I’ve never enjoyed eating vegetables. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less picky with food, but I still don’t get excited about a serving of veggies.
I’m a little bit more willing to enjoy fruit, especially grapes (I love those little guys!), but I’m certain that I’m not eating enough of both fruits and vegetables.
In fact, according to the CDC, only 13.1% of American adults eat enough fruits and only 8.9% eat enough vegetables.
The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Also, variety matters, so it’s important to eat a wide range of fruits and veggies.
Now some people will argue that it’s hard to make time to eat all those servings throughout the day (I know, because I am one of them). One method that you may want to explore because you could get your entire recommended daily amount in one convenient serving, could be juicing.
You could use a blender or a juicer to make yourself a delicious smoothie that you can then drink down in a short period of time, and ensure that you are getting your necessary nutrients each day.
Now there are several issues with juicing that are worth looking into.
Some juicing proponents say that juicing is better for you than is eating whole fruits and vegetables because your body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber. They say that juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight. However, there’s no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself (MayoClinic, 2016).
Also, juicers sacrifice fiber. When you juice fruits and vegetables, nutrients and water are extracted from the fibrous pulp, which is usually discarded. That fiber has tremendous digestive benefits and is an important benefit of eating fruits and veggies.
That is why I choose to blend my fruits and veggies into smoothies, so I don’t sacrifice the fiber (we purchased a Vitamix a few years ago and it’s an amazing blender that could turn a rock into a smoothie, but there are many great blenders out there that do the same thing). Blending versus juicing leaves a much thicker mixture to guzzle down, but again, it keeps the fiber around which is important to me.
Ultimately, I believe that something is better than nothing. If juicing and/or drinking smoothies helps me get more vitamins, minerals, and fiber into my diet and meet the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, I think it’s a good move.
When it comes down to it, eating or drinking more fruits and vegetables is the right thing to do because it promotes healthy living. The American Heart Association reminds us that fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight, blood pressure, appetite, and many other things.
Here’s to fruits and vegetables! Cheers.