Secrets of fruit
SECRETS TO STAYING WELL )
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By Kate Hilpern: Juices NOT only are smoothies
delicious, nutritious and quick to make but these combinations can do wonders
for our ailment...
BEST FOR THE HEART
Ingredients: Equal amounts of grape juice, cranberry juice and blackcurrant
Why? French scientists tested the blend on pig arteries in the lab and found it
caused artery walls to relax.
“The research adds more weight to evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is
good for us in terms of reducing our risk of heart disease,” says Tracy Parker,
the British Heart Foundation’s heart health dietician.
Researchers looked for a chemical called polyphenol in fruit and berries.
They found the most active fruits included blackcurrant, blueberry, aronia
(chokeberries), cranberry, loganberry and grape.
Polyphenols act as antioxidants. They protect against damage caused by free
radicals which are reactive atoms that contribute to tissue damage in the body.
For example when lipoprotein cholesterol is oxidised it can become glued to
arteries and increase your risk of coronary heart disease.
BEST FOR ENERGY
Ingredients: 50g blackcurrants, 110ml pineapple juice, third of a banana, 1.5
tsp coconut milk
Why? This tropical drink is packed full of natural sugars to help energise your
whole body and provide nearly 200 per cent of the recommended daily dose of
The coconut milk adds a little fat which helps slow down the rate of sugar
release into your system so you get a longer lasting boost.
Drink it half an hour before you go to the gym for a more efficient workout or
at breakfast to keep you going through the morning.
Swap the blackcurrants for other berries from time to time. Experts advise
eating as wide a variety of berries as possible in your diet; some of which are
superfoods and most of which are energy boosting.
“Different colours of berries will provide different antioxidants,” says Azmina
Govindji, dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
“Vary berries throughout the week to get balance.”
BEST FOR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Ingredients: One apple, 2 tbsp blueberries, half a cantaloupe melon, 1 tbsp of
oats, 1 tbsp of flaxseeds, 180ml orange juice
Why? Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that plays an essential role in
how every cell in the body works.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol
because high levels seem to protect against heart attack.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is known as “bad” because it can cause
fatty streaks to build up in your arteries making you more at risk of heart
This blend could go towards lowering “bad” cholesterol.
“The oats are rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre, while the flaxseeds
contain omega 3 fats which have an anti-inflammatory effect,” says Azmina.
Blend with fruit and juice high in cholesterol-reducing vitamins C and E. Apples
in particular lower cholesterol according to a report in the Journal of
Other cholesterol-reducing ingredients include soya milk, almonds, plant sterols
BEST FOR LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE
Ingredients: Small beetroot, two carrots, 250ml orange juice, a little honey
Why? Orange juice which contains an antioxidant called hesperidin has been found
to improve blood vessel function. US researchers found men who drank 500ml of
orange juice (containing 292mg of hesperidin) daily had lower blood pressure
than those who took an antioxidant supplement.
Beetroot may also lower your blood pressure thanks to its nitrate content
according to research from Queen Mary, University of London.
It found blood pressure was lowered within just 24 hours in people who took
nitrate tablets and people who drank beetroot juice.
“We found that only a small amount of juice is needed, just 250ml, to have this
effect and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the
greater the decrease caused by the nitrate,” says study author Professor Amrita
BEST FOR ASTHMA
Ingredients: Half a banana, one apple, half a ripe pear, 125ml yogurt, 125ml
apple juice, pinch of cinnamon
Why? Asthma and allergies often go hand in hand but pears are the least allergic
type of fruit.
Asthmatics may also benefit from the apples in this smoothie due to their
quercetin content. One of many bioflavonoids noted for its health-enhancing
properties, quercetin is highly concentrated in apples, grapes and citrus fruits
as well as red onions.
It gives these fruits and vegetables their deep colour and has strong
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Because of its potent and versatile healing properties the positive effects of
quercetin aren’t limited to asthma. It is also used to ease allergic symptoms
such as hives and hay fever.
In one study guinea pigs with induced asthma were treated with quercetin and
experienced several benefits. The treatment decreased the constriction in their
airways as soon as they began to experience symptoms. Airway constriction
minimised even throughout the later stages of the asthma attack.
It also reduced the production of histamines especially during the late
asthmatic response period.
BEST FOR HEALTHY JOINTS AND MUSCLES
Ingredients: Half a mango, 2 tbsp cherries, 1 tbsp raspberries, 100ml pineapple
juice, 150ml plain yogurt
Why? If you want to ease the symptoms of arthritis or reduce muscle damage
caused by exercise put some cherries in your smoothies. Anthocyanins in cherries
reduce oxidative stress and may ease inflammation and pain in arthritis. Even a
few a day can help.
Drinking cherry juice after exercising can speed up muscle recovery according to
a study from Northumbria University.
If you can bear it, pick tart cherries. Some experts believe they may have more
powerful anti-inflammatory effects than aspirin. Pineapples are also important.
The enzyme bromelain in its flesh and juice can act as an anti-inflammatory
which has been shown to reduce arthritis joint pain and swelling when taken on
an empty stomach.
Read the full article from Express
Kate Hilpern /