Over the holidays we all have a chance to be pulled off balance by the over-indulgent ways of the season. Even if it’s not in the form of a New Year’s resolution, many people acknowledge the benefits that a healthy change in their routine can make. The role that diet plays on one’s health cannot be overlooked.
It is no secret that fruits and vegetables should be included in a healthy diet. However, I’ve noticed that it can be a challenge to get the daily amount recommended by the FDA. In fact, a recent survey done by BRFSS, an organization that tracks health risks in the U.S., revealed that over 75% of U.S. residents failed to meet the minimum recommended five servings each day of fruits and vegetables. Whether it is time constraints or simply disliking fruits and vegetables, the only one who loses is the person who is not meeting the minimum nutritional needs of their body.
As we progress through the darker days of winter it is extra important to remember the effects proper nutrition plays on physical as well as mental health. While researching this subject I came across numerous experiments done showing the benefits that nutrition can have on depression as well as other aspects of mental health.
If you are like me and dislike popping vitamin pills every day, then fresh fruit or vegetable juice is a wonderful option to help fulfill your nutritional needs. Technology has blessed us with the ability to drink our veggies. Not only do we receive a host of vitamins and minerals from fresh, raw juice, we are provided with valuable enzymes that are essential for optimum health. It is difficult to find services in our community that provide a source of organic, raw vegetables, let alone their juice that hasn’t been pasteurized. Fortunately the Co-op’s Juice Bar is here for us.
I was slightly puzzled when I was informed that things are usually a little slower around the Juice Bar during the winter. To me its seems that now is the time when its even more crucial to be getting a steady supply of the enzymes and nutrients we need. Usually in the summer, we have no problem getting our daily veggies, but in winter its necessary to seek them out a little more.
Winter is also the season for citrus. In the juice bar we keep a steady supply of freshly-squeezed orange juice on hand. From time to time we even stock the shelves with fresh tangerine juice (a real treat)! Most people already know that citrus fruits are bursting with vitamin C. You might not realize, however, might not realize that this sweet, delicious juice is also rich in vitamin B complex, bioflavonoids, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. Citrus juices also contain more fiber than most other juices as well. Regular consumption provides a perfect balance of nutrients that will help protect you from colds, flu, bruising, heart diseases and strokes.
We’ve also had some new additions to the juice bar. We recently received a new coffee grinder and more efficient coffee pots, so coffee drinkers should be noticing an improvement in that area. Also, almost every week the Juice Bar has been receiving minor remodeling adjustments. See if you can spot the changes. I am pleased to have introduced flax seeds to our list of nutritional additives. They blend up wonderfully in smoothies and provide a more fibrous texture with a slightly nutty flavor. Flax seeds are a well-known source of the fatty acid omega-3. Finally, don’t forget about our fresh wheatgrass juice. Now that Whole Foods has closed their juice bar, we are one of the last sources for this vitamin-enzyme-and antioxidant-rich juice. Well, so long from the juice bar, wishing you a vibrant New Year!