The suggested number of servings of veggies per day can vary depending on where you might be reading. Generally its anywhere from 5 to 9. A cup is generally considered a serving. Some things you will read get really technical with so much cooked is this much and so much raw is that much. I am not going into all of that. I will keep it simple with an average serving as being about a cup (cooked or raw.)
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You certainly cannot overdose on vegetables and the more you eat the better, in my opinion. If you want to loose weight then veggies can be your best friend. The more you eat, the less you will eat other, less healthy, and more fattening choices.
So why do we need all these veggies? The nutritional health benefits are enormous. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. At the same time the calorie count is little to nothing. Veggies are one of the best sources for the fuel we need for overall health of our body and to keep our immune system doing its job.
In my recent book, I explain the many bodily needs for nutrients with specifics on various vitamins and minerals. You can find the book here:
Who is going to eat all that? In reality, very few of us will manage to consume 5 to 7 servings of veggies a day along with the recommended servings of fruit. It’s why juicing can become a great way to help us do so.
“But, I tried it and it taste so gross.”.. I have heard that and I have even said that. Then we learn how to combine some fruits. We learn what mixes best, what to use as a “base” veggie, how fruit can help a green drink, and we even learn to add a little spice or herb now and then.
Our Grandson lived with us for a couple of his teenage years. I had to do some fancy talking to get him to try his first “green” juice.
He was rather surprised to find he actually liked it. I was shocked that he did.
There are two ways to make juice. One is with a high speed blender where the entire vegetable or fruit is pulverized into a smooth mixture. This is better known as a smoothie. The other way is with a juicer where it gives you the juice and discards the pulp. It becomes a personal preference.
My choice is generally the blender because I simply do not like tossing out all that good fiber. When I do juice with a juicer, I like to freeze the pulp in small baggies and then use it in a soup or stew as a flavorful and nutritious broth. But only the veggies, never fruit.
I used the Vitamix for many years and then switched over to the Big Ninja system and have never looked back. They simply do everything and do it well with a great warranty that I have never had to use. Below is a system nearly exactly like mine.
TIP: A juicer takes 2x as much produce as a blender to get about the same amount.
When I want to do a fast, easy, simple juice using a blender I like to start with a cucumber as my base veggie.
I will peel and cut up a whole cucumber then add some greens. It might be spinach or beet greens or green leafy lettuce. If I have some celery I will toss a stalk in as well. In a pinch when I might not have some fresh greens I will use a scoop of powdered greens. A splash of fresh lemon juice will give it some tang and a half of apple will cut the strong green taste, but I prefer a scoop of Baobab fruit powder. I love it and nearly always use it as my fruit part of a juice. FYI .. Baobab makes a great snack too.
I may also add a little parsley and some sea salt. More often than not I leave out the apple because I like the stronger “green” taste. But that’s just me.
One of my favorites is fresh tomato juice right from the garden during our growing season. Into the blender with a little water, fresh cilantro and Himalayan Sea Salt.
Carrots are a different story. I cannot bring myself to drink blended carrot juice, so I use a juicer. Ditto for beets. I like a slow juicer because it really gets the most juice from the veggie or fruit. The pulp from is nearly dry. I rarely add a thing to carrot juice. It taste great all by itself. The pulp makes a nice addition to a soup or stew.
Please share your favorite juice and smoothie drinks. And tell us if you prefer a juicer or blender.
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Linda Carlson – Certified Nutrition & Wellness Counselor (retired) with 25+ years background.
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