FALLBROOK – More and more health professionals are encouraging their patients to reduce their intake of processed foods and, instead, consume whole foods to help prevent disease and manage symptoms of many ailments.
Depending on one’s risk factors and symptoms, certain foods are advisable to help keep the body in as healthful of a state as possible. Many have found that juicing raw vegetables and fruits is an easier way to consume combinations of foods that are helpful to their individual goal.
Juicing typically requires using a rather high-powered machine, similar to a blender that will turn raw fruits and vegetables into liquid form.
There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables and it’s a good way to add nutrients one may need from fruits and vegetables they may not normally consume.
Here are the benefits of different foods that can be used (raw and/or cooked) in making nutritional juices.
Controlling blood sugar levels
• Soluble (high) fiber choices like leafy greens, berries, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, apples and beans can help slow the absorption of sugars in the blood, which steadies the rate the pancreas releases insulin.
• Cinnamon – consuming only one or two teaspoons a day can help the body process insulin.
• Complex carbohydrates such as whole oats, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are slower to convert into glucose in the body, helping promote a steadier release of insulin.
• Reduce the buildup of excess blood sugar in cells by incorporating a daily serving of apple, broccoli, corn, grapefruit, sweet potato, and tomato into the diet.
Improving muscle health
• Greens again! Collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach and kale are great sources of calcium and vitamin K, which promote skeletal muscle movement and help in reducing fatigue.
• Spinach, blueberries, cherries and almonds all help reduce inflammation in the body because they contain antioxidants and flavonoids. Good idea to use these when sprained muscles present themselves, which swell and ache as they heal.
• Lima beans, swiss chard, sweet potato, spinach and papaya – all contain the essential electrolyte potassium, which helps regulate the body’s hydration levels, and prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
For a better night’s sleep
• Dates, cashews, oats, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds – All these contain tryptophan, an amino acid that releases the chemicals melatonin and serotonin in the brain. This produces a happy, drowsy feeling, and helps maintain the sleep cycle.
• To get better REM sleep – try three greens – turnip, mustard, and collard. These are excellent sources of calcium, which experts have concluded helps the brain process tryptophan to release melatonin, a substance known to increase peaceful drowsiness.
• The high levels of magnesium in pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, and spinach help relax muscles, strengthen bones, and improve circulation. By relaxing muscles, it helps with a better night’s sleep. This is particularly helpful for those with Restless Leg Syndrome.
Slow the aging process
• Bioflavonoid antioxidants in red apples, nectarines, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and black and green tea help protect the brain and cells against the wear and tear of aging, reduce inflammation, and help prevent cancer.
• Great choices for plant-based protein include white beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas, and artichokes. Since the body loses muscle as it ages, it is important to consume good levels of protein in the diet. Muscle loss weakens the body, making healthy exercise more difficult.
• Flax seeds and walnuts are super food choices with great levels of DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. These keep inflammation in the body down and can improve brain function and delay neurological aging.
• Foods/substances that can accelerate the aging process include refined sugars, highly-processed foods, and cigarette smoking.