The combination of flavours in a nicely blended juice really serves to pack a nutritional punch while making produce both delicious and refreshing.
Juicing is one way to make our daily recommended intake of six to eight fruits and vegetables more achievable. One glass of juice can contain half of that with minimal preparation, time and fuss.
Consider a glass containing three carrots, two apples, a couple of celery stalks and some nice green lettuce leaves- that’s four right there. With one more at each meal, you’ve hit the mark and this is easy to vary every day. The internet, the bookstore and your imagination have no shortage of recipe ideas. And to get you started, here are a couple I’ve enjoyed recently.
Stay tuned for the second part of this series on juicing which deals with how to purchase a quality juicer and expands on nutritional information.
Beginner: three carrots, two apples, half a peeled lime, one cup green grapes
Intermediate: two celery stalks, four clementines or mandarin oranges, two apples, small bunch of parsley
Recipe three: one small beet, two kale leaves, two cored apples, two carrots, small piece of ginger
Trisha Shanks writes about nutrition, recipes and her personal experience with seasonal fruit and vegetables. She is the Big Cheese at Nakusp Vegibox, a new local, organic and pesticide-free variety box service. This is a seasonal cornucopia of local fare available for pick-up or delivery during the growing season and year-round.