Our focus this month is on heart health. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is proven in scientific literature to contribute to a healthy heart. What better way to enjoy all those fresh fruit and veggies than by juicing! So, we’ve come up with this list of the top five juice recipes for heart health.
Whilst all veggies and fruits are good nutritionally, some are particularly useful for a healthy heart, to include in your diet on a regular basis. This includes:
- Berries: all types of berries are great. Blueberries in particular are great to eat or juice.
- Green veggies: include plenty of spinach, kale, broccoli or any leafy green.
- Red and orange coloured vegetables: things like carrots, red peppers, butternut (summer) squash and tomato.
- Avocado: make sure you get a ripe one and include it in your drink by blending.
- Cantaloupe melon, perfect for those summer months.
For all of these recipes you need a juicer. Here at the retreat we have a centrifugal juicer, but you can also use a masticating one at home. For any recipe that includes avocado, you will need to use a blender or hand-blender, as they will not produce any juice. Adding avocado makes a lovely creamy juice-come-smoothie to enjoy.
Read on for our top five juice recipes for heart health!
1. Vibrant health berry juice recipe
We love this berry juice recipe, which we called Vibrant Health.
Berries are packed with antioxidants, which protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals and inflammation. Most berries are also a good source of fibre. This recipe also includes red pepper and you can add avocado to it, for extra heart-support!
If you want to read more about how free radicals are created, what they do to your body and what you can do about them, you might like to read our earlier article: understand how our cells breathe – 12 best foods to oxygenate your body.
2. Green clean: kale, spinach and broccoli juice recipe
Juice your greens in our lovely Green Clean juice which includes kale, spinach and broccoli.
Both kale and spinach are low in calories, high in protein and fibre and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Together with the broccoli, this juice delivers a good proportion of your recommended daily intake of potassium. Kale and spinach contain around 500mg of potassium, per 100g served. Potassium is needed to keep your heart beating, helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls and keep your blood pressure normal. It is suggested that the average adult should eat about 3000mg of potassium every day. Green vegetables are naturally high in vitamin K, which is needed by the body for proper blood clotting and helps to keep your arteries in good working order. A word of note about vitamin K – if you are on blood thinning medication, please check with your medical professional as vitamin K can affect your blood and interfere with your medication.
3. Red pepper and carrot juice recipe
The orange colour in some of our favourite veggies like carrots, red pepper and tomatoes is beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, a powerful anti-oxidant. Carrots are also another good source of fibre and potassium. A large study in the Netherlands found that people who ate carrots regularly in their diet had a lower risk of developing heart disease than people who rarely or never ate carrots (even after adjusting for lifestyle factors). Red peppers contain around 200mg of potassium per 100g serving and a whopping amount of vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant.
4. Avocado, with spinach and carrots
Avocado is rich in potassium, fibre and magnesium, and is also a source of healthy fats (monounsaturated). The body needs essential fats to survive. The healthy fats contained in avocado also mean that the beta-carotene stored in the carrots is better absorbed by your body. (Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so is best eaten with a food containing fat to be absorbed into your body). Scientists suggest that eating avocados can help to lower your overall cholesterol, as it reduces LDL (the bad cholesterol). If you are interested in reading more about healthy fats, here’s the link to our earlier article: fats for nutrition, health and weight loss.
5. Cantaloupe melon
Have you ever tried juicing melon? It’s really easy and great to do in the summer. Try our summer fresh “Melon for Lunch” melon juice recipe, using cantaloupe melon.
Cantaloupe are the greeny-orange melons, which are a bright orange colour on the inside. This orange colour is a good indication of their high beta-carotene content. Melons are a great source of potassium – half a cup contains over 200mg of potassium – and are also packed with vitamin C. They are also high in water content, which supports heart health by maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Include melon in your diet, as they help to combat inflammation in your body, which also reduces the pressure on your heart.
New to juicing?
If you are new to juicing and enjoyed our top five juice recipes for heart health, you might like to read our articles: top tips to make juicing easier, or all you need to know about juicing, to help get you started.
La Crisalida juice detox retreat
Juicing for a few days, or simply including one juice a day in your regular diet, can give your body a nutritional boost and contribute to a healthy heart. (Remember, you also need to live a healthy lifestyle too). If you are interested in giving juicing a try, then come to La Crisalida Retreats on a juice detox retreat. We are open all year round and you can stay as long as you choose. You can also choose which meals to juice (or eat) and for how long you want to juice – it’s flexible. Come and give your heart health a boost!