So Why Do I Feel More Energy From My Juices?
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■ Calorie for calorie, greens offer the most nutritional bang per calorie than any other food. They are rich in minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Phytonutrients have been shown to protect the body against free radical damage, stimulate detoxifying enzymes, support the immune system and act as antiviral and antibacterial agents.
■ Greens are a rich source of chlorophyll, which acts as a detoxifier in the body. Chlorophyll also helps the blood to deliver oxygen to all the cells of the body as well as helping to neutralize free radicals that cause damage to cells. If you suffer from bad breath or body odors, chlorophyll will help that — it is a natural deodorizer! The darker the greens, the higher the chlorophyll content. To get the full benefit of the chlorophyll in greens, it’s best to eat them raw or very lightly cooked.
■ Greens are alkalizing. It’s important to keep our body’s PH at a healthy level. However, the modern American diet consists of mostly acid-forming foods like meat and carbohydrates. Consuming lots of vegetables, particularly greens, would help maintain health and balance.
■ Dark, leafy greens contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for all body functions and protect against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol.
■ Greens are powerful antioxidants, which are known to protect the body from damage from toxins in the environment and the foods we eat. Antioxidants neutralize these toxins and clear them from the body.
■ Wheatgrass is also a powerful detoxifier and is high in chlorophyll, minerals and other nutrients vital to good health. It’s an excellent way to cleanse the blood and support the liver. Many health food stores have a juice section where you can get fresh wheatgrass—start with a 1-ounce shot followed by some vegetable or fruit juice, and when your body is more used to the detoxifying effect, you can take 2 ounces. A word of caution: Don’t take wheatgrass and follow with vigorous exercise—I did once and regretted it, as I felt nauseous throughout my workout session.
■ The main benefit of green juice is its alkalizing effect. Fruit juices are more astringent; essentially the fruit digs it up and the green moves it out!