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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!

September 30, 2010 on 11:40 pm
Pineapple and its cross section
Image via Wikipedia

I picked up a couple of pineapples they had on sale at the market today. I also had some fresh organic produce that I got from the Farmer’s Market we have down the street.

I wanted to try a new recipe using a few more ingredients. I had just worked out at the gym; I was not real hungry, but wanted a pic-me-up. This is what I came up with and it was so tasty and refreshing I thought I would share it here.

2 – 3 carrots or a couple of  handfuls of the already peeled organic ones
¼ pineapple, peeled
1 apple of choice
1 peach pit removed
½ of a cucumber
Small piece of ginger

Of course wash all your produce well. You can use a vegetable brush if you want. Add fruits and veggies to your vegetable juicer, alternating the softer ones with the harder ones.

Drink and enjoy.

August 7, 2010 on 5:51 pm
Vegetable Juicers


There are three basic types of fruit and vegetable juicers and within those, many design variations, so there is certain to be one which will fit into your lifestyle and budget.

All juicers separate the pulp from the juice; the difference is in the way that separation takes place and how much of the vitamin and mineral goodness of the fruit is retained in the juice.

A Twin gear juicer typically extracts the most goodness, and gives the highest juice yield. It will process most fruits and vegetables including wheat grass and other green, leafy vegetables and with the addition of attachments can often be used to make other healthy foods; pasta, peanut butter, and baby food.

A Masticating juicer is not as efficient as a Twin Gear juicer; but the masticating juicer can still handle a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as wheatgrass and other leafy greens, and has the advantage of being generally less expensive than the twin gear models.  Some models can also function as a food processor making it easy to create more meals from scratch and avoid the additives in processed foods.

A Centrifugal juicer is the least expensive model of the fruit and vegetable juicer on the market, but has a lower yield from most fruit and doesn’t work very well on leafy green vegetables, wheat grass or herbs. Because of the high speed of these juicers, many consider the juice produced to be of inferior quality to that produced by a twin gear or masticating juicer.
July 17, 2010 on 12:07 am
The Original Zaksenberg Citrus Squeezer

Image via Wikipedia

As consumers, everyone wants to get the very best product for their money. Today more than ever people put a lot of research into the finding the right appliances that fit in best with their lifestyle.

That is why there really is no juicer that is best for everyone.

Choosing a juicer has a lot to do with personal preference and your lifestyle. Keep in mind however, that no one juicer will juice all types of produce equally.

So there really are some things you need to take into consideration when choosing the best juicer for you.

Type of produce you want to juice.

Some people prefer only to make fruit juices, while others may prefer to make fresh vegetable juice and still others want to make both kinds of juice. So knowing what kind of juices you want to produce is important in finding just the right juicer for you.

Speed of Juicing.

Some juicers make juice faster than others. If you want quick juice from your produce then choose that type of juicer.

Ease of cleaning. Some people don’t mind putting a little more effort in cleaning their equipment if it means getting the juice you want. Others want to spend as little time at cleaning as possible.

Also, you may want to consider cost, and length of warranty.

Knowing what you want in a juicer will help you decide which juicer is right for you.

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers