Fruits and vegetables are crisp, fresh, and delicious gifts straight from nature’s hand to your mouth. Both classes of these products of the earth’s bounty should be two of the main focal points of our everyday diet—yet, for various reasons, not everyone’s daily intake of food includes the necessary amounts of this “manna from heaven.”
Article at a Glance
Benefits Of Fruits & Vegetables
- Along with many different nutrients, fruits and veggies deliver lots of antioxidants
- Antioxidants contain anti-inflammatory properties that guard against free radicals
- Free radicals could pose many dangers to your entire body
- Unfortunately, many people don’t get the recommended daily dose of fruits and veggies
Where The Liver Comes In
- Your liver cultivates and detoxifies nutrients
- This cleansing effect enables your organs to utilize nutrients more efficiently
- There is dietary support you can use to help your liver
Fiber In Fruits & Vegetables
- Soluble and insoluble fiber are both crucial to your overall health
- Dietary fiber helps your body maintain a healthy digestive system
- Juicing naturally removes some fiber from produce, but juicing regimens that include flax seeds or psyllium are potential substitutes
Health Benefits Of Juicing
- Juicing can help extract vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fruits and veggies
- There are two types of juicers: Centrifugal and cold-press. Both extract a similar number of nutrients
- Juicing could be a convenient way to get your daily intake of fruits and veggie
- Studies show that juicing can supplement a healthy diet
The reasons for this fruit-and-veggie shortfall vary depending on the individual in question and the region of the world that they inhabit. Sometimes fresh fruits and vegetables just aren’t readily available to a particular population; and sometimes these nutrient- and fiber-packed bonanzas are intentionally left out of a person’s diet because they either “don’t like the taste” or they’ve been so fully seduced by the Standard American Diet that those food items simply don’t grow onto their menu.
Of course, the consequences of a diet involving junk food is a rise in cases of obesity, along with increased susceptibility to inflammation, which can signify a swarm of unwanted health conditions related to your body’s full range of concerns—including your heart, brain, joints, vision, skin, and energy/stamina levels.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that close to 93.3 million American adults are considered obese, with obesity-related medical costs approaching $148 billion in 2008. These medical bills pay for a devastating lineup of conditions, including high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and so much more. Even depression has been linked to a poor diet and obesity.
It’s sounding more and more like a steady diet of fruits and vegetables not only adds plenty of color to your fruit bowl and vegetable crisper, but it also implants the nutrients you need to live a more fruitful life.
The Health Benefits Of Fruits & Vegetables
As you probably could have guessed, one of the main benefits to a vast diet of fruits and veggies is their large stores of antioxidants, which brings bright colors to the table, but also are incredibly important to cleansing your body of free radicals. This antioxidant action protects your cells and tissues, which in turn keeps your various physiological systems running smoothly. Just some of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies include resveratrol, carotenoids, lycopene, and phenolic flavonoids, which are some of the most important antioxidants your body can get called phytonutrients.
Generally speaking, it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of fruits and vegetables that help stave off an array of ailments that can compromise your brain, heart, and joints. One specific example of how the antioxidants of fruits and vegetables benefit you is with your heart. Researchers have reported that fruits containing a high amount of anthocyanins, flavonols, and procyanidins—like berries, grapes, and pomegranate—are potentially effective at decreasing cardiovascular risk, while citrus fruits and apples have a positive impact on blood pressure and blood lipid levels. Meanwhile, an increased consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables could potentially help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in your blood, as they work to reduce free radical damage and help your body resist LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation.
Your Liver’s Role In The Absorption Of Nutrients
When you ingest the nutrients found in fruits and veggies, they don’t simply travel to your heart and other organs where they immediately get to work in scavenging free radicals. Instead, it’s your liver that steps in to cultivate and detoxify the bounty of nutrients. Tasked with metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals, your liver produces the bile that is needed to break down fats and aid in digestion.
A helpful and healthy mix of fruits, veggies, grains, and protein, all contribute to the organic support your liver needs to function efficiently so that you truly reap all the benefits. In this regard, a class of antioxidants called polyphenols in berries like raspberries, cranberries, and blueberries protect your liver and keep it in top form by reducing the likelihood of inflammation by flushing out those pesky free radicals.
The Benefits Of Fruit & Veggie Fiber
There are two types of fiber in this world: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water and is found in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, and other tasty natural plant foods. Insoluble fiber—found in some veggies, wheat bran, and whole grains—cannot be dissolved in water and thus they promote healthy movement through the bowels. And when we talk about fiber, we’re actually referring to dietary fiber, which includes plant-derived food that your digestive enzymes can’t break down. And while that sounds like a negative, this roughage actually helps the machinery of your digestive system maintain healthy movement.
While unfortunately researchers say that fiber intakes for adults is less than half of the recommended amounts, studies show that the fiber in fruits and veggies can slow how quickly food passes through your intestines, which could enable a more gradual nutrient absorption. One soluble fiber that’s seen an uptick of interest is psyllium, which is sourced from the husks of Plantago ovata seed. Researchers say that psyllium retains its water-holding capacity throughout the large intestine and provides a normalizing effect on bowel movements—easing both constipation and diarrhea.
As for recommended intake, the American Heart Association recommends 25 grams of fiber per day based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet. When it comes to juicing, it is true that some fiber is lost during the process. However, when you juice with dietary powders that include flax seeds or psyllium in the ingredient list, the cleansing factor is ratcheted up to healthy levels.
The Health Benefits Of Organic Juicing
Many of us grew up with a monstrous piece of kitchen hardware known as a “juicer” buried in a cavernous cabinet. This appliance, that was dragged out whenever someone in the family decided to turn to a fad diet, worked to extract the juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. Juicing is a great way for you to get a day’s worth of nutrients in one tall glass by harvesting most of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants naturally present in the produce.
There are typically two types of juicer on the market: Centrifugal and cold-press. Centrifugal grinds fruits and veggies into pulp and separates the juice from the solids through a high-speed spinning and cutting blade. Cold-press, also known as masticating juicers, crush and press produce slowly, for maximum juice extraction. Though different methods, studies show that both extract a similar level of nutrition.
Meanwhile, people tend to juice fruits and vegetables to either cleanse their system of toxins or to supplement their normal diet. Either way, juicing is one method of obtaining a concentrated shot of nutrients to anyone in need. As stated before, many people just don’t get the nutrients their body needs on a daily basis, whether that’s by choice or because the food we typically eat contain reduced levels of nutrients compared to fresh, organic varieties.
However, let’s face it: juicing can be an expensive and messy way to get the antioxidant power out of your produce. There is a lot of hassle involved with going to the store for fresh produce, washing it, cutting it, juicing it, and cleaning up afterwards — all for a small glass of fresh juice.
An alternative to the mess of juicing is to use a high-concentrated juice cleanse powder. These powders come in a variety of flavors and with ingredient lists that you could never hope to match on a trip to the local market. Plus, when organic fruits and vegetables are used to create the juice cleanse mix, you are taking your health to a level that the grocery store can’t hope to match. Overall, the new juice cleanse powders represent a hassle-free, less expensive way to close the fruit and veggie gap that so many people fail to jump across every day.
The Nutritional Advantage Of Fruits & Veggies
Whatever the reason may be, if you can’t get the recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, you might want to consider juicing as a way to increase consumption. And the evidence is more than anecdotal, as one study in particular found that participants who supplemented their normal diet with fruit and vegetable juice saw an increase in levels of nutrients like folate, vitamins C and E, selenium and beta carotene. And a review of more than 20 studies demonstrated that juice from fresh fruits and veggies or a blended powder concentrate both improved antioxidant levels with beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and more.
While your first choice should always be to get your hands on fresh, whole fruits and veggies, there are factors that often prevent this from being a viable option. In cases where fruit and veggies aren’t on the menu, studies show that juicing—or using a juice cleanse powder mix—could deliver those highly prized nutrients, including incredibly important antioxidants, that you need for full-body health.