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Blog

Filtering by Tag: #detox

To Juice or not to Juice?

Monica Ruiz-Noriega

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Whether you are detoxing, fasting or attempting to lose weight, juicing has become a highly popular activity. But should we all do it? Should you be juicing rather than eating? I guess it all depends on why you are juicing and how your general health is. I would like to share with you what I think are some of the benefits and drawbacks of juicing.

Benefits -

Juicing offers an easier way to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets. This is relevant because in addition to vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients with antioxidant effects that offer a lot of health benefits.  

When we make juices, we use raw fruits and vegetables. The vitamins, phytonutrients and active enzymes that they offer do not get destroyed like they do with cooking. 

People with some sort of digestive issues and whose digestive systems  are not functioning properly tend to have trouble tolerating a lot of the fibre contained in raw fruits and vegetables. When you juice them, you remove all of the fibre from the fruits and vegetables, so these people may be able to tolerate juices and thus enjoy all the benefits that these have to offer. 

Drawbacks -

Depending on the fruits and vegetables you are juicing, juices can contain a lot of sugar. Additionally, as I stated above, when juicing, you remove all the fibre. The fibre of fruits and vegetables is important as not only is it beneficial for the gut flora but it also helps you feel full longer.

Juicing a lot of green vegetables is really popular, but some raw vegetables such as kale, broccoli and cabbage contain goitrogens - substances that can affect thyroid function and could prove problematic for people with pre-existing thyroid issues. 

Another big con is that it can be expensive to do it correctly. You need to use a relatively large amount of produce to make a fairly small volume of juice. Should you choose to do it with only organic fruits and vegetables, the price will get even higher. 

In my opinion, occasional juicing, or even a small amount daily can certainly be an important part of a healthy diet. But in no way should juices substitute a healthy, whole-food diet that includes both raw and lightly cooked fresh foods, with minimum amounts of toxins. 

 

 

 

ACRYLA WHAT?

Monica Ruiz-Noriega

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During my morning commute listening to the ratio, among the hundreds of news about Trump and his government, I heard a note that really caught my attention. NPR reported that The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is raising alarms about a toxic chemical found in some brands of animal crackers and cookies - ACRYLAMIDE.

Acrylamide forms from a reaction between sugars and the amino acid asparagine, naturally present in foods, when these foods are cooked at high temperature, fried or baked for too long. While the chemical is common, it’s also on the list of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.

According to the CEH, this chemical poses particular threats to young children - "given their smaller size and the types of foods they consume, children typically take in twice as much acrylamide, per pound of body weight, as adults. In pregnant women, higher levels of dietary acrylamide have been linked to reduced birth weight and head circumference, key indicators of a child’s future health"

(You can see the full list of animal crackers and cookies with the highest levels of acrylamide in

http://www.ceh.org/news-events/press-releases/content/cancer-causing-chemical-found-walgreens-disney-animal-crackers/)

Your highest-risk foods for acrylamide exposure fall into three basic categories: (1) fried, processed foods like potato chips and french fries; (2) baked snack foods containing wheat and sugar, including cookies and crackers; and (3) processed foods involving toasted grains, including toasted wheat cereals, instant coffee and dry soup mixes.

If you want to minimise exposure to this toxic chemical, in addition to limiting your intake of the above foods, make sure you consume a good amount of foods that help your liver in the process of detoxification from this nasty chemical. Foods like cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as garlic and onions.

Longer cooking times and cooking at higher temperatures can increase the amount of acrylamide in foods further. Choose cooking methods that do not promote acrylamide formation, such as steaming, slow cooking and sautéing in low heat, instead of frying, broiling, grilling and roasting.

This reinforces even more the importance to consume fresh, homemade goods, where you know exactly how food was made and what´s in it!