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UK and Spain

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UK and Spain

Juicing And Juicers

Juicing - look inside your refrigerator - does it contain a bottle or carton of juice? The answer is probably yes, for juice is no longer considered a luxury item, but an essential part of the week's shopping. Orange, apple, berry and grapefruit juice - we drink it at breakfast, with lunch, after a hard day's Healthy juice - Great juicers work, in fact, any time we can!!  The exciting news is that you don't have to stick to the old favourites, because you can make your own, from virtually anything you like. You can open up a whole new world of tastes, colours and nutritional benefits that you never knew existed.

Home juicing is the craze that is already well established in Australia and south-east Asia, where juice bars proliferate, and has swept through America and the UK. Not only is the variety of different juices incredible, but so are the health benefits, for juicing is a simple, yet tasty way to increase your consumption of fruit and vegetable goodness.

Juicing for looks - clockwise in the photo on the right, from top right:
Nails - Blackberry, strawberry, and apple Juice
Skin - Cranberry and apple juice
Eyes - Tangerine and pear juice
Hair - Cabbage, carrot and radish juice
Wrinkle buster - Kale, apple and carrot juice.

Juices don't take the place of whole fruit and vegetables, which provide lots of valuable fibre, but you can get many of the same vitamins and minerals in just a few gulps.  Fancy a glass of mango and pineapple juice, rich in beta- carotene and vitamin C? Or a carrot and watercress juice perhaps, brimming with minerals?

Just a few sips of the myriad juice concoctions and you'll be hooked. Juicing is so simple, so sensible, and, thankfully, so natural. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are a sensory delight. They look and taste so different - from the vibrant pink of strawberry juice, to the vivid purple of red cabbage juice and the peachy orange of satsumas. When you taste a mouthful of juice, it will have a strong flavour of the fruit or vegetable from which it has been extracted. Fresh fruit or vegetable juices are much more tastier than the juices you can buy in the supermarket.

Juicing is not just a summer activity, although the summer fruits taste wonderful! You can keep juicing all year round, making use of the seasonal varieties available. Root vegetable-based juices are just as tasty as fruity ones, and can be surprisingly sweet (parsnip and carrot, for example, make a lovely creamy, sweet combination).  Which is why juicing really is an activity that deserves to be cultivated. On this page, you will find out why fresh juices are so special and how to go about making juices.

Let's take a closer look at why fresh, homemade juices are so good for us.  In these days of advanced technology and rapid change, it's easy to get caught up in the clutches of convenience, and to forget the simple and natural things in life. While we're all aware of the benefits, eating fresh food in its natural state is something that's often pushed to the bottom of our priority list We make time to see friends, play sport, and clean the house, but when it comes to supplying energy and nutrition through the best sorts of food it's usually another story, one of packets, tins, TV dinners, takeaways, cans of fizzy drink, and endless cups of coffee and tea.

Lately, we have become used to supplementing our diets with vitamin and mineral pills, as a kind of insurance policy. Supplements have their place and can be very effective, but they can't take the place of a diet full of natural, health-giving foods. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are part of the all-natural line-up that can knock spots of convenience products. Not only do they provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, they are also cleansing and balancing for the body as a whole, the equivalent of a multivitamin pill in a glass, with hidden benefits.

Raw health - once you have tasted your own fresh fruit and vegetable juices you'll realize that there is little comparison between the liquid that flows from your juicer and that which flows from shop-bought cartons. Most ready-made juices rely on concentrated juice and extra water to bulk them up. Look on the label and you'll find that some juices contain additives such as colours, flavours and preservatives too.

Homemade juices have nothing added, nothing taken away, just 100 per cent pure juice. The fruits and vegetables which you choose to juice will be relatively fresh (especially with today's superb international transportation systems), and will not have undergone any processing. This makes a real difference, as any sort of cooking reduces the content of vitamins and minerals, and sometimes totally destroys them.

Every time you drink a glass of juice it will contain virtually the same amount of nutrients (although not as much fibre) as if you were eating the fruit or vegetable whole. In fact, you will probably be absorbing far more, as it takes quite a bit of produce to make just one 8fl oz/230ml glass of juice. For example, you would have to eat 2 apples, or 3 carrots, or nearly a whole pineapple, to consume the quantity of nutrients that goes into 8fl oz/230ml of juice.

The Pioneers - of course, like most 'novel' ideas, the concept of juicing is not new at all, since the nineteenth century, doctors and naturopaths have been treating patients with fresh juices and raw foods to help improve their health. Germany and Switzerland are together regarded as the cradle of the therapy, and during the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries nurtured a number of famous pioneers, such as Father Kniepp, Dr Kellog, Dr Max Bircher-Benner and Dr Max Gerson. Between them they developed the Rohsaft Kur (the fresh juice cure), which is still practised today at health clinics all over the world. American pioneers, such as Dr Norman Walker, and Ann Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, have continued their work. There is simply masses of research and practise to draw upon. For many years, therefore, juices have been used by naturopaths in Europe and America to help treat a whole range of minor, and sometimes major, ailments. It's no surprise when you consider what a rich source of nutrients and cleansing elements they are.

Vitamins and Minerals - fresh juices are packed with many of the vitamins and minerals that keep us alive and well. As with all natural, whole foods, the vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables are often bound on to other nutrients that help absorption. For example, bioflavonoids are found in the pith of citrus fruit, and they aid the absorption of vitamin C. The minerals found in fresh produce are chelated to amino acids, or sometimes a vitamin, to make them easier to absorb.
The list below reveals the range of vitamins and minerals in fresh juices; beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus are found, at particularly high levels.

Vitamins in juices
beta-carotene (the vegetarian form of vitamin A)
vitamin BI (thiamine)
vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
vitamin B3 (niacin)
vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
folic acid
vitamin C
vitamin B

Minerals in juices

The antioxidants - you may have heard of antioxidant nutrients in newspaper and magazine reports, and if you haven't, you soon will. They're the focus of scores of research studies, which are looking at whether a group of vitamins and minerals - vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene (the vegetarian source of vitamin A) and selenium - can give protection against degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, premature ageing and cataracts. Scientists believe that they may be the key to limiting the impact of these often devastating diseases.
Of course, fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants - beta-carotene, vitamins C and E - and juices made with them are naturally a very good source. The reason why these nutrients may have a revolutionary impact on our preventive healthcare is that they are able to quench unbalanced molecules, known as free radicals.

Free radicals - free radicals are generated by toxins, such as those produced by air pollution or smoke. They react with other molecules in our bodies and destabilize them, therefore putting cells at risk. They have been implicated in the development of diseases like cancer and heart disease, because they are capable of destroying other, healthy molecules, .which in turn, becomes unstable.
So, drinking plenty of fresh juices may have a long-term impact on your health, as well as perking you up in the short-term. Some excellent, proven antioxidant juice recipes are below :

Firstly, what you'll need :
Celery 1 bunch
Grapes 1lb/450g
Grapefruit 3 large ones
Mangoes 2 large ones
Oranges 1lb/450g
Pineapples 2 large ones
Spinach 1lb/1450g

Excellent health juices for the week
Day 1 - Apple and Carrot Bomber
4fl oz./115ml apple juice
4fl oz/115ml carrot juice

Day 2 - Grapefruit Guzzle
5fl oz/145ml grapefruit juice
3fl oz,/80ml orange juice

Day 3 - Big on Beetroot
2fl oz/50ml beetroot juice
6fl oz/170ni1 apple juice

Day 4 - Tropical Twist
5fl oz/145m1 pineapple juice
3fl oz/80m1 mango juice

Day 5 - Super Spinach
4fl oz/115m1 carrot juice
2fl oz/50m1 spinach juice
2fl oz/50m1 celery juice

Day 6 - Big Apple
5fl oz/145ml apple juice
3fl oz/80m1 grape juice

Day 7 - Blushing Beetroot
6fl oz/170ml carrot juice
2fl oz/50ml beetroot juice

Extra Nutrients - fresh juices also contain other substances which are not classified as vitamins or minerals, but which may be beneficial to our health. For example, plant pigments like carotenoids and anthocyanins, substances that combat plant viruses and bacteria; and compounds that create smell and taste. Current research is trying to establish just what these individual essences can do, but the suggestion is that they are an integral part of the goodness supplied by raw fruit and vegetables and their juices.

Easy To Digest - fruit and vegetable juices are easy to digest, and are ideal for people who can't cope with a lot of fibre, or who don't want to munch their way through a pound of carrots (remember fresh juices should not replace your dietary intake of whole fruits and vegetables, because the fibre they contain is essential for the efficient elimination of wastes). Because they are liquids, fruit and vegetable juices are quickly digested in the stomach, and the nutrients absorbed into the bloodstream.

The digestive process is also helped by the presence of active plant enzymes, which join with the stomach's own enzymes in breaking down the juice. The efficiency of these workers enables nutrients to be absorbed into the body within minutes of being eaten. Plant enzymes also help to neutralize excess proteins and fat from other foods. Some, like papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple, are especially good at calming indigestion.

Super Cleansers - fresh juices have remarkable cleansing and restorative powers. To start with, fruits and vegetables all hold stores of pure water, which has been filtered and distilled through their complex structures. This means that the digestive system has one less set of impurities to deal with.
In addition, all fruits contain acids, which can help remove toxins from the digestive tract. Citrus fruits contain the strongest acid compound - citric acid - and other fruits contain the milder tartaric and malic acids. Some fruits, such as oranges and apples, also contain pectin, which can absorb fats and toxins from the digestive tract (as well as making jam and marmalade set).

Green vegetables are rich in chlorophyll (the substance that enables plants to harvest energy from the sunlight), which also has cleansing properties. That's why greens like watercress and spinach can be so helpful on a detox programme. Certain other vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes, have a deserved reputation for acting as tonics to the liver too. For further information on doing a detox programme with fresh juices, look at the detox page, from the link further down below.

Keep the balance - drink vegetable and fruit juices in order to get the maximum nutritional benefit, but, remember, the average diet of too much protein and too many refined, processed foods creates over-acidity in our bodies. Like any other living thing, our bodies have a subtle pH balance between acid and alkaline, too much acid in our bodies can lead to problems like rheumatism and arthritis.  Plus, too many fruit juices will overload your system with the fruit sugar, fructose. Fruit juice causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, and anyone suffering from candidiasis should be cautious regarding excessive sugar intake. If you're prone to suffer from thrush, therefore, or suspect you may have a yeast infection in the digestive tract, you should take professional advice before increasing your intake of fruit juices (vegetable juices are, on the whole, not a problem in such cases). This advice also applies to anyone with low blood sugar or with diabetes.
Because of all these reasons, it's critically important, that our bodies are kept slightly more alkaline than acid, by ensuring that you always consume more vegetables than fruits.

A Good Health Guarantee - juices on their own won't bring you perfect health, but they can contribute to it. To increase your chances of a long and healthy life, you might like to consider other beneficial changes you can make to your daily routine, such as :
* stop smoking
* keep alcohol intake to a moderate level
* take regular exercise
* cut down on animal fats (meat and dairy produce)
* increase consumption of fruit and vegetables
* drink 3-4 pints of water a day
* put time aside to relax - properly relax, and not just for a couple of minutes, try for at least 30 minutes.

Some Golden Rules - beginners should drink no more than two 8fl oz/230ml glasses of juice a day. Veterans can up the amount to a limit of six glasses.
Always dilute dark green vegetable juices (for example, broccoli, spinach and watercress) and dark red vegetable juices (for example, beetroot and red cabbage) by four parts to one. They are very potent in taste and effect.  There may be a little flatulence involved with healthy fruit juices at first, but should wear off after a short while, while your body gets used to your new healthy system. but you'll increase the chances of flatulence, if you combine fruit juices and vegetable juices in the same drink. The exceptions are apple and carrot, which you can mix with anything.

Adults - adult digestive systems can cope better with undiluted juice, but many of us find that we prefer to drink juices diluted too. As a general rule, unless you are very used to drinking raw fruit and vegetable juices, don't drink more than three 8 fl ort230ml glasses of juice a day. And do remember to vary your intake, so that you benefit from a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Extras - you can zip any of these juices up with additions like fresh herbs (such as coriander, mint, oregano, marjoram, and basil) and fresh and ground spices (such as ginger, nutmeg; cinnamon, allspice, and liquorice sticks). You can also add honey for extra sweetness, wheatgerm (an excellent source of vitamin E and the B complex group of vitamins), plain live yoghurt (excellent for the digestive system), or semi-skimmed milk to turn them into milk shakes. For extra energy you can blend in some mashed banana or avocado, both high in minerals, particularly potassium.

Children and juices - the juice recommendations given on this page are for adults and do not apply to children. As a guideline, children younger than thirteen should not drink more than 5 fl oz/145m1 of raw juice a day, and should always drink their juice diluted with water. Teenagers can begin to drink undiluted juices, but no more than one to two servings per day. Dilution is necessary because fresh juices can be rather thick in consistency and strong in taste, are always very concentrated, and may be too potent for young digestive systems.

Kids Juices - juices can be just as good for children as they can for adults, but in lesser quantities. Because fresh juices are so concentrated, they also need to be diluted by at least half for children, or they may overpower their young digestive systems. Stick to these simple guidelines:
* Children from 0 to 3 years of age, absolutely no vegetable juice or fruit juice whatsoever.
* Children from 3 to 12 years of age, no more than 5fl oz/145ml fresh juice a day, diluted.
* Teenagers can start drinking undiluted juice, but stick to one to two 8fl oz/230m1 servings a day.
* Avoid giving very strong juices such as spinach, watercress, parsley and beetroot to children, or if you do, just include a couple of leaves or one or two thin slices and mix with a milder juice such as carrot or apple.
Start off by giving your child perhaps three or four servings of diluted juice a week, slowly building up to one or two servings a day if they like them (remember, no more than 5fl or/145ml total fresh juice a day). Try single juices first, diluted by at least half, then as they become more accustomed to the taste you can combine juices (still diluting them). For the greatest benefit, make sure children drink a variety of juices each week.
A juice with added mashed banana or avocado not only quenches thirst, but can act as a healthy between-meals snack too.

Young Children - the following juices are tempting to small tastebuds; the quantity given in each case, is that needed to make 5fl oz./145ml fresh juice, but always dilute by at least half with still water.
Apple 1 large
Apricots 4
Carrots 2 large
Celery 2 stalks
Cucumber 1/3 large cucumber
Grapefruit I large
Mango 1 large
Orange 1 large
Pears 2 small
Pineapple 1/2 medium
Raspberry 3/4 punnet
Strawberry 3/4 punnet
Tangerines 4
Tomatoes 3 tomatoes
Watermelon 1/2 medium

Older Children and juicing - try these juice combinations for older children and teenagers. As you become more experienced in making them you can devise your own juice recipes. Remember that apple and carrot are the only juices that can be satisfactorily mixed with either fruit or vegetable juices; and that melon {including watermelon) should be drunk on its own, as it goes through the digestive system much faster than other juices.

Bright Eyes - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
I apple
I carrot
5fl oz/145ml still water

Sweet Pear - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
I pear
handful of strawberries
5fl oz/145ml still water

Raspberry Sparkle - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
handful of raspberries
1 large orange
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Watermelon Wonder - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
large slice of watermelon
5fl oz/145ml still water

Tangerine Tickler - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
3 tangerines.
1 guava
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Pineapple and Banana Bonanza - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
2 thick slices of pineapple
1 banana, mashed
5fl oz/145ml milk

Blackberry Hollow - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
3oz/75g blackberries
3oz/75g strawberries
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Mango Tango - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
1 mango
1 banana, mashed
5fl oz/145m1 milk

Apple Whizz - makes approx 10 fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
3oz/75g raspberries
1 apple
5fl oz/145ml still water

Grapefruit Sun Splash - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
1 grapefruit
1 orange
6 cherries
5fl oz/145ml still water

Tomato Topper - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
3 tomatoes
2 stalks of celery
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Curly Kale - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
3oz/75g chunk of kale
2 large carrots
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Super Carrot - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
1 large carrot
I stalk of celery
1/4 cucumber
5fl oz/145ml still water

Mango Carrot - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
I carrot
I mango
5fl oz/145m1 still water

Happy Apple - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml
Juice and blend:
I apple
3oz/75g chunk of kale
5fl oz/145ml still water

Avocado Smoothie - makes approx 10fl oz/300ml.
Juice and blend:
I large carrot
1/4 cucumber
I avocado, mashed
4fl oz/115ml still water

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