What’s up with juice?

Written in 2013 for Organic Tree Juice Bar

Vegetables are generally the last thing left on the dinner plate. When you think of spinach, for instance, an image of the cartoon Popeye flashes through your mind, slamming can after can of droopy spinach mush in order to get strong.  Moms play broccoli airplane with their kids and I know my own mother hid vegetables in all of her casseroles, quiches  and croissants. Nobody seems to want vegetables, but this insignificant produce is proving itself to be quite the incognito nutritional powerhouse. 

Beets provide iron and an earthy flavor in juice.

Beets provide iron and an earthy flavor in juice.

Spinach, since we’ve been using this fine vegetable as an example, doesn’t look anything like Popeye’s version in real life. It’s crisp, dark green leaves are  heart-healthy, have anti inflammatory properties, and are an excellent source of iron. Per calorie, spinach has more protein than beef. But, in order to get these great health benefits, you have to eat a lot of these vegetables. For example, the serving size for the average lean meat is 4 oz and carries about 150 calories. It takes 1 1/2 lbs of spinach to make it to 150 calories. That’s one giant salad.  Leave room, though, in whatever gigantic bowl you scrounged up, for the hydrating cucumber, the celery that will lower your blood pressure, and the cancer-fighting apples. Coat the salad in alkalizing lemon juice, and you’ve got a meal.

Or, you could throw all of that produce into a juicer and compact it down into 32 ounces of easy-to-drink, fresh juice. Like a smoothie, it makes for a fast meal anytime during the day. Like any of the nutritional drinks out there, it gives you a pre-workout boost and helps restore balance to the body after you’ve run that marathon…or walked up the stairs, whichever you prefer.  By juicing the salad instead of eating the salad, you are able to fit more nutrients into your body. By removing all of the fiber and the pulp, your body doesn’t have to digest much of anything and the nutrients are used much faster and more efficiently.

Experimenting with different fruit and vegetable combinations is half the fun of juicing. Spinach, kale and parsley are the three staple greens but why not add chard, arugula or cilantro to a drink? Apple, celery and cucumber are great but what about pear, pineapple, or watermelon? You can combine vegetables and fruits for taste or for their different health benefits.

If you’re still unsure about how to begin this juicing adventure, stop by Organic Tree Juice Bar.  They’ll acquaint you with the Oz, a great juice for those new on the scene. It starts off with spinach, kale and parsley. Then apple, celery and cucumber are added. Finally the Oz is garnished with that alkalizing lemon and the digestive genius: ginger. That sweet combination will have you feeling energized and clear-headed in no time.

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