Juicing basics

Juicing is a great way to receive essential fruit and vegetable requirements; however it should not be the only method to consuming these nutrients.

Juicing is one way in which people are trying to reach the necessary daily servings of fruit and vegetables. MyPlate recommends that people fill half of their plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables. Adults in general should consume two cups of fruit per day and three cups of vegetables per day. Fruit and vegetable consumption is based on a person’s age, gender and activity level.

A juicing machine can be costly. The machines work by grinding up the fruit and, or vegetable, the skin, seeds and core of the items being processed. While juicing can help those who aren’t big on fruits and vegetables meet some of the daily serving requirements and to receive the necessary nutrients, juicing should not be a person’s sole source of fruit and vegetable consumption. Juicing leaves behind many valuable nutrients and fiber, such as the skin of the fruit and pulp from both the fruit and vegetables. Pulp contains many vitamins and nutrients that are essential to our overall health. If you are accustomed to a fast paced life you may throw out the best and most vital part of your fruits and vegetables while juicing. If your schedule permits, use the leftover pulp to add to soups, muffins and meatloaf. This will give each piece of food extra nutrients.

Before you start to juice make sure to wash all produce – there is no need to buy fancy fruit and vegetable washes. Using cool, running tap water and a vegetable brush can help you clean your produce, by removing dirt, grime and unseen bacteria. Make just enough juice that you will drink it all in a day or two. Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. Reason being is because it is a fresh product and has a very short shelf life and can quickly grow harmful bacteria at an extremely fast rate if left out at room temperature.

If you are interested in trying a fresh juice drink without buying an expensive juicer or fancy blender, visit a local Mediterranean restaurant. Fresh juice drinks are a staple on the menu and come in a wide variety of combinations that consist of fruits, vegetables or a combination of both. They normally range in price from $3 to $6 per drink.

For more information on juicing, nutrition or fresh fruits and vegetables contact your local Michigan State University Extension office or visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/nutrition. MSU Extension offers nutrition programming that assists qualified individuals in connecting through community resources to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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