Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger juice

Here is a strengthening juice to tickle your tastebuds and ward off colds, tummy bugs and hangovers.

It is rich in nutrients and phytonutrients, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and anti-bacterial properties.

1 fresh beet, with root and greens
2 carrots
1 apple
1 piece fresh root ginger (2-4 cm)

Process all ingredients in a vegetable juicer and drink.  Super easy.

Health benefits

Beet greens are even higher in nutritional value than beetroots, as they are richer in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.  Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium.  Both beet greens and roots are a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B6.

Beetroots have long been used for medicinal purposes, particularly as they are known to stimulate the liver's detoxification processes.  The pigment that  gives beets their deep purple colour is called betacyanin and is a powerful anti-cancer agent.

Beetroot may also protect against heart disease as it has been shown to dilate blood vessels and lower diastolic blood pressure.

Carrots provide the highest source of vitamin A carotenes of commonly consumed vegetables.  Two carrots provide roughly four times the daily reference nutrient intake of vitamin A.  Carrots also provide excellent levels of vitamin K, biotin and fibre and very good levels of vitamins C, B1 and B6, and potassium.  The antioxidant content of carrots helps to protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.  Carrots also promote good vision and along with other fruit and vegetables help to protect against macular degeneration.

Apples are a good source of vitamin C, pectin and other fibres, and potassium.  Most of the apple's important nutrients are contained in its skin.  If apples are raw and unpeeled, they are also a great source of many phytonutrients, such as ellagic acid and flavonoids such as quercetin.  The old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has a great deal of truth in it.  In a review of various studies, apple consumption was shown consistently to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes, compared with other fruits and vegetables.

Root ginger
Ginger contains small quantities of vitamins such as B6 and B5, as well as minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.  It has been used since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, carminative, anti-flatulent, and anti-microbial properties. The root contains essential oils such as gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, farnesene, and small amounts of β-phelladrene, cineol, and citral.   Gingerols help improve intestinal motility and have anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, anti-pyretic as well as anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown that ginger may reduce nausea induced by chemotherapy, motion sickness or pregnancy and may help relieve migraine headache.  Zingerone, a chemical compound which gives pungent character to the ginger root, is effective against E.coli induced diarrhoea, especially in children.

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