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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

November 15, 2010 on 12:06 am
Lemon Berry Smoothie Remix
Image by terriseesthings via Flickr

Children seem remarkably resilient and can survive on an amazingly junk food diet, but processed food contains less vitamins and minerals and these are necessary not just for health and growth, but as a foundation for health in later life.

The easiest way to access vitamins and minerals directly is through fruit and vegetables, but children often reject these, finding green vegetables unpalatable, and preferring sweetened desserts to raw fruit. It’s amazing how kids can be convinced that foods will only taste good if covered in breadcrumbs, wrapped in a bun, smothered with sugar or at the very least sealed in a packet.

Children need to consume the right foods and perhaps more importantly, get into the right habits, so as parents how can we persuade them?

Good nutrition is a complex issue, not least because there is so much variation between one person and another. Tests have shown that two apparently identical individuals living similar lifestyles can have very different amounts of vitamins and minerals in their blood.

We all know that vitamins are essential, but did you know that minerals, in tiny quantities are also vital to the operation of our bodies, and that no matter how many drugs we consume, without minerals we cannot function properly?

The minerals we need in large quantities are:

calcium
chlorine
magnesium
phosphorous
potassium
sodium and
sulfur

But there are even more which are vital to the body in extremely tiny amounts. They act as catalysts in many of the chemical reactions in our bodies, and without them we would die very quickly.

Zinc is an example. Nutritionists believe we need around 8-11 mg per day to stay healthy, a tiny amount by any standards, but vital as zinc is essential in the operation of over 100 enzymes. Zinc is used by the metabolism, and the immune system. It is also important for proper growth, and a serious deficiency can result in growth problems.

Most fruits and vegetables contain some zinc, but some, avocado, blackberries, dates,raspberries and pomegranates contain more, so if your children refuse to eat zinc rich green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, french beans or corn, you can always give them their minerals in fruit form, and if that is still not acceptable, create a fruit smoothie using a Vita Mix blender. A cup of Brussels sprouts has roughly the same amount of zinc in it as a cup of raspberries, but for kids, the raspberry smoothie is likely to be a lot more palatable.

Here’s a recipe.

Take one cup of Greek yogurt
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of raspberries

Blend them all together with your Vita Mix Blender and taste. If it’s too tart, add just enough honey. If you’re just starting with smoothies make them with ice cream in place of the yogurt and milk and present it to your children as a treat. If you have to over sweeten to begin with, don’t worry. You can reduce the sweetening slowly over time.

Who should have healthy smoothies? The simple answer is everyone. Using zinc again as an example, recent surveys have shown that 35-45% of adults over 60 have diets which are deficient in zinc, resulting in loss of taste and smell as well as lethargy and loss of appetite.

Whatever your age, vitamins and minerals are essential to your health, so get out your blender or juicer and start experimenting. It may be healthy, but it’s also fun.

November 10, 2010 on 4:07 pm
Fresh Juice. Anyone?
Image by AamerJaved via Flickr

Juice seems like such a simple thing. Every grocery store has an aisle lined with juices of every imaginable color. Some are made from fruit, others vegetables, and still others a blend of both. There are even “light” juices on the market for those watching their calories and low sodium vegetable juices. Juice is a part of our modern world and most people never think much about it.

Then there are those who do think about juice even when they aren’t in the grocery store. They think about juice every day because it is a way of life for them.

How can juice be a way of life? It is a way of life when you discover all the benefits of drinking pure juices created in your own home.

Consider just some of the facts about juicing:

  • Fresh homemade juice can pack more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients than an entire meal.
  • Juice made at home has richer color than store bought juices.
  • Homemade juice tastes better than store bought juices.
  • Consuming fresh juice daily delivers a natural energy boost.
  • The phyto-nutrients in fresh juice can protect the body from deadly diseases, including cancer.

There clearly are many benefits to drinking juice, but the bottled juices you find at the grocery store aren’t going to cut it. If you really want to enjoy these benefits for your body, you need to purchase a juicer and make your own juice blends at home. This eliminates the extra sugar and salt that store bought juices include. It also ensures that you are not drinking preservatives which are unhealthy for your body.

When you start making your own juice you have the convenience of creating your own unique flavor blends and making the juice fresh whenever you want it. With a good juicer you can quickly turn whole fruits and vegetables into delicious juice that is richer in color and taste than juices selling in the stores.

Fresh juice made in your home won’t last as long as bottled juices in the refrigerator, but you can make enough juice for a couple days at a time. This may be a little less convenient then stocking up on enough bottled juice to last a month, but you are giving your body more of those powerful phyto-nutrients and antioxidants.

Your fresh juice will also taste better than juices bought in the store!

October 29, 2010 on 5:22 pm
Légumes
Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes it takes an unpleasant event to remind us that, ‘the best things in life aren’t things’. We all lead busy lives and it can be difficult to find five minutes of quiet just to enjoy where you are, never mind work out your priorities for the future, but if you do sit down and take the time, it’s likely you’ll realize that your health is important.

The health of a family is one of most parents main concerns, but if you are to care for your family and enjoy them, you have to look after yourself. How many mothers spend time encouraging their children to eat fruits and vegetables, but fail to take all the nutrients they need themselves?

Taking care to eat the right things is very important, but these days it is an almost impossible task. How much time are you supposed to spend checking the labels of the food you buy, deciding which of the many food additives are harmful and which are not, and trying to make sense of the vast number of conflicting pieces of information distributed by the media.

One moment we’ll all die if we eat too much fat, the next it’s carbohydrates. One day it’s ‘Don’t go out in the sun’ the next we’re all Vitamin D deficient. Why? Because we don’t go out in the sun. It’s a complicated world and there are many vested interests spreading false or at best biased information.

One thing all doctors are agreed on is that fruits and vegetables are good for you. One way to avoid worries about additives and preservatives is to create food yourself from those fruits and veggies, and if possible, to grow them yourself.

A vegetable juicer is an important part of this more self-sufficient lifestyle and can make a huge contribution to your fitness level, allowing you to eat food filled with far more of the good things; vitamins, and minerals, and far less of the bad; chemical additives, food colorings, added sugar and pesticides. We all know the benefits of a good green salad, but using a good fruit and vegetable juicer you can create healthy drinks from green vegetables.

One excellent example is broccoli. Filled with vitamins C and A as well as most of the B’s, broccoli is also an excellent source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Every one of these is absolutely vital to good health, but these essential elements can be completely destroyed when the food is cooked.

The answer is to eat the vegetables raw, and there are several ways to do this. For many the best solution is to drink the juice. A vegetable juicer separates the juice and the pulp which means you really can make use of all the healthful properties of fruits and vegetables.

Apples and carrots make very tasty healthy juices, but did you know you can use the pulp to create face masks? Tomatoes can be juiced and the pulp (plus some horseradish, onion and yogurt) makes a delicious dip for pieces of raw vegetables. Broccoli or cabbage pulp can be mixed with white vinegar and mayonnaise to create a salad.

There is nothing more important than your health. A vegetable juicer will help you preserve your health by eating the right foods, prepared in the right way.

September 24, 2010 on 3:41 pm
Autumn Red peach.
Image via Wikipedia

One of the reasons we find it challenging to change our diet is that it is exactly that, CHANGE, and most of us really don’t like to do things differently. One way to make life easier (as well as healthier) for your children is to get them started off the right way, to make fresh fruit, and other raw foods generally a habit right from the start, and this really begins with juices made with a fruit and vegetable juicer.

When a baby is born it needs milk and nothing else for around six months. Many women give their babies water in addition to milk, and in recent times there has been a trend towards fruit juice. If you want to give your child fruit juice at an early age, two things are very important.

The first is that the juice should be extremely watered down (with filtered water) as natural fruit juices are far too strong for a baby’s stomach.

The second is that, if the juice was purchased, you must check the label. When you do, you may well be shocked at the small amount of nutrition in the juice. Avoid anything with extra sweetener. Yes, your baby will probably enjoy the sweetness, but the development of a sweet tooth is something you really want to avoid.

If you baby doesn’t like watered down natural juice, don’t give them juice at all. Small babies really don’t need it.

As your child grows, introduce them to a juice mixture, and not from the sweetened variety, but made with good quality fruit juicer, such as an Omega 4000 juicer or the Acme 6001 juicer. You can create a wide variety of mixtures with a fruit and vegetable juicer. (Some tasty recipes below). The addition of some sparkling water makes a very refreshing drink and you can reduce the proportion of sparkling water as the child grows, or not. Many adults enjoy the combination.

In doing this you have three objectives:

  1. To give them the many nutrients available in fresh juices.
  2. To instill the habit of drinking fresh juice.
  3. To get them used to the taste of real juice without extra sweeteners.

Research shows that children who are accustomed to fresh fruits juices find many shop bought juices, desserts and snacks too sweet. This one difference in diet can go a long way to prevent obesity and diabetes in later life.

In April 2010 new research showed that children and teens who drink 100% freshly made fruit juice have higher intakes of key nutrients compared to non – consumers. The researchers reported that a higher proportion of non fruit juice consumers 2 – 18 years of age failed to meet the recommended levels for several key nutrients, including vitamins A, C and folate compared to those who drank fruit juice. Lead researcher Dr Carol O’Neil said ’100% fruit juice plays an important role in the diets of children and teens supplying important nutrients during a key period of growth and should be encouraged as part of an overall balanced diet’.

If diluted fruit juice is on the table for both you and your child from day one, it’s likely to be some time before resistance sets in, but at some point there will be some resistance, and there are a number of ways to deal with it.

If your child is one who always wants to do the opposite to what you tell them to (and many go through that phase)  make yourself freshly made juices but keep it to something simple like apple and carrot so that it has a nice sweet taste. Always make time to sit down together and drink it leisurely and when you are asked what it is say, ‘ This is a very special drink, I’m sure you wouldn’t like it’, keep this up until one day you make an excuse to leave your drink on the table near the child, 10 – 1 they will have had a sip while you’ve been gone. Eventually if they liked it they will ask if they can have one too and then you both can have fun.

Another thing you can do is buy yourself a special cup, mug or glass exclusively for your juice, choose one that is in the colors or a pattern that you know your child will like and that you could buy another in the same set. Don’t drink anything else out of it and when you are eventually asked ‘Can I have one like that’ you say, ‘ This is a  very special mug/glass and only for drinking this special drink out of but if you ever have one of these drinks I’ll buy a special one for you too’. See what happens.

It’s sad but true that it’s a bad idea to tell any child that they ‘have’ to drink the juice or that it’s good for them. There seems to be no faster way to put them off!

Children love to be involved in what you’re doing, so let them choose the fruit and vegetables in the store, and let them help you wash them when you get home.  Kids love playing in water and if they are doing something useful all the better. You can also let them feed the fruit into your fruit juicer which could become a juice ‘monster’ with a funny name) and make the diluted juice a very special reward for all their hard work.

*Some fruits do much better in a fruit and vegetable juicer than others. Apples, watermelon, pears and citrus fruits do well, while bananas, strawberries, blueberries, stone fruit (peaches, nectarines) tomatoes etc. do better in a blender.

Here are a few recipes to enjoy with your child.

YOU ARE A PEACH

2 Peaches

1 Pear

1 Apple

Take the stones from the peaches.  And juice all ingredients together in your juicer.

YUMMY APPLE JUICE

2 Sweet Apples

4 Large Carrots

1 Red Bell Pepper

Remove seeds from pepper if your juicer can’t cope with them. Cut in half. Juice the apples and carrots followed by the pepper.

RASPBERRY NECTARINE

1 Orange

1/2 cup Raspberries

1 Nectarine

Peel the orange and cut into quarters, pit the nectarine and juice all together.

SPARKLY FRUIT JUICE

1/2 Mango

1 Orange

1 Kiwi

Sparkling mineral water

Peel the mango, orange and kiwi, juice them. Pour into glass and top up with sparkling mineral water.

Puberty is a difficult time when children need good nutrition to help them grow and to even out those hormonal changes. By getting your child into a fruit and veggie ‘habit’ at an early age, you provide a good foundation for every aspect of their lives and increase the probability that they’ll continue eating a healthy diet into adulthood. Together you can look forward to introducing fresh juices made in your  juicer to your grandchildren.

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!

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers