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June 7 2007 12:00 AM



Fruits and vegetables are an essential dietary component for good health.  Studies by the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society recommend eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Studies show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables help prevent some diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure. The average American gets only about one and a half servings of fruits and vegetables a day, that is less than 25 percent the amount suggested for good health.  June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month and a great time to reap the benefits of increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. 


A great way to get your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is by juicing.  Fruit and vegetable juices are loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Citrus fruits, like orange juice or grapefruit juice, provide lots of antioxidant vitamin C.  Carrot juice is packed with vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, and green juices are a good source of vitamin E.  In addition, fruit juices are rich in essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine and magnesium.  Fruits and vegetables contain substances called phytochemicals, and these substances have been shown to help prevent and treat cancer, heart disease and age-related disorders.


Juicing breaks down the tough cell walls and removes the indigestible fiber from fruits and vegetables making nutrients available for absorption by the body in much larger quantities.  For example, many of the nutrients of a carrot are trapped in the fiber so we can only take in about five percent of the available beta-carotene when we eat it.  However, when that same carrot is juiced, nearly 100 percent of the beta-carotene can be digested.


Fresh-squeezed juices are also rich in enzymes that are essential for digestion and critical for most of the body's metabolic activities.  Enzymes are destroyed by heat and processing, therefore, the typical American diet is enzyme deficient.  When fruits and vegetables are juiced raw, the enzymes are still very effective when you drink the juice.  Fruit and vegetable juices have a high water content, which is also good for our bodies.


In honor of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, Healthy Inspirations is offering women of Schaumburg a free body composition analysis, valued at $15.  During the evaluation an individuals percentages of body fat, fat free mass, and hydration levels, will be assessed.  Supplying women with this information is the first step to attaining a healthy lifestyle.


 


Healthy Inspirations is a womens weight loss and lifestyle center that focuses on long-term weight loss. The center provides a weight loss program, exercise, relaxation therapy, and personal support for its members. They also guarantee that every member will stay within five pounds of their ending weight at least a year after they are done with the program. The company, which was founded 7 years ago by president Casey Conrad, has 135 centers located worldwide. 



 

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