The American Cancer Society suggests 5 or more servings of fresh vegetables and fruit a day for good health and disease prevention, other sources say it should be 9 servings a day. Dr. Mercola recommends that 1/3 to 1/2 of our diet should be raw. Finding a balance in all the information is key, but one thing I know for sure is that I don't eat enough fresh produce.
One surefire way of upping my servings of raw produce each day is by making fresh juice. My mother and my Auntie have been juicing for many years. They turned me on to it when I was ill with my gallbladder and pancreas last year. I went to my local Costco and purchased the Jack LaLanne power juicer. It's perhaps some of the best money I've ever spent. Other than a few bits of time where it fell by the wayside, I've been making fresh veggie and fruit juice for my husband and myself pretty much daily since the spring of last year.
Juicing definitely adds to the grocery bill, but as my friend Lisa so nicely put it this morning, "It's less money I'll be spending on medications in the future." It can be time consuming until I got a system going. Once a week, I wash the entire week's worth of juicing produce in the sink with produce wash and then pack it in zipper bags, one for each of the next 7 days. This small investment of effort makes the morning juicing routine a total breeze.
It amazes me at just how much fresh produce my husband and I are actually consuming through juicing, up to 20 pounds! We'd never eat that much of the raw stuff if we tried. And benefit to effort ratio of juicing is very high. I feel so good after having my juice each morning and it gives me a good foundation for fostering healthy habits.
My favorite cocktail is spinach, summer squash, zucchini, lemon, root ginger, celery, carrots and apples. The juicer is a great way to make sure no fruits or veggies in the fridge go to waste.
Here are some sources for more information on the benefits of juicing and some fantastic recipes that I have to try out myself.
Juicing for Health