Our local berry shop has re-opened this week and is offering fresh raspberries and strawberries. About this time of year I find myself craving fruit and I end up substituting on of my meals each day with a large bowl with some yogurt.
It is unfortunate that the food industry has latched onto fruit smoothies and labelled them healthy. The industrial process of producing a smoothie removes much of the goodness of the fruit, pumps sugar into the body and does not do much for your teeth either. When the fibre is pureed in the process in the factory or at home, it reduces the body’s ability to process the fructose slowly; giving you one big sugar hit. Squeezing fruit and removing all the fibre is actually worse as there is not even the pureed fibre to slow the absorption down.
Commercially produced smoothies also have a number of industrially produced elements that sort of takes away from the wholesome image and so sometimes… going back to basics is best.
I do drink vegetable smoothies, especially dark green leafy vegetables, with a carrot to add some sweetness. I usually make mine with cold green tea to add another element and you can add other herbal teas too, such as peppermint or ginger.
I believe in having at least 8 portions of vegetables and fruit a day.. People often say that they could not possibly eat that much, but in fact it is easier than you think.
- A chopped banana on your cereal for breakfast.
- Some nuts and chopped apple for snack,
- A salad with a large tomato, new potatoes, dark green lettuce and spinach mix and chopped red pepper for lunch with protein.
- Broccoli, mushrooms and grilled onions with a chicken breast and a large spoon of brown rice for evening meal.
If you add that up you have consumed 7 different types of vegetable with a serving of nuts and three of fruit.
I tend to eat my fruit in the form of a fruit salad that I make and eat, either as a snack in the morning, or take with me when on the go. If I am not having a particularly active day, I will have as my supper. I vary the fruits according to the season and also sneak in a couple of tropical additions from time to time.
Make sure that any fruit that you buy is fresh and high quality and I usually try to find a local grocer if possible who is sourcing the fruit from the area. Try to make the fruit salad fresh every day as cut fruit, like vegetables loses its nutrients once it is prepared.
All of the fruits are alkaline-forming, which will help retain the necessary acid/alkaline balance which your body requires to be healthy. They all contain fantastic amounts of the anti-oxidants necessary for protection against free radicals and they all boost the immune system. Individually they add their own specific properties that make them ‘super fruits’ and provide a delicious way to protect your health and repair your body from the inside.
You can use any fresh, unprocessed and sugar free juice as a base but don’t drown the fruit, just use enough to moisten the fruit and help it slip down. I use blueberry, cranberry or apple juice and usually buy fresh pressed that still has bits of fibre in.
THE APPLE really can help keep the doctor away. Fibre helps reduce cholesterol therefore helping reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Pectin in apples will also help your body eliminate heavy metals such as mercury and lead. Like onions, this fruit contains high levels of a flavanoid called Quercitin, which is a very powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to protect against heart attacks. Apple peel contains certain anti-oxidants called phenols that appear to offer us some protection from harmful UV- B rays.
THE KIWI is one of the more alkaline forming foods that adds not only the usual healthy fruit benefits to a fruit salad but has some of its own unique benefits. Kiwi fruit has been the subject of research because of its seeming ability to protect the DNA in the nucleus of the human cell from oxygen related damage. Although the Kiwi has an extremely high Vitamin C content, researchers believe that it is the combination of all its anti-oxidants that gives it this unique ability. One particular health area that really benefits is respiratory disease such as asthma.
THE PAPAYA is not just a taste of the tropics; it has some very powerful healing qualities that make its taste secondary. Papayas are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, the B vitamins and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and very importantly, fibre. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, Papain, which is used to treat inflammatory diseases, injuries and allergies.
THE APRICOT has nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as providing an excellent source of fibre. Eating Apricots has been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL, which is the unhealthy cholesterol, this prevents plaques forming and lining the arteries. The apricot is also an alkaline forming food, which is great for helping the body maintain the correct acid/alkaline balance.
Apricots contain nutrients, such as the anti-oxidant Vitamin A, that promote healthy eyesight by destroying the free radicals that can damage the eyes’ lenses.
THE PINEAPPLE is rich in Bromelain which is an enzyme that helps digest proteins. It obviously aids digestion but it can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It is used for sore throats, more degenerative diseases such as arthritis and gout and can also to help patients to recover from operations. Pineapple should always be eaten either alone or with non- protein foods otherwise the Bromelain’s effect will be reduced as it adopts its digestive role. Pineapple of course contain the usual high quantities of Vitamin C to boost the Immune system but it also contains an excellent amount of manganese, which is a trace mineral essential for energy production and building the anti-oxidant line of defence. It provides a fantastic support for the body to fight off colds, flu and other bacterial and viral infections.
THE BLUEBERRY may be less available here in Europe and is more expensive than other fruits, but just adding one small basket of this very powerful fruit to your fruit salad will have some tremendous benefits. It is considered to be the most powerful anti-oxidant fruit and has been shown to benefit a diverse range of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, heart disease and cancers. Some of its properties actually enhance the work that other anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C are involved in. It strengthens the vascular system throughout the body, which degenerates as we get older.
You can add other fruits in season or for taste – Raspberries, Strawberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, mango, pears etc, all of which have wonderful nutritional benefits.
If you are having a dinner party then you can add a small amount of liqueur into the fruit salad such as cointreau.. and serve with a dollop of cream or ice-cream.. but don’t tell anyone I suggested it!!!
© Just Food for Health Sally Cronin 1998 – 2018
A little bit about me nutritionally.
A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.
All available in Ebook from: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html
Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally