Make Your Own Health Drink
Health benefits of fruits and vegetables
Do you hate eating vegetables? Or, maybe you are saying like former president George W. Bush, "When I was a child my mother made me eat broccoli. Now I'm a grown man I don't have to eat broccoli." The fact is, whether young or old, we all need our vegetables. These foods contain important vitamins and minerals not found in meat, bread or the junk food we love to consume. They are useful in protecting our immune system thus preventing or fighting off many of the diseases that attack us. If you eat a balanced diet with a daily amount of fruits and vegetables, you would be getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Which brings me back to my question: do you hate eating vegetables? If you do and you want to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs, then why not drink your vegetables? You can use either a juicer or a blender to extract the juice. The choice is yours. With the juicer, you get less of the roughage, which may be better for people who are sensitive to fiber. With blending, all of the food is consumed. However, both methods allow a fast delivery of nutrients to your bloodstream and give your digestive system, particularly your stomach and pancreas, a much-needed break. To top it off, you will enjoy a delicious, high-powered drink that supercharges your body with the nutrients it needs.
Recently I bought one of these gizmos and I must say I'm quite happy with it. My reason for buying it was to reduce my carbohydrate intake and at the same time my LDL cholesterol without the use of medications. My doctor wanted to put me on a statin, which has dangerous side effects, such as liver damage. So I decided, no medications for me. I believe with proper diet and exercise I could lick this thing.
In the beginning, I drank my green juice, as I like to call it, every day, but it proved too much for my digestive system, so I switched to every other day. I have a glass in the morning and another at 11.00 a.m. I find that this keeps me full until lunchtime, which for me is around 12 .30, sometimes 1. 00. Then I have a salad and eat my regular dinner when I get home at night.
I don't know if my LDL has gone down because I haven't been to the doctor yet, but I know I am losing weight, my energy level has soared and my sleep has improved. Here's the combination of fruits and vegetables I have used so far:
- Kale - this is an excellent source of lutein, Vitamin C and folate, a B-vitamin. Lutein helps to prevent eye disease, Vitamin C is good for for healthy gums and teeth while folate is . important in the reduction of tumors in the female reproductive system and colorectal cancer. Cooking reduces the antioxidant power of lutein, therefore by extracting it, you retain this important nutritional value. Kale is also rich in dietary fiber which helps to prevent coronary heart disease.
- Spinach - like kale, spinach is rich in lutein, folate and dietary fiber. It also contains Vitamin A for healthy eyes and skin and helps prevent infection.
- Apples - You have heard the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." That's because this fruit is rich in flavenoids which prevent the DNA damage associated with free radicals. Apples, because of their fiber content, have been found to reduce cholesterol, gallstones and diabetes.
- Bananas - These are known for their high potassium content necessary for nerve and muscle function and to maintain a proper balance of fluids in your body. They are also rich in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system. Bananas also contain Vitamin B-6 needed to grow new cells, and manganese for healthy bones and metabolism. Because of its high fiber content, a banana helps to keep you full between meals.
- Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries - all rich in antioxidants which improve the absorption of Vitamin C for immune function. They also help to prevent some types of cancer.
- Pineapple - This fruit is rich in Vitamins and minerals which carry many of the benefits mentioned above. In addition, it is low in fat and cholesterol. Pineapple has the unique quality of helping to alleviate the pain of arthritis as well as carpal tunnel.
- Grapefruit - I usually add the juice of half a grapefruit as it is known for its weight-loss and cholesterol-fighting properties. Grapefruit also helps boost immunity and impedes the growth of prostate cancer cells.
- Carrot - This vegetable, rich in beta-carotene, is loaded with health benefits, among them preventing diseases of the eye, skin and heart, fighting cancer and reducing cholesterol levels.
In addition to the above, I add supplements such as flax seed powder, (cholesterol- reducing) chia seeds (cholesterol -reducing and blood glucose- controlling) and gogi berries (cholesterol reducing). These are all very healthful, but a word of caution: If you are taking any type of prescription drugs, please consult your doctor before beginning either juicing or blending or using any of the above supplements.