Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. One think he enjoys on this special day is when I serve him breakfast in bed. And one of his favorite treats is fresh-squeezed orange juice. On any other day of the week, the store-bought kind will do, but he recognizes that the fresh-squeezed variety is “special.”
Why do you think that is?
Most people love drinking orange juice for breakfast. There are so many store-bought varieties to choose from: regular, pulp-free, extra-pulp (you do know, don’t you, that they take the pulp out of one and adding it to the other?). All of these options in store-bought juices are appealing — they are quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. And while the taste doesn’t compare to fresh-squeezed in my opinion, for most of us, it will suffice.
There’s just one problem — there’s very little nutritional value left by the time those oranges are picked, processed, pasteurized, put into cartons, and delivered to your store’s fridge. I know that nutritional value isn’t always what is the forefront in our minds when deciding what foods to consume (hello — Nutella!). But if you can just as easily have the healthier option, why not, right? And let’s face it — fresh-squeezed orange juice really does taste superior to the carton from the store.
In addition to the variety of fabulous fresh tastes, there are particular health benefits associated with raw fruit juices. Some of the associations are ancient, or “folk remedies,” while some have been only recently discovered or quantified by researchers.
The really nice thing about juicing is that by combining fruits and vegetables that contain specific nutrients, one can target certain concerns, like weight loss, diminishing eyesight, or colon health.
Note: the following list is neither exhaustive, nor claiming to provide medical advice. The intent is to illustrate the wide spectrum of beneficial nutrients believed to be available in fruits and fruit juices.
Let’s review some of the popular fruits that are found in many juice recipes.
Apples contain soluble fiber that helps to clean the colon, and helps to halt oxidation of LDL cholesterol; they also contain elastin and collagen that help keep the skin young
Blackberries have rich antioxidants that can help fight degenerative disorders of the eye
Blueberries can help improve memory and eyesight, prevent hardening of the arteries and type 2 diabetes, prevent urinary tract infections, and help shed belly fat
Cantaloupe has an ingredient that helps reduce migraine headaches
Cherries are known for fighting the painful symptoms of gout
Cranberries contain acids useful in relieving the pain of fibromyalgia, dissolving fat deposits and halting bladder infections
Figs are good for hypertension (high blood pressure) and lowering cholesterol
Ginger root reduces inflammation and helps support liver function
Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C which supports the immune cells
Kiwi contains magnesium which relieves mental fatigue and increases concentration
Lemons contain vitamin C and helps heal bruises
Mango – called the “king of fruits,” is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants that fight against skin aging and restores skin elasticity
Oranges are rich in vitamin C which improves skin texture and reduces incidence of kidney stones
Papaya seeds kill intestinal parasites
Passion Fruit is a good source of colon-protecting dietary fiber, Vitamin C and vitamin A
Pears contain soluble fiber which is good for colon health
Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse
Plums contain antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular disease and obesity
Pomegranate juice may slow the growth of prostate cancer
Strawberries are a “superfood” that helps lowers cancer death rates and is anti-inflammatory
Watermelon contains lycopene which minimizes the risks of several diseases developing, and it also contains potassium which helps with blood pressure
Take a look at the colors represented in the list above:
It seems that God has designed such an attractive rainbow of colorful fruits as if to beckon us to try some of each. So unless you are dealing with a specific medical problem, and are seeking a remedy through juicing and/or raw foods, it looks like enjoying a wide variety of these foods could provide you with natural protection from serious illness.
Be sure you are adding a combination of colors to your daily diet –whether by eating them or juicing them.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some of the specific healing properties of many vegatables!
Juice of the Day
If you are craving orange juice for breakfast, make it even better by adding carrots, ginger and mint. It’s better than orange juice alone and chock-full of vitamins to get your day off to a great start! And the mint? Well it just adds a little refreshing something special.
- 2 oranges
- 2 large carrots
- 1-inch slice ginger
- handful of mint
- Wash all produce well
- Peel the oranges and ginger
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 16-20 oz