Juicing has recently gained increased popularity amongst the media and health/fitness communities. I personally have come across multiple juicing brands over the past few months such as BluePrintCleanse, Pressed Juicery and Project Juice (one of my favorites) that have been promoting their various types of cleanses. Being health conscious myself, I naturally felt the need to jump on the bandwagon try one of these juice bars out to see what all the buzz was about! It was not until I stepped into one of these juicing locations and saw the price tag of these juices, that I really had to step back and research the pros and cons of a juice cleanse.
- Depending on the juice recipe, you can consume your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables in one bottle! Sounds enticing..
- Promises such as glowing skin, bright eyes, colon health by giving your body a break from solid foods and even increased energy! What’s not to love?!
- Last but not least, weight loss which seems like the #1 pro for most people who decide to tackle a juice cleanse.
- Exorbitant pricing. One bottle of juice averages out to about $9-$10, where as juice cleanses will cost you about $75 a day! Eek!
- Bye bye to fiber, hello tummy grumbles. While some juice recipes may taste great, juicing extracts the fiber from your fruits and vegetables which is what helps keep us feeling full and satisfied.
- By relying on only food that can be juiced you are missing out on other vital food groups such as fish, meat and eggs (aka protein) which are important to your overall health and also help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
After evaluating the pro’s and con’s I have formed my own personal opinion on the juicing craze. I think juicing does have its benefits as long as it is supplemented with some solid healthy foods. I think a juice cleanse may do the trick if you are trying to drop a couple pounds for an event, but it is not a good idea for weight maintenance. However, I am not totally against juicing. In fact, I am a huge fan, but I do tend to complement my juice with some solid food. For example, I think a piece of grilled chicken and quinoa along with a healthy green juice would be a great idea for a well balanced lunch that will help keep you full until dinner. You could even grab a juice from a juice bar or make your own and consume it as a snack between lunch and dinner to help hold you over.
Because money does not grow on trees in my world (I wish), to combat the exorbitant juice bar pricing, I went ahead and invested in a juicer so I can make my own juice whenever I want! Juicers tend to range in price anywhere from $30-$500 dollars, depending on how serious you want to get and what kind of things you plan on juicing. I bought my juicer from Costco for about $100 and love it (http://amzn.to/LXzDrQ). Below I have listed one of my favorite juicer recipes that is totally affordable and might I add delicious! 🙂
My Favorite Juice Recipe:
4 Celery Stalks
Pour and enjoy!
Don’t let the title of this post fool you. Eating chocolate IS beneficial to your health, but only in the form of dark chocolate (sorry milk chocolate lovers). Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, which protect the body from aging and free radicals that can be harmful to your heart. It has been proved that a small bar of dark chocolate can actually keep your cardiovascular system running smoothly by lowering your blood pressure and lowering your cholesterol. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the bad form of cholesterol, by up to 10 percent!
Dark chocolate also has other benefits besides helping to protect you from heart problems. For example, it contains serotonin which acts like an anti-depressant and stimulates endorphin production, which releases hormones that make you feel happy.
Now with this being said, it is important to remember that just because dark chocolate contains health benefits, it does not mean you should consume it in mass amounts. Chocolate in general is high in fat, so it is important to watch your intake. Dark chocolate contains a more bitter taste then milk chocolate, but if you choose to switch over, I can almost assure you that your taste buds will adjust (mine did!). So, find a brand you like and eat it for dessert instead of that big bowl of ice cream. You can even add a few nuts to boost flavor and add some protein!
Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/25128194@N02/4216679799/’>Janet Hudson</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>
Yep, your mom really wasn’t lying when she told you that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Although apples are not the only fruit to contain health benefits, they seem to contain a larger combination of the health benefits. So if your looking for a fruit loaded with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, grab an apple.
First, apples contain significant amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system, but also promotes healthy gums which will ultimately help reduce your visits to the dentist. Furthermore, the juices inside the apple have properties that can kill up to 80% of bacteria, preventing tooth decay. Another way to avoid the dentist!
Additionally, apples are rich in flavonoids, or highly beneficial anti-oxidant compounds. Flavonoids can help prevent heart diseases such as coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. It has also been suggested that they may delay/prevent the onset of other diseases like cancer as well. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that apples, specifically red apples, can add powerful antioxidant benefits to one’s diet. However, there is a catch. In order to receive the full health benefits from the apple, you must consume the skins. Apple skins are the most antioxidant rich part of the fruit. This study, which was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, even brought to light the possibility of developing a way to extract these antioxidant compounds to create and sell even more anti-oxidant rich “super apples.” Interesting thought.
Another study at the University of Nottingham concluded that people who ate five or more apples per week had lower respiratory problems, including asthma. So overall, people who ate apples had healthier lungs.
So now the next time you hear someone say “an apple a day keeps the doctor a way” you will know that it is not just a childhood phrase, it’s the truth!
Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/10687935@N04/8725155913/’>Robert S. Donovan</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>