The Natural Way

Thursday, June 6, 2002

With spring in full bloom, we not only get to revel in the beauty of our area but also watch plants sprout, grow, bloom and bear. It is also important to begin planning for the wise use of her bounty.

Fresh fruit and vegetables provide a terrific amount of good nutrition including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenes and more. A fun, simple and delicious way of helping ourselves to this abundance is to use a juicer.

A juicer gives you the benefit of the whole fruit or plant without cooking. The liquid is from the plant itself so we are probably getting trace amounts of nutrition which is not well documented. We also get whatever the exterior of the plant was treated with, like pesticides, so washing well is a must. Peel the spoiled areas away and wash again.

Feel free to juice the green tops of beets and carrots. This adds much nutrition, though the flavor will change slightly. Peeling the skin off the fruit or vegetable may not be necessary as long as your juice machine can handle the job.

Choose fresh, healthy looking produce and juice it the same day. Drink the juice soon after making it as the blend will oxidize quickly. Use organic produce as the first choice, moving on to non-organic if cost is an issue or if the produce you want isn't available as organically grown. Here are some combinations: * Apple-cherry juice, good for digestion, joints * Celery -antihistaminic * Blue-green algae -revitalizer, a good pick-me-up * Cucumber -diuretic and good for hair and nails * Grapefruit-papaya-ginger -energy booster, digestive, weight loss * Pear-apple-lime -system detox * Spinach-carrot-beet -blood sugar balance, liver, digestion * Tangerine -reduces chance of breast cancer * Tomato -reduces chance of prostate cancer * Watermelon -appetite suppressant, diuretic

Be creative in your combinations, be sure to try different blends as different fruits and vegetables begin to show up at the market. One drawback with juicing is you don't get the fiber which has many benefits all on its own. Be sure to recycle the fiber from the juicer to your compost heap. Return the gift of soil to the Earth.

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