It's that time of year when your co-workers, friends and family are all wondering what they can do to shed the holiday pounds, or just feel healthier in general. And with the added pressure (or inspiration?) of a New Year's resolution, it can be difficult to choose a path toward getting healthy.
Many people opt for the gym, while others decide to try out a demanding new diet. But diet fads don't always work, and exercise alone is rarely enough. If there's one thing health professionals can come to a consensus on, it's that eating more raw fruits and vegetables will help you - not only to get healthy, but also to lose some of that undesired weight, too.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a health professional and television personality, said in an interview that anyone trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle should eat a plant-based diet.
We all need to "incorporate more fruits and vegetables in our diet," he said.
In New York City, the juice trend is going strong. Juice bars are all over the city, and fresh squeezed offerings are sold at gyms and health clubs galore. Equinox, the renowned health club chain, recently partnered with Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group to open Creative Juice, a new line of cold-pressed juices offered at two New York City locations.
"It's pretty obvious why they're popular," said Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, who serves on Equinox's health advisory board. "They taste great and they make you feel great."
But are New Yorkers really drinking raw kale juices just because they're healthy?
According to Eric Helms, the owner and founder of Juice Generation, which has been serving up the raw liquefied stuff in NYC for the past decade and has 10 locations citywide, juice is also popular because New Yorkers are always multi-tasking.
"It's really quick and people are busy," Helms said. Customers can "get all those nutrients in one glass."
So, there you have it. Start your day with a healthy choice, and make it snappy.
The health benefits of raw foods and fresh-squeezed juices:
-- Rich in nutrients (when you heat foods, they lose some of their potency)
-- Often contain kale and spinach, greens high in antioxidants
-- Can be a full meal
-- Deliver energy without the caffeine crash
-- Low in calories