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My son, Joe, and daughter-in-law, Ellie, gave me their juicer. I’m not sure how diligent I’d be right now about using it, but they also gave me bags of washed, cut vegetables that need to be used before spoiling. The bags contain dark leafy greens, a hard fruit such as apple or pear, and carrots or beets. These bags show me what I need to continue juicing.

Using the juicer is easy. I just push in small bunches of the vegetable/fruit mix. The fiber goes out one end into the pulp container and the juice into a pitcher. The machine needs to be immediately cleaned which only takes a few minutes, and then the juice should be consumed while fresh. I like vegetables, prefer them over fruits, so the taste is fine.

The juice does not contain fiber, but the pulp may be added back into the juice or used in cooking, such as in muffin batters, soups, or pasta and rice dishes.

Joe and Ellie believe the high dose of nutrients from the juice benefits us in many ways, and studies confirm this. Raw fruits and vegetables offer 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need. The daily recommendation is to eat two whole fruits and three to four vegetables a day of differing colors. Juicing offers the opportunity to consume many pounds in only one 8-16 ounce glass. It’s unlikely anyone would eat that amount of food.

Juicing is shown to facilitate weight loss, increase energy, strengthen immunity and bones, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancers. It’s a more natural method of acquiring nutrients than by taking a synthetic vitamin.

Doctor Oz has information on his site as to the benefits of beetroot juice. It says that the juice is one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates. The juice also may lower blood pressure. Either red or yellow beets may be used.

Although there are benefits in consuming the fiber, the pure juice of the beet delivers the maximum benefit in regards to blood pressure. It allows 100% of the phytonutrients to decrease pressure. One to two cups of beetroot juice a day is recommended.

A good juicing machine can be pricey, costing several hundreds of dollars. But Joe pointed out that the better juicers are less wasteful. They extract more of the juices. He feels it is an important point to consider when purchasing a machine. It also could save us thousands of dollars in health care.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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