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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

October 13, 2010 on 5:57 pm

A report entitled “The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits,” released in 2003 by The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, reviewed 48 studies that showed a diet high in citrus fruit provides a statistically significant protective effect against some types of cancer, plus another 21 studies showing a non-significant trend towards protection.

A great deal of consumer literature attributes this to the large amount of vitamin C in citrus juices, however research shows that in some cases no protection is obtained from taking vitamin C itself, while there are considerable benefits from drinking fresh, organic orange juice.

In oranges, vitamin C is only one part of a complex matrix involving many phytochemicals such as flavanones, cyanidin-3-glucoside and carotenoids. There are over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids in an orange, many have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties.

But perhaps the most interesting and useful vegetable of them all is the humble carrot. Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years, although the original carrot was almost certainly a purplish color, and not the yellow orange variety most of us know today.

Carrots are filled with Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K; they also contain a substance called falcarinol which, according to some studies provides protection against forms of colon cancer.  With a degree of built in sweetness, carrot juice is also pleasant to drink and combines well with other healthy juices from a carrot juicer, such as apple and tomato.

October 7, 2010 on 7:02 pm
Fresh juice. This. Is. Amazing!!!!!!!
Image by cireremarc via Flickr

Which brings us to minerals. Minerals are also important at every age, but recent discoveries point to their central role in many age related problems. For many, one of the first signs of aging is stiffness, not in the joints but in the muscles. This may be due to one of two conditions.

The first is Fibromyalgia which is indicated by a number of tender points in specific muscles and may be due to a problem in the energy metabolism of the muscle cells. Magnesium has been shown to be very effective in relieving this, along with a supportive diet. The other condition, known as Polymyalgia responds to antioxidants.

Since every person’s vitamin and mineral profile is different, we experience their depletion in different ways. For some, the first effect of aging is a reduction in the sense of taste and smell which we now know is due to lack of zinc in the diet.

The result is often a yen for strongly flavored foods, others just begin to experience a loss of interest in eating which, if ignored can lead to significant health problems. Zinc is present in most meats, however once the appetite has gone, juices are the simplest way to increase consumption.

Fresh Juices contain high concentrations of vitamins minerals and antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause disease. Vegetables such as spinach and squash are good sources of zinc.

A simple way to get your juices is to try juicing with a Breville Juice Fountain juicer.

October 5, 2010 on 6:53 pm
Identity Crisis Carrot Cake 1of6
Image by Food Thinkers via Flickr

The production of stomach acid and enzymes declines with age. A very important result of this is that the body is less able to absorb vitamins and minerals from food. It becomes more and important to take in adequate quantities of essential nutrients and to do so in a form which is easy to digest.

The essential ant-oxidant vitamins, A, C and E are all found in quantity in raw fruits and (in the case of vitamin E) seeds, but they are, typically, rapidly destroyed by heat, making fresh juice an ideal way to add these vital substances to your diet.

Carrot juice, for example, is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, citrus juices and tomato juice are an excellent source of  bioflavonoids and the humble watermelon makes an ideal all round health filled cocktail. The flesh is full of beta carotene (precursor to Vitamin A) and Vitamin C while the seeds contain vitamin E as well as the essential minerals zinc and selenium.

Watermelon also contains the amino acid lycopene which has been extensively studied in humans and found to protect against a large and growing list of cancers.   Watermelon also has a high water content and is low in calories (compared to other fruits) making it an excellent candidate for regular consumption, both whole and in juice form.

Watermelon makes a wonderful salad mixed with red onion and a little salt and if you’ve opted for a vita mix blender, rather than a l equip juicer, watermelon pureed with some cantaloupe, kiwi fruit and a tiny dash of lime makes a wonderful fresh summer soup.  Watermelon also contains several of the B vitamins plus both magnesium and potassium.

August 16, 2010 on 12:45 am

Food dehydrators are a staple in the healthy kitchen! From dieters trying to conserve calories to food purists who want to enjoy delicious foods that aren’t riddled with preservatives and other unnatural chemicals, health-minded people are now bringing home top model food dehydrators.

You know fresh produce is great for your body because they are packed with natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Unfortunately, a lot of fresh produce goes to waste because people simply don’t eat it up before it goes bad.

Food dehydrators are the solution to this problem. You will never again waste money by throwing out rotten fruit! You can use your dehydrator to remove the moisture from these foods so they are preserved naturally.

Dehydrated foods will last much longer than those that are left fresh and they can be used in a variety of healthy snacks. Consider adding dehydrated fruit pieces to yogurt or mixed in with nuts for a homemade trail mix.

Even children will eat foods that have been processed through food dehydrators! They will eat their fruits happily without even realizing they are so good for them. You may even be able to dehydrate very small pieces of vegetables and slip them into a dehydrated fruit mix for those veggie-hating family members!

June 19, 2010 on 12:53 am
The most efficient way to pack different-sized...
Image via Wikipedia

If  you’re currently not eating a healthy diet, it can be difficult to start such a plan. However, healthy eating along with some exercise is very important for maintaining a good bodily function and goes a long way towards living a disease-free life. If you struggle with healthy eating, then you know that breaking unhealthy habits can be the most difficult part of the process. Therefore, if you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, it is important to follow a few tips in order to start eating a more healthy diet.

A great first step when you want to start eating your way to a healthy life style is to rid your home of all temptations that will distract you from following better eating habits. Ideally it would be a wise course to keep junk foods and beverages out of your house so as not be tempted to snack during the day. If you’re worried about getting hungry, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand. If you find that you just cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping something tiny on hand, peppermints or barley sugar. Eating a few, (emphasis on few) of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you rave.

Another great step to healthy eating, when you’re first starting the process, is to take a few moments to learn what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work within the body. To start eating healthily we must begin by thinking healthily. Most people understand that fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meats and dairy products are good for you, but few people understand why. The key is learning about nutrients. When you understand how specific nutrients work and why you need them, it becomes more reasonable for you to make healthier choices for your body. Knowledge really is power!

Preparation is a major key in commencing a new healthy diet. You must take into consideration your schedule for meals. If you often eat in a hurry at odd times of day, you probably more inclined to grab a rushed meal which will probably do more harm than good. So plan ahead! Instead of grabbing a fast food lunch on the go, take a bagged lunch to work, complete with a healthy wrap and some fresh fruit and vegetables. Remember not to forget your evening meal, a simple plan to have a meal ready before you get home would be perfect, but in our fast paced life style, sometimes this just can’t be done. One way to solve this problem is to plan out your evening meals for the week, on your days off. Perhaps just before you do your weekly shopping. Another warning: when going to the shops, do not venture their hungry because if you’re anything like me, one or two chocolate bars won’t hurt! That becomes the first break in your healthy eating.

Initially many will find it very difficult to make those necessary changes to healthier eating. Along with the difficulty of change, you may not feel well for a short period of time. Usually this is normal as your body is adjusting to your new and improved life style and is cleansing itself from the unhealthy toxins built up from poor eating habits. However if this feeling continues or you are worried a visit to your doctor would be the correct thing to do.

Start with baby steps. Even if you only replace one soda a day with a glass of water, you are really improving your calorie intake. If you eat fast food every day for lunch, try replacing that half of the time with better quality foods. When you start by taking small steps you aren’t cutting out all of the foods you love all at once. By taking your time to learn about your eating habits and slowly replacing them with better meals, by taking the time to learn and understand why you should be doing that and making the necessary changes in an orderly fashion, you will feel much better within yourself physically, mentally and emotionally and well on the road to becoming as healthy as you can be.

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers