Yes, diets packed with fruits and vegetables reduce your risk for chronic conditions and diseases like cancer, heart disease and Type II diabetes. Yet, odds are most people aren’t getting nearly the five servings a day recommended by the USDA. What’s a healthy body to do? Enter the popular craze known as juicing – a healthy, practical trend that can help you pack precious nutrients into your diet.

Here’s all you need to know:

  1. What’s the buzz? Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients that fight inflammation; antioxidants which combat damaging free radicals, defective molecules in the body that cause aging and disease.) Proponents of juicing claim these nutrients are more easily absorbed by your body since it is unencumbered with digesting fiber. But remember, you need fiber to stay regular, feel satiated; fiber also combats bad cholesterol (LDL).
  1. Pick the “right stuff” Vitamins like C and B’s are more easily absorbed as juice. Others like A, E and K are best taken through the full digestive process. Similarly, some vegetables, such as tomatoes, lentils and squash provide more nutritional value when cooked or eaten whole.

Your best bets for juicing with “veggies”:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and mustard greens)
  • Broccoli
  • Red bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Beets (for lowering blood pressure)
  • Ginger root (for fighting infection)

Best fruits for juicing:

  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  1. Go organic; when juicing, opt for organic fruits. This is produce you’d pick out of your own garden or backyard, or find in a farmer’s market. Organic fruits and vegetables are less likely to contain pesticides or be artificially ripened with chemicals.
  2. Juicing for weight loss: Juice fasting is the practice of drinking only juice for a few days to cleanse the digestive tract, detoxify the body and help you lose weight. It is better than simple fasting on water and no food, since juice still provides the body with essential nutrients.
  3. Juicing is a great addition to any diet: Most people don’t get enough water or eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Juicing allows you to meet these two needs while making healthy, fresh juices in the convenience of your home.

If juicing sounds like it’s for you, go to the “Juicing Book” at www.juicingbook.com for facts, recipes, and handy tips to help you put some miles on that blender.

Here’s my favorite energy juice recipe from the above source. Drink it an hour before your workout!

Pep Rally

  • ½ green or red pepper
  • 4 – 6 small carrots
  • ¾ cup of apple juice

Here’s another recipe that will help you relax in the evening. Drink an hour or so before retiring.

Sweet Dreams

  • 1 Apple
  • 4 small carrots
  • ¼ beet root

Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and massage therapist (MA40288) with his own facility, Pump’n Inc. www.pumpnincgym.com  at 1271 NE 9th Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33304. Contact Tom TrainerTomB@aol.com or set up a free consultation. Call (954) 557-1119.