We all know that a diet founded on fresh fruits and veggies is good for you, but what kind of benefits are actually proven? Also, there are many wildly varying recommendations about how many fruits and vegetables a person should eat every day–so what gives? According to the Nutrition Source of the Harvard School of Public Health, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent certain cancers, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and can help with blood sugar levels.
Many times my clients come to me with irregular bowel movements, asthma, and congestion, which are typically signs of a gastrointestinal problem. They have chronic illnesses which are typically a result of nutrient deficiencies. They want to lower their cancer risk and lose weight; and they typically talk about mood swings during or near their menstrual cycle. I basically guarantee that if they begin to eat more fruits and vegetables this will improve the majority, if not all, of their physical complaints. I always use myself as an example of how changing my diet changed my life.
I typically recommend my clients to get at least 3-4 cups of a dark green leafy vegetable a day with one additional vegetable along with 2 servings of a citrus fruit, berries or an apple. It’s also critical to drink at least half of your body weight (in oz) in water to make sure the increase in fiber in your digestive system does not cause discomfort. For many people changing their lifestyle and even some healthy veterans, it can be difficult to consume this many fruits and vegetables. I always suggest juicing as an easier way to make sure they consume fruits and vegetables. In addition to the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing boosts the immune system with nutrients and is a better way for the body to use the digestive enzymes in the fiber found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
One of my favorite juicing recipes is a Kale, Ginger and Green Apple drink. The simple ingredients are:
1 bunch of Kale
1 and 1/2 Green Apples
1 Knuckle of Ginger
This yields about 22-24 ounce of juice.
I prefer juicing but I don’t always have the time or the budget to juice every day. So I figured out a clever way to get the benefits without the price tag.
“Juicing” on a Budget
– Single serve packet of a great green super food
– An organic lemon
– Small container of organic carrot juice
Pour the green super food into a 10-12 ounce glass mason jar and add about 6 ounces of alkaline water. Pour in about 3 ounces of carrot juice. Squeeze in a large amount of fresh lemon juice and add about a teaspoon of turmeric. If using ginger, I first make ginger water by boiling the ginger in water, and letting it cool to room temperature and then keeping it cold in the fridge. I replace 3 ounces of the alkaline or spring water with the ginger water. On occasion I will add a half teaspoon of cayenne powder.
CHEERS TO YOUR HEALTH!
Related: 5 Creative Uses for Juice Pulp
Also by EnJunaya: Learning to Love My Stretch Marks
Photo: Mary Hood; EnJunaya Canton