I grew up in a county where fresh fruits and vegetables were plentiful. A cherry tree surrounded by mint julep leaves was in my back yard. Our next door neighbors had a persimmon tree at the side of their home. Relatives who lived up the hill behind my house, had plumb and pear trees. Their closest neighbor had an apple tree.
About a mile from my house lived a couple who owned a strawberry field. Most every family had their own garden with corn, lettuce, cabbage potatoes, tomatoes, peas radishes, beets, cucumbers and more. My grandmother often took neighborhood children on hikes to pick poke salad, and asparagus.
My cousins and friends who were my age were always eating these wonders of nature but I did not. I knew that fresh fruits and vegetables were good for our health, but I had no desire to eat them. I was in my late teens before I began to change my unhealthy eating habits. Today, thankfully I enjoy many of the foods that I did not like as a child.
I began my journey of eating healthier because of Campbell’s V8 juice. The commercials where V8 was advertised as having 8 vegetables caught my attention. I loved the ones where people smacked themselves in the forehead just before they said, “Wow I could’ve had a V8”.
I first began drinking this vegetable juice while staying with my aunt during my first year of college. Her husband, my uncle always had a large can of V8 in the refrigerator. Initially I disliked the taste, but it eventually grew on me.
V8 is made from a blend of carrot, tomato, parsley, celery, beets, spinach, watercress, and lettuce juices.
A 9 ounce can equals about 2 servings of veggies. It has 52 calories, 19% daily recommendation of Vitamin A, 8 % Vitamin C and 3% iron. There are 2 grams of protein and 2.2 grams of dietary fiber.
Some vegetables are best eaten raw while others yield more heath benefits when cooked. One study indicates that fruits, and vegetables, eaten whole and unpeeled, offer extra protection against stroke. . Researchers agree that raw veggies offer ore fiber and that high fiber diets are beneficial in the prevention of obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and Diabetes.
Thankfully V8 now has Original V8 High fiber 100% vegetable juice, as a healthy alternative for those who are unable to eat the real deal. An 8 ounce glass of high fiber V8 equals 2 servings of vegetables, and has only 60 calories. In addition there is 45% RDA Vitamin A 120% Vitamin C, 14% potassium, pus 5 grams, whopping 20% of daily recommendation of fiber.
If you are unable to obtain or you do not yet enjoy eating vegetables, cooked or raw Campbells V8 juice with high fiber may be the next best thing. In addition to drinking V8 juice, I add it to vegetable soup, and use it with tomato and spaghetti sauce.