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Go green! Drink your way to health.

Hanan Mohammed

The latest diet fad among fitness freaks and celebs is the green juice, or as they call it 'salad in a cup'. These juices claim to be a solution for all your nutrition needs and help you to consume even those vegetables that you don't necessarily like. "When you think of healthy beverages, water immediately comes to your mind. However, there are other drinks worth adding to your diet," said nutritionist Dr. Raneem Abdulmajeed. "You can make your own drink that will have great health benefits, from relieving minor ailments like indigestion to providing protection against serious issues such as osteoporosis," she added. A bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables, and a blender is all you need to sip your way to a stronger immune system. Green juices are also known to reduce cancer risk, lower weight and improve mood. Even though water is very important for your body, sometimes water alone just won't hit the spot. Here are five healthy drink recipes provided by Dr. Abdulmajeed that are bursting with disease-fighting nutrients: Breakfast power smoothie Coconut water is low in calorie, it is hydrating and is cholesterol-free. It can prevent you from having kidney stones and cancer. Chia seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants. Strawberries are rich in essential nutrients, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. What you need: 1 cup frozen strawberries ' cup coconut water 1 tablespoon creamy roasted almond butter 5 drops vanilla extract 1 scoop of any protein powder 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds 3 ice cubes How to: 1. Combine strawberries, coconut water, almond butter and vanilla extract in a liquidizer and blend on high. 2. Blend in protein powder and ground chia seeds, then blend in ice cubes until smooth. 3. If your smoothie is too thick, blend in a little more coconut water. Refreshing raspberry lemonade Raspberries are a rich source of health-promoting plant-derived nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. What you need: 3 cups cold water, divided 1 cup fresh raspberries 1 can thawed lemonade concentrate, undiluted Mint sprigs (optional) How to: 1.Combine 3/4 cup water and raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. 2.Strain mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl; discard seeds. 3.Combine raspberry liquid, 2 1/4 cups water, and lemonade concentrate in a pitcher; chill. 4.Serve garnished with mint, if desired. Moroccan Mint Tea. Studies show that green tea reduces risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and cavities. Mint helps ease cramps and ward off indigestion. What you need: 2 1/2 cups boiling water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons loose Chinese gunpowder green tea 6 mint leaves, crushed How to: 1.Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; cover for five minutes. 2.Strain tea mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Note: One regular green tea bag will yield 1 teaspoon loose tea leaves. Red Grapefruit Slushy Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, which helps support the immune system. It also contains the antioxidant lycopene, which appears to have anti-tumor activity. What you need: 1 red grapefruit peeled and sliced. 1 orange, peeled and sliced - cup orange juice 1-cup mango sorbet 8 ice cubes How to: Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and serve. Tomato juice Tomatoes are rich in antioxidant lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of lung and stomach cancer, as well as pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast and cervical cancers. What you need: 3 large tomatoes 2 stalks celery 1/2 cucumber (peeled) - inch ginger 1/2 peeled lemon 1/4 inch hot pepper (or pinch cayenne pepper) Salt, pepper and stevia to taste How to: 1. Peel the cucumber (mainly to preserve the nice red color of the tomato juice, for health purposes though you might want to leave the skin on) 2. Run all ingredients through your juicer starting with the soft ingredients such as lemon and cucumber. 3. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add a few drops of honey for sweetness. (You can add apple, watermelon or mango as a substitute). - [emailprotected]

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Nov 26, 2014
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