Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celery, cucumber, apple, parsley and lime juice

Green juices are a great way to include a wider variety of vegetables in your diet, are packed with nutrients and easy to digest.

Where possible try to use organic produce.

Wash all produce thoroughly.

If you don't have an expensive juicer, don't worry - a cheaper one will be fine.

For advice on different types of juicers and their pros and cons please check out Jason Vale - the Juice Master.

Here is a delicious recipe for a refreshing, cooling green juice, ideal for a warm day.

1 stick celery
1 piece cucumber (approx 10cm)
1 apple
2 sprigs parsley
1/2 fresh lime

Put celery, cucumber, apple and parsley in a juicer and process.  Add juice of 1/2 lime at the end.

That's it.  Easy peasy and so good for you.  Do you know why?  What will you give your body by drinking this delicious juice?  Here are some of the magic ingredients in the ingredients:

Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre, as well as potassium, folic acid and vitamins B6 and B1. It is also a good source of calcium and vitamin B2.  Whilst celery does contain more sodium than many other vegetables, this is offset by very high levels of potassium.  Celery contains substances called coumarins which have anti-cancer properties.  A few animal studies suggest that celery seed extracts may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as protect the liver from damaging substances such as the pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol). But researchers don' t know whether these effects also occur in humans.

In addition to containing a large amount of water which keeps you well-hydrated, cucumbers are also a good source of vitamins C, A and folic acid.  The skin is rich in fibre and contains a variety of important minerals including silica, potassium, magnesium and molybdenum.  Silica contributes to the strength of our connective tissue and is important for bone health.

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.

Parsley is extremely rich in a large number of nutrients, chorophyll and carotenes.  It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and iron and also contains many minerals including magnesium, calcium and zinc.  Numerous health benefits have been ascribed to parsley, including use for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, flatulence, fluid retention, high blood pressure and prostate conditions, though clinical evidence for these effects is limited.  There is some evidence that parsley extracts have anti-oxidant activity.

Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C and provide good levels of vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and the important phytochemical limonene.  Limes contain several phytonutrients that have anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties.  In particular, research has demonstrated that lime juice can affect cell cycles: it can modulate the decision a cell takes to divide (mitosis) or die (apoptosis) or even influence activity of the immune system.  Lime also has an antibiotic effect and has been shown to protect against cholera.

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