Fruit Punch Iced Tea

iced teaIced Tea

Iced Tea is a always a favourite on a hot summer day. The combination of fruits and tea make this great drink when you need cooling down.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 125g Strawberries
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice (chilled)
  • 2 cups of Pineapple Juice (chilled)
  • 2 cups lemonade
  • 2 peach & mango tea bags
  • 2 cups boiling water

Method

  1. Place lemonade in jug, cover and place in freezer for 2 to 3 hours
  2. Place tea bags in a heat proof jug and pour over boiling water – allow to brew to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and to cool
  3. Hull and finely dice strawberries
  4. Pour tea into a large jug
  5. Add juices, strawberries and semi-frozen lemonade
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

Pineapple

pineapplefruit

Ananas Comosus

 Nutrients:

manganese, vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin A, B complex vitamins, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin K

 

Health benefits:

This cone shaped fruit, whose name once described what we now know as “pine cones”, is thought to have originated in Paraguay and brought to the Caribbean by the Amerindians. It was found by Columbus on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 and bought back to Spain where it enjoyed royal acclaim. To display a pineapple even as part of your decorations at a party of the time was to be held in high regard and made the hostess of the season. So rare and precious was the fruit that King Charles II of England once posed with one in a portrait.

The trace mineral manganese, a building block for healthy bones and an important factor in energy production, is found abundantly in pineapples. Together with the B complex vitamins, also found in pineapples, manganese plays an important role as the co factors in enzyme building.

Also found in pineapples are the antioxidant vitamins A and C. vitamin C, the most powerful of the 2 has been found to ward off coughs, colds and infectious diseases, promote collagen synthesis, cure and prevent scurvy and aid in iron absorption in the stomach among other things. Vitamin A works with beta carotene to help keep eyes and skin healthy. Both vitamins act as antioxidants to eliminate free radicals in the body, protecting against various cancers, age related macular degeneration (ARMD), ageing, arthritis and other diseases.

Jam packed with dietary fibre, eating pineapples can prevent and ease constipation, lower blood glucose, lower blood cholesterol levels, and aid in weight loss and enable regular bowel movements.

It is a rich source of potassium which regulates heart rate and blood pressure to help protect against strokes and promote heart health. It has calcium for healthy bones and teeth, copper, a component of haemoglobin (the red pigment of the blood) and other trace minerals namely zinc selenium and phosphorus for overall health.

Pineapples contain a natural enzyme called bromelain which has been found to break down proteins and to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-clotting properties. It has also been found to break down mucus in cases of asthma, diphtheria, chest congestion and bronchitis.

Eating pineapples and drinking pineapple juice are known to help fight arthritis, cure indigestion and kill intestinal worms. Pineapple juice is also known to relieve nausea. It is also used as a diuretic, for flushing out toxins and for treating diarrhoea and gout.

N.B: Consuming large amounts of pineapple and its juice during pregnancy is not advised since the enzyme bromelain can cause uterine bleeding, hence the reason pineapples are used in traditional medicines to induce abortion and promote menstruation.

Carrot

Carrot

Daucus carota

Nutrients:

vitamin A, vitamin k, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin b6, manganese, molybdenum, vitamin b3, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, beta carotene, pro-vitamin A carotenes, antioxidants, flavanoids, copper, calcium.

 

Health benefits:

The first carrots grown were not orange like the carrot we know today. In fact they were white, red, purple and yellow. The orange carrot, though the most popular variety today, emerged in Europe in the 5th or 6th century where as the carrot has been around since the first century.

Famous for their supply of beta carotene, a nutrient named for them, carrots are the must have food for eye health, sperm production and epithelial growth and development, all of which beta carotene is responsible for when converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene also acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals in the body and protecting against certain cancers.

They contain Vitamin C, another powerful natural antioxidant in the fight against free radicals contributing to the cancer protection qualities of the carrot and responsible for healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums. Vitamin c also protects from infectious diseases and scurvy.

Carrots are an excellent source of dietary fiber which adds bulk to the stools, lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss and eases and prevents constipation.

Carrots are rich in B-complex vitamins for energy metabolism, preventing birth defects, D.N.A. synthesis and acting as co factors in enzymes during substrate metabolism.

A recent 10 year study shows a connection between eating carrots and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. By increasing you carrot intake by a mere 25g (less than a quarter cup) each day, you can greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Carrots are also known to protect against colon, bladder, and larynx, prostate and post menopausal breast cancer and to reduce the risk of lung cancer by 50%. This is attributed to the diverse mixture of carrot antioxidants. It is believed that these compounds work together to provide cardiovascular benefits and cancer protection.

NB: excessive consumption of carotene rich foods like carrots may cause a yellowing of the skin and palms known as carotoderma. There isn’t much research to determine the health risks of this condition but it is possibly related to carotenemia (excessive levels of carotene in the blood). carotene is slowly converted to vitamin A in the body and eating large amounts of carotene rich foods my over load the body’s capacity to do that. Excess carotene is stored in the soles, palms and behind the ears. If excessive consumption is the cause of this condition then reducing consumption of carotene rich foods is likely to reverse it.

Pears

PearsPears (Pyrus communis)

Nutrients:

potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, vitamin A and some B vitamins.

 

 

Health benefits:

Amazingly research shows that the skin of this fruit is just as valuable or maybe even more so, than the flesh. The skin contains half of its total dietary fibre and some very valuable phytonutrients called phenolic phytonutrients, which includes antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and some potentially anti-cancer phyto nutrients called cinnamic acids. Although these phytonutrients are also found in the flesh, research shows that the skin contains at least 3 -4 times as much so people, please, put away your paring knives.

Pears have been used traditionally to treat such ailments as colitis, chronic gall bladder disorders, arthritis and gout. Pear juice is also believed to be helpful in lowering fevers and relieving pain caused by inflammatory conditions. Studies have also shown that some of the phyto nutrients found in pear skins increase insulin sensitivity in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

In addition, pears are a good source of potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate and contribute to overall heart health.

The high fibre content of pears helps to regulate bowel movements, acts as a laxative to relieve constipation, lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels and aids in weight loss.

Pears are rich in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, which not only help to keep the body cancer free by scavenging otherwise harmful free radicals, but promote eye and skin health and protect against coughs, colds and infectious diseases respectively. There are also other antioxidants found in pears which help in eye health and in strengthening the immune system.

Pears contain the minerals copper, iron magnesium, manganese and boron. Copper and iron play key roles in the formation of haemoglobin, the red pigmentation in the blood thereby helping to reduce anaemia. Boron has been linked to increased calcium and vitamin D retention contributing to bone health and fighting osteoporosis. The B vitamin folate or folic acid found in pears is essential for foetal development.

Don’t believe me? Then go ahead and see for yourself.

Strawberry Detox Smoothie

straw smoothieStrawberries & Rosemary

If you are on a detox diet there is  no need for the food to be bland or tasteless. The addition of fresh rosemary with strawberries in this delicious smoothie helps enhance your memory as well as the circulatory system.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 350g (12 oz) strawberries
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) organic bio live strawberry yoghurt
  • 1-2 fresh rosemary spriges
  • 4 ice cubes
  • strawberry to decorate

Method – smoothie machine

  1. lightly rinse the strawberries (put one aside for decorating)
  2. cut remaining strawberries in half
  3. place yoghurt and strawberries in a smoothie machine
  4. strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs – add to machine with ice
  5. blend on mix for 15 seconds, then on smooth for 45 seconds
  6. Pour into glass, decorate and serve

Method – blender

  1. lightly rinse the strawberries (put one aside for decorating)
  2. cut remaining strawberries in half
  3. place yoghurt and strawberries in a blender
  4. strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs – add to machine with ice
  5. blend for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth
  6. Pour into glass, decorate and serve

Breakfast Smoothie

banana orange smoothieA great morning starter

we all know that breakfast is important. A smoothie is a great way to start the day and see you through until lunchtime. Bananas are packed full of potassium and vitamin B6, while orange’s are packed full of vitamin C. The wheat germ is an excellent source of folic acid and Vitamin E, which protects cell membranes and prevents the build of plaque in the arteries.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana
  • 300ml  (1/2 pint) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp wheatgerm
  • orange wedge to decorate

Method – blender

  1. Peel banana
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender
  3. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth
  4. Pour into glass, decorate and serve

Method – smoothie machine

  1. Peel banana
  2. Place all ingredients in smoothie machine
  3. Blend on mix for 15 seconds
  4. Blend on smooth for 45 seconds
  5. Pour into glass, decorate and serve

 

Lettuce

Lettuce

Lettuce

lactuca savita

Nutrients:

vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, b-complex vitamins(niacin, riboflavin, folate, pyridoxine, thiamin, pantotheic acid), protein, omega 3 fatty acids

 

Health benefits:

 

Lettuce was first grown in ancient Egypt as far back as 2680 BC for its seeds, which were pressed into oil. it was the ancient Egyptians who first cultivated it to use its leaves as food. The early lettuce plants eaten by the Egyptians resembled a larger version of modern romaine lettuce.  It was considered a sacred plant of the reproductive god Min and during his festival; his statue was carried aloft on a bed of lettuce.  They considered it a symbol of sexual prowess, a promoter of love and a promoter of child bearing in women.

The Egyptians shared it with the Greeks who believed it promoted menses and decreased libido. In ancient Greece it was considered a symbol of male impotency and was served at funerals. The Greeks shared it with the Romans who claimed it increased sexual potency. It was called sleepwort by Anglo-Saxons because of its mild narcotic properties found in the latex released from the wild variety when the leaves are cut and in medieval times was used as a medicinal herb for that reason. Due to cross breeding and domestication, the latex in the varieties of lettuce we eat today has lost much of its potency.

Called a “free food” by nutritionists because of their low caloric value, lettuce is a great way to get adequate fiber and add texture to a meal. Fiber aids in weight loss, lowers blood glucose and blood cholesterol. Some people believe that lettuce has no caloric value whatsoever but that isn’t entirely true. Some varieties of lettuce contain essential nutrients and one variety, romaine lettuce, has all eight essential amino acids making it a complete protein. A head of romaine lettuce also provides more vitamin C than an orange and loads of vitamin A. these 2 antioxidant vitamins are essential for strengthening the immune system and vision respectively. Lettuce varieties vary in the amount of calcium they contain with leaf lettuces and arugula having the most. They also have varying amounts of potassium. The nutritive value of lettuce tends to be greater in the greener leaf varieties but it has been shown that ice berg lettuce, considered the least nutritious variety, increases it nutritive value when the leaves are opened while the plant is growing, tying its nutritional value to sunlight exposure.

While it is true that all varieties of lettuce are not equal in nutrient content, with romaine being the most nutritious and ice berg the least, all varieties of lettuce do contain some essential vitamins and minerals. The fact remains that these nutrients are there and when combined with other vegetables, they contribute to the daily requirements needed for healthy living. Besides, crisp refreshing lettuce is a great addition to smoothies and salads because it’s mild flavor mixes well with fruits and other vegetables and some varieties have as much as 96% water.

 

The Truth About Juice

To juice or not to juice….?

juicesI get asked all the time “Is juice good or bad for you?”  The answer is not a simple yes or no, but its not that complicated either.

Juice has been given a bad rap over the years because of the belief that it contains a high level of sugar without the fiber content of eating the actual fruit.  But there is a healthy way to get juice and there are health benefits to be gained from drinking juice. 

First we will explore the common belief that juice is not healthy .  Generally  people understand that most fruits contain high levels of  sugar  (fructose) and they also contain a lot of fiber and other vitamins and minerals. When fruit is ‘juiced’ there is a quantity of fiber that is removed and therefore not consumed.  Therefore what you are consuming is high in sugar.  To a point this is true.

So there is a healthy way to have juice? Most people believe that purchased (bottled) juices  are healthy because the label on the bottle indicates that the product is good for you.  Packaging that suggests that the juice is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ give a consumer the belief that the product must be healthy for you. 

 

So, what’s the truth? Juices that are made and then packaged and stored for any period of time lose their goodness.  Its that simple.  Even if the name of the packaging or the labelling somehow suggest ‘freshly squeezed’ the truth is that by the time you consume It,  IT IS NOT FRESHLY SQUEEZED. 

But, what about juices that added vitamins or minerals?  They must be good for you.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Our bodies need natural sources of vitamins and minerals to get the full benefits.  When these are added during the manufacturing process they are not natural.  And our body knows this and will not absorb and get the full benefit  that it should be getting.

 

Is that the whole truth?  Juices are not good for me? No.   Not at all.  There is an answer….freshly squeezed immediately prior to consuming.  You might think that this requires a lot of effort but it doesn’t really. The solution is to purchase a good quality juicer that gives you all the health benefits of freshly squeezed juice without all of the hard work.  Adding ingredients such as ginger, parsley and peppermint (to name a few) can enhance the health benefits of juicing and help to give your juices a fresh and invigorating flavour. 

 

Drinking juice can also assist in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods. For example, our bodies absorb iron better when the consumption of meat is accompanied with a freshly squeezed orange juice.  Without the assistance of this freshly squeezed juice the iron is not absorbed and you may not be getting all of the vitamins and minerals that you think.

 

So go ahead.  Enjoy your juice.  Fresh always tastes best when it comes to juice and the health benefits are plenty.

 

Quick Ease

pineapple juiceQuick Ease

pineapple and papaya are rich sources of the enzymes, bromelin and papain, both of which aid digestion.

 

 

 

Ingredients
1 medium pineapple
1 medium papaya
2 green apples

Method
Peel the pineapple, papaya and apples
cut to size
pass through a juicer

Serve chilled or over ice