There are many benefits of juicing for health. These days, our diet is lacking because we eat too many ‘fake’ foods – chemically loaded trash concocted in a lab. The side effects of these fake foods are obesity, fatigue, weak immune system, lack of mental clarity and skin issues just to name a few.
If you don’t like eating fruits and veggies, one of the benefits of juicing for health is that it’s a great way to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs. If you add juices to your diet a three or four times a week, you’ll find you have more energy, you’ll lose weight and even your mood will improve!
But don’t go on a juice only diet because it may not provide enough fiber to keep you full or enough protein to prevent muscle loss. While juicing helps you lose weight, your body needs protein to protect muscle mass. Also, if you limit yourself too much your metabolism will slow down. Then, when you stop dieting, you’ll quickly regain the weight you lost plus more and have to diet to lose it again only to repeat the same never-ending cycle (yo-yo diet). Not only that, but extreme diets are too hard to stick to and you fight cravings all the time. The benefits of juicing will then be offset by this.
Keep in mind is that juice is a concentrated source of calories. Fruit juice is very high in calories because of sugar content. For this reason, it’s crucial to include veggies in your juices. One serve of fruit has around 60 calories. A serve of veggies about 25 calories, and 3 cups of leafy greens about 25 calories. Each fruit serve is about 4 ounces of juice. A typical juice is 12-16 ounces so 100% fruit juice would be 180-240 calories. So the calories add up. Vegetable juice has fewer calories. To add sweetness to a veggie juice an apple, pear or kiwi. Calories are only a concern with 100% fruit juice.
Don’t forget to include different colored fruits and vegetables, as different colors contain different nutrients.
To add protein to your juice you can use almond milk, Greek yogurt, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, egg, peanut butter or even a protein powder.
So what are the benefits of juicing for health?
- Juicing is easy way to consume several serves of fruit and veg in one sitting, especially if you find it hard to eat fresh fruit and vegetables
- Juicing makes it easy to absorb nutrients because it partly breaks the food down. Nutrients go straight to your blood stream which carries them to where they are needed.
- Juicing can increase the variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Always eating the same foods can cause an allergy to arise. Juicing also allows you to eat things you don’t enjoy eating whole eg. you may not like spinach, but you might like spinach and pineapple juice.
- Juicing is the perfect detox, especially green juices with chlorophyll which attaches to toxins and helps expel them from your body. It also promotes red blood cell production.
- Juicers can be expensive (up to $400).
- Juicers remove the pulp which contains nutrients and fiber.
- When you start juicing, you may notice you start getting headaches, diarrhoea, nausea etc. This is because your body is going through detox and the side effects are temporary. As more toxic buildup enters the blood stream on their way OUT of the body they cause these issues. Once the health benefits of juicing have caused you to expel these nasty toxins the side effects will end.
The first two issues can be overcome by using a blender to keep the fiber and all the nutrients. For hard vegetables like carrots and ginger that are not easily blended into a juice, simply grate them before adding to the blender.
One of the greatest advocates of the benefits of juicing is a lady named Kris Carr. You can visit her site at http://kriscarr.com/ (NOTE: This is NOT an affiliate link).
In looking for the most nutritious foods we need to know there are two types of nutrients needed by the human body:
- Macronutrients: These are needed in large amounts. They include carbs, protein, healthy fat and water. They also include macro minerals (calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, iron).
- Micronutrients: These are needed in small amounts. They include vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
These days we eat far too many processed foods with little nutritional value. Some experts believe that up to 90% of Americans are not getting enough of some of the most crucial nutrients. This can lead to chronic disease; osteoperosis, anemia, night cramps, heart disease, diabetes etc. This isn’t always directly, because certain nutrients protect us from certain diseases. For instance, omega 3 lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease, promotes healthy eyesight and healthy joints.
So how can we address this issue? It’s easy to improve our diet by going back to basics. Eat organic foods if you can afford it. Organic produce is ripened on the plant so it’s absorbing nutrients from the soil for longer making it more nutritious. It’s also a good idea to eat raw foods when you can because cooking destroys many nutrients. An extra crucial factor is digestion. Fresh produce contains digestive enzymes. Our bodies need these enzymes to break down nutrients so we can absorb them. Cooking and processing kills them. This makes it harder for our body to digest and absorb nutrients. We also need the good bacteria found in things like yogurt, cheese, kefir etc.
So what are the most nutritious foods?
So we need to know what the most nutritious foods are. It’s not just the so called ‘super’ foods. Some of the most nutritious foods are found in the fresh produce section of any grocery store. Foods like:
- All berries: Especially blueberries, cranberries, black currants and goji berries.
- Leafy green: Kale, spinach. romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts.
- peppers and chili.
- sweet potatoes (yams): Low GI.
Herbs and spices
- Cilantro (coriander).
Nuts (Best eaten raw without salt)
Seeds (Eat raw)
- Pine nuts.
- Pumpkin (pepita).
- Whole wheat (not white flour which is NOT healthy).
- Broad (fava) beans.
- Black beans.
- Black eyed beans.
- Chick Peas
- Edamame (baby soy beans).
- Lima Beans
- Hemp oil.
- Flax seed oil.
- Rice bran oil.
- Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Note: Olive oil is not very heat stable which means it corrupts when it gets heated. It is best not to use it for cooking but as a dressing or glaze etc. So it’s only on this list of most nutritious foods when used cold. The best oil for cooking is rice bran oil because it is heat stable.
Meat and Dairy
- Cottage cheese.
- Free range eggs.
- Goat cheese.
- Sardines (wild)
- Skinless chicken breasts.
- Tuna (wild)
- Wild salmon.
- Unpasteurized honey.
Want to find more info? The best place to go for nutritional info on foods is NutritionData. You can even do a search by nutrient if you find out you are low in something.
If you are trying to lose weight you need to know the importance of good nutrition to health. It is even more important than ever to consume the right foods that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. If you don’t do this you could end up suffering from malnutrition. This will cause your body to hold on to it’s fat cells more than ever. Even if you are not on a diet you still need to maintain good nutrition.
What is the importance of good nutrition to health?
For most of us, our nutrition is not healthy. We tend to eat a lot of junk and processed foods. These foods are lacking in nutrients because processing and cooking kills them. So even though we are having huge numbers of calories we are not getting the nutrients our body needs. Even healthy foods like fruit and vegetables lack the nutrients they had 50 years ago. This is because they are harvested much earlier and ripened in cold storage. The longer they spend on the plant the more nutrients they absorb. But the minute they are harvested, they cease to absorb nutrients from the soil. In fact, their nutrient levels even decrease over time. Sadly, modern farming does not take the importance of good nutrition into account.
So how does our body respond to this nutrient famine? … CRAVINGS! There can be many reasons for cravings but one of them is our body trying to force us to consume the nutrients it needs. The problem is, because our diets are lacking in so many nutrients, our body doesn’t know what foods provide them so it stimulates appetite in general.
If our body knows where to get the nutrients, it craves foods that provide them. Eating a diet that includes all of the nutrients our body needs educates our body to know where to obtain those nutrients. Then, when it needs them, it will crave foods that contain them. This prevents cravings for unhealthy foods and therefore also prevents weight gain and supports weight loss. This is because foods that are highest in nutrients tend to be lowest in calories. Can you see the importance of good nutrition here? Does it make sense to you?
An extra crucial factor is digestion. Our body needs the digestive enzymes found in fresh produce. We need them to break down nutrients so we can absorb them. Cooking and processing kills these enzymes which makes it harder for our body to digest and absorb the nutrients. We also need the good bacteria found in things like yogurt, cheese, kefir etc.
To put it simply, eating has two purposes:
- Calories for energy.
- Nutrients for health.
Both of these factors are important but lets deal with them in turn.
Calories for Energy
Every person has a ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’ (BMR). This is the number of calories required to maintain the body. Each persons BMR differs due to several factors:
- Age: Young people have higher caloric needs because they are still growing and they’re more active.
- Gender: Males need 5-10% more calories to support extra muscle mass.
- Weight: Bones, muscles and even fat cells need calories to maintain themselves.
- Height: Related to weight, the taller you are the more you weigh.
- Activity level: The more active you are the more calories you need.
You can calculate your BMR here. Sadly, these days most of us neglect the importance of good nutrition and consume far more calories than we need. This has caused the obesity epidemic. Because we have a diet that is high in calories and low in nutrients.
Nutrients for health
When it comes to the importance of good nutrition, there are two types of nutrients needed by the human body:
- Macronutrients: Those needed in large amounts. They include carbs, protein, fat, macro minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc etc), and water.
- Micronutrients: Those needed in small amounts. They include vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Most of our bodies calorie needs are supplied by carbs (4 calories per gram), protein (4 calories per gram) and fat (9 calories per gram). But our diets also lack many of the macro minerals, vitamins, trace elements and water. Many people suffer chronic dehydration, osteoperosis (caused by longer term chronic lack of calcium), anemia (lack of iron), night cramps caused by lack of magnesium etc.
So what can we do? Once we know the importance of good nutrition it’s easy to improve our diet. Eat organic foods if you can afford it. Organic produce is ripened on the plant so it’s higher in nutrients. It’s also a good idea to eat foods raw when you can because cooking kills the nutrients. There are plenty of foods that are real nutritional power houses. Some of them are the so called ‘super’ foods. But most are found in the fresh produce section of any grocery store. Foods like:
- Berries: Especially blueberries, cranberries and goji berries.
- Herbs and spices: Thyme, parsley, basil, ginger, garlic and cilantro (coriander).
- Green vegetables: Kale, spinach, wheat grass, broccoli and spirulina (supplement form).
- Beans (legumes).
- Dark chocolate: Must be dark chocolate not milk. Approx 1.5 oz (45g) per day.
- Seeds: Pepita (pumpkin), flax seed, chia seeds, sunflower seeds. Flax and chia are a great source of omega 3.
- Salmon and other seafood.
- Yogurt, kefir etc: Great source of probiotics.
Add more of these into your diet if you’re concerned about the importance of good nutrition and you will be on the right track to improve your health and your life.
Are you worried about the potassium bromate cancer risk? If so, you are not alone. The US is one of the few places that still uses this potentially unsafe compound in breads and pastry. Even though it has been clearly linked with thyroid, liver and other cancers in rats and mice.
Potassium bromate is used in flour and baked goods to increase volume and texture. It is banned in many other places like the EU, Brazil, Canada and China. Most bromate breaks down into the harmless bromide during baking. But even small amounts will increase cancer risk over a lifetime. If the bread or pastry isn’t baked at a high enough temp or for long enough, or if too much potassium bromate is added at the start, it may still be found in the final product.
Potassium Bromate Cancer Risk.
Google scholar has over 2,500 results for the term potassium bromate cancer and every one refers to a research study. Oddly enough the potassium bromate msds doesn’t mention any of these research studies. Perhaps because they involved rodents rather than humans. But why would there be so many studies if it was harmless?
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) data says potassium bromate is highly toxic. It caused;
- Renal tumours in rats.
- Thyroid tumours in rats.
- Peritoneal mesotheliomas in male rats.
- Renal tumours in hamsters.
- Oxidative DNA damage in rat kidneys leading to kidney tumours.
So is it really safe, or are we playing with fire by using it? Should we ignore this data just because the studies involve rodents and therefore don’t reflect the effect on humans. Or should we avoid the potassium bromate cancer risk? It’s up to you. It’s your health.
This post is part of our food additives to avoid series.
There are many serious sulphur dioxide health risks and yet this compound is still used in foods like soft drinks, juices, cordials, dried fruit, potato products,vinegar, beer and wine. Sulfur based additives are toxic and experts agree that Sulphur dioxide in food should not be eaten by children. In 1986, the FDA banned use of this preservative on raw fruit and veggies after its use was linked with several deaths.
Sulphur dioxide health risks include:
- Breathing problems particularly in those prone to asthma and other lung conditions
- Hypotension (low blood pressure),
- Flushing tingling sensations
- Anaphylactic shock.
- Severe heachaches
- Skin rashes
According to FDA data, around 1% of people are sensitive to sulphur dioxide. Mainly those with asthma and other lung conditions. In severe cases, airways close totally, leading to suffocation or cardiac arrest and death. The International Labour Organization advises that those with conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease avoid E220.
Sulphur dioxide (E220) also destroys vitamins B1 and E.
If sulphur dioxide levels exceed 10ppm then it must be listed on the food label. But just because a label doesn’t list it doesn’t mean it isn’t there because if foods contain products like dried fruit treated with sulphur dioxide, labels don’t need to list it. The label need only mention that the product contain dried fruit even though the dried fruit has been treated with sulphur dioxide. The only way to avoid this is to buy organic.
According to the sulphur dioxide msds it has a suffocating odor and leaves an acidic taste in the mouth. It’s a toxic, corrosive gas that can cause severe chemical burns if inhaled or upon skin contact. If it comes in contact with the eye it will burn the cornea which may lead to vision loss. Inhaling it will burn and irritate the respiratory tract and mucous membranes. Excessive exposure may result in chemical pneumonitis (inflammation), pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding) and edema fluid buildup. It targets the airway, lungs, eyes, and skin.
View the sulfur dioxide msds here.
Even though they only affect around 1% of people, sulphur dioxide health risks are pretty scary. Would you want to take the risk of exposing yourself or your children?
This post is part of our food additives to avoid series.