I recently bought a juicer and I'm loving it already. The flavors it produces are sooooo fresh and delicious that I could almost dive right into a glass. I've already found dozens of scrumptious recipes and I'm quickly learning which fruit & veggie combos satisfy my taste buds the most.
While I always knew I'd love the fruity drinks, I never thought I'd actually like one of those "green drinks". After all, they look totally disgusting. But after having sampled quite a few of them, I now must admit it: not only do I like them, I am absolutely cRaZy about them! One of those little green drinks is like a sudden burst of flavor in my mouth and energy in my bod. Wow... now that's some combo!
You may be wondering just why I started juicing in the first place. Well, I'm glad you asked! :-)
While my husband and I are pretty healthy eaters, we definitely wouldn't be labeled as health freaks. We primarily live on fish or chicken, fruits and vegetables. We don't eat a lot red meat, though we love grilling burgers in the summertime. We eat plenty of fiber, drink lots of water, and exercise several times a week. We try not to eat too much junk food, although we don't avoid it altogether. After all, a pizza once in a while is good for the soul. :-)
So, we sound like a fairly average couple with a pretty healthy lifestyle, right? Well, one thing you may or may not know about my husband is that he became a quadriplegic three & a half years ago due to an accident at work, and that is something that radically changed our whole way of life--including how we eat. A second fact that very few people know is that I was recently diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. Amazingly, just four years ago we were the picture of health! And suddenly we were two young people (I'm 46 & he is 51) trapped in old bodies. :-(
My husband, Kenny, is on several medications to help control spasms, etc. I, on the other hand, rarely take any meds. In fact, I cannot even take Boniva for my osteoporosis due to the severity of its side effects. Yet, the two of us are determined to live as healthy as possible and enjoy living. I mean, who wants to get old and decrepit before their time, right? Not me! Enter: juicing. :-)
I recently learned that there are certain foods, such as kale, that actually build bone density. What great news! I wonder why the doc didn't tell me about this before? Well, once I heard that, I began to do some digging about which foods targeted which ailments, and was I ever pleasantly surprised!
Below is a list of "the healthiest foods on earth" and when you see what they can do for us, you'll know why.
Pineapple - Promotes joint health; Speeds post-surgery; Reduces asthma inflammation
Blueberries - Prevent urinary tract infection; Restore antioxidant levels; Reverse age-related brain decline
Spinach - Helps maintain mental sharpness; Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate; Top nutrient density
Red Bell Pepper - Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer; Protects against sunburn; Promotes heart health
Broccoli - Reduces diabetic damage; Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric & breast cancer; Protects the brain in event of injury
Tomato - Reduces inflammation; Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer; Reduces cardiovascular disease risk
Apple - Supports immunity; Fights lung and prostate cancer; Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
Artichoke - Helps blood clotting; Antioxidant Superfood; Lowers “bad” cholesterol
Arugula - Lowers birth defect risk; Reduces fracture risk; Protects eye health
Asparagus - Nourishes good gut bacteria; Protects against birth defects; Promotes heart health
Avocado - Limits liver damage; Reduces oral cancer risk; Lowers cholesterol levels
Blackberries - Build bone density; Suppress appetite; Enhance fat burning
Butternut Squash - Supports night vision; Combats wrinkles; Promotes heart health
Cantaloupe - Bolsters immunity; Protects skin against sunburn; Reduces inflammation
Carrot - Antioxidants defend DNA; Fights cataracts; Protects against some cancers
Cauliflower - Stimulates detoxification; Suppresses breast cancer cell growth; Defends against prostate cancer
Cherries - Alleviate arthritic pain and gout; Lower “bad” cholesterol; Reduce inflammation
Cranberries - Alleviate prostate pain; Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells; Prevent urinary tract infection
Green Cabbage - Promotes healthy blood clotting; Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers; Activates natural detox systems
Kale - Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer; Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts; Increases bone density
Kiwi - Combats wrinkles; Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids; Counters constipation
Mango - Supports immunity; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries
Mushrooms - Promote natural detoxification; Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer; Lower blood pressure
Orange - Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol; Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast & stomach, & childhood leukemia; Pectin suppresses appetite
Papaya - Enzymes aid digestion; Reduces risk of lung cancer; Enhances fat burning
Plums & Prunes - Counter constipation; Antioxidants defend against DNA damage; Protects against post-menopausal bone loss
Pomegranate - Enhances sunscreen protection; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Fights prostate cancer
Pumpkin - Protects joints against poly-arthritis; Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk; Reduces inflammation
Raspberries - Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers; Antioxidant DNA defense; Lowers “bad” cholesterol levels
Strawberries - Protect against Alzheimer’s; Reduce “bad” cholesterol; Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer
Sweet Potato - Reduces stroke risk; Lowers cancer risk; Protect against blindness
Watermelon - Supports male fertility; Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal; Protects against sunburn
Banana - Increases Fat Burning; Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia; Reduces asthma symptoms in children
What a list, huh? WHO KNEW??? Wow... God has already provided us with all of the things we need for living this life to the fullest. How cool is that?
After studying this list, Kenny and I decided to zero in on the foods that each of us needs to maintain the healthiest bodies possible; hence, the juicer. We can't possibly eat everything on that list everyday. But we can continue to eat healthy and drink a couple of glasses of juice a day to supplement what we're missing--or what we need extra doses of. (And did I mention that the juice is amazingly delicious??) Anyway, I just thought I'd share my good fortune with you. CHEERS!