Essential Oils and Healthy Juices and Smoothies

Essential Oils and Healthy Juices and Smoothies

Want to take your favorite juices to the next level? Tired of the same old recipes? If so, it’s time to give essential oils a try! These healthful concoctions have been used since ancient times for their healing properties. There are hundreds of essential oils available, and each has unique benefits. Some promote healing and boost immune function. Others relieve pain and increase your energy levels.

Even though most people use essential oils topically, these concoctions can be ingested too. It all comes down to the ingredients used. Certain oils can be added to juices and smoothies to maximize their healing power. Let’s see how they work and how to use them safely!

Brief History of Essential Oils

Aromatic oils, or essential oils, have been used for centuries as a natural remedy. They were also an integral part of religious ceremonies, beauty rituals, and food preparation. Many of them are the root of today’s medications and skin care products.

The earliest evidence of essential oils dates back to 3,000-2,300 BC. It is believed that Egyptians were the first to use these herbal extracts for cooking, beauty care, and embalming. Essential oils were also popular in ancient China and India. Ayurvedic medicine, for instance, has long been using essential oils for healing purposes.

These concoctions have been mentioned in the Bible too. Both the Old and New Testament include references to myrtle, myrrh, cinnamon, and frankincense essential oils.

Historians believe that Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, brought these herbal extracts to Europe during the Middle Ages. Later, they have been used by monks. Their popularity flourished around the 1800s where stores from all over Europe started to sell essential oils for a variety of ailments.

Today, these products are used in aromatherapy and complementary medicine. Their health benefits are backed up by science. Thousands of studies indicate that essential oils contain volatile compounds, antioxidants, and flavonols that heal the mind and body.

However, before you start using them, it’s crucial to understand how they work. Beware that not all essential oils are safe for internal use. Additionally, they may cause adverse reactions if used in large doses. More isn’t necessarily better. These plants extracts are highly concentrated, so you must only use them in small amounts.

Essential Oils at a Glance Essential oils in Healthy juices and smoothies

Essential oils are extracted from the seeds, barks, roots, stems, and flowers of plants. Basally, they’re a concentrated form of volatile oils and contain various phytonutrients. Centuries ago, Egyptians made these concoctions by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering it through a linen cloth or bag. Today, essential oils are produced through steam distillation, expression, or solvent extraction.

Some plants, such as garlic, onion, and bitter almond, are macerated in warm water to release the oil. Others are produced through cold pressing or resin tapping. The oils are either sold in their raw form, or used in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and household cleaners.

It takes over 2,000 pounds of cypress to produce one pound of essential oil, and three pounds of lavender flowers to extract 15 milliliters of oil. One pound of rose essential oil requires more than 10,000 pounds of rose petals. For this reason, aromatic oils are highly concentrated and should only be used in small amounts. Some must be distilled with water.

Health experts recommend choosing organic essential oils that have been tested by third parties. This ensures their purity and healing properties. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to use unethical methods to cut costs, such as:

  • Use plants that contain herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides
  • Re-distill or re-extract the plant material
  • Add solvents to dilute the oil
  • Short cut the distillation process

Always look for trusted suppliers and read customers reviews. Choose a company that uses steam distillation and grows or purchases organic plants to produce the oil. Ideally, select brands that are certified by the AFNOR and other established organizations. This information is usually available on the label.

 

Are Essential Oils Safe for Internal Use?

Despite their proven health benefits, not all essential oils are safe to ingest and not all brands are safe either. First of all, these concoctions are a concentrated mix of over 3,000 chemical compounds. If used improperly, they can do more harm than good.

Peppermint, lavender, ginger, tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit essential oils are considered safe for internal use. They contain volatile compounds http://authorscott.com/ingesting-essential-oils-safe-harmful/ that our body is regularly exposed to. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Eugenol
  • Alpha-terpineol
  • Myrcene
  • Methyl salicylate

Eugenol, for instance, is found not just in essential oils but also in peaches, mung beans, bananas, and coffee. Lavender, rosewood, and coriander essential oils contain linalool, a natural compound found in papaya, apricots, and cranberries. Limonene occurs naturally in carrots and citrus fruits.

Considering these facts, it makes sense to say that the human body is able to process small amounts of essential oil compounds. Just make sure you stick to the recommended dosage.

Beware that, contrary to popular belief, aromatic oils should not be diluted with water. First of all, oil and water don’t mix. The best way to dilute essential oils is to combine them with brown sugar or honey and warm water, olive oil, coconut oil, or simple syrup.

In general, citrus oils are safe to ingest. These concoctions are pressed right from the peel, which makers suitable for culinary use. They’re a healthy addition to juices, smoothies, and homemade desserts.

Final Thoughts

As you see, essential oils benefit both your mind and body. They may work just as well as many drugs and supplements, but have little or no side effects. It all comes down to how you use them. To stay safe, start with a few drops and see how your body reacts. Only increase the dosage if necessary.

Disclaimer:

PLEASE READ BEFORE USING ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are not safe to ingest unless they’re marked “food grade.” Always check the labels to make sure the oil can be used internally, and please see a doctor or someone trained in Essential oil for health advice.

Do not add essential oils to plastic cups or containers. The plastic can leach into the water and cause toxicity. Store and drink

Juicer & Blender Equipment

Juicer & Blender Equipment

Juicing and Blending Equipment: Our Favorite Picks

Wonder whether you should get a blender or a juicer? Could one machine handle both? Juicing and blending are two sides of the same coin. Both practices support optimal health and provide your body with the nutrients needed to function at its peak. Choosing the best equipment depends on your goals and budget.

Blenders vs. Juicers: Things to Consider

Nowadays, there are cutting-edge machines that serve multiple purposes. They can be used for both juicing and blending, so it’s no need to choose just one. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you might have to pick one or another.

Think about your preferences and lifestyle habits. Do you prefer the light texture of a fresh juice, or the creaminess and rich consistency of a smoothie? How are you planning to incorporate these beverages into your diet? What is your goal?

For instance, you’re seeking a healthy meal replacement, smoothies are better than juices. They will keep you full longer and provide more fiber.

How much are you willing to invest in a blender or juicer? Even if you’re short on money, don’t go for the cheapest option. Centrifugal juicers, for instance, have a low price tag but destroy the antioxidants and enzymes in fresh produce. Cold-press juicers are a better choice. Plus, they last longer.

If you’re planning to use nuts, seeds, grains, or starchy vegetables in your recipes, get a blender. Juicers can not properly chop these foods. A quality blender, on the other hand, can handle just about any type of food, from walnuts and cashews to sweet potatoes and celery. You can even use it for making delicious, healthy sauces, dips, and soups.

Ready to go shopping?

Here are our favorite blenders and juicing machines to whip up a healthful concoction:

Braun Multiquick J500 Juicer

This budget-friendly machine comes equipped with an anti-splash spout, anti-drip system, and stainless steel blades. Its parts and accessories are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning a breeze. Even though it’s not the most compact juicer on the market, it gets the job done and requires minimum maintenance.

The Braun Multiquick J500 features two speed settings for soft fruits and harder foods, such as carrots and apples. Thanks to the anti-slip feet, it stays in place. If you’re looking for a basic machine to make fresh juice at home, look no further.

Omega MMV702 MegaMouth

Pro juicers can’t go wrong with the Omega MMV702 MegaMouth. This cutting-edge machine appeals to those who take their juicing seriously. Unlike other products in its class, it can easily break down kale, spinach, and other leafy greens. It also produces less noise and boasts more power.

Its extra large feed chute can easily fit whole oranges, pears, tomatoes, and cucumbers. This means you won’t have to waste valuable time chopping fruits and veggies. It’s also a great choice for making frozen fruit sorbets, nut milk, and even sauces. The auto-cleaning system and mixing juice tap function are a nice bonus.

Bio Chef Living Food Blender

The BioChef Living Blender is touted as one of the most powerful machines on the market. It can easily cut, chop, and blend raw fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. The LCD screen makes it easy to set the desired speed, pulsing time, and blending programs for different recipes.

With this blender, anyone can make savory, healthy ice cream, smoothies, sauces, and creamy soups to perfection. The Living Food Blender can chop even the toughest ingredients and maintains the fiber and enzymes in food. Due to its unique tamper tool, it prevents air pockets from forming and allows you to process thick ingredients with ease.

Breville BJB840XL Dual-Purpose Juicer and Blender

Thanks to Breville, you no longer have to choose between juicing and blending. Now you can have both without the need to buy two different machines.

The Breville BJB840XL works both as a juicer and blender, offering excellent value for money. It features an extra wide chute that can accommodate whole fruits and vegetables, five variable speeds, and intuitive controls. It’s made of die-cast metal, so it will last for years to come.

This versatile machine boasts a 40-oz. jug with froth separator and a large 51 oz glass pitcher. Both are resistant to scratches and dents.

The accessories are dishwasher-safe and can be cleaned within seconds. The froth separator is a handy addition as it helps skim the foam from homemade juice. Thanks to its powerful motor, it can extract more juice than other similar devices.

Sharper Image Juicer-Blender Combo

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to Breville, the Juicer-Blender Combo from Sharper Image will do the trick. It can hold up to 60 ounces of fruits and veggies, featuring a 17,000 rpm motor and two speed settings. The blades are made of stainless steel and can chop the toughest ingredients.

This device combines the versatility of both a juicer and a blender. Its silicone gasket prevents leaks and makes cleaning easier. Even though it’s not as powerful as other similar machines, it comes with a low price tag and frees up space in your kitchen.

Vitamix TurboBlend Speed Deluxe

Vitamix has long been known for offering quality products that don’t break the wallet. With a 64-ounce pitcher and a 2HP motor, the TurboBlend is a must have for juicing aficionados. This machine can easily make fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, ice yea, nut butter, and delicious soups. It’s also perfect for grinding coffee.

The Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend features wide stainless steel blades, high and low speed settings, and a food tamper for processing sorbets and nut butter. It also has a spill-proof vented lid that allows you to add ingredients while the machine is running. The pitcher is BPA-free, so you can stay assured your juices won’t contain any harmful toxins. Plus, this model comes with a five-year warranty.

 

As you see, there are plenty of options for both juicing and blending. The choice is up to you. If you’re just getting started or looking for cheaper machines, consider the Oster Juice and Blend 2 Go, Nutribullet RX, Omega 8005, or Jack Lalanne’s 100th Anniversary Fusion Juicer.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Healthy Snacks for Kids. Why Fresh Juices and Smoothies Are a great option.  Does your child refuse to eat their fruit and vegetables? Looking for some healthy snack options? Want to make sure your child gets all the nutrients needed for optimal health? Fresh juices and smoothies might do the trick!

With their creamy texture and bright colors, these beverages will lure your children into eating well. Don’t be surprised if they ask for an extra serving!

 

Children’s Nutrition Made Easy

Statistics show that up to 80 percent of toddlers don’t eat the recommended daily amount of veggies. Globally, children’s fruit and vegetable consumption is below recommendations. Even though nowadays, kids have access to an abundance of fresh produce, they’re still malnourished. Soda, chips, fries, and sugary treats are often part of their daily menu.

Are kids food options really healthy?

Additionally, many foods marketed as healthy are nothing but junk food in disguise. Let’s take breakfast cereals, for instance. These grains contain large amounts of sugar and lack fiber. On top of that, they are heavily processed and have little or no nutritional value. Yet, they’re advertised as a healthy breakfast choice for kids and grown-ups alike. The same goes for flavored yogurt, margarine, and commercial fruit juices.

Children have special dietary requirements. A balanced diet should provide the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients they need for proper growth and development. Not to mention that most eating habits are formed in childhood. If your kid’s diet is based on junk food and soda, these habits are likely to be maintained throughout life.

Moreover, bad eating increases your child’s risk of chronic disorders in adulthood. A high-sugar diet, for instance, may put him at risk for obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance later in life. Thus, it’s essential to teach him to eat healthy while he’s still young and easily change his food preferences.

Good nutrition begins at home. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be a role model for your child and explain to him why healthy eating is so important.

 

Are Fresh Juices and Smoothies a Healthy Choice for Kids?

According to researchers, the amount of fresh fruits consumed on a daily basis has increased by 67 percent between 2003 and 2010. Yet, it’s still below recommendations.

Health experts say that children should eat at least at one cup of fruits and 3/4 cups of veggies between ages one and three, and two cups of fruits and up to three cups of vegetables after age 14. Each meal should contain at least one vegetable or fruit.

These whole, nutritious foods help children and teens grow and develop. They fuel their energy, support brain function, and build a strong immune system. Processed foods lack essential nutrients. On top of that, they contain additives, preservatives, and hidden sugars that wreak havoc on your child’s health. The modern diet plays a key role in the obesity epidemic.

 

What’s a fun healthy option for kids?

So, how can you make sure your kids get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet? After all, you can’t force them to eat. This is where fresh juices and smoothies come in handy. Children love their vivid colors and rich consistency. The best part is that you can try new recipes every day, so your kids will never get bored.

Where should I start for more healthy juice and smoothie options?

Beware that fruits contain fructose, which is just another form of sugar. For this reason, the calories can add up quickly. When you’re making smoothies, use at least 70 percent veggies and 30 percent fruits. Choose berries, grapefruit, lime, avocado, apples, and other fruits with a low glycemic index.

Fresh juices and smoothies are nutrient-dense, so they easily replace a meal. It’s no need to worry that your kid doesn’t get enough vitamins. Most recipes call for basic ingredients that you might already have at home.

For example, a basic carrot smoothie can be made with peach, banana, baby carrots, milk or yogurt, and one tablespoon of honey. Actually, you can use just about any ingredient as long as it’s fresh and natural. Oat bran, flax seeds, chia seeds, almond milk, leafy greens, ginger, turmeric, or citrus fruits – the choice is up to you.

 

What Are the Health Benefits?

These delicious beverages make it easier for kids to get more fruits and veggies into their diet. Blending a couple of servings of each into a colorful juice or a creamy smoothie will keep your child healthy. On top of that, these drinks take minutes to prepare, which will free up your time. You can even make large batches and keep them in the fridge for later use.

Most children, including picky eaters, love the taste of smoothies and freshly squeezed juices, especially if you add natural sweeteners like stevia or raw honey. Not to mention that it’s a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies that they wouldn’t normally eat.

For example, you can always “hide” spinach in a creamy banana smoothie. Your kid won’t be able to tell the difference! He will actually be intrigued by its beautiful colors and savory taste and of course it’s healthy!

Certain juices and smoothies can help with common cold, flu, low energy, or weight loss. For instance, grape juice and apple juice speed up healing and boost immunity. Green smoothies suppress appetite and help your child maintain a healthy weight. Chia seeds form a gel-like substance in the stomach, keeping your toddler full for longer. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and may help prevent a seasonal cold.

 

Fresh Juices & Smoothies, a much healthier option than the alternatives.

These beverages are just as good for kids as they are for grownups. Unlike soda and commercial juices, they contain no sugar or artificial flavors. If your toddler is addicted to soft drinks, encourage him to sip on smoothies. Give him a bottle or two of his favorite juices at school.

Use a variety of fruits and vegetables to keep his diet varied. There are endless possibilities to mix ingredients. You can even add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, oats, millet, or squash to homemade smoothies!

 

Make healthy options, a more fun option for your kids!

Better yet, invite your child into the kitchen so he can help you. Tell him to describe what a perfect smoothie should look like. As about its flavor, colors, and consistency, and try to create the recipe he has in mind. Drink these beverages yourself to set a good example for the little ones.

Help Balance Your Nutrition In A Fun Way With Exotic Juices

Help Balance Your Nutrition In A Fun Way With Exotic Juices

For all those fussy eaters, a healthy food option can come in the form of fresh juices. The nutritious liquid holds plenty of health advantages and the preparation too, is no difficult task. Juice can be made in multiple ways, as the liquid mixes well with many kitchen ingredients. Let’s take a sneak peek at what needs to be taken care of while making the juice.

Keep it simple.

Foods that are simple to make, are adapted more easily to the lifestyle, than the complicated ones. So, in order to maintain the continuity of having juice daily, the juicing equipment purchased needs to be simple both in terms of cleaning and setup. This is because, if the pulp of the fruit dries off, it stains the juicer when not cleaned immediately. Additionally, complicated juicer not only takes more time for preparation but also makes cleaning a tough task to undertake.

Find juicing recipes that suit you.

A perfect recipe is made with the blend of perfect ingredients. This theory holds true for juices as well, not all vegetables can combine well with juice. So, before making a combination, read what fruit or vegetables mix well in a good combination. Consuming a perfect blend of fruits and vegetables will greatly help in maintaining the nutritional balance in the body. Moreover, your culinary skills will also get improved in the process as you will be trying out some excellent combinations of vegetable and juices.

Fruit juices do contain natural sugars.

People suffering from high blood glucose level may only require vegetable juice as part of their diet. Since fruits contain sucrose which can affect glucose level in the body, so keeping the balance of fruit and sugar in the juice is necessary to keep the glucose level under control. The vegetables although prove to be a safer bet for diabetes or hypoglycemia patients, but some may even lead to influence blood coagulation in the body, which is a cause of concern for people prescribed with blood thinners.  It is always best to check with your health care provider when it comes to health conditions and nutrition.

Juicing, Preparation is key.

For preparing quality juices, a few points are necessary for consideration. The foremost being the selection of fresh produce. However, fresh doesn’t mean that the fruit needs to be too ripe, as fruits which are too ripe don’t juice well. Moreover, care should be taken to eliminate any bad marks or spots on the fruit before it goes into the juicer. Following this methodology will surely give you refreshing, tasty and good quality juice.

Many people don’t like chunks of fruit coming in between the extracted juice. In order to eliminate such chunks, one can make use of the coffee filter or any cheesecloth and enjoy the pure liquid form. Moreover, the filtration process also leads to the removal of any foam that appears while preparation of the juice is underway.

Considering Weight loss?

If you are looking to have a weight loss or want to go easy on calorie intake, then include healthy fruits and vegetables, that don’t require a trip to the gym to burn the off. The best low-calorie companions are the green leafy vegetables along with cabbage, kale,herbs, and broccoli. The fiber-enriched fruits are also a good option as they get digested easily by the body.

What about meal replacement and juicing?

It is important to acknowledge the fact the mere consumption of juice cannot replace a meal. Juices are meant to be taken as a snack, or an addition to a healthy meal, as it won’t be able to fulfill the protein and fats requirement in the body which a proper meal does. Moreover, juices are best advised to be taken before meals to curb the urge of excessive eating.

What about the taste of green leafy vegetables in the juice?

Some people resent the idea of having juice made out of green leafy vegetables, in spite of its high nutritional value; for they believe that it tastes awful. For consumers as such, different methods can be tried to make the juice good on the taste buds. For instance, lemon juice gives a refreshing taste to spinach juice, however, to consume a sweeter variety of spinach juice add apple juice to the liquid.

What juicers are best?

The masticating juicers are the new revolutionary product that eases the process of grinding, milling, pureeing and even the preparation of frozen treats. So, get over your old juicers and adopt masticating juicers to make new combinations.

Get over the idea of including too many vegetables to make your juice nutritious. Select a few necessary ones along with an apple for making the juice sweet and consume. The same note stands for fruit also, select few, as it will give better flavor and taste.

What is the shelf life of fresh juice?

Fresh juices have a shorter shelf life and lose nutritional value with time, so immediate consumption of juice is required at all times. If your juice prepared stays for long, it would taste bad and have fewer health benefits.
Both vegetables and fruits are healthy, but combining juices of both is not a healthy idea. This is because both require being broken down into distinct enzymes for digestion purpose. Combining juices from two different sources lowers the efficiency level of the body and hampers digestion. Only apple is unique as it has the capability to blend well with both fruit and vegetable.