Smoothies and juices, fruits and vegetables upside down!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nutritionists recommend to eat fresh fruits and vegetables everyday because they are full of vitamins and minerals, which are very important to our body and its functioning.

The way you cook can destroy vitamins: these tiny elements are fragile. For example, vitamin C is particularly sensitive to heat.  Raw fruits and vegetables keep their micronutrients.
Vitamins and minerals are no energy-giving micronutrients but they are essential to live; that’s why, to have a good micronutrient intake, you can eat raw fruits and vegetables: they are not denatured.
Juices are tasty. Moreover, they are easily absorbed during digestion. Why? Because they are extracted from squeezed fruits and vegetables.  A juice is a liquid substance, made up of water, vitamins and minerals, without fibre (fruit pulp contains fibre), hard to digest.
Juices give you a lot of available nutrients and micronutrients in a very short space of time. When you eat fibre, your digestive system need to do “work harder” to find vitamins and minerals; Moreover, fibre accelerate intestinal transit: the contact between bolus and intestinal mucous membrane is reduced. However, fibre is beneficial to our body and it has an important trophic role.
Smoothies are made up of ground fruits and vegetables: you have juice plus fibre. Nevertheless, fibre is not absorbed: our digestive system has to work harder and longer. Specific intestinal enzymes are needed to facilitate digestion.
We know fibre is not like vitamins or minerals. So what is it exactly?
Fibre is a compound that is found mainly in plants. The different kinds of fibre are categorized based
on their solubility in water. Therefore, there are two categories: soluble fibre (pectin, gums and
mucilage) and insoluble fibre (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin). These two categories perform
different functions, which is why it is important to eat both kinds regularly.
S o l u b l e F i b r e
Soluble fibre is found most often at the heart of plant material. In the small intestine, food residue
sticks to soluble fibre and is then be excreted by the body. In the colon, soluble fibre is attacked by
bacteria. When it comes into contact with liquid, this fibre becomes viscous, which favours the
passage of residue. Oat bran, legumes and citrus fruit are rich in soluble fibre.
I n s o l u b l e F i b r e
Insoluble fibre is generally found on the exterior of plant material. There are less easily attacked by
bacteria and therefore do not ferment as well. They retain water and have a great ability to increase in volume. Many foods contain insoluble fibre: wheat bran; many fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage;as well as bread and grains.
Soluble fibre creates a viscous gel that:
• stabilizes glycemia
• creates a feeling of satiation (to stop hunger during weight loss)
• allows an appetite-moderating hormone called cholecystokinin to be released
Insoluble fibre swells up in water:
• It helps stimulate intestinal transit and increases stool volume to prevent constipation
Smoothies and juices are full of essential elements: they are different and complementary. You need to eat different fruits and vegetables, specially raw ones and to vary your diet.
Some characteristics of fruits and vegetables you can use to make juices and smoothies:
  • Carrot improves your vision thanks to vitamin A. Vitamin A is liposoluble, so don’t forget to add fat, such as olive or sunflower oil drops to improve absorption. Vitamin B6 helps your immune and neuropsychic systems to produce cytokines and neurotransmitters. Moreover, carrots are full of fibre.
  • Avocado has high fibre content. Vitamin B5 is essential to skin and mucous membranes resistance.  Moreover, it helps to reduce stress. Vitamin K is essential to coagulation.
  • Blueberry is an interesting oxidation inhibitor thanks to high flavonoid content. Vitamin C is a very important vitamin because it has a major role in different biological syntheses (red blood cells, collagen etc.) 
  • Banana contains vitamin B6 and manganese. The latter is an oxidation inhibitor and enzymatic cofactor.
  • Kiwi is rich in vitamin C, K and fibre.
Avocado/kiwi/carrot smoothie
Ingredients: 1 kiwi, ½ avocado, 1 carrot, 250ml apple juice, sesame seeds (1 teaspoon), ½ teaspoon olive oil.
Peel the kiwi and put it with avocado, carrot, apple juice and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Blueberry and banana smoothie
Ingredients: 1 banana, 250g blueberries, 1 vanilla flavored soy yogurt, 1 glass of iced water, ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar, 1teaspoon grated coconut.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with grated coconut and serve chilled.

Laure Martinat


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