Fruit and vegetables are key to health

Fruit and vegetables are key to health

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    Increasing the amount of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet is one of the most effective ways to gain more energy, lose excess weight and improve the condition of the skin, hair and nails.

    These foods that are raw contain more vitamins and minerals and are easier for the stomach to digest than when they are cooked as cooking destroys the enzymes which are what give us energy. This is one of the reasons why people feel energised after eating an apple but tired after a Sunday dinner.

    Here are some good ways to incorpo­rate more raw foods into your diet: • Increasing the amount of raw vegetables and salad in your diet such as carrots, cucumber, watercress, rocket, lettuce and celery can make a big difference to a per­sons weight pretty quickly. Avocados are very good for the health and go very nice­ly with salads

    • Substituting sugar for fruit is a great way to deal with sugar cravings. Any fruit is better than cane sugar but the best fruits for weight-loss are lemons, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, fresh figs, grape­fruit and ripe pears. Avoid unripe fruit as this is more difficult for the stomach to digest.

    • Raw unsalted nuts such as almonds, brazils, walnuts and cashews are great as a snack or in salads or with fruit at break­fast. Many people avoid nuts with the belief they make you put on weight. However, the nuts are a great source of protein and contain essential fats which are used by the nervous system and skin. It is sugar that is converted to fat straight away but this has no nutrition and so is stored on the body as excess fat.

    • Making smoothies and juicing are both brilliant ways to get the benefits of raw foods. If you have a blender a lovely smoothie recipe is a handful of spinach, juice of half a lemon, a small avocado or half a big one, and a ripe banana. Add some water and a bit of good quality fruit juice and blend until you get the right con­sistency. Spinach is the mildest green (and cucumbers) so although it looks green it tastes like fruit.

    • A juicer is brilliant to have as when you juice fruit and vegetables all the nutrition can get into your system very easily. You can juice any fruit or vegetable although some juice better than others. Here's a juice recipe; cucumber, two carrots, two sticks of celery, half a lemon (peeled first) and an apple. It's important to add some water to your juice as it makes them less sugary. Jacksons of Saintfield have an excellent juicer that is half price at the moment as this is where I got mine.

    Lastly, it can really make a difference to use organic fruit and vegetables when you are eating them raw as the pesticide is more harmful in conventionally grown ones when they are uncooked. There are also more vitamins and minerals in organ­ic produce and it tastes great. I sometimes drink unpasteurised goats milk which has several health benefits over pasteurized cows milk like improving digestion and the

    skin. Although some people eat raw fish and meat I really don't recommend this as it increases the risk of food poisoning.

    If you would like to know more about raw foods and health feel free to e-mail

    Article by Kim McCreery, contact Kim at

    Visit Kim's website at

    Foods and products mentioned can be found at Jacksons of Saintfield Health Store.

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