Juicing Revisited

A while back, I told you about some of my adventures with juicing. HB isn’t much of a vegetable juice fan, but I am. And juicing is one good habit that’s easy for me to keep up.

Most often I juice a combination of…

  • Either kale, spinach or arugula
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • And sometimes parsley

The greens all deliver good amounts of vitamins A and K. Plus a decent quantity of vitamin C. They also have some B vitamins – especially folate. Plus some minerals. (Parsley, for instance, is fairly high in iron.)

Carrots are famous for their vitamin A content. But they only deliver modest amounts of other vitamins and minerals. Celery has a good amount of vitamin K, and radishes offer some vitamin C. Broccoli is fairly high in vitamins C and K.

You can probably see a pattern here. Lots of vitamins A, C and K… a few stray minerals… and much more modest amounts of other nutrients.

But Uncle Sam doesn’t require all nutrients on nutrition labels. And many of these unlisted items have big health benefits.

For example, kale and spinach – two of my mainstay greens – are high in lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are closely related to vitamin A and critical for good vision.

Most of the veggies on my list also deliver a good dose of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. On average, one glass of my juice has more than a third of the 500 mg I need daily.

And broccoli is a rich source of sulforophane – a plant chemical that discourages abnormal cell growth. It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which helps promote healthy estrogen levels.

There are lots of other examples, but I think you get the idea.

What really matters to me, though, is how I feel. And as long as I’m juicing regularly, I feel much better. I only have to miss a couple of days to start feeling more sluggish and less alert.

So I know the juice is doing something good for my body.

If I have a glass of juice in the afternoon, I’m less hungry at supper. And when I eat less at night, I wake up feeling lighter and more energetic. My workouts the morning after I’ve juiced are always better than on mornings when I didn’t juice the day before.

Here’s my basic juice recipe:

  • About ¼-pound each carrots and celery
  • 5 or 6 medium radishes
  • 2 – 3 cups of greens
  • Or substitute a cup of raw broccoli for half the greens

I experiment with other greens – or throw in whatever I have on hand if I’m short on spinach or kale. Romaine didn’t work out so well, but both organic spring mix and Italian blend made tasty juices.

You can experiment, too. And you have a wider variety of vegetables to work with. For example, bell peppers juice well. I like the flavor, too. But they’re nightshades, so I have to avoid them.

Once you get in the habit of juicing, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

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