Benefits of Vegetable Juices
The juices extracted from fresh raw vegetables are highly nutritious as they give all the cells and tissues of the body with the elements and nutritine enzymes they are in need. It is true that the body can derive these elements from whole vegetables. But the fresh juices can provide them in the manner in which they can be most easily digested and assimilated. A vitamin and mineral deficiency can thus be made much more quickly by drinking fresh juices than by eating raw vegetable as such.
Practically all vegetables make good juices, but some are bitter. The bitterest one is of bitter gourd (Karela), but it is wonderful for diabetes. However, vegetable juices can be divided into three main types:
(i) juices from vegetable fruits-Tomatoes & cucumber
(ii) juices from green-leafy vegetables-Cabbage & spinach
(iii) juices from root vegetables-Carrot & radish
In most cases it is desirable to use juice individually and seperately, In no case more than three juices should be included in anyone mixture. The broad rules applicable to combination of vegetable juices are that juices from vegetable fruits may be combined with those of the green-leafy vegetables but not juices of root vegetables. juices of green-leafy vegetables may be combined with those of the root vegetables.
Vegetable juices soothe jaded nerves and gently carry away toxic matter and accumulated waste products. They are best taken at least half an hour or more after meals. They should not be taken before meals or near the same time as fruit juices. Many common ailments respond favourably to raw vegetable juices but avoid drinking juices kept at room temperature. Always drink fresh juices or pasteurized or refrigerated ones.
Doses of vegetable juice differ with age. An adult may take one full glass juice whereas children and infants half and quarter glass (in divided doses) respectively per day during day time i.e. after breakfast and after lunch (two times).
As far as their effects are concerned, raw juices are found to be very rejuvenating and nutritive and no side effect is noticed during juice therapy which normally goes on up to 15 to 30 days. In some cases its use varies as per disease, for example, in jaundice, juices of lemon, raddish, pomegranate, bitter gourd are given upto one month or till symptoms disappear and patient recovers a bit. just for the sake of good health, vegetable and fruit juices can be drunk for a month or more, e.g. orange, mousambi, cabbage, lemon juices. But those juices containing pretty good amount of beta-carotene e.g. carrot juice, should not be taken beyond one month as it contains beta-carotene which breaks into vitamin A in our stomach. One should know that one unit of beta-carotene gives two units of vitamin A which accumulates in our liver and may be toxic if deposited in excess amount. Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant and thus free radical destroyer which causes various diseases and also strengthens our eyesight and mucus membrane but its long course use is not recommended.
Every kind of therapy-natural or synthetic juice is not advised on empty stomach barring exception. So, juices could not be taken on an empty stomach. Rather they should be taken just before the meals or half or an hour after meals/breakfast.
juice of beetroot is a potent liver cleanser. It helps to purify the blood and it removes toxins. When taken along with carrot juice, it also helps to promote normal bleeding during menses. It corrects an irregular cycle.
Raw beet juice helps promote normal bowel movements and prevents constipation. It also helps to strengthen the blood vessels. It helps to improve blood circulation, removes clots and also helps to reduce cholesterol.
For making good juice, you could combine one beetroot with two carrots and one tomato and push it through a juicer. You could add some boiled and cold water if the juice is too thick.
Juice of radish is an excellent remedy for thinning down mucus, clearing sinuses, blocked nose, mucus related migraine etc. Raw radish can be grated or chopped and chewed. Its juice helps thin down mucus. It also helps to reduce gas formation and indigestion. Some people have a low level of stomach acids and get flatulence (gas) on consuming non-vegetarian foods.
Radish helps to reduce phlegm and cures sore throat due to phlegm. Radish has a cooling thermal nature.
In the summer season, some people exhibit heat signs like nose bleeds or headaches or rash all over the body. Radish juice helps to correct such disorders. Its juice helps in detoxification and cleanses the body.
If one wants to reduce mucus, eat at least 2-3 fresh radish daily. You can even extract its juice and take it by mixing it in a half cup water 3 times a day (one tablespoon juice in half cup boiled cool water).
The juice of watermelon has a cooling effect on the body. It is a natural diuretic. It helps to reduce oedema (water retention) and treat urinary tract infection (UTI). It also helps to correct constipation. It is high in potassium and low in sodium. Therefore, it is highly beneficial in reducing blood pressure. The seeds of watermelon can be chewed. They help eliminate constipation. They are rich in iron and benefit those who are anaemic. It is also very useful in treating depression & excess thirst.
One full glass juice is to be consumed daily by people having the above problems. However, those who are thin, weak and have "wind" problems, should not take it. Those suffering from bladder problems and cannot control urination, should avoid it.
Moreover, juices of seasonal fruits and vegetables may be taken throughout the season of that particular fruit or vegetable and they will do more good than harm even if they are used for quite long period especially when there is inflammation in the intestines.
It should be noted that while consuming the fruits & vegetable foods for their therapeutic benefits, you should also make appropriate overall dietary and lifestyle changes in order to get their maximum healing benefits.
Zinc: A Potential Health Metal
Among the various trace elements, iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese and fluorides are considered important for human health.
Role of iodine in thyroid metabolism and iron in haemoglobin synthesis has been known for almost one hundred years.
The inorganic elements have many functions: as component of bones, teeth, as electrolytes in maintaining water balance in the vascular system and tissues and in the prosthetic groups of enzymes among others.
The essentiality of zinc for humans was recognized only 30 years ago. Its role in growth development, neurosensory functions, immunity, wound healing and hormonal functions has now been well established.
Zinc (Zn: at. no. 30; at. wt. 65.38) is bluish white, almost silvery metal, occurring in group 11-8 of the Periodic Table, along with cadmium and mercury.
Like vitamins, trace elements are also needed to bring about various body's functions.
There are approximately 200 enzymes known to require zinc as part of their prosthetic groups for various functions and there are 500 zinc containing peptides in gene representation of diverse proteins. These include alcohol dehydrogenase, carbonic anhydrase, DNA and RNA polymerases and carboxypeptidase. Zinc is found in high concentration in the prostrate gland, sperm cells and the eyes, where it presumably plays important but still unknown functions.
A broad spectrum of medical conditions can be associated with nutritional zinc deficiency. These vary in severity depending upon the degree of the deficiency which includes stunted growth, foetal abnormalities, anorexia, hyprogonadism, infertility, white flacks on the fingernails, night blindness, alopecia, mood- alteration, loss of libido, impotence, hair growth arrest, anaemia, low serum albumin, retarded development of the reproductive system and acrodermatitis enteropathica (a genetic disorder due to zinc metabolism in humans). An unusual and interesting feature of zinc deficiency in rare individuals is an alteration in taste and smell perception. Some smells are enormously distorted, so that normal food or cooking smell perceives as foul and disgusting leading to refusal of food and consequent weight loss. Phytic acid (present in breads made from partially refinded flour) may prevent absorption of zinc from the intestine as it binds zinc very tightly.
As said, zinc is essential component of enzymes present in many NAD and NADP linked dehydrogenoses, enzymes that promote the transfers of hydride ions from substrate molecules to the Co-enzymes NAD+ and NADP+ e.g. the NAD requiring enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase of the liver, which catalyses dehydrogenation of ethanol to yield acetaldehyde, contains two atoms of zinc (Zrr"), which appear to bind the NAD+ and NADP+ co-enzyme to the active site of the enzyme.
Zn is also an essential component of DNA and RNA Polymerase and thus participates in important enzymatic reactions involved in the replication and transcription of genetic information (zinc is also required for cell replication).' Zinc is also present in carbonic anhydrase, which catalyses the hydration of carbon dioxide into carbonic acid-and in the proteolytic enzyme, carboxy-peptidase secreted into small intestine. The hormone insulin is also stored as a zinc complex.
I would suggest double dosage of zinc in diabetes than in normal individuals. Its concentration in tastes and prostrate and its effect on the maturation of spermatozoa affects the essentiality of this element in continuing the species (testicular, prostrate abnormalities and impotency may be due to the imbalance of zinc concentration in the organ).
Zinc is carried to blood, firmly bouned to metallo-proteins loosely bound to albumins and in erythrocytes and leukocytes. A number of human diseases are associated with lowered blood zinc. Excretion largely via pancreatic juice into the intestine, much dietary Zn is unabsorbed, little appears in the urine (300 mg/day approx. against apparent intake of 10-15 mg) unless proteinuria, cirrhosis of the liver of Zn hepatic porphyria are present when considerably larger amounts may be excreted. Actually, Zn itself is not considered an important constituent of the urine but it is known to be an important constituent of several enzyme systems which have role in the urinary system-changes make it noteworthy. It has been shown that the levels of these enzymes in the urine change during a number of pathalogical processes, notably those involving neoplastic changes in the renal tissues. So by estimating the Zn concentration in urine, we can find useful result pertaining to neoplastic diseases.
A published study says that giving zinc to malnourished babies and toddlers cuts the incidence of pneumonia by 41 percent and of diarrhoea by as much as 25 percent. Pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases are the two most important causes of child mortality in the developing countries. So, the potential of zinc is enormous.
UNICEF is supporting several zinc studies and developing a multi vitamin containing zinc for use in poor countries. Zinc performs very important functions in the body in promoting growth and fighting infections that are caused by the ultimate consequence of its deficiency and result in death.
It is reported that zinc deficiency is often found along with iron deficiency in babies recently weaned from breast milk, because many inexpensive porridges used to feed them are poor in nutrients. But zinc levels are difficult to measure in humans, and nutritionists have only slowly recognized its critical role in human growth and immunity.
In the past few years, zinc has become a hot research topic showing that zinc can reduce illness caused by malaria, another major global killer. Zinc, like iron, usually must be taken daily and its requirement is more in third world countries.
The body supply of Zn, except that in the bones and hair, is in a state of constant movement as expected for such an important element. More rapid turnover occurs in pancreas, liver, kidney and spleen, less rapid in nucleoproteins, RBC and testes. A regular intake of Zinc is essential because unlike iron, there are no functional body stores of zinc for utilization. So, at least 15 mg/day of Zn is required by pregnant women, but lactating women require more. Zn is abundant in meat, eggs, sea food, milk and 'liver but rather low in fruits and green vegetables.
Zn salts are toxic only in large doses, the reported cases of poisoning being probably caused by contaminating cadmium. They are of pharmacological and therapeutic values, most of which are antiseptics, astringent, irritant, emetic and toxic.
Zinc preparations are locally used in alcohol or watery solutions, as washers for mouth, eyes, ears wounds and ulcers. They are used for the destruction of various abnormal tissues. Zn is used in medicine in combination with other therapeutic agents or in their preparations.
Zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of the common cold. Five of the ten previous studies on the effectiveness of zinc lozenges in reducing duration of the common cold said that they work and the rest five said they don't. Researchers in Michigan attempted to resolve the issue. They randomly divided 50 people with early cold symptoms into two groups, who received either 12.8 milligram zinc acetate lozenges or sham pills every two to three hours while awake. The patients then rated the severity of their symptoms, such as sore throat, congestion, cough and running nose, in the following days. The researchers also looked into the possible effects of zinc on the level of cytokines, immune system molecules that may playa role in cold symptoms. Most symptoms, especially coughs, disappeared much faster for patients taking zinc, while the patients taking the sham pills reported symptoms for 4-5 days only. The researchers, however, did not find a significant difference in cytokine levels between the two groups.
The researchers attempted to verify the validity of the study also by asking the patients to guess whether they were taking the real zinc lozenge or the sham pill. This is also the first study on zinc lozenges to look into the possible effects of zinc on cytokine levels.
Twice as many patients taking zinc could correctly guess their group, compared with the patients taking the sham pills. This reduces the validity of the study. In addition, the results need to be verified in a larger number of people. Finally, the foundation that founded this study is affiliated to the company that holds a patent for zinc lozenges (Cold-Eeze).
There is still a great deal of controversy about the use of zinc acetate lozenges for cold symptoms. This study suggests, however, that people who take them within the first 24 hours of symptoms, may be able to shorten the duration of their cold by almost half.