Mom was right — we do need to eat our fruits and veggies! After all, research shows eating fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study followed the diets of 110,000 men and women for 14 years. And here’s what they found:
- The more fruits and vegetables consumed, the lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Green leafy vegetables were the most effective against disease.
- Individuals who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease or having a stroke compared with people who ate less than 3 servings per day.
Top 9 Reasons To Juice
But let’s be honest: Who eats more than 5 servings of produce each day? To add more fruits and vegetables into your diet, try juicing them instead.
Here are the top nine reasons to add juicing into your daily routine:
- It helps meet your fruit and veggie quota. Adding freshly pressed juice is an easy way to meet the recommended amount. Juicing your vegetables and fruit is healthy — a nutritious drink that’s good for you and easy to take with you anywhere.
- It helps improve brain function. Drinking beet juice increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to better brain health. WebMD reported that a study by Wake Forest University showed drinking beet juice may slow the progression of dementia.
- It gives you energy. Raw juice delivers enzymes and nutrients that are easy for your body to absorb almost instantaneously. Because the juice doesn’t have insoluble fiber, it’s easy to digest. And you’re left with energy to spare. Try drinking raw juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning — 30 minutes before you eat breakfast — and you’ll notice a big surge in energy.
- It may lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Drinking raw juices helps fight inflammation and lower blood pressure. But raw juices are natural blood thinners, so please check with your doctor if you are on blood thinners or take aspirin regularly.
- It gives your digestive system a break. Fast food, junk food, and processed food can all be hard on your digestive system. But the nutrients found in freshly squeezed juice are easy to digest.
- It helps you sleep better. Leafy green vegetables contain high levels of magnesium — a mineral that helps you relax. It may even improve the quality of your sleep.
- It improves your immune system. Having a raw juice each day helps to build your immune system. Greens such as spinach contain vitamins A and C, which help your body fight infections. Just make sure that you choose organic greens because they are much more nutritious than conventionally-grown.
- It keeps your skin hydrated, clear and vibrant. A green juice made of kale really packs a punch because it’s rich in vitamins A, C, K, E, B1, B2 and B3. It’s also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
- It gives you antioxidants. A study by USDA scientists shows that antioxidant-rich blueberries, grapes and kiwi fruit help prevent oxidative stress. This means that eating these fruits may help prevent chronic diseases and slow the aging process.
Additionally, juicing can help kids eat their vegetables. Cold-pressed juice is an easy way to quench kids’ thirst and keep their organs functioning properly. Think of it as nature’s Kool-Aid.
But before you start to juice, there are two things to keep in mind. First, be frugal. If you don’t have a juicer, no need to rush out and buy an expensive one. Ask a friend or family member if you can borrow their juicer for a week so that you can try juicing to see if you like it. Better yet, look for a gently used juicer from a garage or estate sale.
Second, start slowly. Many people want to do a 30-day juice fast; however, most give up after a day or two. And I should know! After all, I’ve tried several 30-day juice fasts but have only lasted 7 days. So instead of a juice fast, try adding a serving of cold-pressed juice each day. You can drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or use it to replace coffee at work. You’ll feel better, sleep better and have more energy.
Do you like to juice? If so, what are your favorite recipes? Write your response in the comments below.