day 26 fresh juice, your heart, and sex

This Reader's Digest article is called “Heart Attack Prevention: What Docs Don’t Learn.” His first point is that food is the most powerful medicine. The author, Dr. Joel Kahn, says we should have at least five cups of veggies a day. That’s not five servings. It’s five full cups. Start munching.

Kahn writes, “Two of the largest studies examining how eating habits affect chronic disease have found that people who ate eight or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who consumed one and a half servings or fewer. So eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables a day. My patients find it easy—and tasty—to drink some of their servings by making a greens-based juice (with fruit) in a blender.”

Whenever possible, eat your servings of vegetables. You’ll get lots of wonderful fiber out of it. However, if you don’t like eating vegetables or you don’t make a habit of it, fresh juices will deliver lots of healthful nutrients. It’s gotta be fresh, though, so either buy it some place where they make it fresh for you or consider investing in a juicer. It takes about 10 minutes to prep veggies and fruit, juice, and clean up. 

My favorite resource on juicing is Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. She’s funny, she’s warm, and she knows her stuff. I don’t agree with everything she writes (for instance, I don’t think she gives adequate information about the Glycemic Index, I think food combining is whack, and please ease waaaay back on the supplements). Nevertheless, I like her energy and found her highly motivating.  She recommends particular juicers and explains why each one is good. 

I recommend a Vitamix. You’ll get all the pulp. It will be thicker than juice; however, it’s very easy to strain out the pulp (some or all). The Vitamix can be used for so much that it’s a worthwhile investment.

In Albuquerque, both La Montanita Co-op and Squeezed Juice Bar makes juices fresh for you. They may not be organic, so ask if that’s important to you. Squeezed is opening a location in Nob Hill (first week of July). Let them know you want organic options. 

I don’t think Keva or Jamba Juice is squeezing fresh juice, which means their products are lacking most of the nutrients. Avoid them or get the smallest size because they’re really really sweet. A 16 ounce smoothie from Jamba Juice has 67 grams of sugar. The light version has half that, 36 grams.  

According to this Rodale article, “the World Health Organization has just announced that it is halving its recommended sugar intake for adults, from the original 10 percent of total daily calories to 5 percent. For a normal weight adult, that's about 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, per day.” 

12 ounces of orange juice has 28 grams of sugar. An orange has 9 grams of sugar. That’s another reason I suggest eating your fruits and veggies. Prepared juices usually are sweeter than what you might make at home. They are mostly fruit juice.  At the Co-op, I can ask for which vegetables I want and I can use carrots, beets, or apples to make it a bit sweeter. Notice that Khan recommends a greens-based juice that is lightly sweetened with fruit. 

You can read Khan’s article for more great tips on preventing heart disease, including which fish to eat, how to eat your meat, and why fasting for 11 hours every night is helpful. After discussing food, Kahn reminds us of some other powerful medicines:

  • Practice yoga
  • Practice acts of kindness
  • List something you’re grateful for every day
  • Have sex. Have sex again.