January is a popular month for quick fix programs: gym memberships are up, and there is a marked increase of commercials for diet products on television. In the midst of it all is National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week, designated as the third week of January each year.
Health professionals warn that while juicing is basically a good idea, juicers should approach it with reasonable expectations. While it does increase the amount of vitamins and key minerals someone may consume, it does so without the fiber, which is a necessary part of the fruit or vegetable.
Research indicates that juicing is a healthy alternative for people who find it difficult to consume and digest raw foods, as it is often the fiber that irritates their digestive system. However, because of the natural sugars found in many popular fruits (and some vegetables) used in juicing, the trend may cause health problems in people with diabetes.
Juicing also has been touted as a popular way to “cleanse” the body, resulting in weight loss and a flatter tummy. However, health professionals caution that while juicing may yield short-term weight loss results – remember, juice is a liquid, that will help flush your system – long-term use as a weight loss plan is unrealistic.
As with any diet or exercise program, it is best to speak with your medical professional before making juicing a part of your daily routine. And steer clear of commercial juice products, which often contain high concentrations of sugar and preservatives.
If you do decide to juice, purchase a juicing machine that fits both your space and budget, and stick to locally grown, seasonal produce for the best health benefits.
The best fruits and vegetables for juicing are:
•Kale (or spinach, if you find kale too bitter)
•Cabbage (a great source of Vitamin C and folate)
•Celery (a great source of potassium)
•Carrots (Vitamin A)
•Wheatgrass (Vitamins C, E, and K) (use in small amounts)
•Beets (Iron, Calcium, and beta carotene)
Spring is still a few weeks away, but Windsong homeowners can still enjoy produce from local farmer’s markets in the metro Atlanta area. The Marietta Square Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon year-round, and is within easy driving distance from all Windsong communities. It is located at 65 Church Street, on the Historic Marietta Square.
Whether you choose to juice or prefer to consume your fruits and vegetables the old-fashioned way, preparing your produce is easy in your gourmet kitchen, with spacious countertops, plenty of storage, and a plethora of windows that will help you drink in the sunshine. Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!