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CHECK IT OUT
Feeling the squeeze
Is juicing -- pulverizing creative combinations of fruits, vegetables and herbs either in a blender or special juicing machine -- really the key to a healthier diet? Here are some pros, cons and pointers from some of the nation's top nutrition experts:
-- Juicing can be a shortcut to a more nutritious diet. You'd have to eat about eight carrots to get the amount of cancer-fighting carotenoids found in one cup of carrot juice, and 10 cups of spinach to get the amount of heart-healthy folate found in a single cup of spinach juice, said registered dietitian Kelly Morrow, of Bastyr University's Center for Health in Seattle.
-- Juicing can help the body's natural detox process. All plants, whole or juiced, contain nutrients that help your body rid itself of toxins.
-- Juicing can fill in the gaps for people with digestive issues. Concoctions made in a juicer "can be helpful for people who simply cannot tolerate high-fiber diets -- those with inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, or who have had gastric bypass surgery," Morrow said.
-- That lack of fiber, though, could be a minus for others. Juicing could sabotage efforts to control blood sugar or lose weight.
One way around it: Combine both juices and whole foods in a blender, suggested Cherie Calbom, author of the "Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies."
-- Juicing can make it easy to over-do it on sugar. The juices of fruits and even vegetables like carrots and beets are relatively high in sugar, noted Blum, so use mixes of mostly vegetables.
-- Juicing can be pricey. A large glass of homemade juice will run around $3, depending on the ingredients. A good juicer that's easy to clean, such as The Juice Master Pro, costs about $200. Juicing advocates suggest using organic produce to avoid toxins, which can put even more pressure on your pocketbook.
-- GateHouse News Service
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Valentine's Day on a plate: Choose foods rich in color for nutritional boost
Red is the color of the month with Valentine's Day's hearts and roses, but it also signifies good nutrition when found naturally in food.
Natural pigments of foods are indications of its nutrients, principally in plant foods. Pigments offer visual clues about various health-promoting plant compounds called phyto-chemicals. By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables from each color group, you have a better chance of getting a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other healthy compounds.
When you see red in fruits and vegetables it's a sign these foods contain the compounds lycopene and anthocyanin. Classified as antioxidants, these guys are associated with promoting heart health, protecting cells from damage, improving memory function, aiding blood sugar control and lowering the risk of certain cancers.
Reddish-orange tones in foods such as red peppers and tomatoes are an indication that beta-carotene, another potent antioxidant, also is in the healthy mix. Generally, foods with darker pigmentation are richer in antioxidants, so a ruby red grapefruit would be higher in antioxidants than a yellow grapefruit.
Anthocyanins also are found in reddish-blue foods such as grapes, red cabbage, radicchio, red onions, red-skinned and purple potatoes. So enjoy all the shades of red.
The red-hued phytochemical lycopene is actually better absorbed after it's cooked. So marinara sauce, stewed tomatoes, tomato soup and even ketchup contribute to a heart-healthy diet.
-- McClatchy Newspapers
IN THE Q-C
Trinity educates on behavior modification and weight loss
Trinity Regional Health System will host "Behavior Modification and Weight Loss," from 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12, at Trinity Bettendorf, 4480 Utica Ridge Road.
Wellness specialists Jeni Tackett and Stacia Carroll will explain how changing some behaviors can lead to weight loss.
Ms. Carroll will explain how to select and effectively implement a strength training program.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strength training can provide up to a 15 percent increase in metabolic rate, which is helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.
The class is free, but reservations are recommended by calling (309) 779-2993 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.