Archive for October, 2013

Fall Juicing: Beets

Friday, October 25th, 2013

We’ve talked about juicing pumpkins, winter squash, pears and even sweet potatoes, but one seasonal beauty that everyone needs to add to their diet is the beet.
Beet It

Beets!

As a population, the United States has been neglecting beets, and it’s just got to stop. Beets are considered seasonal, but are there for us year round packed full of goodness, and just waiting for us to give them a chance. Their positive effects on our health are so numerous, that I believe they deserve their own article to sing their praises (and pull in some more beet loving converts). Historically, like the pomegranate, beets have been put to use in a variety of ways. They have been used as a natural dye, a precious sacrifice to the gods, for their medicinal properties and are well known for being an aphrodisiac. Today, we continue their use, as medical professionals and scientists are continually discovering more and more great stuff about them.

Conditions beets are known to help include:

Heart of the beetroot

Heart Health:

Beets are full of both soluble and insoluble fiber that help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol while promoting healthy weight loss. They also contain a nutrient called Betaine that is known to lower homocysteine, an amino acid that’s linked with cardiovascular disease and blood clots, levels in the blood. The same nutrient also assists in a variety of other health issues. For more information on Betaine’s nutritional value, check out Betaine in human nutrition. In addition to that, beets contain a high level of potassium which relaxes blood vessels allowing blood to flow freely, thus reducing the risk of clotting and stroke.

Birth Defects:

B vitamin folate, or folic acid, is naturally found in beets. Many people are sufficient in folic acid, however those at risk of deficiency such as women of childbearing age, pregnant women, those with malabsorptive disorders or alcohol dependence, may have children that suffer from a group of birth disorders called neural tube defects. Folic acid plays a part in infant spinal column development.
84. colin cancer Courtesy of © Globocan

Cancer Prevention:

One of the most exciting beet benefits is its cancer fighting abilities. What’s even more fantastic, is that is approaches cancer prevention from more than one direction. Beets contain pigment betacyanin, a beetroot pigment that counteracts cancerous cell growth and inhibits cell mutations caused by certain meat preservatives. Beets are also said to slow down tumor development and increase the number of CD8 cells in the colon that destroy cancer threats. Since colon cancer is ranked third in cancer related deaths, this is a big deal. On top of that, beets increase the body’s production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, that aids the liver (also stimulated by beet consumption) in in ridding the body of cancerous toxins. Overall, beets are known to decrease cancer risk, especially for the skin, lungs and colon.

Respiratory Health:

WW2  -  more sugar beets ?One cup of beets is equivalent to 11% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Increasing vitamin C in your diet can aid in preventing asthma symptoms while stimulating white blood cells. Combined with it’s antioxidant qualities, beets fight off any unwanted respiratory infection that may come your way. In addition, the presence of beta carotene, helps in fighting lung cancer.

Energy Level:

Beets are high in natural sugar, and therefore are also high in carbohydrates. However, these carbs are the good kind that burn slowly to fuel prolonged activities like distance running or sports. Due to the high level of nitrates, it has been found that beets also increase a person’s oxygen intake beyond what can be achieved through training and exercise alone.

Ocular Health:

Comic History of Rome p 010 The Romans walking off with the Sabine WomenThe beta carotene in beets will protect your eyes from free radicals, helping prevent cataracts and slow macular degeneration, a disease that’s often age related in which blurring and blind spots affect your central vision.

Aphrodisiac:

Recorded early on by the Romans, the aphrodisiac quality of the beet has been well known for centuries. It even adorns ancient brothel walls in Pompeii! As unsexy as it may seem, the beet contains boron, which is scientifically known to boost the production of sex hormones. The result of eating beets could be increased libido, fertility, and sperm mobility.

Since beets are root vegetables and tend to taste more earthy despite their natural sugars, it’s good to find a balanced mix of sweeter fruits or vegetables to achieve a more appealing taste. Here are a few suggestions for beet juicing to get you going.

Beet juice-01

Beet Juice Blend

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 2 tall celery stalks
  • 1 beet, with the leaves
  • 1 handful of spinach (optional)

*For added sweetness, include more lemon and apple.

Directions: Add the apple, lemon, and celery to a juicer. Use a sharp knife to cut the beet into manageable pieces and then add it to your juicer. Note that because of a beet’s thickness, it’s best to juice last so that you don’t need to clean the pulp out of your juicer until you’re done. For extra greens, add spinach.

Courtesy of YOGANONYMOUS

Beet, Carrot, and Apple Juice with Ginger

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beets (about 6 medium), trimmed, peeled, cut into 1′ pieces
  • 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), trimmed, peeled, cut into 1′ pieces
  • 1 Gala or Empire apple (about 8 ounces), cored, cut into 1′ pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces), cored, cut into 1′ pieces
  • 1 3′ piece fresh ginger, peeled, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions: Pass first 5 ingredients through a juicer. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into glasses.

RECIPE BY The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

If you’re just getting started juicing, and are looking for a quality, affordable juicer, check out The Best Affordable Juicers of 2013.

Fall Juicing: Apples, Pears and Pomegranates

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Pears!

The sweet and juicy pear. I believe they are falls compensation for not letting strawberries grow year round. Just eating one alone, no frills, is pretty dang satisfying, yet they are so much more than just the apple’s softer friend. Pears have the highest fiber content of all the fruits, and is linked to preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers (breast, stomach and lung). The skin of the pear contains quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that is known to help artery problems, so blending instead of juicing might be a good way to keep that pulpy benefit. Lucky for the sensitive souls, pears are also the most hypoallergenic fruit, meaning that most of those intolerant of say, peaches, have a much better chance at not reacting negatively to these little gems, allowing everyone to get in a good daily fruit serving.

grape cucumber pear juice 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large pear
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger root
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
DIRECTIONS Juice tangerine and lemon in a manual citrus juicer. Juice pear and ginger in a juicer. Mix together. Garnish with cayenne if you want an extra kick.

Courtesy of The Daily Meal ® Pears & Apples

Apples!

Brother to the pear, the apple also ranks high in the natural holistic health world. Like the pear, apples are chalk full of vitamins and fiber that aid in a number of conditions mentioned above. They also a good source of potassium, iron and calcium, and have been proven through tests to slow the aging of your brain helping prevent Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease.

Apple juice with 2apples 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
DIRECTIONS Juice all ingredients in a juicer. Store the juice in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Courtesy of The Daily Meal ®

Pomegranates!

Fruit of the gods, the pomegranate has a vast history in literature, art and culture. It shows up in famous paintings around the world and has been revered medicinally by a variety of cultures for quite a long time. Today, health professional’s praises of the healthy powers of the pomegranate are still going strong.

File:Botticelligranat bild.jpg

Like the apple and pear above, they are an incredible source of fiber, but that’s not all. They are known to have anti-inflammatory qualities that aid in preventing osteoarthritis and contain the heart healthy enzyme paraoxonase, that helps keep cholesterol from clogging arteries. Pomegranate’s are also the king antioxidant of the fruits, proven to protect skin from free radicals and aid in collagen production, which slows the signs of aging. Plus, studies have show pomegranate juice to be equal to prescription mouthwash when it comes to ridding your teeth and mouth of disgusting plaque.

Power of Pomegranate Recipe

Makes two large glasses of sweet, refreshing antioxidant juice:

  • 3 carrots
  • 1 apple

March 20 - Antioxidant Indulgence

  • 2 small pears
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • Power up your juicer!

This drink is so refreshing and the kids will love it, too. Try different variations with the apples and pears, maybe substituting a peach or some strawberries for one of the pears.

Find more Pomegranate recipes Here.

For more fantastic fall juicing suggestions, check out our articles on Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash.

Fall Juicing: Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Sweet Potatoes!

File:5aday sweet potato.jpgSweet potatoes, the unsung hero of the root vegetable family. Loaded with fiber and iron, sweet potatoes have a slow burning energy producing quality that will keep you going longer than other carbs that don’t contain so much fiber. They are also chock full of vitamins like the heart healthy B6, and antioxidant rich vitamins C and E.

An often overlooked plus of sweet potatoes is that they contain the trace mineral manganese that helps sustain healthy blood sugar levels, treat anemia and sustain appetite control. Add to that the presence of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and is used to prevent and treat a wide range of medical conditions including heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts and arthritis, and this veggie is well worth the minimal prep it requires.

A quick, and probably less messy way than the microwave cinnamon sprinkling thing, is throwing a sweet potato or two in your juicer and taking it on the go. Here are some recipes sure to pack some sweet veggie power.

Festive Sweet Potato Vegetable JuiceSweet Potato, Celery, Ginger and Orange Juice 2of3

Serves 1-2

1 small or medium sweet potato, cut into quarters if necessary for it to fit through the juicer
2 carrots
1 large (or two small) red bell pepper
2 large stalks celery
1 1/2 inch knob of ginger

Run all ingredients through your juicer, and serve.

Courtesy of Choosing Raw

Winter Squash!

File:Squashes.jpg

Though they may be on the funny looking side, consuming winter squash is an easy, low-fat way to take in much needed vitamins and supplements that are often lacking in the average diet. They are heart friendly and contain a ton of potassium. One of the biggest pluses is that winter squash is a source of lutein, a powerful antioxidant this is used to prevent and treat a number of conditions by minimizing free radicals. Even the seeds contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid often used in the treatment of depression.

Here’s a simple recipe using butternut squash as it’s main ingredient.

“Vegetable Magnetism” Midday Carrot Squash Cleansing Juice

  • 4 carrotsGreen juice! Been ages since I've been to herbivore. Nice to see they updated the menu.
  • 1 cup peeled butternut squash
  • Half cucumber
  • Optional:
  • Half-inch piece of ginger
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  1. Process all ingredients through your Omega Juicer.
  2. If using this juice as part of the 3 DAY WINTER CLEANSE, strain this juice and dilute with equal parts  filtered water.
  3. If not juice fasting, you can consume this juice unstrained.
  4. Makes one 16-ounce glass.

Courtesy of The Blender Girl

For more Fall juicing recipes check out Fall Juicing: The Incredible Edible Pumpkin.

Fall Juicing: The Incredible Edible Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Pumpkin Juice – 3 Fruit & Veggie Servings in 1 DELICIOUS DrinkIt’s fall, and if you’re like me you feel torn. Summer was amazing.  Festivals, farmers markets and fresh berries everywhere. I’m sad to see it go. The only thing that kept me looking forward to the seasonal change was the knowledge that pumpkin season was upon us. Pumpkin, we need to figure out a way to extend pumpkin eating time beyond these few month. But until we do, the challenge is to take advantage while we can.

Juicing or blending is a great way to do this. Juicing allows us to take in a large amount of nutrients from sources like pumpkins quickly and easily. However, don’t be so fast to toss the pulp, it contains a dose of fiber you really don’t want to miss out on. Toast the seeds and add some seasoning, they make a heart healthy alternative to salty chips or peanuts.  So let’s move beyond Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pies (oh pies), and put these babies to good use.

Pumpkins!

What’s so great about pumpkins anyway?

So many things! Beside the fact that pumpkin is an incredibly potent source of fiber, it’s also packed full of potassium, and vitamin C. Beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin make its bright fall color pop, and are also a big healthy gift from our squash friend. A part of the carotenoid group, according to MedlinePlus, beta-carotene and its friends provide 50% of the vitamin A in our diets, and is know to prevent:

  • certain cancersCucurbita maxima cut one half
  • heart disease
  • cataracts
  • age related macular degeneration (AMD)

and to treat:

  • AIDS
  • alcoholism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • depression
  • epilepsy
  • headache
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis

So many benefits and nothing to loose! Here are two juicing recipes that are sure to help you get started.

Pumpkin Juice Recipe courtesy of My Juice Cleanse with Carey Kingsbury

4 cups  pumpkin chunks
1 apple
2-3 carrots
1/4 inch piece ginger
cinnamon
nutmeg

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks and remove skin with a vegetable peeler.  Wash apple and carrots and cut into pieces that will fit into your juicer.  Put the first four ingredients through your juicer.  Pour the juice into a glass and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add ice if desired.  Makes approximately 10 oz.

 

Pumpkin Juice Recipe courtesy of EverythingPumpkin

    Award-winning jack o' lantern

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen pumpkin puree
  • 1 handful baby carrots – or 1-2 large carrots 1/2-3/4 cup milk
  • 1 orange -  peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 Tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate (not mixed)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Test for taste and add a little water if the orange juice flavor is too strong
  4. Serve immediately
  5. Enjoy!

Before you start blending, here are a few tips to help you out. Fresh is always better. The fewer preservatives, the healthier your pumpkin experience is going to be. Be nice to your juicer. Cutting the pumpkin up into smaller chunks can make a big difference to an older juicers blades, and make sure to keep an eye on the pulp so it doesn’t clog anything.

If you’re interested in getting into juicing, or just looking for a good replacement juicer, don’t fret. Check out The Best Affordable Juicers of 2013 for some ideas.

Do You Have DRY, CRACKED SKIN on Your FEET?

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

As the cooler months approach, now is the time to start taking extra care of our feet.  Our feet will be nice and warm in our shoes or boots and socks, so we will not be looking at them as much.  The cooler weather will often bring on dry, scaling skin on our feet.  Each day, it is important to check the feet carefully, especially if you are diabetic, have rheumatoid arthritis, or another chronic disease.  If you notice anything abnormal (color changes, openings, growths, drainage, for example), if is important to call a podiatrist.  Additionally, it is important to moisturize the feet twice daily with a thick cream or vasoline.  When doing this, it is important to avoid putting the cream or vasoline between the toes.  This is already a  moist area of the foot, and more cream may cause the skin here to break down or open up.

Watch for future blogs on how to get your feet ready for the winter!  Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Physical Medicine and practices at the Oak Park and Chicago/63rd locations.  She has been in practice since finishing her residency in 2001, and she has also had three foot surgeries on her feet!  She knows how it feels to have painful feet and can help you!  Call today for your appointment, 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166.