Spinach, Cucumber, Berries, Banana
This is a very nutrient-dense food. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. When you consume this healthy food, you don’t need to worry about your weight-loss diet as you take in abundant, good-for-you nutrients.This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.Remember Popeye? He squeezed those cans of spinach into his mouth and instantly developed muscles and super strength. Well, he also may have been protecting himself against various illnesses and conditions.
Have you heard of lutein? It’s a carotenoid found in spinach that is protective against eye diseases such as age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. There is some indication that it might be absorbed better if you eat it with a little fat, such as a small amount of olive oil, or the food that you’re eating it with may contain some fat.
The mineral iron is particularly important for menstruating women and growing children and adolescents. In comparison to red meat, spinach provides a lot less calories, is fat and cholesterol free, and an excellent source of iron. Because iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells, it’s needed for good energy.
Berries are loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full (and eat less). Berries top the charts in antioxidant power, protecting your body against inflammation and free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and organs. One study even showed that one-half to one cup of mixed berries a day improved cognition and motor performance in animals. James Joseph, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Lab at the United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, which conducted the study, notes that we become more susceptible to the damaging effects of free radicals and inflammation as we age. Berries help prevent those effects by turning off the inflammation signals triggered by cytokines and COX-2s, he says, making them an ideal part of your diet.
I’ve written it in my previous post Juicing: Triple C vs Big C
Blood pressure: Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.3
Also of note, a high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.3
Asthma: A study conducted by the Imperial College of London found that children who ate just one banana per day had a 34% less chance of developing asthma.
Cancer: Consuming bananas, oranges and orange juice in the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. As a good source of vitamin C, bananas can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. High fiber intakes from fruits and vegetables like bananas are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
Heart health: The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, MD, MS, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.3
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).3
High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.3
Diabetes: Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium banana provides about 3 grams of fiber.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 g/day for women and 30-38 g/day for men.
Treating diarrhea: Bland foods such as apple sauce and bananas are recommended for diarrhea treatment. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhea and may make those affected feel weak. Bananas can help to promote regularity and replenish potassium stores.
Preserving memory and boosting mood: Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that studies suggest plays a role in preserving memory and boosting your mood.