Here’s a green juice that acts as a strong heart food. It also keeps your ones strong and your brain switched on! Read on to find out why it can also help protect you against cancer…
Medical research into the effects of these ingredients is ongoing, so this article is written around current understandings of their associated benefits.
Ingredients for this protective green juice heart food:
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 handful kale
- 1 pear
- 1 apple
- a handful of grapes
- Keeps you hydrated: At a water content of 95.2%, the cucumber gives you a large proportion of your recommended daily intake of water.
- High in potassium: Lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease such as stroke.
- Protect the brain from neurological diseases: The anti-inflammatory substance Fisetin in cucumbers helps brain health.
- Anti-ageing: Combat those wrinkles!
- Lowers inflammation in the body: This helps fight certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Reduce pain: Flavonoids in cucumbers have been shown to reduce pain signals. Cooling and diuretic, I’ve used cucumber to treat bee stings.
- Reduce bad breath: Cucumbers can boost saliva production, which helps keep your breath fresh.
- Protects your bones: Vitamin K protects you from cancer, helps proper bone health and can even fight against Alzheimers!
- Prevents constipation: The water and fibre in cucumbers keeps your gut moving.
- Keep a healthy weight: The cucumber is of course low in calorie and fibre rich foods can help maintain a good weight.
- Gives you fibre: Keep that intestine working for you! It helps prevent constipation and maintains healthy blood sugar.
- Has more iron than beef: Helps form haemoglobin and enzymes. This helps transport blood around the body, whilst supporting cell growth and liver function.
- High in vitamin K: Protects bones, brain health and fights against cancer.
- Boost of vitamin A: Protects your eyes and skin, but also prevents lung and oral cavity cancer.
- Shot of vitamin C: A stranger to none, this wonder vitamin supports your immune system and metabolism.
- Good source of Calcium: Kale gives you more calcium than milk, supporting strong bones and protecting you from the likes of osteoporosis.
- Antioxidant: Antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids in kale also help the fight against cancer.
- Anti-inflammatory: Kate contains essential fatty acids such as the wonderful Omega 3, which protect you against arthritis, asthma, auto-immune disease and more.
- Lowers cholesterol: This heart food gives you cardiovascular support.
- Detoxifying effect: Resulting from kale being high in sulphur and fibre.
- High in fibre: Improves digestion, and can help hemorrhoids.
- Great source of vitamin C.
- Antioxidant: Pear skins are a very strong heart food, containing phytonutrients, including polyphenols, phenolic acids and flavonoids. These prevent disease formation, and keep your heart healthy. This reduces the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. The vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals in pears make them superbly anti-inflammatory, helping prevent cancer. Importantly, the peel contains healthy fatty acids. So the benefit of pears is much higher if you leave your fruit unpeeled.
- Fights diabetes: Fruit and vegetables in general are great on this point. The low glycemic index and flavonoids in pears can improve insulin sensitivity, which is great news for diabetes sufferers or those struggling with their weight.
- Workout boost: The fructose and glucose in pears boost stamina and focus, but also replenish the body after a workout.
- For your bone health: Pears are another good source of vitamin K.
- High in vitamin C: This antioxidant blocks some of the effects of free radicals and strengthens your immunity against infectious illnesses.
- Good source of flavonoids: Another great antioxidant that helps fight cancer.
- Injection of b complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, b-6): This gives you healthy red blood cells and nervous system.
- Good dietary fibre: Prevents high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Minerals including calcium, potassium and phosphorus: Protect the body against the effects of harmful free radicals (atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron, which can cause cancer and premature ageing, among other nasties).
- Helps prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes: Apples contain important phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Reduces the risk and effects of Alzheimers: The high antioxidant content of apples can improve memory function by reducing the swelling caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
- Prevents dementia: Eating apples improves neurological health.
- Reduces the risk of stroke: A study of nearly 1000 people showed that those who ate apples for 28 days had the lowest risk of stroke.
- Lowers bad cholesterol: Eating apples regularly can significantly reduce the bad cholesterol in your body, and even increase the level of good cholesterol.
- Diminishes the risk of diabetes: Eating apples, grapes, pears or blueberries three times per week can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 7%. So a miracle fruit that reduces the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and lowers bad cholesterol can definitely be classed as a healthy heart food! Note though that this benefit was associated with eating whole fruit, not juice.
- Helps prevent obesity: Apples, particularly Granny Smiths, contain great gut bacteria that fight the growing obesity problem.
- High in vitamin K, copper and manganese.
- Have a low glycemic index (GI): This means they actively reduce the bad cholesterol and plaque build-up in the arteries.
- Contain melatonin: Melatonin is an essential component for restful sleep.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: The natural anti-inflammatory flavonoid quercetin is believed to improve good cholesterol, as well as reduce blood pressure. The fibre and potassium content in grapes also makes it a great heart food, because potassium in particular has shown strong links to heart health. An alarmingly low percentage of people consume enough potassium.
- Helps slow down or prevent certain cancers: The antioxidant properties in this super food (including resveratrol in the red grape skin) has been linked to positive health benefits for esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon cancers.
- A good cure for constipation: Eating food with a high water and fibre content helps keep you regular.
- Possible benefits for allergies: The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin may help allergy symptoms such as runny nose/eyes and hives.
- Reducing diabetes: Eating whole grapes can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, as mentioned above for apples.
- Acne buster: The resveratrol in red wine can be a good acne remedy, if combined with other treatment.
Importantly, don’t forget to eat lots of whole fruit alongside juices, to get the best nutritional benefit of your brain and heart food! And of course it goes without saying that a healthy active lifestyle plays a huge role in the happy heart mindset.
If you’re a fan of healthy green drinks, why not try my green sleep smoothie too.