Guest Author - Alicia Bodine
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends teens and adults consume 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Most of us will admit that we often fall short of this number. One way to remedy the situation is to juice the fruits and vegetables. The Stanford Cancer Institute reports that 1 cup of carrot or celery juice has nutrients that are equal to that of 5 cups of chopped carrots or celery stalks.
Juicing is also a great option for individuals who have difficulty chewing and swallowing hard foods, such as certain types of vegetables and fruits. Juicing gives these individuals a way to get the nutrients they need from this category of the food pyramid.
There are a wide variety of juicers on the market, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding one that fits in your price range. Cheaper versions just have smaller feed chutes, which means you'll have to chop your fruits and veggies up to fit in the chute. Less expensive versions also seem to run a bit on the loud side, but this isn't a big deal because the machine only needs to run for a minute or two each time. They still work effectively.
Always wash your produce before using it in the juicer. Organic fruits and vegetables are best for juicing, but it is not a requirement if you can't afford to go organic. No matter what, your produce should be fresh for maximum flavor.
Start off with a simple juice recipe. Surprisingly, even people who hate carrots with a passion will drink them in a juice. A good blend to start off with is 5 carrots, 2 apples, 1 kiwi, and 3 kale leaves. You will find that the sweetness of the apple covers up the carrot flavor. Now those who are repelled by carrots have a new way to eat them and will benefit from the nutrition they offer, such as extra vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
There are literally hundreds of juice recipes to try, so don't get discouraged if you don't like the first blend you put together. You may have to experiment a few times before you find a blend that is pleasing to your palate. You can also takes the juice blend and pour it into popsicle molds and freeze it. Then you have delicious homemade freezer pops for dessert later on in the day.
If you aren't getting your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, juicing is the solution. You'll feel better, experience more energy, and even get the sensation that you are full so you don't overeat.