So what's with all the hype about juicing? Sure we know it's good for you but what's the difference between drinking and actually eating all the fruits and vegetables?
Well, for one, it's going to be a lot easier to get your daily servings from the basic food groups. Remember the food pyramid you learned about in school? It's still around people, just redesigned and ignoring it may even shorten your life. Here's a little refresher course for those of you sitting there saying "Oh yeah, I remember hearing about that thing once".
The American Heart Association suggests an intake of 1600-2000 calories a day. Of course, this will vary depending on your age, height, weight, etc but, it's a good starting point. So, according to the 'plate', roughly a quarter of these calories should come from grains. Breads, cereals, pasta... Sure, it sounds easy right now. Who doesn't love carbs?
Next we add in 300-500 calories of protein and throw in a few servings of dairy. Now, take all of those calories and try to match them in the amount fruits and vegetables you consume and you have yourself one busy day ahead of you. I don't know about you, but I don't have time for that.
I want to be healthy, just without all the hassle. Well, keep this in mind... You can drink way more fruits and vegetables than you could eat in the same amount of time. In order to get an equal amount of benefits from 16 ounces of fresh juice, you would need to eat two pounds of the green stuff.
Drinking your fruits and vegetables aids in your body's ability to breakdown their nutrients, sending them into your bloodstream at a much faster rate. And, 95% of the vitamins, minerals and living enzymes are found in the juice and not the fiber of the fruit. Bottom line? You get a huge burst of energy without the crash later.
LONG TERM BENEFITS
While you are feeling energized for the day, you can also take comfort in the fact that juicing can help to fight cancer and other illnesses, aid in sleep, strengthen your immune system, and keep your body in an alkaline state. (Most illnesses flourish when the body is in an acidic state but more on this in a later post.) Studies have shown that juicing improves cardiovascular health, detoxifies the liver, contributes to healthy skin, nails and hair, and aids in rebuilding blood cells.
Naming all of the benefits to juicing would make reading this take longer than eating two pounds of vegetables. Kale alone is rich in:
- Chlorophyll which is helpful in reducing bad cholesterol levels as well as to people with anemia
- Calcium to strengthen bones
- Omega 3s to fight brain damage from high sugar levels
- Carotenoids such as Lutein to protect the eyes
- Protein for muscle health
- Indole-3-carbinole to boost DNA health and slow the growth of cancer cells
- Vitamin K for bone health and injury healing
- Flavonoids to help control indigestion as well as inflammation and stress
Kale also has more Vitamin C than an orange and is high in vitamins B1, B2, and E. It is rich in iron, calcium, copper and potassium and is highly alkaline. Okay, you get the idea. Moving on.
WHY NOT JUST TAKE VITAMINS?
Ah those little miracle capsules that promise all the benefits of a healthy diet in one little pill. Don't get me wrong, vitamins are extremely beneficial to those who are deficient in certain categories. There are also a variety of supplements for your body that you just can't get from food - or at least any food found in your average grocery store. But, given the opportunity to drink a glass of fresh orange juice or take a vitamin C - Drink the Juice!
While the capsules do contain the actual 'vitamins', they lack the Phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which work in synergy to help your body absorb the nutrients at a slower rate. Why is this a good thing? Because vitamins taken on their own are absorbed so quickly into the system that the body thinks it doesn't need all of the nutrients and scurries to get rid of the leftovers. Ever taken a multivitamin and seen your urine turn fluorescent? That is literally your money being flushed down the toilet.
Okay, so juicing is super beneficial. In my opinion, the only real convincing you need is to try one when that afternoon slump comes barreling down on you. It's so much better than just overloading your body with vitamin B for a fast fix and won't keep you up at night like a late-in-the-day cup of coffee.
Tiller & Rye will open soon with a couple of juice options but in the short and long term, check out The Juice Cellar in downtown Bangor and Belfast for their amazing array of fresh juices.