It’s no secret a diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk for many leading causes of death and plays an important role in weight management, but most of us fall short when it comes to getting the recommended five to nine servings a day. In fact, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows only a third of U.S. adults consume two or more fruits daily, and a quarter get three or more veggies. That’s why most experts are touting the benefits of juicing as a way to up consumption and maximize nutrition.
Juicing not only facilitates weight loss, increases energy levels, and improves skin disorders, it also reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes, and cancer, says Brian Clement, PhD, licensed nutritionist, and co-director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida.
But that doesn’t mean you should only drink your veggies. Juicing strips produce of dietary fiber, which is found in the pulp and skin of fruits and vegetables. Fiber aids in digestion and regulates blood-sugar levels, which keeps you feeling full longer. That’s why most experts don’t recommend a juice cleanse. Not only can it cause hunger that leads to overeating, but it can lead to unstable blood sugar, headaches, and lightheadedness, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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KIWI to Better Zzz’s
Having trouble falling asleep at night? Skip counting sheep and grab a kiwi. Researchers at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University found that eating the green-fleshed fruit on a daily basis improved both sleep quality and quantity. Participants of the study ranged between the ages of 20 and 55 and were all experiencing some form of disrupted sleep. After eating two kiwis one hour before bedtime for a period of four weeks, all participants fell asleep faster and slept more soundly. What’s behind these sleep-inducing benefits? Kiwis contain high levels of antioxidants and serotonin, a hormone that helps one fall asleep and stay asleep.