Drinking water is the best way to maintain your fluid intake but sometimes you want something a bit more interesting and flavourful.
Fruit juices are delicious but they can contain quite high levels of free sugars like glucose and fructose, so it is best not to consume too much and to choose juices that are relatively low in sugar.
In an earlier post I provided a recipe for a watermelon, strawberry and rose water crush which is low in sugar.
Here is another fruit juice recipe which is low in sugar and is very refreshing.
This recipe contains kiwi fruit, lemon, apple and mint, all of which are rich in nutrients and phytochemicals which have powerful health benefits; you can read more about these benefits below.
- 2 kiwi fruit
- 2 slices lemon
- 1 apple
- 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
- Sparkling mineral water
- Place all ingredients in a vegetable juicer and collect the juice
- Pour into a glass and top up with sparkling mineral water
- Serve with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lemon and ice if required
Nutritional and health benefits
Kiwi fruit belongs to the genus Actinidia (Actinidiaceae) and is derived from a deciduous woody, fruiting vine. It is composed of different species and cultivars that exhibit a variety of characteristics and sensory attributes.
Kiwi fruit originated in China where it was called yang tao, which translates as "sunny peach" or "strawberry peach".
Europeans changed its name to Chinese gooseberry but, in 1962, New Zealand growers decided to start calling it 'kiwi fruit' to enhance its market appeal; this was officially adopted as the trade name in 1974.
Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of dietary fibre if eaten as a whole fruit. It is also a good source of folate and of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus, as well as the antioxidants vitamins E and A.
In addition to these nutrients, kiwi fruit also contains abundant phytochemicals, including chlorophylls, carotenoids, flavonoids, lutein and anthocyanin. Indeed, kiwi fruit has one of the highest concentrations of lutein in fruit, which is readily bioavailable.
Recently, there has been increased attention given to investigating potential health benefits associated with consumption of kiwi fruit.
Kiwi fruit's content of nutrients and biologically active phytochemicals has stimulated investigations into its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that might help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other degenerative disorders.
Some studies also report improvement of gastrointestinal laxation, lowering of blood lipid levels, and alleviation of skin disorders.
Kiwi fruit can trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Compared with other common food allergies, such as those to tree nuts and peanuts, the allergic response to kiwifruit in general appears to be considerably less severe. In adults, it is often a mild localized oral allergy syndrome that is characterized by itching and swelling around the mouth.
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and the phytochemical limonene.
Limonene has been promoted as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux. In vitro and animal studies suggest that limonene has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and anticancer effects.
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.
Mints have traditionally had a wide range of medicinal uses.
Their primary benefit has been as a carminative (relief of intestinal gas) and digestant.
Mint has been shown to relieve spasms of the gastrointestinal tract and wind.
Mints also contain numerous antioxidants which have been investigated for their ability to enhance the immune system and protect against cancer.
Details of the nutrient content of this kiwi fruit, lemon, apple and mint juice are shown in the table below.
Nutrient content of one serving of kiwi fruit, lemon, apple and mint juice
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