In a previous article we discussed the importance of including fruits and vegetables in your diet. Research has shown time and again that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to optimizing your health and vitality. That’s why we make it a point to include them in any diet plan we recommend.
However, with that said, we also understand that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables every day can be a challenge for some men, especially if they need to eat a lot of calories to begin with. That’s because fruits and vegetables are generally high in water and fibre, while at the same time being relatively low in calories. This is a perfect recipe for filling you up without providing much in the way of energy. This is great if you are dieting, but if you are someone who is looking to pack on some lean mass, attempting to consume a lot of fruit and vegetables can become quite the chore.
So what should you do?
Should you just pop a multivitamin/multi mineral supplement and be done with it?
Spend an egregious amount of money on supplements such as Greens+ or Progressive VegeGreens?
Of course not!
The solution, in fact, can be found in the wonderful art of juicing. Fruit and vegetable juicing, that is!
Those of you who are familiar with fruit and vegetable juicing may believe that it is something that is only reserved for fad dieters and hippies but you would be wrong. Fruit and vegetable juicing is a great way for anyone to bump up their daily intake of essential vitamins and nutrients without much extra effort or cost. Allow me to explain.
One of the biggest benefits of juicing is that it is easier on your digestive system. That’s why for the men who need to eat a lot of calories to put on weight, juicing is an absolute godsend. When you juice a fruit or vegetable you separate the nutrients from the fibre rich pulp. Although the pulp is beneficial to you because of its fibre, it also puts a strain on your digestive system, which has to work hard in order to do extract the nutrients from the fruit or vegetable. The fibre is also the reason why you feel so full so quickly after having eating fruit and vegetables. What juicing allows you to do is get the nutrients in from the fruits and vegetables without filling up your stomach with calorie free fibre. For guys that are looking to gain weight or put on mass, juicing is a great strategy for you to get your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables without much trouble.
But don’t you need fibre?
Of course you do, which is why you should still aim to get in enough fibre from your diet every day. But for those guys looking to gain weight they need to eat a lot of food, and if they are eating a balanced diet they shouldn’t have any problems getting in the requisite amounts of fibre. Extra fibre above and beyond what is considered a healthy amount is just wasted space in the stomach.
Isn’t juicing time consuming?
Juicing fresh fruit and vegetables is nowhere near as time consuming as some people will have you believe. With a quality juicer you can make several litres of juice within 20 minutes (including prep time and clean up time). Some people like to juice in batches and store the juice in their refrigerator. I don’t necessarily recommend this because the nutrients in fresh are quite sensitive to air, heat, and light. I think it is best to consume fresh juice right away.
Why not just buy juice from the supermarket?
Most of the juices you see on the shelves in supermarkets are nowhere near as good as the fresh juice that will come out of your juicer. Most of the stuff you see on the shelves isn’t even real juice! A lot of these products are made from concentrate and have sugar added to them, not to mention a whole host of other ingredients including various preservatives. Additionally, a lot of the juices you buy from the store have been pasteurized to increase their shelf life. In sum, this means that the juices you buy from the store shelves are not as nutritionally sound as the juice that you make at home. In fact, many of the juices found in stores have to be supplemented with synthetic vitamins and nutrients! All in all, the freshest and most nutritious juice will be the one you make with your very own juicer!
But isn’t juicing expensive?
I understand that produce these days is not cheap, even more so if you like to buy organic. However, juicing is not nearly as expensive as many people think. Firstly, a quality juicer does not need to cost an arm and a leg. For example, I purchased myself a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer over a year ago for approximately $60. It is still going strong today and yields a fair amount of juice for its price point. In fact, for those of you who are just looking to get your feet wet with juicing I can’t recommend this juicer enough. I should mention, however, that since it is a centrifugal juicer it is really better used on hard fruits and vegetables. It can do softer fruits and leafy greens, but just not as well.
Secondly, one of the main criticisms of juicing is that since you are not making full use of the produce you are buying you are wasting a good chunk of money. What many fail to realise is that you do not need to throw the pulp out! The pulp can actually be used for various other recipes such breads, soups, and stews. In fact, there are a ton of different uses for the pulp that ensures you are using the entire piece of fruit or vegetable.
Okay, I’m convinced that juicing is great, so what’s the best juice?
For those of you just getting started with fruit and vegetable juicing the best entry level juice would have to be a basic carrot, apple, and ginger. This juice is sweet enough that it won’t be off-putting to those new to fruit and vegetable juicing. As you get more accustomed to juicing you can start to play around with the variations and include whatever you like. Personally, I like to keep things very simple and juice carrots and beets regularly. In fact, beet juice is one of the best vegetables you can juice because it is loaded with nitrate which is known to increase your body’s ability to transport oxygen and thus increase your endurance and athletic performance. For a lot more juicing ideas and tips, visit www.fit-juice.com
All of us know that we need to be eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, however many of us struggle with this as the average North American is currently eating just a paltry 3 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (a far cry from the recommended 7-10 servings). If you are among these individuals and are looking for an easy way to up your intake, try juicing!
Furthermore, a lot of guys find it a chore to eat enough calories AND to ensure those calories are coming from good sources. The fact is that nutritious food is typically not as calorie dense and fruits and vegetables are prime examples of that. Enter juicing. Juicing allows you to immediately increase your intake of fruits and vegetables easily. Additionally, juicing doesn’t take as much time as you think and it’s not nearly as expensive as you think either. All in all, fresh fruit and vegetable juicing is a simple and effective way for you to boost your health and vitality so you can look and feel your best everyday.