Fruit and vegetable juicing may be key to helping people with addictions

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(NaturalNews) Could juicing be instrumental in overcoming addictions ranging from nicotine to misuse of medications? For many people, the answer is a resounding, “yes.”

Keri Kenseth, an avid juicer, says that eating fresh fruits and vegetables in this manner is the ideal way for people to maintain good health, or in the case of people with addictions, to nurture their bodies back to health.

How juicing helps people with addictions restore their health

Bodies that have faced years of addictions are riddled with toxins that wreak havoc on overall functioning. From clarity, mood, circulation, to digestion, virtually every aspect of a properly-running system is jeopardized when addictions enter the picture.

That’s where juicing comes in.

Kenseth explains that juicing allows people to consume only the essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables, which work to flush out the toxins that have been accumulated from addictive behaviors. Good thing, because over time, all that tobacco, alcohol or other harmful substances can take a toll on our mental and physical health.

Because the fresh fruits and vegetables used for juicing are void of animal products and refined sugars, the body regains energy and its immune system becomes stronger, helping to give those addictions a proper send-off as they leave our body. In other words, adding known harms like processed foods or ones that are not whole to our diets only add fuel to the fire for a body that’s already struggling with toxins.

Personal stories of those who credit juicing for turning their life around

One incredible story comes from Quentin Vennie. He was a heavy smoker, overdosed on Vicodin and struggled with addictions to other medications. Flash forward to a life of juicing and yoga, he’s free of his addictions and now a Certified Personal Trainer in New York City. He says he looks to foods, not medications, to heal himself.

 

There’s also Tom Coghill, who admits to facing muscle spasms and short-term memory loss after abusing alcohol, painkillers and tranquilizers. When he decided to make a change in his life, he started juicing foods like carrots, cantaloupe, cucumber and watermelon. He says he experienced increased energy and more importantly, turned his life from one of life-threatening addictions to one of health and newfound spirituality.

While juicing clearly has many benefits, it should be noted that it may not be for everyone. It may sometimes cause diarrhea, hyperglycemia symptoms due to consumption of high concentrations of natural sugars, or lead to infections in instances where individuals do not properly clean their juicers.

 

What you should know about the juicing craze

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Juicing has become extremely popular. Juice bars that serve up fresh and colorful liquid concoctions are popping up everywhere, and home juicing of fruits and vegetables is on the rise.

Green juice, often made with kale, spinach, fruits and other vegetables, is becoming a household name. Fresh-squeezed or pressed juice has become a diet drink obsession alongside smoothies and herbal teas. If you plan to join the masses, or maybe you already have, there are some things you should know about juicing to make sure it’s right for you.

Juicing is now a multibillion-dollar business. Juice diets or juice fasts have been used for years as an extreme approach to weight loss, but the newer juicing movement has roots in a growing emphasis on raw and plant-based eating.

There are many philosophies when it comes to juicing meal plans. Juices are often consumed in place of meals, but also can be enjoyed as a snack or refreshment.

While many juicing companies and juice enthusiasts tout fresh juice as an anti-cancer antidote that boosts the immune system and is beneficial for digestion, there is limited evidence that there are health benefits beyond those provided by simply consuming the fruits and vegetables whole.

Because the juicing machine extracts the juice from the produce, the nutrient- and fiber-rich pulp and skin is left behind. Because of this, juices should not be relied upon as a sole dietary source of fruits or vegetables.

To avoid wasting the fruit and veggie pulp, repurpose it by adding it to baked goods like muffins or breads for an extra fiber boost.

Since juices do contain the full calorie and sugar content of the fruit, it is important to consider how fresh juices may be contributing to overall daily calories consumed. One medium piece of fruit contains about 60 calories. This amount of fruit yields about 4 ounces of juice, so a 16-ounce serving of fruit juice contains about 240 calories. For some drinking juice multiple times daily, these calories can really add up.

Since a serving of non-starchy vegetables like cucumber, kale, spinach and parsley contains about 25 calories or less, consuming juices that contain veggies with fruits can help reduce the overall caloric content.

There are some safety concerns when it comes to following a juice-only diet. First, because fruits and veggies don’t have significant amounts of protein, juice diets can result in muscle loss, which often leads to a slowed metabolism and weight gain once a regular eating pattern is resumed.

Also, because the fiber is removed during juicing, the final product is low in fiber and may not be adequately filling. High-protein foods like Greek yogurt, almond milk, nut butters, flaxseeds and chia seeds can be added to juices to make them more nutritionally balanced.

Food safety precautions should be followed when juicing at home. Be sure to wash your hands before getting started. All produce should be cleaned thoroughly. When you are finished juicing be sure to clean and dry the juicer and all parts thoroughly to prevent bacterial growth. Since fresh juices are not pasteurized, they should be consumed as soon as possible to prevent food-borne illness. Ideally, drink fresh juice the same day it is made or at least within two to three days.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can fit into a balanced meal plan and help improve the overall quality of one’s diet. However, consumption of a juice-only diet is nutritionally inadequate, lacking in protein, fiber and many other nutrients. If you are interested in drinking more fresh juices, consider vegetable-based juices, which are lower in calories and still full of flavor.

LeeAnn Weintraub, a registered dietitian, provides nutrition counseling and consulting to individuals, families and businesses. This article by Ms. Weintraub was originally published at the www.dailynews.com. She can be reached at RD@halfacup.com.

Juicing: Healthy Detox or Diet Trap?

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Photo credit: Ryan MCuay/Thinkstock

Juicing – if you believe its avid fans – is a great way to detox the body, prevent disease and lose weight.

There’s something appealing about being able to blend up broccoli, kale and cucumbers and mask them with the sweet taste of strawberries. You get your vitamins without having to chow down on salad every day at lunch.

Plus you can tell everyone you’re juicing, which helps you look cool in today’s fitness-focused world.

But (you knew there was a “but” coming), you can’t juice all day, every day, and expect to stay healthy. We took to the experts to answer your most pressing juice questions:

What are some of the benefits of juicing?

New research shows eating up to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day can have a significant impact on your lifespan. For those of us who don’t have time to cut up or cook two servings with every meal, juicing is an easy way to consume them on the go.

“Many people don’t really like to eat fruits and vegetables, and this gives them a way to feel like they are doing something good for themselves,” says Gayl Canfield, director of nutrition for Pritkin Longevity Center.

Juicing provides all the same vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients as eating whole fruits and vegetables, Canfield says. And the water content can help you stay hydrated.

Juicing is also a good way to use up any about-to-spoil produce, which means you’re doing your part to stop food waste.

Juicing is low-calorie, right?

Not exactly. While juicing is probably low-calorie compared to a cheeseburger and fries, it’s a very concentrated source of calories.

A cup of pineapple, for instance, is about 83 calories, but a cup of pineapple juice is 120 calories. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice may contain as many as four medium oranges, Canfield says.

“Would a person actually sit down and eat four oranges in one sitting?” she asks. “But you can down that glass of orange juice in fewer than 5 minutes.”

And because the fruit is more concentrated, so is the sugar content.

A cup of pomegranate juice contains 37 grams of sugar, compared to just 12 grams in a cup of whole pomegranate.

Consuming your food in liquid form may also leave you feeling less fulfilled, meaning you’ll eat more calories than you would if you simply chewed the food, says Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic.

Will it help me detox?

First, let’s start with why you think your body needs to detox. Your organs — particularly the liver and kidneys — and your immune system already work hard to rid your body of toxins.

“There is nothing in the medical literature to affirm that the body needs an outside source to cleanse itself,” says registered dietician Deborah Levy.

Still, some people say juicing helps them transition to healthier habits. It’s worth a shot — of juice that is.

For clients who insist on doing a cleanse, Levy recommends they limit it to three days.

Can I go on an all-juice diet?

You can, but it’s not a good idea.

“You want your diet to be balanced and healthy and to include protein, dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fats,” Nelson says. “Some foods don’t juice properly — like fish or whole wheat bread.”

We’ll let you think about that yummy concoction for a minute.

When you juice fruits and vegetables, you’re “mechanically pulverizing,” them, Nelson says. Doing so separates the fiber from the juice. This fiber helps regulate your blood sugar levels after you eat a piece of whole fruit. Without fiber, the sugar in juice goes unchecked.

“The wonderful health effects of fiber — satiety value, gastrointestinal regulation, (bad) cholesterol lowering and blood glucose regulations are missing in the juice,” Canfield says.

Although going on a liquid diet might help you lose weight in the short term, it can seriously mess with your metabolism. And lean muscle mass starts to break down after just a few days — meaning your body will burn fewer calories overall.

“Very few people will ever voluntarily consume a liquid diet for life,” Nelson says, and the pounds will quickly pile back on once you re-introduce solid foods.

So what’s the bottom line?

Juicing in moderation can help you consume essentials nutrients, but it’s not a good way to detox or diet. Orange you glad you asked?

This article written by Jacque Wilson was originally published at cnn.com

Juicing vs. Blending: Which One Is Better?

Photo: blog.letstalkhealth.com

Photo: blog.letstalkhealth.com

This is a question that we get asked all the time. Which is better: juicing or blending? Does one offer more health benefits than the other? Juices and smoothies both play an important role in any wellness program and we discuss the benefits of each in both of our films, Food Matters and Hungry For Change. We believe that both juicing and blending are very beneficial, but in different ways.

Here is a short comparison that explains the differences between the two as well as some of the specific benefits of each.

What’s The Difference?

JUICING

Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce  and discards the indigestible fiber.  

Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. In fact, it makes the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole.

This is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system or illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber. The fiber in produce helps slow down the digestive process and provides a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream. Jason Vale calls juicing “A nutrient express!”

Freshly squeezed vegetable juices form part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient rich and nourish and restore the body at a cellular level.

A word of caution: When you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream quickly. If you are only juicing fruits, this would cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar  levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more!Fiber is also filling and without fiber in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly.

BLENDING


Unlike juices, smoothies consist  of the entire entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables.
However, the blending process breaks the fibre apart (which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest ) but also helps create a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoids blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fiber, and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day.

By including the fiber in your smoothie, the volume will increase. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie.

Fiber is also filling and without fiber in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly.

Juicing and Blending Rules


1. It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s apple). This can affect how well your digestive enzymes function.

This doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit due to their high starch content. 
In his book Food Combining Made Easy, Dr. Herbert Shelton explains that starchy foods have to be eaten alone because starches are digested with enzymes different from those used for any other food group. Combining starchy foods with fruit may cause fermentation and gas. However, Dr. Shelton found that green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything.

2. Try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away. After 15 minutes, light and air will destroy much of the nutrients. If you can’t drink it straight away, transfer to a dark airtight container until you’re ready.

Using The Right Equipment


To get the most benefit from your juices and smoothies, it’s important to use the right equipment. Invest in a good-quality juicer. Cheaper, centrifugal juicers introduce heat and oxygen and destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. While it may cost you a bit more initially, a premium cold-press juicer will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term.


The machines themselves will also generally last longer. In contrast to the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out their juice.

The same goes for a blender. You want a blender that is gentle on your produce and doesn’t heat up the enzymes as it’s pulling apart the fibres. We spend money on gadgets, clothes, restaurants and other luxuries so, if you can afford it, investing in your health by buying a quality juicer or blender is totally worth it.

Juicing for Health and Weight Loss

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Ready to give juicing a whirl? It’s an easy way to get more fruits and veggies into your diet.

Before you get started, you should know a few things about what you can expect juicing to do for you, and what’s just hype.

The Biggest Advantage

“If you’re not big into fruits and vegetables, it’s a good way to get them in,” says nutritionist Jennifer Barr, RD, of Wilmington, DE. You should still eat fruits and vegetables, too, says Manuel Villacorta, RD, founder of Eating Free, a weight management program.

Aim to eat two whole fruits and three to four vegetables a day. Choose them in different colors,  so you get a good mix of vitamins and minerals, Barr says.

Fiber Factor

When you juice, you don’t get the fiber that’s in whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing machines extract the juice and leave behind the pulp, which has fiber.

So you don’t miss out on the fiber, you can add some of the pulp back into the juice or use it in cooking.

Barr adds it to muffin batter, or to make broth for cooking soup, rice, and pasta. That’s “going the extra step to fortify your meals,” she says.

Do You Need a Juicing Machine?

Juicers can be expensive, ranging from $50 to $400. Some more expensive juicers will break down a lot of the fruit by grinding the core, rind, and seeds, Barr says.

You may not need a juicing machine to make juice. You can use a blender for most whole fruits or vegetables to keep the fiber. Add water if it becomes too thick, Villacorta says. You’ll want to remove seeds and rinds, and some skins.

Once your juice is ready, it’s best to drink it the same day you make it, for food safety. Wash your blender or juice machine thoroughly, so it’s ready for your next batch.

Watch the Calories

How many calories are in your juice? That depends on what’s in it.

“You could be taking up to four fruits, and now the calories start adding up. If you use vegetables to juice, the calories are a lot less. If they use mainly vegetables, add an apple or kiwi for flavor. Calories are a concern if it’s pure fruit juice,” Villacorta says.

You can make your juice more balanced by adding protein. Some good sources are almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, and peanut butter.

This article, written by Anna Nguyen, originally appeared on WebMD.com

Wellness Revolution Growing Consciousness

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The wellness revolution and the growing consciousness about the juice we drink says a lot about who we are.

In the matter of juicing, celebrities and chefs endorse the healthful wonders of juicing fruits, vegetables and herbs. Health advocates list health benefits such as detoxification of the liver and colon, boosting your body’s immunity, weight loss and cancer prevention.

The ever popular and fashionable, juicing entered the mainstream market through our living room as we watch primetime TV. It’s supposed to be a domestic thing to buy the pricey and shiny little appliance perched on the kitchen counter.

Juicer type

The masticating juicer is the newer type in the market but with specialized extraction method to please health buffs and juice lovers. It is the kind of juicer you watched Jack LaLanne demonstrating on TV.

Cold press extracts the most juice from fruits and vegetables. It works by slowly crushing and pressing the fruit or vegetable to extract the juice and reducing the pulp and skin into a dry state.

No other type of juicer works with exceptional efficiency to extract milk from nuts such as cashew and almonds into fresh milk juice. It also works smoothly to extract green juice from wheat grass.

It packs fresher nutrients into the juices because the slow crushing and pressing motion produce less heat and does not break down nutrients.

Big business in juicing

Now, big business is in on the juicing trend, part of a $50 billion a year health and wellness food market. It’s even in the news on Reuters.

Starbucks, the nation’s favorite coffee brand, bought Evolution Fresh for $30 million dollars. Howard Schultz understands America’s fascination with fresh juices and will set up more juice bars in the West Coast, where Evolution Fresh is based.

More people are turning to healthy freshly-pressed juices from caffeine. Starbucks must have recognized this trend, too. On the other hand, the enthusiasm on juicing has encouraged many to grow their own fruits and vegetables in their backyard.

Juices from fruits and vegetables give you a concentrated cocktail that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Others share smoothie recipes online to go along with their varied taste in juicing.

They are a good source of nutrition and energy. Finally, juices are a low-calorie intake that helps you get rid of fat, extra weight and allergies, and re-invigorate your metabolism to maintain a healthy weight.

As the wellness revolution became a growing consciousness, many people are now taking charge of their own health by eating the right food to stay healthy.

This article, written by Janet Grace Ortigasoriginally appeared on http://visualseocopy.com

Janet Grace Ortigas is the founder of marketing and media website http://visualseocopy.com. She is a journalist, copywriter and Health Editor of Guardian Express LV.