Balance Your Diet With Green Juice

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/green-juice.aspx

I recently had dinner at my boyfriend’s house the day he got back from a mission trip. The minute he and his brother walked in the door, they were begging their mom to make them green juice.

I’m a smoothie kind of girl. I love grinding up my fruit into a refreshing drink. I’ve never really been a fan of veggies, so the idea of drinking them was less than appealing to me. But my boyfriend swears by this stuff, so it was time I gave it a shot.

While the boys cleaned up, I stayed to watch the juicing in action. Here’s what my boyfriend’s mom, Vicky, put in the juicer:

4 or 5 broccoli stems (save flowers for another use)
1/2 head romaine lettuce
Handful of parsley
1 celery stick (optional)
1/2 to 1 whole apple

green juice
Vicky got the recipe from Reiko Mizutani, Ph.D., an expert in Eastern medicine and the author of the cookbook Eating For Wellness, which focuses on balanced diets. Photo by elvisripley/Courtesy Flickr

Vicky poured the green juice into glasses for each of us. The boys happily chugged their green juice while I stared into my cup. It looked really unappetizing to me, and it also smelled kind of funky. I took a sip anyway.

It was actually pretty good! The apple flavor is pretty strong, so it overpowers the vegetables. It’s also the only way I would ever come close to getting 3-5 servings of veggies a day.

After my first tasting, I found this article about the many benefits of drinking green juice. Here are some interesting highlights:

More veggies, less time. How long would it take to eat an entire head of celery? The better question is, would you want to? By juicing your veggies, you can get all the essential nutrients without actually eating them. And, by bypassing the digestion process, your body gets these nutrients more quickly.

Replenish digestive enzymes. Your body needs enzymes to break down foods and take in the nutrients. Anything fried, fatty or laced with chocolaty goodness makes your digestive system work harder. If you couldn’t pass up that brownie à la mode, do your stomach a favor and drink some green juice.

Experience chlorophyll’s healing powers. Remember chlorophyll from biology? It’s what makes plants green. Chlorophyll is also essential to a plant’s life; it’s like blood to a human. As it turns out, chlorophyll is similar to the composition of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to our blood. The only difference is that in hemoglobin, iron is the central atom, and in chlorophyll, it’s magnesium. According to a recent study at Oregon State University, chlorophyll may be a natural way to repair blood cells and prevent cancer. It has also been used topically as a way to heal wounds for over 50 years.

Juicing seems to have a lot of benefits. But keep in mind, green juice may not be for everyone. Reiko Mizutani suggests that each person needs a different balance of foods, and that what you should eat depends on your mood and current health condition. Instead of green juice, your body could be craving red juice: red cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.