How to Get the Best Out of Grapefruit Juice

This entry is part 1 in the series Juicing 101

 (Originally published August 2015. Updated 23 November, 2017)

Refreshing drink

Well, we’ve finally had some rain in this drought-ridden land. Not too much, but some. Today it’s sweltering so probably soaking up most of the moisture in the air. Sigh. What I need is an ice-cold glass of fresh juice. I wish I had some grapefruit in the fridge.

Talking about grapefruit . . . When did you last enjoy an ice-cold juicy grapefruit for breakfast? Yummy! I decided today that we’d learn something about the fruit, and also how to juice it.

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A Juice Fast

This entry is part 15 in the series Juicing 101

Fasting (Originally published December 2010. Updated 29 August, 2017)

We’ve looked at reasons for doing a juice fast, and how to prepare your body for one. We’ve seen that there are some people who should never do a juice fast, and others who should do even the short 24 hour fast under medical supervision. Here are some more do’s and don’ts for you to consider. Once again, please do not undertake a juice fast of more than 24 hours without medical supervision or advice.

  • If you’re on prescription medicine, speak to your doctor or other health professional before starting your fast. Fasting while drinking juice may reduce your blood proteins, which may affect the reaction of prescription drugs in your body. Do NOT skip your medicine without professional advice.
  • Juice used in a fast should be freshly squeezed. Commercial products have a lower nutritional value due to the techniques used in preparation.
  • Drink the juice as soon as it’s finished, or the enzymes will start to digest the other nutrients.
  • If you add water, use filtered or purified water, or you could undo the effect of the fast.
  • Do not use grapefruit juice during a juice fast, especially if you are on prescription drugs. Some research indicates that pomegranate juice may also have an effect on drugs so play safe and avoid that as well if you’re on medication.
  • Don’t load your body with “fuel” the night before by eating a large meal. Rather eat a light, easily digested meal, such as steamed fish or chicken to ease your body into the fast.
  • In addition to the fresh juice, aim to drink about six glasses of filtered water. This should be warm or room temperature–not iced.
  • Don’t smoke, or drink alcohol during the fast. Again this will undo the point of your fast. When your fast is over, have a few complete meals before drinking alcohol.
  • After your fast, start with easily digested food, such as soup.

Come back next week for some side effects you can expect when doing a juice fast. 

Thankful Thursday 04

Phytochemicals? How do I benefit the most from them?

This entry is part 13 in the series Juicing 101

Tomato (Originally published October, 2010. Updated 4 July, 2017)

Why should I take phytochemicals?

What good do they do me?

People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are considerably less likely to develop cancers. When it comes to the immune-boosting power of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, phytochemical is the latest buzzword.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds with long names such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Both of these occur naturally in plants. 

Medical Science does not necessarily recognize Phytochemicals for their nutritional value.

The problem is that modern processing techniques, including cooking, may destroy phytochemicals. For this reason it is good to add raw plants rich in these compounds to our juicing whenever possible.

Lycopene

This is one of the better-known phytochemicals. It is well documented for its strong anti-cancer properties. People take lycopene as medication for preventing heart disease, and many types of cancer.

Instead of swallowing capsules, it makes sense to find it in nature’s medicine box. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and other red plants.  So make a point of eating plenty tomatoes (including tomato sauce), papayas and watermelon

Take note and please tweet this so others read it: 

Tomatoes are one of the few fruits that increases its value when cooked. Click To Tweet

When one of my grandchildren was young, he seemed to eat nothing that wasn’t covered in tomato sauce! I privately thought this was an unhealthy habit, but it wasn’t my place to speak up and say so! When I started to research tomatoes and their food value, I was astonished to discover tomato sauce is actually rich in lycopene, and so was good for him! (Was I glad I hadn’t spoken up?)

Check here for the nutritional value of tomato sauce! Who would have thought this?

Beta-Carotine

This phytochemical is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. It is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Beta-carotene has received a lot of attention recently for its potential anti-cancer and anti-aging effects. However, this can actually be “too much of a good thing.”

There is a strongly-held belief that smokers should avoid large doses of beta carotene. It is one of the carotenoids that our body converts into vitamin A (retinol) – and Vitamin A is one of the vitamins which can do us harm if taken in too high doses.

Beta-carotene is believed to prevent

  • certain cancers
  • heart disease
  • cataracts and
  • age related macular degeneration (AMD).

Other diseases possibly helped with beta-carotine include:

But medical experts recommend we get our Beta-carotine from fresh vegetables and fruit. The value of Beta-carotine supplements is still undetermined.

Beta-Carotine is best taken in the form of fresh vegetables and fruit. See the list of medical conditions it fights. Click To Tweet

How can I increase my intake of Phytochemicals?

To fight this formidable array of degenerative diseases, add these to your juice:

  • Carrots
  • Fruits like cantaloupe and all forms of melon
  • Apricots

Also eat plenty

  • Sweet potatoes (especially the orange variety)
  • Winter squash
  • Spinach and kale

Are there any statements, or fruit and vegetables, on this list that surprise you? Please share in the comment box below.

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Antioxidant-rich Drink and Healthy Salad

This entry is part 18 in the series Juicing 101

Drink and salad rich in antioxidants

Last week we looked at the importance of antioxidants in our diet. Here is a delicious drink you can make, with a possible variety, which is exceptionally high in antioxidants. It is ideal as a pre-workout drink, or as a drink to enjoy after a work-out. It only uses a few ingredients so it is quick and easy to make. Use the shredded cabbage to make a tasty coleslaw salad (recipe at the end of the page).

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Increase your intake of antioxidants the easy way

This entry is part 14 in the series Juicing 101
 (Originally published April, 2012. Updated 20 June, 2017)
 
Antioxidants help to strengthen your immune system as well as boost your energy levels. They fight free radicals in your body, thus protecting your cells from damage. They are believed to be an important ally in your fight against cancer as well as heart disease and memory loss.

What are antioxidants?

The FDA in America has prohibited manufacturers from claiming that consuming their antioxidant products will reduce disease risk. Nevertheless there is no doubt that antioxidants help in the fight against disease. They are much better eaten fresh than bought in a bottle, where you may get a wrong balance when put together with your daily diet.

Antioxidants are nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and enzymes (proteins that assist in chemical reactions) that help to counter free radicals in our body.

What are free radicals?

A free radical is a normal byproduct of our metabolism which has become unstable due to the loss of one or more of its paired electrons. It therefore tries to steal the electron it needs from another atom, or deposits its extra electron into the stable atom. As a result, there is a domino-effect with free radicals. They need to be neutralized. This happens all over our bodies, many thousands of times every day.

Free radicals are normal byproducts and are not necessarily harmful. However, if we don’t have sufficient antioxidants and these free radicals go unchecked, they will cause damage to many cells, causing premature aging and degenerative diseases.

Can you turn a free radical into a healthy cell?

Yes, you can. How? By giving it what it’s looking for—in other words, by supplementing your supply of antioxidants.

Taking one particular antioxidant supplement is not sufficient as your body requires so many different sorts. The best way to supplement is to eat plenty antioxidant-rich foods, especially at the transitional times of the year, when viruses cause increased threats. 

How to increase your antioxidant level without popping expensive pills: 

  • blue berries, black berries, and other bright colored berries
  • other deeply colored fruits such as plums and red or black grapes
  • citrus fruit
  • dark vegetables such as spinach (Popeye had it right!), kale, spinach, zucchini, and brussel sprouts
  • eggplants, red, yellow and green bell peppers, and other colorful vegetables
  • carrots, butternut and other orange vegetables
  • sweet potatoes, the new fries in town. Sweet potatoes cooked in any fashion are rich in antioxidants
  • fish—best eaten three times a week. Adding a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil adds to the anti-oxidant value.  Fish also provides us with powerful omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent inflammatory diseases. All fish have some omega-3, but the best are include sardines, salmon, oysters, mackerel, tuna steak, wild rainbow trout, shark steak, albacore tuna, and herring.
  • walnuts, pecan nuts, and other types of nuts
  • all forms of tea contain antioxidants. Rooibos and green tea are particularly nutritious. Another drink high on the antioxidant scale is red wine taken in small quantities.
  • Grain. This alone can make a difference to your health. Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread, wild or brown rice instead of white rice, tortillas made of corn instead of flour. In addition to antioxidants, grain contains zinc, selenium and phytochemicals which are believed to fight heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Best news!

  • I’ve saved the best for last. Dark chocolate! Yes, that’s the good news! Taken in moderate quantities, dark chocolate will increase your antioxidant level.

“Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins,” explains Harold Schmitz, PhD, director of science at Mars, Inc. Studies have shown that people with high blood levels of flavonoids have lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes.

But do accept the spoiler. A moderate quantity—not a slab a day.

So look for those bright colors, and enjoy eating, or drinking, your way to good health!

Create an excellent habit

When I was recovering from cancer treatment, my nutritionist ordered me to buy a food processor. She wanted me to drink at least five colorful fruits and raw veggies before breakfast every day. It’s nearly 20 years later, and both my husband and I start the day in this way. 

Follow this link!

5th January, 2018 – I received an email from Anna Kukircova inviting me to read and link to her post, How do Antioxidants Keep Us Healthy. I encourage you to follow this link and read it for yourself. It is an excellent post well illustrated with a video. Thank you Anna!

FROM SITE quotes CHANGED

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FROM SITE STRAIGHT

Thankful Thursday

FROM NOTEPAD

Thankful Thursday

Lime-Lemon Ginger Ale

This entry is part 6 in the series Juicing 101

 (Originally published September 2010. Updated 6 June, 2017)

Please note that this is in no way a medical article.

Discuss any concerns with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant.

Lime Lemon Ginger Ale is a pleasant and refreshing cold drink, ideal for a hot summer’s day. In addition to being tasty and thirst-quenching, it also has excellent health-benefits and will help you build your immune system, making it a good drink for those in-between days leading up to winter.

Image by Alvimann Morguefile.com

 

Benefits of Lime-Lemon Ginger Ale

  • Apples and lemons are rich in flavonoid, a compound that contains antioxidant and anti-cancer properties

  • Ginger is renowned for its many healing attributes, including cancer-fighting properties

  • Grapes are highly valued for their natural sugar content in the form of predigested glucose. Grapes are quickly absorbed and supply heat and energy to the body.

  • Limes are an excellent source of free citric acid, sugar, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.

  • Apples contain polyphenols which are also powerful antioxidants

  • They contain many vitamins and minerals and the skin contains pectin, which helps to remove toxic substances
  • Apples lower cholesterol and reduces skin disease

Ingredients of Lime-lemon Ginger Ale:  

  • 1 apple, without its core but with its skin still on
  • a handful of grapes, black or red if possible
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger (or less according to taste)
  • sparkling water  
  • Juice the apple and ginger together
  • Add the lime, lemon and grapes.
  • Pour into a glass and fill to the top with sparkling water.
  • Serve with ice.

  Yummy! Not to mention healthy.  

Tips: 

 Leave the skin on the apples. This makes for more nutritious juice as the skin contains more flavanoid than the pulp.  

More information about ginger: About Ginger    

Another recipe using ginger: Apple-ginger Tonic

Apple Ginger Tonic

This entry is part 5 in the series Juicing 101

(Originally published August 2010. Updated 6 June, 2017)

Please note that this is in no way a medical article.

Discuss any concerns with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant.

Benefits of Apple Ginger Tonic:

  • This juice taken regularly will help reduce bad bacteria overgrowth and
  • increase immunity.
  • This in turn helps to prevent viruses, especially in winter, and it will help fight colds and cancer.
  • Ginger contains an enzyme that will help to lower your  cholesterol.
  • The vitamins contained in the lemon (especially Vitamin C) and the apple help to prevent a cold or flu coming on, as well as prevent an existing dose from getting worse.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cm (1″) slice of ginger
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 cup water 

Tips:

  • Leave the skin on the apples when juicing. This makes the apple ginger tonic more nutritious as the skin contains more flavanoid.
  • This is best done in a juicer (juice extractor). Push everything through, add ice if you want it chilled, and drink.
  • If you use a blender you will have to strain it. 

Warning:

Pregnant women should not take ginger in high doses as it may increase the risk of miscarriage. Talk to your doctor before adding apple ginger tonic to your regular diet.

Benefits of this tasty drink:

  • Apples and lemons are rich in flavonoid, a compound that contains antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
  • Apples contain polyphenols which are also powerful antioxidants.
  • Both fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • The skin also contains pectin, which helps to remove toxic substances.
  • Apples lower cholesterol and reduces skin disease.
  • Ginger is renowned for its many healing attributes, including cancer-fighting properties.
  • Apple Ginger Tonic will help stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juice production to aid in digestion.

Read more about ginger here:

Come back next Tuesday for another ginger-based Recipe.

God’s Medicine Box

This entry is part 3 in the series Juicing 101

(Originally published August 2010. Updated 23 May, 2017)

As a student nurse, I developed an aversion to the subject of nutrition. It all seemed so unnecessary. I knew we needed to eat a balanced diet of proteins, vegetables, fruit and dairy. So what more was there to know?

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I determined to do everything possible to fight this disease. I read any book I could find that would suggest ways to improve my chances of recovery. Yet whenever I came to a chapter telling me what I should or shouldn’t eat, I skimmed past it, and continued to read the “important parts” of the book. Then I came to the end of my chemotherapy.

Suddenly I felt panic. read more

Do I Need a Juicer or Blender?

This entry is part 2 in the series Juicing 101

 (Originally published March 15, 2013. Updated 3 May, 2017)

I am often asked this question:

What’s the difference between a juicer or a blender?

Let’s spend some time looking at this topic. We will look at

  • What is a juicer?
  • What is a blender?
  • Which is better?
  • Food for Baby
  • Feed Your Growing Child
  • Early Morning Pickup Breakfast in a Glass

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