health and nutrition

Juice of the Week: Sweet Ginger

My kids call me the Ginger Queen because I’m likely to put ginger in almost anything. Besides adding spirit and flavor, ginger helps stimulate metabolism and promote weight loss. Ginger also improves circulation and boosts immunity.

Benefits

Warming ginger improves circulation by dilating arteries and helping lower cholesterol. With pineapple and plum, this juice supports your lungs and can help relieve coughs, congestion, and even asthma. Ginger ignites your digestive fire, while enzymes in pineapple help your body absorb nutrients.

Tip

Make sure your pineapple is ripe. If you’re not sure by looking at it, taste it. If it’s more acidic than sweet, it’s not ripe. The acids in unripe pineapple can damage your teeth and burn your mouth.

Silky Green Bean Cocktail

A terrific recipe for people with blood sugar problems, this juice is refreshing, balancing, and nourishing.

Benefits

Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, a nondigestible carbohydrate that satisfies cravings for carbohydrates without upsetting blood sugar levels. It also stimulates the production of insulin, rejuvenates the liver, and promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. Rich in plant-based estrogen, green beans can benefit women experiencing PMS and menopause.

Juice of the Week: Citrus Sunrise

This recipe was my younger daughter’s solution to sour grapefruit, and it’s become a regular breakfast favorite in our home. Since it strengthens your tissues, arteries, gums, and teeth, this juice is especially helpful for maintaining oral hygiene.

Benefits:

This refreshing combination cools and replenishes fluids in the body, making it an ideal drink after your morning workout. It also helps relieve arthritis, acne, and varicose veins. Citrus fruits give a boost to your immune system and help relieve coughs and sore throats. Persimmons help treat gingivitis and canker sores.

How to Cleanse and Protect Your Liver Naturally

Wai Lana, host of the long-running PBS series Wai Lana Yoga, shares tips on liver health.

Knowing the important role that my liver plays in keeping me healthy, I often share this simple truth with others: “Take care of your liver now, and your liver will take care of you.” A healthy liver will cleanse and nourish your blood, regulate your hormones, break down fat and cholesterol, form blood-clotting proteins, and store iron and other essential vitamins throughout your entire life.

Unfortunately, environmental pollution, chemicals and pesticides in our foods, and over-consumption of painkillers and other medical drugs are far too common in today’s world. In excess, toxins can overwork your liver. When your liver is weak, instead of purifying the pollutants that enter your body, it sends them into your bloodstream. When this happens, it can make you feel overly tired and sick. A sluggish liver can also lead to allergies, bad skin, mood swings, weight gain, and even obesity.

Mother Nature, as always, provides us with safe remedies in the form of foods and herbs that can help nourish, detoxify, and strengthen our livers. Here are a few healthy ways to make your liver sing. Remember too that regular gentle exercise such as hatha yoga, walking, and swimming will help you assimilate these nutrients and assist with the detoxification process.

Beets have such a vibrant bright red color that it’s not hard to imagine they are an excellent blood purifier. Try grating them on top of salads for a colorful and crunchy topping, or make a traditional Russian beet soup called borscht, which can be served hot or cold depending on the season.

Herbs like milk thistle, which is strengthening for the liver, and dandelion, which is detoxifying, have traditionally been used as liver tonics to keep the liver’s lifeline flowing and healthy. My Liver Support supplement combines these two potent herbs to gently cleanse and nourish your liver.

Bitter, leafy salad greens like arugula, endive, chicory, and dandelion mixed with regular salad greens are one of my favorite ways to end a meal. Bitter salad greens, when eaten after the main course, help your organs digest the starchier foods from the meal. They also stimulate bile flow from the liver, which helps your liver naturally cleanse itself. With an herbal vinaigrette (or, if you prefer, a creamy ranch-style dressing), bitter greens can feel very soothing and renewing to your liver.

Hot water with a little squeeze of lemon is a good way to start the day. It also helps cleanse and detoxify the liver. I recommend doing this for a few days in a row and then stopping for a few days since lemon juice in excess can be hard on the stomach.

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