I, like so many others, have been muted on social media for the past week in response to the murder of George Floyd. It has been an incredibly sad and scary time in our country. I decided to mute myself because I stand in soldiery against racism and also because I felt others had more important things to say than I did that needed to be heard. Much has happened in the past week, but we are still far away from where we need to be. This is such a challenging time in our county, but it’s an important one. I tend to be a hopeful person. I hope we can all rise up and truly be better together.
While I have paused, I’ve struggled with the concept of posting again. I’m comfortable moving forward because we all need to, and because that is all I know how to do. For me, cooking (and blogging) is something positive, it gives me focus. Food connects people and right now people in our country (and the world) are more apart than ever. We need to come together. I feel comfortable blogging about food because it aligns with what I believe–foods connect people. And because food is something we all need.
In deciding what to blog about today I chose energy juice, because “energy” is something I am struggling with right now. Truthfully, these days, I feel drained and exhausted and I thought maybe some of you are feeling the same. Typically I’m not a juice drinker, but I have my exceptions. Healthy energy juice or fresh juice used for cocktails are two I can justify. Below is a breakdown of some of the health benefits of drinking freshly squeezed juice.
Fresh juices are loaded with soluble fiber, the type of fiber that supports good bacteria growth and good digestive health. Fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and slow the transit of food through the digestive tract. Soluble fiber can also be found in some oats, nuts, and beans, but fruit and vegetable juice is a great option not to be overlooked.
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods. Many believe they can help in preventing cell damage caused by oxidants. Freshly squeezed juices are a great way to get the highest concentration of antioxidants. The best antioxidant juices contain 100 percent natural fruits or vegetables and darker-colored fruits and vegetables usually contain more antioxidants.
All freshly squeezed juice provides water. This water helps the body process carbohydrates, which come from the natural sugars in the juice, along with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that come from the whole food source. Staying hydrated produces energy, keeps your metabolism active, and helps maintain the elasticity of your skin.
Natural Sugar & No Preservatives
Fresh juice also provides your body with more vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional compounds than most canned or bottled options offer. The pre-packaged juices are loaded with preservatives and deplete the nutritional value of the juice itself. Natural sugars in fresh juice help your body produce energy. Fructose (the natural sugar found in fruit), helps normalize your blood sugar levels and helps control hunger. Added artificial sugars, like those found in processed juices, are empty calories, with no nutritional value that can cause weight gain.
The real takeaway, there’s no hard scientific evidence that fresh energy juices like these are healthier than eating the fruit or vegetable itself. A healthy diet loaded with plenty of whole fruits and vegetables is essential. However incorporating homemade energy juice can be beneficial. At the very least, it’s a way to incorporate different fruits and vegetables you might not eat to help your body feel more energized. And As the world reopens and our country settles down, I hope everyone continues to listen, and be compassionate, empathetic, and safe.