Juice On!

by Rachel Mulder | February 1, 2014 9:56 am

Omaha, keeping true to it’s tradition of being about five years behind on the national trend bandwagon, is now semi-health conscious. Restaurants like Kitchen Table and The Grey Plume have brought a focus to fresh, local produce and the beauty and color it can bring to a meal.

Though eating your vegetables is just oh so wonderful and important, it is not the only way to ingest them. Many people have taken to juicing their produce as a quick and flavorful way of taking in a lot of vegetables in a short amount of time. They’re even using fresh fruit and vegetable juices in cocktails at some of the nicer drink spots in town, like Boiler Room and The Berry & Rye. Particularly helpful for those that want to justify your drinking.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juice contains somewhere near 95% of the super-concentrated enzymes and vitamins necessary for human beings to thrive. Taking pills and supplements is fine, but unless they are whole food derived vitamins, they aren’t bioavailable and the body can only process and utilize a percentage of the dose.

The body naturally knows how to process the vitamins and minerals from vegetables. It’s also a nice way to expedite the absorption of all that good stuff. Juicing allows the body to process and assimilate the vegetables rapidly while allowing your digestive system to recuperate from overuse. To get the nutrition you’d receive from a juice, you’d have to eat pounds of raw vegetables, and people just don’t do that. Juicing is a great way to self-medicate, as well. For nearly any health issue, there is a juice that will help heal you.

Cabbage juice is great for you skin, stomach, healing ulcers and is full of powerful antioxidants. They are studying its effect against cancer with good results showing promise. The flavor is a bit much on it’s own, but cut with sweeter fruits and vegetables like apple and carrot, its flavor is pretty innocuous.

Beet juice is naturally high in iron, which helps encourage mitochondrial processes and can give you a boost of energy. This makes beet juice especially good for women, who often have issues caused by low iron. It’s also a very potent liver tonic. People who have liver issues or drink alcohol frequently should try beet juice. Be careful how much you ingest though, beet juice is so potent that more than four ounces at a time could cause some intestinal distress. Personally, beet juice is one of my favorite flavors, but if it’s not your thing, blending it with apple, ginger, and lemon juice is great.

Kale juice is high in antioxidants and like beet juice, detoxifies and cleans the liver. For this reason, I would advise keeping your kale intake to less than four ounces. If you want to know what kale tastes like, just read any article published on any food blog for the past three years.

Celery and cucumber juices are full of antioxidants and electrolytes, as well as a strong amount of vitamins A, C and K making them good for your eyes. They are both very hydrating and detoxifying, and add bulk to any juice. They have a very nice, subtle flavor and even if you don’t like their taste when ingested traditionally, the juice is slightly sweet and very pleasant.

Wheatgrass juice might be the ‘Elixir of Life’ that the Sorcerer’s Stone was supposed to create. In my years working at Jane’s Health Market, I’ve had hundreds of people try wheatgrass for the first time and come back saying how good it made them feel. I’ve seen people use it to treat cancer, the flu, lethargy, mental fogginess, gastrointestinal issues and depression. The flavor isn’t the most appealing, but if you can do a shot of whiskey, I’m sure you can handle a shot of wheatgrass. It’s also pairs nicely with fresh pineapple juice.

A normal serving size of one ounce, wheatgrass should be taken on an empty stomach and is absorbed by your body within minutes. I took eight ounces once and felt like I was having an acid flashback so, yeah, maybe don’t drink that much. Some places in Omaha that serve wheatgrass are Jane’s Health Market, McFoster’s Natural Kind Café, and Juice Stop.

If you haven’t tried fresh juices from these sources yet, go to one of the businesses that serve them and treat yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

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