I’ve had a handful of clients tell me that they don’t like fruits/veggies and would just rather take a supplement pill. Fruits and vegetables can kill free radicals, help your body function better, and prevent chronic diseases. Americans are suckers for a supplement, but let me explain why a pill cannot provide the same benefits that you get from real fruits and vegetables. There are thousands of phytochemicals in plant foods we eat and only a portion of these have been identified, so it is not possible to replace the goodness your body can get from real foods with a supplemental pill. Because we know that these thousands of chemicals exist in a single piece of fruit or vegetable- yet scientists have not even discovered what all of them are- to try to capture individual vitamins into a capsule is not possible. Can you isolate individual chemicals and expect the compound to work independent of all of the other phytochemicals that were in the whole food? No. It doesn’t work like that, but the $20 billion (largely unregulated) supplement industry wants you to think it does. They slap a picture of whole fruits and vegetables on their product labels to deceive you in to thinking that popping that pill is just like eating those plant foods on the label. Be smarter than the average bear; increase your consumption of real plant foods.
A great way to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption is to toss several in a blender together, liquify them together, and voila! This process takes all of 60-seconds from start to finish. One of my favorite blender concoctions is a drink I just refer to as “green juice.” This drink is a nutritional powerhouse. Do not peel the skin off of the cucumber; the skin contains fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Do not discard the leaves from the celery; celery leaves are rich in vitamin A. Simply wash your veggies, and toss them in whole!
1/4 c fresh orange juice (from fresh oranges, using a citrus juicer)
1 handful fresh spinach leaves
1-2 stalks celery
3 broccoli florets (feel free to add more; I just find more than this overpowers the other tastes)
1/2 c. ice cubes
Blend on high until you have a liquid consistency.
Homemade juices, like this, are vastly different than commercial juices that you can buy at any 7-11. Vegetable juices, like “V8,” use a process where water is removed and then added back in; this process likely means the loss of natural enzymes and phytonutrients. Also, commercial fruit and veggie drinks are often loaded with sugar or salt, ambiguous “natural ingredients,” a few things that you cannot even pronounce, and preservatives. Although these drinks may be a better alternative than grabbing a slurpee, your healthiest option is to whip up your juices at home in your blender/juicer from whole fruits and vegetables and/or just eat the plant foods whole.