The Health Benefits of Berry Juice Recipes
A daily berry juice recipe can go a long way to provide
overall health and well being. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and
raspberries are very nutritious and grow commonly here in the US. In season
they may even grow right in your back yard, or nearby, depending on where you
live! If you have a juicing machine here are some delicious berry juice recipes
you can make at home.
Bonanza Berry Blend
2 cups of blackberries
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of raspberries
Rinse berries, juice, enjoy! Berries are very easy to juice and require no prepping other than a rinse. However, I recommend an apron. Blackberry and blueberry juice are difficult stains to remove from clothing.
Kiwi and Blueberry
2 cups of blueberries
Peel kiwis before juicing.
1 cup of blueberries
Core apple but only peel if the apple is not organic. The peel is a great source of health promoting flavonoids. Non-organic apples are sprayed with pesticides which embed themselves in the apple peel. Toxic heavy metals like arsenic and lead are used in pesticides, so it is a good idea to try to avoid them! Top the strawberries, juiced strawberry stems produce a sour unpleasant taste.
Health Benefits of Berries
A common antioxidant found in berries, and especially blueberries and blackberries, are anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are also believed to be one of the key ingredients in the heart healthy properties of red wine because of their positive effect upon our arteries. Research shows us that there are two ways in which anthocyanins promote artery health -
1) Anthocyanins are antioxidants that protect our artery walls from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that are created naturally in the body during metabolic processes and are also present in UV light. Today, free radicals are an even greater problem, they are are found in polluted air as a result of gas emissions and industrial smoke. Toxic heavy metals are also found in our water systems and seafood and act as potent free radicals when they enter our bodies. So our need for antioxidants in our diet has increased parallel to the growth of pollution. The damage caused to arteries by free radicals leads to impaired cells and inflammation of the artery wall. This continued inflammation leads to a hardening of the arteries and contributes to plaque build up that develops into arteriosclerosis - a condition that is the leading factor in heart disease. So a daily berry juice recipe loaded with anthocyanins is a great help in protecting us from free radical induced artery damage.
2) Anthocyanins can also help build strong arteries as well as defend them. Anthocyanins aid vitamin C in the construction of collagen, the sticky firming elasticated substance that holds just about every part of us together from our brains to our skin to our arteries. Although anthocyanins are not essential for creating collagen like vitamin C is, they add 'another layer' to the collagen matrix. This helps to keep arteries supple and elasticated and is another way that anthocyanins help to prevent the develop of arteriosclerosis.
Blackberries and Skin Health
Blackberries are under sung compared to their brother the blueberry, but are just as nutritious. The overall antioxidant power of blueberries is just marginally better than blackberries; however, blackberries exceed blueberries when it comes to their content of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. These three vitamins are essential for healthy skin.
Vitamin A is needed for the creation, maintenance and repair of epithelial skin cells. Even a small deficiency of this vitamin can lead to dry flaky skin.
Vitamin C, as described above, is essential in creating collagen. Collagen keeps the skin firm and elaticated therefore helping to keep the skin looking younger for longer.
Vitamin E helps to protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV light. Doses of 400IU a day can protect skin cells and reduce our risk of developing skin cancer.
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