Juicing Safely: 18 Avoidable Hazards of Fruit and Vegetable Juicing fruit healthTips

There is so much juice recipe information and nutritional advice on the internet, and it can be hard to sort out what is legitimate from what is not. Everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegetable juices can be powerful “medicine” for a range of diseases, but not everyone knows that those people who have health conditions or diseases need to take care when juicing.

Finding reputable information sources and checking with a healthcare professional before juicing is recommended. Juicing is generally safe and healthy but it’s important to consider some of the potential hazards so that you can avoid them.

1. Certain raw fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with food-borne pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella. However, this is much more rare than such contaminations in animal products. To be safe, fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly scrubbed before cutting or juicing, and people with compromised immune systems or who are pregnant should stay away from especially susceptible foods such as sprouts.

2. Blood thinners such as Warfarin can have their effectiveness reduced if the patient consumes too much Vitamin K. Because of this, people on blood thinner should avoid consuming the juices of broccoli, carrot, wheatgrass, cranberries, kale, and other fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin K.

3. Garlic is considered a blood-thinner. Very high doses should not be consumed by pregnant or recently postpartum women, nor by any patient before or after surgery.

4. Onion and pomegranate can also amplify the effects of anticoagulant medications, so individuals taking these medications should consult a healthcare professional.

5. Garlic can also interact with medications including but not limited to quinolone antibiotics, hypoglycemic medications, antihypertensive agents, and calcium channel blockers.

6. Cauliflower is not recommended for individuals with gout or high levels of uric acid due to “purine” content, a natural substance that leads to excess uric acid. Large amounts of cauliflower as well as raw cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts should not be consumed by people with hypothyroidism. They are goitrogenic foods that may cause an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone and potentially a goiter in people with thyroid disease.

7. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who take birth control pills should consult a doctor before consuming larger than normal quantities of alfalfa sprouts. Avoid alfalfa sprout and bean sprout juice if you have a hormone-sensitive condition such as certain cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, etc.

8. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid bitter gourd and wheatgrass completely. Pineapple juice is not recommended in high doses for pregnant women as it may cause uterine contractions

9. Diabetics should carefully monitor their blood glucose when consuming large amounts of alfalfa as it may lower blood glucose.

10. Bitter gourd and blueberries may cause hypoglycemia in diabetics so they also require monitoring. You may find juice recipe information indicating other concerns about juicing for diabetics, and your doctor or nutritionist may have important advice regarding how to juice safely.

11. People with kidney problems should avoid asparagus and eggplant juice.

12. If you are on a low-potassium diet, consult your doctors before consuming large amounts of pear juice.

13. Those with kidney stones should avoid large quantities of beets, eggplant, concord grapes, kiwi, plum, other vegetables and fruits high in oxalic acid.

14. Cranberries can cause excess uric acid and calcium in the urine, increasing the chance of calcium-oxalate stone formation.

15. Spinach should be avoided by people with hepatitis, rheumatism, intestinal inflammations, gallstones and kidney stones. Strawberries and excessive amounts of sweet potato should be avoided by people with gallstone and kidney stones, as well.

16. If you suffer from gallstones, have a bleeding disorder, or take a blood-thinning medication (including aspirin) do not consume ginger before consulting a doctor. It can contribute to the thinning of the blood.

17. Grapefruit is notorious for interacting with a number of medications. Rather than making the medications less effective, in many cases grapefruit increases their efficacy which can lead to overdoses. Grapefruit interacts with statins, some chemotherapy agents, Buspar, certain beta blockers, fexofenadine, carbamazepine, certain anti-retrovirals, some immunosuppressants, sertraline and cyclosporine.

18. You can easily avoid whichever juices might cause bad reactions for you. Search for juice recipe information for fruits and vegetables you know you can safely consume, and then combine those fruits and vegetables creatively. Delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetable juices are just moments away.

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Dried Fruit – Smart Snack Or Health Hazard? Eating Well Tips

In speaking to countless patients over the years, it is apparent that people generally want to eat a healthy diet. In most cases, however, this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of planning to eat right each day, and many people feel overwhelmed by the high volume of information about nutrition coming from magazines, newspapers, television and medical professionals. One of the most common concerns I hear from patients is the difficulty of getting enough servings of fresh produce. To make it easier, people often turn to dried fruit out of convenience. My wife often buys these types of snacks every time we are in the airport. I would like to explore these kinds of choices and let you know whether or not it is a truly healthy option.

The Importance of Fruit

Everyone needs fruit and vegetables to stay healthy. These natural wonders are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the substances that protect our cells from free radical damage. Many fruits commonly sold both fresh and dried, such as blueberries, cherries, cranberries and figs, are particularly rich in nutrients that protect our health.

Depending on age, weight and activity level, most adults must consume 5 to 9 fruit and vegetable servings each day. The problem is that choosing fresh produce isn’t always easy. You may not have access to a refrigerator at work all day, and delicate fruits like pears and raspberries don’t travel very well. Furthermore, purchasing fresh fruit at fast food restaurants, delis, or convenience shops is either impossible or expensive, and the selection is very limited. Despite these challenges, eating your daily produce servings is a natural, highly effective way to keep your body at its best.

Dried Fruit Pros and Cons

For many people, dried fruit has become the go-to solution to the produce dilemma. The question, however, remains: Is dried fruit truly healthy? The answer is not as clear as you might think. To make dried fruit, manufacturers remove the water. It is the water in fresh fruit that contributes to spoilage and bacteria growth, so dehydrating the fruit makes it shelf stable for six months to a year. If dried fruit is simply fresh fruit with the water extracted, how could it be bad for you?

In order to dehydrate fruit like plums, apricots, figs, grapes and all the rest, the fruit must be exposed to dry heat from either the sun or commercial grade ovens. This heat has a negative effect on fruit’s nutrient content. In particular, vitamin C, potassium and calcium are three important substances that drastically deteriorate during the drying process.

For example, a dried apricot loses over half of its potassium content, and fruits high in vitamin C lose nearly all nutritional value due to drying. On the upside, however, dried fruit does not lose its fiber and iron content.

Another issue to consider with dried fruit is chemical content. For certain fruits, such as, golden raisins and apricots, sulphur dioxide is used to fix the color during the drying process. This chemical may aggravate or provoke asthma attacks in some individuals. To avoid unwanted additives, you can purchase natural and organic dried fruit at health food stores.

When you eat dried fruit, you must also take calories into account. Remember, the water has been removed, considerably reducing the volume of the fruit. Therefore, you will need to eat a smaller portion of dried fruit compared with fresh fruit in order to consume the same amount of calories.

For example, one cup of fresh grapes has about 60 calories, while one cup of raisins has 495 calories-quite a difference!

In addition, dried fruit tends to be much sweeter due to concentrated flavor, so it’s easy to eat a lot without thinking about it. To keep calories in check, divide fresh fruit into individual portions and put them in zip top bags. Keep single servings in your car, purse or desk drawer for snacking.

Despite some stumbling blocks, the National Cancer Institute says that a quarter cup of dried fruit counts as a serving of produce. I recommend that my patients who enjoy dried fruit eat it as just one of their daily produce servings, and that they carefully monitor portion size. With healthy eating, variety is the key. If you purchase natural, chemical-free dried fruit and eat it along with a wide array of fruits and vegetables, it can be a convenient solution to your eat-right goals.

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Health Benefits of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juices fruit healthTips

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are a wonderful source of nutrition. They are great for healthy people and can be life saving for those who are ill. Once you get started drinking fresh juices, you will experience some of the most delightful flavors a person could ever begin to imagine!  Fruit juices contain nutrients that are in a form that need no digestion so they are ready for immediate absorption and assimilation into the body, which is why they are so wonderful for people who are fighting serious illnesses.

When considering juice, the freshness of one’s juice is vitally important. The best thing to do whenever possible is to make the juice and drink it on the spot! The reason is because it quickly loses its nutritional value after being squeezed. This is one of the reasons why store-bought juice (even “naked” juice) is not going to do for you what freshly squeezed juices will do. Canned and bottled juices that are pasteurized have had all their enzymes destroyed through processing, and in addition, usually have sugar added, so they would not be good choices. If you cannot drink your juice immediately after squeezing it, store it in an air tight jar in the refrigerator and consume it as soon as possible. Some health practitioners estimate that the enzymes in the juices are destroyed within a few minutes up to an hour or so after juicing.  Fresh juices should be consumed on a daily basis.

Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juices are the builders of the body.

The very best tasting vegetable juice, and probably the easiest one for beginners to start with, is carrot juice. It is also a good base for other juices. It is very sweet, something that may have escaped one’s notice until he quits eating (refined) sugar!  Sugar ruins the taste buds, but once it has been removed from the diet, then the subtle flavors of natural foods burst forth as in a symphony. Do not worry about your skin turning yellow. This will not happen unless you consume a lot of carrot juice, and even then, it is not a harmful condition; in fact, it is a good thing! Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t the beta carotene in the juice that turns the skin an orange color. It is the toxins and old bile being released from the body through the skin which gives it this yellow or orange cast. Once these toxins have been removed, the skin will return to its normal color no matter how much carrot juice one consumes. Think about it, has anyone ever turned brown from drinking too much coffee or coke?

Cabbage juice is another excellent health drink, but the flavor is not that great so it might be better mixed with carrot juice. Some tastes may need developing! Beet juice makes a very red and tasty juice. A word of warning: do not be alarmed when you use the “sanitation unit” after you have ingested beet juice. You are not bleeding to death. If you experience a red color in the stool or urine, it is most likely from the red in the beets. One healthy concoction to try is a combination of carrot, spinach, beet and dandelion juice. Depending on the proportions of each vegetable used, you will get a slightly different flavor, but it is delicious.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are the cleansers of the body.

With regard to fruit juices, some alternative health practitioners have commented that because of the naturally occurring high sugar content of natural fruit juices, they should either be diluted with distilled water, consumed in small amounts, or taken together with their fiber, such as one would get by blending a fruit in the VitaMix. Others have commented that the energy saved by not having to process the fiber goes toward the healing and repairing of the body. Dr. Walker (who lived to be 118 years of age) believed that when a food is juiced and the fiber is separated out, most of the toxins are eliminated with the fiber. The reader will have to make up his own mind. I tend to think that when someone who speaks on the subject of health lives to be 118 years old and dies disease free, he probably knows what he is talking about. In any event, when in doubt, variety is usually a wise route.

Copyright © 2009 Jayne Baer.  All rights reserved.

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The Health Advantages and Disadvantages of Eating Avocado fruit healthTips

By now, you all have seen those bumpy, greenish-black globes called avocados in your grocery store. Avocado is considered by many to be a “superfood” and lots of people love the taste. They can be creamy and have a subtle flavor. Beyond taste, avocados have numerous health benefits, too.

Advantages of Eating Avocados

Protects Against Eye Disease

Avocados have the antioxidant, lutein, that is needed to help prevent eye disease. Not only that, but avocados also enhance the eye-disease-fighting nutrients in other foods when paired with them. Other good sources of lutein are: spinach, tomatoes, kale, carrots, corn, and other deep green, orange, or yellow-colored fruits or veggies. To get the most benefit for your eyes, toss sliced or diced avocado in a salad with spinach, carrots, red peppers, and corn.

Helps Lose Weight

Avocados do have a good amount of fiber in them – 3.4 grams of fiber in half an avocado. Fiber is an essential element to helping you lose weight and make you feel full. In addition, the oleic acid in an avocado creates a reaction in the brain to make you feel full after eating avocado. For a yummy, filling, less fatty treat, use mashed avocado instead of mayo or butter on a sandwich.

Protects Pregnant Women and Their Unborn Babies

Avocados have a high rate of folate, an essential nutrient that helps lower the rate of birth defects in pregnant women. An added bonus of folate is that it helps prevent heart disease and heart attacks as well.

Keeps Blood Sugar Stable

After you eat avocado, your blood sugar will be more stable and will not spike because avocado slows your digestion. This is important for people who cannot easily control their blood sugar levels.

Lowers Cholesterol

It can increase the healthy cholesterol and lower the unhealthy cholesterol in your body. You can thank the oleic acid in avocado again for that. A plant chemical in avocados called betasitosterol also helps lower cholesterol.

Promotes Healthy Blood Flow

The monounsaturated fats are good for promoting healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow is important for many body functions, such as aiding mental activity and decreasing blood pressure.

Provides Necessary Nutrients

Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, and B6 as well. Just as with lutein, combining avocado with different fruits and veggies will aid in the absorption of immunity-boosting nutrients and vitamins. So don’t eat it alone!

Downsides to Eating Avocado

Although they obviously have enormous heath benefits, avocados also have downsides to them. First, they are high in fat and calories. With one avocado, you would be getting 30 grams of fat and 300-plus calories. However, it helps that the fat is monounsaturated fat, which is good for cholesterol and heart disease. Of course, like any other food, you want to eat avocados in moderation.

Secondly, not many people know that a person can be allergic to avocados. If you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to avocados, too. An enzyme in avocado (called chitinase) causes allergic reactions in some people so be careful before trying the fruit if you’ve never had it before.

You have to weigh out the pluses and minuses of eating avocados as it relates to your own life and your family’s health. But many people find avocados a highly nutritious and delicious food to add to their diets.

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Health Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia fruit healthTips

Garcinia Cambogia is a pumpkin shaped small fruit found in various places in the world, mainly in Asia. It is an evergreen tree with fruits of yellow color and oval shape. The rind extract of the fruit has medicinal values. It is known as HCA or hydroxycitric acid which has several medicinal uses. The extract is used as weight loss supplement, diet supplements, mood enhancement product, and appetite suppressant. This extract delivers fastest results. The extract is made out of natural ingredients and the effects of the extract are proven clinically. Garcinia Cambogia is used in cooking also as one of the ingredients in various curries. Here are the benefits of this fruit:

Weight Loss

It helps you to lose weight tremendously by cutting down an enzyme production known as citrate lyase. The unused carbohydrates of the body will be changed into fat by citrate lyase.

Garcinia Cambogia will block the enzyme effectively which burns the excessive carbohydrates in the body, so that no fat is formed through the conversion of excessive carbohydrates. By consuming the extract of the fruit, you can reduce your fat without going to the gym. It also increases the metabolism of the body that burns your excessive fat. The product is useful to reduce fat in the thighs, buttocks and belly.

Appetite Suppression

This fruit extract can suppress the appetite. You have to consume the extract half an hour before the meals in an empty stomach. The extract will suppress your cravings for food. Therefore, it suppresses the hunger which results in eating less food than usual. If you are not overeating, then it will naturally lead to weight loss.

Mood Enhancement

By consuming Garcinia Cambogia, your body will produce extra Serotonin which improves your mood as a whole. Some people tend to eat more when they are ruled by emotional feelings such as sad and anger. The product helps not only to eat less, but also provide you with great sleep because of the increased production of Serotonin. A good sleep makes you relaxed and calm.

Gastric Ulcers

Garcinia Cambogia is used for the treatment of gastric ulcers. This natural supplement consists of an ingredient known as garcinol which reduces the stomach acidity and provides protection to the gastric mucosa. This product is an astringent and it was used in treating dysentery and diarrhea.

Immune System

This herb helps you to improve the immune system. It protects you from illness such as swelling, flu and bowel complaints. It reduces blood cholesterol and blood lipid level. This natural supplement protects you from external toxins like alcohol as Garcinia Cambogia prevents the liver cells and stops cell damage occurred by high lipid level in the blood.

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