Most Americans don’t meet the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. This means that more Americans than ever are deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Our bodies can only last so long without the nourishment from plant based sources, as our stores deplete our overall health will begin to decline. You may not realize it but have you ever looked around and seen that there are a lot of people with poor dental health, stringy hair, bad skin, and extreme constipation? These are symptoms of scurvy, yes scurvy, that disease that sailors would get when they had been out at sea to long. This Yo Ho HO Matey illness is actually caused from not consuming enough fruits and vegetables. It is easy to realize how sailors with little food options may have gotten scurvy, but what about us? Sadly American diets are more based on deep fried meats and loads of diabetes causing carbohydrates, this kind of diet often neglects the most colorful characters on the menu leading to bad health and a bad reputation for American cuisine.
There is a way to fight this declining and that is through upping your fruit and veggie intake. Looking at a plate full of broccoli can be a daunting task, especially if you are not of fan of vegetables. How could you possible consume and entire table full of fruits and vegetables? It is really quite simple, the answer is juicing. A majority of the nutrients found in plant sources are in their juice. By juicing these offerings rather than attempting to eat them as is, you can consume greater amounts and allow you body to quickly process them as they are already in liquid form. One glass of juice can contain, 2 apples, 2 oranges, kelp, spinach, 4 carrots, broccoli, and the list goes on, you could never make it through all those in one sitting if you attempted to eat them raw. But it is possible through juicing.
A juice fast may be in order if you are wanting to get a jump start on weight loss or feel that you need a total body cleanse. You can do a juice fast for one day or for two months, it is up to you. My husband is currently doing a 10 day juice fast to get him ready for his summer workout goals. A juice fast means you only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, you can have as much as you want, but that is all you can have, no meat, bread, dairy, etc. You can do this diet as a diabetic, just make sure you consult with your doctor and balance your sugars the same way you would while eating normally. A diabetic for instance would focus more on vegetable juices and only put in fruit juice where needed to keep their blood sugar in the normal range. I would not recommend a juice fast to pregnant or breastfeeding women, but it can benefit any diet to supplement with fresh fruit and vegetable juice.
What is fresh? Well fresh in my opinion is taking a juicer at home and putting raw fruits and veggies directly into it, thus creating juice. Buying store bought juices from the juice isle is probably not going to do it for you. First of all they are generally filled with sugar, and even the ones that aren’t have been processed to the point that not many of the important nutrients are left. But don’t despair, if you don’t have a juicer, you can still technically juice. Two brands that I would recommend are Odwalla and Bolthouse. You can find these juices in the dairy section of your local store. These brands have ample amounts of fruits and vegetables and may be a good choice if you are just wanting to give juicing try. (if you are giving fresh juice to your children make sure to mix it with 1 part juice 3 parts water until they work up to full strength)
Note: You can turn any juice into a delicious smoothie. Just pour the juice in a blender and add in a frozen banana, some ice, and a 1/4 cup of milk/rice milk, blend. And Voila, you have a smoothie.