Fresh Juices

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There’s nothing better than a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to quench your thirst. Drinking fresh juice is the best source of liquids for your body. The sugars are natural, enzymes are still alive, and the vitamins and minerals haven’t been diminished from pasteurizing.

I have an old fashioned glass citrus juicer, and I use all the time. It’s not messy, and it is very easy to clean. I also have a Breville Juice Fountain Elite juicer. I’ll use the Breville if I’m juicing greens, carrots, or apples. I love it too.

I make fresh juices for my family all the time. It’s so simple and take very little time to do. I believe drinking homemade juices provides us with beneficial protection against free radicals and immune support. An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.

My message here today is to just take the time and make your own juices. The benefits are endless.

Source:
Vitamin C Rich Food Sources

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Fruit Fact: Lemon

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Lemon water has an alkalizing effect in the body. Even if you drink it just before any meal, it will help your body maintain a higher pH than if you didn’t drink it.

The higher or more alkaline your pH, the more your inner terrain is resistant to minor and major diseases.

Lemons contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Plus, it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemon also contains citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.

I’m an avid lemon water drinker. It’s my morning, afternoon and night time go-to beverage. The best part is the vital nutrients this simple drink encompasses. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Other great reads:
Ten Reason Why you Should Drink Lemon Water

Lemon Water Before Bedtime

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My tall glass of fresh lemon water before I hit the sack will assist my body in detoxification. Lemon water is also a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It also contains vitamins (such as vitamin B, riboflavin), minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), proteins and carbohydrates. Lemons are highly acidic but they contain the good acids that your body needs. Your body has a fine PH balance that must be maintained and lemon water helps it. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic. The ideal pH is slightly alkaline between 7.30 to 7.45. You can test your pH levels regularly by using a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.

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If your body is not alkaline, as it should be, then you could have a series of health problems from heartburn and acid reflux that many suffer with on a daily basis; digestive issues, and irregularity. An acidic body can wreak havoc on your allergies, especially if you are an asthmatic, or suffer from frequent headaches. It also prevents constipation.

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Lemon water helps indigestion by
taking a fresh lemon and squeezing it into a warm glass of water in the morning before breakfast and then once again before dinner. This assists in and improves digestion. Lemon water makes your liver secrete more bile and thereby helps in digestion for detoxing the liver. Eating an alkaline diet also is beneficial for an alkaline body. Foods that’s are alkaline of course. Here are some key steps to living an alkaline lifestyle:

  • Eating a plant-based diet
  • No alcohol consumption
  • Exercising, yoga and meditation
  • Cut out processed foods and sugar
  • Drink alkaline water

Sounds easy right!

Source:
Water Benefits Health

Food Fact: Grapefruit

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According to the WHFood’s website, grapefruit is rated one of the worlds’s healthiest foods. Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms; over 20 scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C is a cold-fighter.

Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, and is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.

Owing to the multitude of vitamin C’s health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

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Prevent Kidney Stones
Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink grapefruit juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank 1/2 to 1 liter of grapefruit, apple or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.

Fresh is always best! Juicing citrus fruits is much more beneficial than buying the boxed version. I eat a lot of citrus fruits for their nutritional values.

Drug Reaction: Check with your healthcare practitioner about consuming grapefruit juice if you’re taking pharmaceutical drugs. Certain pharmaceutical drugs combined with grapefruit juice become more potent.

References:
Study: Phytochemical in citrus fruits
Study: Grapefruit and oroblanco enhance hepatic detoxification enzymes in rats: possible role in protection against chemical carcinogenesis.
Study: British Journal of Nutrition
Warnings: Drug Reaction
More on: Vitamin C Rich Foods

Food Fact: The Avocado

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Consider adding avocado to salads, and not only on account of taste!

Recent research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—increases significantly when fresh avocado (or avocado oil) is added to an otherwise avocado-free salad. It supports cardiovascular health, promotes blood sugar regulation, anti-cancer benefits, and optimizes absorption of carotenoids.

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    One cup of fresh avocado (150 grams) added to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, and carrots increased absorption of carotenoids from this salad between 200-400%.

Wide-Ranging Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The ability of avocado to help prevent unwanted inflammation is absolutely unquestionable in the world of health research. The term “anti-inflammatory” is a term that truly applies to this delicious food.

Avocado’s anti-inflammatory nutrients fall into five basic categories:

  • Phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol (protects from cancer)
  • Carotenoid antioxidants (prevent chronic disease), including lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene
  • Other (non-carotenoid) antioxidants, including the flavonoids epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate, vitamins C and E, and the minerals manganese, selenium, and zinc
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (approximately 160 milligrams per cup of sliced avocado)
  • Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PSA)s (suppresses inflammation)
  • Source:
    Whole Foods: Avocado

    Antioxidants and Good Food Sources

    Naturally occurring antioxidants help fight diseases in the body, boost immunity, and repair damaged cells. These antioxidants can be found in a variety of whole foods that nutritionists have been recommending for years, including fruits, legumes and whole grains.

    It’s important to include antioxidants in your diet because of their many health benefits, so try digging in to one of these especially antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranates, berries and veggies.

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    Vitamin C – As an antioxidant it protects proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, DNA and RNA from oxidation by free radicals. Foods like citrus fruits and their juices, berries, dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, green peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, watercress, other greens), red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and tomato juice, pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, papaya and guava.

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    Vitamin E –
    Vitamin E is also a fat soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant it protects fats from oxidation, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Foods like vegetable oils such as olive, soybean, corn, cottonseed and safflower, nuts and nut butters, seeds, whole grains, wheat, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, legumes (beans, lentils, split peas) and dark leafy green vegetables.

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    Selenium –
    Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral that protects tissues from free radical damage. Foods like Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken, eggs, dairy products, garlic, molasses, onions, salmon, seafood, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and most vegetables.

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    Beta Carotene –
    Beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A found in many foods that are dark orange, red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers, apricots, cantaloupe and mangos.

    Source:
    http://www.whfoods.com/

    Benefits of A Glass of Freshly Squeezed OJ

    Consuming vitamin C supplements does not provide the same protective benefits as drinking a glass of orange juice, shows research by Italian researchers in the Division of Human Nutrition at the University of Milan, Italy (Guarnieri S, Riso P, et al., British Journal of Nutrition).

    Said lead researcher, Serena Guarnieri, “It appears that vitamin C is not the only chemical responsible for antioxidant protection.” In oranges, vitamin C is part of a matrix involving many beneficial phytochemicals (for example, cyanidin-3-glucoside, flavanones and carotenoids).. “But how they are interacting is still anyone’s guess,” she added. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait until scientists figure this out to receive oranges’ DNA-protective benefits. Practical Tip: For the best DNA protection, skip the vitamin C-fortified bottled drinks and enjoy a glass of real (preferably organic as organic foods have been shown to contain higher amounts of phytonutrients), freshly squeezed orange juice” or simply eat an orange!

    What can high-vitamin C foods do for you?

    Help protect cells from free radical damage, lower your cancer risk,
    regenerate your vitamin E supplies, and
    improve iron absorption.

    What events can indicate a need for more high-vitamin C foods?

    Poor wound healing, frequent colds or infections, and lung-related problems.

    Excellent sources of vitamin C include: parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts.

    I try to incorporate 3 glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice in my diet, and on days I’m not drinking it, I would eat 2 oranges with my breakfast or lunch. I also make sure my children are getting adequate amounts of fresh vitamin C as well. They love oranges so all I do is cut up 4 oranges without peeling the skin and they eat out the fleshly part, even my 2 year old. Plus, they eat a whole range of other vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C. It’s important to add fresh raw foods to your diet because they’re rich of natural vitamins. Taking supplements is important also but you don’t want to depend solely on them for your body’s nutrients.

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    References:

    Guarnieri S, Riso P, Porrini M. Orange juice vs vitamin C: effect on hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage in mononuclear blood cells. Br J Nutr. 2007 Apr;97(4):639-43. 2007. PMID:17349075.

    Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.