The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends two to three cups of vegetables a day, depending on your sex, age and activity level. The benefits of eating your vegetables are far reaching and not surprising. However, many adults do not consume enough vegetables to reap the benefits. Juicing is defined as separating the juice of the vegetable from the pulp in order to create juice, according to the About Juicers website. For some, this is a much easier way to get the recommended amount of vegetables daily.
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Obtaining the juice from plants is not new, but the first juice extractor wasn’t invented until 1930, as stated on the Macrobiotic Guide website. The first juicer worked by grating the vegetable, putting the mashed product in a bag and squeezing out the juice by a hydraulic press. In 1955, the first kitchen counter juicer was created. It had a screen that the mashed vegetable was forced through, thus resulting in juice. Two schools of thought made juicing popular: naturopathic and natural hygiene movements.
A big difference between juiced vegetables and whole vegetables is digestion. According to the Living and Raw Foods website, juicing removes the indigestible fiber that is present in vegetables. Much more of the nutrients are then absorbed by the body as compared to eating the whole vegetable. Certain diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and malabsorption, make it difficult to digest food. This can often lead to malnutrition, since many nutrients are not readily absorbed by the body. Juicing is a way for the body to benefit from vegetables because it is easier to digest.
Both eating your vegetables and juicing your vegetables will give you essential nutrients needed by the body to help fight disease. But juicing will give you more of those nutrients than just eating your vegetables. Vegetables have phytochemicals, which have been found to protect cells from damage and help fight disease. According to the Joyful Juicer website, these biochemical substances may prevent and fight against heart disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, allergies and digestive system ailments. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine, according to the Natural News website, reports that both vegetable and fruit juice may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease due to the phytochemical polyphenol. Not only does juicing provide more of these phytochemicals, it also provides the body with more water.
There is no surprise that eating your vegetables is healthy. According to the Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition website, a 1997 report published by the World Cancer Research Fund, choosing predominantly plant-based diets, full of fruits and vegetables, lowers the risk of cancer. A 1997 study of 47,000 Italians published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals with high consumption of vegetables lowered their risk of myocardial infarction by 21 percent and angina by 11 percent, according to the Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition website. But if you don’t like eating vegetables or cannot digest raw whole vegetables, juicing provides a way for you to gain the benefits of these results. The Natural News website reports that a study done by the University of California at Davis showed that people who drank their vegetables in conjunction with eating vegetables were more likely to consume the recommended daily amount. The vegetable-juice drinkers stated they enjoyed drinking the vegetables and found it a more convenient way of adding vegetables to their diet.
Heat from cooking vegetables kills the enzymes present in vegetables. Juicing is made from raw vegetables and therefore still contains the enzymes that are valuable to the body’s health. The American Dietetic Association recommends the average adult consume between 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Juicing vegetables may not provide the amount of fiber that is present in whole vegetables, according to the Joyful Juicer website. For example, one cup of raw carrots contains 7.32 grams of fiber, but one cup of carrot juice offers little to no fiber. It is recommended to include both juice and whole vegetables for a well-balanced diet.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Living and Raw Foods: The Benefits of Juicing
- Macrobiotic Guide: Juicing
- Joyful Juicer: The Many Benefits of Juicing – From Weight Loss to Fighting Depression
- About Juicers: The Many Health Benefits of Juicing
- Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition: Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diets
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: How Many Vegetables are Needed Daily or Weekly?
- American Dietetic Association: It’s About Eating Right: Fiber
- Natural News: Study Shows Vegetable Juice Helps Build Health