What is in Your Fresh Fruit Juice?

Everybody knows that fresh fruit juice is good for our body but what exactly are the nutrients in the fruits and how do they affect our health? If you know the nutrition information of fruits, you would not be drinking juices blindly. Neither would you be bored with juicing, because you can create various juice recipes according to your personal health needs.

If you have missed our previous post on the nutritional facts of berries, we strongly encourage you to check that out. Berries are super antioxidants and they make wonderful juice ingredients in both juices and smoothies. We have also covered in our previous post, the nutrition information of some popular vegetables in juicing recipes.

As part of our series on the nutritional facts of juice ingredients, we will talk about the following fruits today – apple, pear, pineapple and watermelon.

Nutritional Facts of Fresh Fruits

Apple

Eat an apple today to keep the wrinkles away

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You have heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Indeed, apple contains a good supply of beta-carotene, which not only protects the eye but has cancer-fighting properties too. Besides beta-carotene, apples also supply us with a host of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid and biotin. Vitamin B1 is crucial for building a healthy nervous system. Together with vitamin B2, it is also needed for energy production in our body.

Apple juice should be every lady’s good friend. Besides supplying antioxidants to fend off the free radicals (hence preserving beauty), apples also help to balance hormonal changes in women.

If you are on a mission to lose extra pounds, you’d be glad to know that the malic acid and tartaric acid in apple helps to break down fatty food and excess protein. Apple juice is beyond thirst quenching, it is also an appetite quencher and an excellent food if you are on a slimming diet.

Eating apple or drinking apple juice also supplies our body with good amount of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. So, juice an apple today and keep the wrinkles and fats away.

Pear

Nobody likes to have a pear-shaped figure but using pear as a juice ingredient should be welcome by all. There are different varieties of pears and all of them contain important vitamins like beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C, folic acid and biotin. Pears also contain important minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur and iron.

Pear is an excellent ingredient for weight loss juicing recipes. A natural source of energy provider, pears contain high amounts of fructose and glucose. Almost 98% of the energy provided by a pear is made up of carbohydrates. As carbohydrates have only half as many calories as fat, they are helpful for weight reduction. Being a nutrient dense food, pears provide more nutrients per calorie. You can indulge on pear juice without having to worry about calorie count.

We know how important it is to have adequate potassium in our body. Potassium is essential for maintaining regularity in heartbeat, muscle contractions, healthy blood pressure and nerve transmission. It is also required to metabolize carbohydrates and proteins. Think potassium and mostly, banana will come to mind. Unknown to many, pear is also a good source of potassium. In fact, a pear provides 30% more potassium than an apple.

Pineapple

“Ananas comosus” or pineapple, as it is more commonly known is one of the most popular tropical fruits in the world. Containing smaller amounts of beta-carotene and vitamins B, pineapple is in fact, a wonderful source of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an important role in the prevention of sagging skin and wrinkles. Besides aesthetics, vitamin C is also vital for protection against cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, immune system deficiencies and even prenatal health problems. Studies have also shown that vitamin C may help in reducing inflammation and cancer risks.

Pineapples are a rich source of potassium. Potassium is the most important electrolyte inside our cells. Muscle contraction and nervous system requires adequate potassium to function properly. A deficiency in potassium can result in cramps, fatigue and heart irregularities. Other minerals found in pineapples include magnesium, calcium, sulphur and phosphorus.

Unique to pineapple is a proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which aids in digestion by breaking down protein. Studies have shown that bromelain is also effective in treating blood clots. Bromelain is mostly used to aid in treating digestive problems, vein problems and a host of other conditions.

Given the rich nutrition that pineapples offer, you can consider adding it to your next juice recipe. Fear not about gaining weight for pineapples are low calorie fruits. Besides, it does not contain saturated fats or cholesterol.

Watermelon

Watermelon is more than just a thirst quencher. Delicious, colorful and juicy, the watermelon is packed with loads of nutrients that are beneficial to our body. As with most fruits, watermelon contains beta-carotene in high amounts. This vital nutrient is needed for maintaining good health for eyes, skin, teeth, bones and immune system. Research has also shown that beta-carotene helps in cancer prevention.

Other vitamins that we can benefit from consuming watermelon include vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid and biotin. Watermelon is often used as a juicing ingredient in detox juice recipes due to its excellent cleansing properties. It is a mild diuretic fruit and a great antioxidant too.

Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes offer protection against cell damage caused by free radicals. Unknown to many, watermelon actually contains more lycopene than tomatoes. That makes watermelon an excellent fruit for anti-aging; not forgetting its benefits in cleansing, detox and health-boosting properties.

Watermelon is also a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

Conclusion
Whether your juicing goal is to enhance your health or lose weight, understanding the nutrition information of the juice ingredients will equip you with better knowledge to customize your juices.

Enjoy the fun of juicing as you reap the benefits of fresh, healthy juices. And if you need advice on fresh juice storage, check out our tips on storing fresh juice. What is the shelf life of fresh juice? What should you look for when buying glass bottles for juice storage? Get the answers and more from our useful tips on storing fresh juice.

 

Nutritional Facts of Berries as Juice Ingredients

Think anti-aging and berries will naturally come to mind. Berries are well known for being a super antioxidant. Many cosmetic brands and health drinks have also made berries a key ingredient and selling point for their products. It’s almost like a magic pill to increase sales and profits. There is no harm in consuming commercial berry health drinks but a more excellent way would be to drink fresh berry juices or smoothies.

Understanding the nutritional facts of fruits and vegetables will help you in juicing healthy juices that best meet your health needs. In our last post, we discussed some of the more popular vegetables used in juicing. Today, we will cover the nutritional facts of berries and how they benefit your health.

There are many types of berries in the market and each has their own nutritional value. In this article, we will discuss the more common berries used in juicing – Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackberry.

Types of Berries and their Nutrition Information

Blueberry

Blueberries are powerful antioxidants and make great tasting juices

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A popular juice ingredient, blueberry can be used both fresh and frozen. Being the least perishable among berries, blueberry is a convenient juice ingredient as it can be frozen and used anytime you feel like having a little berry in your fresh juice or smoothie.

Blueberry offers a good amount of beta-carotene, vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Beta-carotene is essential for healthy eyes and skin. It is also a good nutrient for our immune system. Blueberry is also a good source of potassium and calcium. Potassium is vital in the maintenance of our body’s acid/base (pH) balance. Too much acidity in our body will trigger inflammation, which in turn leads to a host of other diseases. Potassium is also important for nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Other minerals found in blueberry include magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine and sulphur.

The skin of blueberry contains high concentrations of antioxidants that can eliminate harmful bacteria in the gut. Compared with other fruits and vegetables, blueberries are much more superior in disease-fighting and anti-aging properties.

Cranberry

Cranberry is a natural diuretic and powerful urinary tract cleanser. Similar to blueberry, cranberry is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B complex. In addition, it contains folic acid and other minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and sulphur. It is a known fact that calcium is vital in the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. The lesser known benefits of calcium is its important role in maintaining regular heart rhythm, pH balance and the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle movements.

Cranberry is the nemesis of urinary tract infections as it stops E.Coli bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Bacteria are destroyed as cranberries increase the acidity of urine. Cranberry juice is useful for treating cystitis.

Raspberry

Raspberry makes an excellent juice ingredient with its abundant phytochemicals, good supply of vitamin C and folic acid. Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9 protects the body against cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and various neurological disorders.

Minerals present in raspberry comprise of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, chlorine and sulphur. If you want to have strong bones, beautiful hair, nails and skin, include raspberry in your next juice recipe.

Raspberry contains beta-carotene as well, but in smaller amount. Other vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin E. Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid is essential in the breaking down of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Hence, raspberries are often used in juice recipes that promote weight loss.

In addition to weight loss, raspberry is also a good juice ingredient in fighting viral diseases, calming digestive tract and regulating menstrual cycles. You can even call raspberry a ‘happy fruit’ as it has uplifting properties that generally makes one feel good.

Strawberry

Very few people would reject a glass of strawberry smoothie. Naturally sweet in taste and energy-boosting, strawberry is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acid. Other vitamins found in strawberry also include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, pantothenic acid and biotin. Biotin, also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, is responsible for keeping our hair and skin beautiful. Vanity aside, biotin plays a more crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and the subsequent release of energy into the body.

Mildly diuretic, strawberry makes a wonderful antioxidant juice and body cleansing drink. Not only does it detoxify the body, it also offers a delicious taste and boost energy. Like other berries, strawberry contains vital minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur and chlorine.

Blackberry

Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, blackberry is another powerful antioxidant juice. Vitamin C is a daily necessity for the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and aids in wound recovery and fights against cancer. Meanwhile, vitamin E is the all important antioxidant that protects the cells and tissues from toxins and free radicals. It is also known to help in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular heart diseases.

As with other berries, blackberries contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus. With the Standard American Diet, most people are taking way too much salt than what the body needs. An increased intake of potassium may help counter the problems associated with high sodium intake.

Blackberries are an excellent fruit for mixing into your juices and smoothies. With its strong anti-aging properties and immune-boosting function, blackberries are bound to make you look good and feel great.

Conclusion

Now that you have read the nutritional information of berries, wouldn’t you agree that it is “berry” good to start adding berries to your juices and smoothies? In the coming posts, we will look at other fruits commonly used in fresh juices.

Do you have a favorite berry juice or smoothie recipe that you would like to share? Do leave your comments after reading. We’ll be delighted to hear your secret recipes. Alternatively, you may also drop us an email here.

Nutritional Facts and Benefits of Healthy Juices

Healthy juices help to boost your immunity and improve your complexion

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Consuming healthy juices is the easiest way to five a day. Most of us know that we should eat 5 to 7 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables daily to stay healthy but how many of us actually do it? If you are used to the typical Standard American Diet, it is even more challenging to meet this daily requirement. With the invention of juicer, it is now possible to consume larger amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables without chewing till your jaw drops.

The benefits of juicing lie in the fact that the nutrients from fresh fruits and veggies are separated from the fiber during the juicing process; thereby making it easier for our body’s absorption. Cooking and heat destroys the enzymes and vitamins in raw produce. However, juicing raw veggies and fruits preserves the vitamins and living enzymes, which supports our body’s health.

It doesn’t matter if you are juicing for health or juicing for weight loss. In order to make healthy juices, you’ve got to know what is inside your juice ingredients. A glass of healthy juice normally consists of more than one type of fruit or vegetable. To help you understand what you are drinking, we will cover in a series of posts, the nutritional facts and benefits of various juice ingredients. In the first of our series today, we will discuss some of the more popular vegetables used in juicing.

Nutritional Facts of Veggies in Healthy Juices

Carrot

Carrot juice benefits your health greatly

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Without a doubt, carrot is one of the most popular juice ingredients used in vegetable juicer recipes. Carrot is also one of the vegetables that can be mixed together with fruits for juicing. Carrots are known for their high beta-carotene content, which is excellent for our immune system, eyes and skin health. Carrots also contain good amount of vitamins B1, B3, B6, folic acid and pantothenic acid. In addition, carrots provide our body with small amounts of minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. With its natural sweet taste, carrot is often added to enhance the taste of healthy juices.

Cucumber

Cucumber juice is refreshing and beneficial to your health

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We have heard how freshly sliced cucumbers can help to relieve tired eyes and reduce eye puffiness. Do you know that cucumber juice also does an excellent job in skin rejuvenation? Similar to carrot, cucumber also contain beta-carotene but in slightly smaller amount. Most of the beta-carotene is found on the cucumber skin. If you buy organic cucumber for juicing, you need not peel the skin; just ensure that you wash it thoroughly before juicing it. If the cucumber is waxed, you should peel off the skin. Washing alone is not sufficient.

Cucumber is a good source of vitamin B3, folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid. Vitamin B3 is known to reduce the risk of heart disease significantly. Lowering the level of bad cholesterol and reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis and cataracts are some other health benefits of cucumber. Vitamin B3 also supports healthy nervous system and digestive system. A natural diuretic, cucumber also contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine.

Celery

Celery and carrot juice helps to lower blood pressure

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Celery is rich in potassium, calcium and chlorine and it makes an excellent juice for lowering blood pressure. A simple yet tasty juice concoction is to juice celery and carrot together. Not only is this vegetable juice refreshing and thirst-quenching, it also offers abundant health benefits to our body.

Celery contains vitamin B3, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, folic acid and biotin. Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5, which is a powerful antioxidant that aids in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Pantothenic acid is needed to support a healthy nervous system for communication with the brain.

Celery has a calming effect on our nervous system and makes a great snack alternative when you need to de-stress. In addition, celery helps to eliminate waste from the kidneys and makes a wonderful juicing ingredient for detox juice recipes.

Tomato

Tomato juice is high in antioxidants

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Well known for its potency as an antioxidant, tomato is another favorite vegetable used in juicing. The high level of beta-carotene coupled with good amounts of vitamins A, B3, C, E and folic acid makes tomato an excellent anti-aging, health-boosting juice ingredient.

Lycopene, a potential cancer-fighting compound is known to exist in tomato. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and cancers, particularly prostate cancer. In addition, tomato is also a wonderful source of phytochemicals, fiber, potassium, iron and chlorine. Tomato has almost no sodium or fat content. This probably explains why tomato is such a favorite among juice junkies.

Beetroot

Beetroot juice helps to detox and cleanse the liver

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Beetroot contains high level of folic acid but smaller amounts of beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and pantethonic acid. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 is part of the family of eight water-soluble B-complex vitamins. Folic acid helps to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins into glucose which the body burns for energy. It is an essential vitamin for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Beetroot also contains abundant minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, iron and chlorine. Being a natural, powerful cleanser, beetroot is commonly used in detox juice recipes. It is especially beneficial to liver and blood cleansing. Beetroot is also a good aid to speedy recovery during convalescence.

Making healthy juices calls for an understanding of the health benefits of the juice ingredients. Having knowledge of the nutritional facts gives you an idea of how to juice and what to juice. Look out for our next post as we talk about the nutritional facts of fruits as juicing ingredients.

Stay tuned.

Useful Tips on Storing Fresh Juice

Fresh juice is best consumed when it is freshly made. Storing fresh juice runs the risk of oxidation, loss of vitamins and living enzymes. Why do we drink fresh juice? Besides quenching thirst, aren’t we also drinking juices for its vast nutritional benefits? Freshly squeezed juices contain living enzymes, vitamins, minerals and trace elements that boost our health and improve our complexion. To maximize the benefits of drinking juice, it is best to consume it within 20 minutes after it is freshly made.

Guide on Fresh Juice Storage

Juicing only as much as you want to drink is the recommended way to juice. However, sometimes we do want to juice more to stock up for convenience. Blame it on our modern, busy lifestyle. Nonetheless, you need not compromise on the nutritional benefits of juices if you practice proper juice storage. Having said that, you should not store fresh juice for a few days even if it is well-kept in the refrigerator. Nutrition in the juice is lost as time passes. How long can I keep fresh juice then? Well, storing fresh juice properly in the refrigerator extends its shelf life up to 48 hours.

Glass bottles are best for fresh juice storage

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What is considered ‘proper’ fresh juice storage? The most important consideration in storing fresh juice is the material of the container that the juice is kept in. Glass containers should be used for fresh juice storage. Clear glass is fine although some health experts advocate using dark colored glass containers. Amber, green, blue and other dark colored glass containers are said to be superior in shielding UV rays, hence offering better preservation of the nutrients in the juice. Since you’ll be storing the juice in the refrigerator, away from direct sunlight, it is perfectly fine even if clear glass container is used.

The second consideration in storing fresh juice has to do with how you fill the glass container with juice. Always remember to fill the juice to the top of the container. Do not allow any space between the juice and the top of the container as this will result in oxidation. Any empty space in between is an opportunity for oxygen to be present. Ensure that the glass container is tightly closed before storing the juice in the refrigerator.

How to keep juice fresh if I don’t have a glass container? Can I use ceramic containers instead for juice storage? The answer is yes. High grade ceramic containers are a feasible option. The only disadvantage is its ability to achieve air-tight containment.

How About Using Plastic Containers?

Most people have the habit of storing food in plastic containers. Storing fresh juice in plastic containers is a big no-no. In fact, you should not even use plastic containers for storing anything that is edible. Plastic contain harmful substances such as bisphenols. Exposure to heat and sunlight causes these harmful chemicals to be released. Normal wear and tear or oxidation breakdown can also result in the release of these harmful substances. Studies have shown that such toxins can cause cancer, hormonal imbalances, abnormalities and other health issues. For the sake of your health, avoid plastic containers at all cost.

We recommend getting the Aquasana glass bottles for storing fresh juice. This handy 18 oz glass bottle is the perfect size for storing one serving of fresh juice. You can juice extra portion but store them in a few 18 oz bottles.  Just open one bottle and finish the juice when you feel like having it. Oxidation is minimized as the bottle is not re-cap again. The Aquasana glass bottles come in a pack of 6 at an affordable price. Both the glass bottles and BPA-free plastic lids are dishwasher safe.

A final note on fresh juice storage. Maintaining the freshness of homemade juice starts not from storage but at the point of juicing. If the fresh juice is subject to high heat during the juicing process, some level of oxidation occurs in the juice and its shelf-life is reduced. Try to minimize oxidation by juicing with a masticating juicer. The slower speed of a masticating juicer generates less heat, thus keeping the nutrients intact.

Storing fresh juice is a breeze as air-tight glass containers are easily available these days. However, drinking fresh juice immediately after it is made will ensure that you reap the maximum benefits of juicing. So, whenever possible, juice just enough for your immediate consumption.


Green Smoothies for Weight Loss

Drinking green smoothies for weight loss is for you if you prefer a pulpy texture for your beverage. Green smoothies are excellent meal replacements as they contain fiber, which fills our stomach. You won’t want to reach out for that snack when your tummy is feeling so full. Unlike freshly prepared juice, smoothies are prepared using the whole vegetable or fruit, including the pulp, seeds, fiber. In that sense, smoothies are considered ‘complete food’.

While we are fully aware of the benefits of eating vegetables everyday, we often struggle to meet the daily recommended 5-7 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables. Consuming vegetables through juices and smoothies makes ‘eating vegetables’ simpler and more enjoyable. And if you are on a mission to lose weight, you’ve got to try our smoothie recipes for weight loss.

Green Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss

Increase your metabolism and burn more fats with mango smoothie

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Making healthy smoothies is easy as you need not cut your ingredients into smaller chunks before feeding them into the blender. To be able to enjoy the wholesome goodness of fruits and vegetables without too much hassle is definitely good news for the busy moms or executives. All it takes is just a few minutes to prepare and blend to enjoy these green smoothies.

You’ll be happy to know that blenders are also generally easier to clean up as compared to a juicer. So what are you waiting for? Get slim now with these smoothie recipes and lose weight naturally.

Mangolicious

2 cups mangoes
1 cup watercress
½ lemon, peeled
¼ inch ginger, peeled
1½ cups of green tea

Place the mangoes (peeled and pitted), watercress, lemon, ginger and ¾ cup of green tea into the blender and blend till they are well combined. The remaining ¾ cup of green tea is to be added gradually while blending to achieve the desired texture, according to individual preference.

Mangoes are rich in vitamin C and help to increase your metabolism for fat-burning. With this recipe, you are well on your way to burning more fats without compromising on your body’s nutritional needs.

Fiberiously Fabulous

Fiber helps to detoxify your digestive system

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Want to look trimmed and fabulous? Then you’ve got to add fiber to your smoothie recipes. Fiber helps to flush out toxins from your digestive system. Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber require more energy to digest, thereby burning more calories in the process. Try this recipe if you seriously want to look fabulous.

4 apples, peeled and cored
2 carrots
2 kale leaves
½ lemon, peeled
¼ inch ginger, peeled
3 cups of green tea

Place all the ingredients with 1½ cups of green tea into the blender and blend till well combined. Add the remaining green tea gradually while blending until desired texture is achieved.

Springtime Baby

Drink green smoothies for healthy weight loss

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Detoxifying your body system is vital in the prevention of toxin and waste build-up. Sluggish metabolism, weight gain and low energy are caused by toxin build-up. To kick start your journey to juicing for weight loss, you must first do a thorough cleansing of your body, much like spring time cleaning of your home.

6 oz carrots
3 oz spinach
3 oz lettuce
3 oz celery
1 oz parsley

Blend the above ingredients with some ice cubes in your blender till desired texture is achieved.

With these easy-to-make smoothies for weight loss, there is no excuse for not taking action. Healthy weight loss does not happen overnight; it all starts with making small changes daily that lead to an ultimate change in your lifestyle. Set your weight loss goal, start today and work towards a slimmer, healthier body.

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