Green juice with watermelon rind and chlorella

IMG_3437Argh!!! This blog post has been sitting in “drafts” for ages. New job, demanding toddler and other things that keep me in the present moment means blog posts tend to languish in drafts or floating round my head!

Anyway…

Like most people with juicers I go through phases of using mine daily and then something will happen, a change in routine and then suddenly it’s back in the cupboard and forgotten about. Initially when I started juicing around 10 years ago, my juices were probably two thirds fruit to a third veg. And now they tend to be mainly vegetables with one or two pieces of fruit to add a little sweetness but not too much sugar.

Juicing is a great way to use up produce that would get thrown out (as long as it’s not too far gone!). This can make for some interesting juices, and you might find some tasty combinations.

Juices and smoothies made mainly from fruit have a high sugar content, so while they’ll be providing you with lots of vitamins and minerals, they will also be contributing to your sugar intake.

Don’t forget your straw

The one thing that’s missing from this photo is a straw, as I had run out of them. Straws help protect your teeth against any free sugars in the juice. If you don’t have a straw have a glass of water after your juice to wash away any lingering sugars.

In this juice:

1 stick of celery

¼ cucumber

Few handfuls of mint from the garden

2 apples

Half a fennel bulb

Chunk of ginger

Watermelon rind

Teaspoon chlorella powder

I would usually put a lemon in too (peeled).

Also I always put green some leafy veg like kale or spinach.

Watermelon rind

My lovely friend, Julie Ann put me onto the idea of using water melon rind in juices. It’s great as means you get no waste at all. The seeds too can be lightly toasted too. Watermelon rind is high in phenolic antioxidants, lycopene, flavinoids and vitamin C . Diets rich in all of these help to reduce our risk of getting cancer.

Chlorella

Chlorella is green algae. As a supplement it comes in a powdered or tablet form. It’s been popular for some time in Japan. And there is evidence that it could help removing heavy metals from the body.

It’s reported to be the richest natural source of chlorophyll which makes plants green transforming sunlight energy to plant fuel.

In one study (which is small) 44 pregnant women’s blood, fat stores, breast milk, placenta and cord blood were measured for dioxins. Half the sample took chlorella supplement and the other didn’t. The researchers found that women who took the supplement had 30% lower levels of dioxins, compared to the control group.

There is also research that suggests that chlorella helps to remove toxic heavy metals out of the body (not clear whether just from digestive tract or also from tissues and muscle). It is thought  that the cell wall binds to the toxins so that they are excreted with the cell walls when stools are passed.

It has a thick cell wall that human enzymes cannot break down, so if you buy it you need to ensure you are buying broken cell wall chlorella.

One study found that it may support immune system. You can read more about it’s possible positive effects at the Linus Pauling Institute page

It’s high in fibre, vitamin B12 (so a great source of B12 for vegans – Vitamin B12 is found in Meat, fish and dairy products in the main, so is a vitamin that vegans need to ensure they get enough of in their diet ).

It’s high in iron too. Because it’s from a plant source this means it is better absorbed alongside vitamin C, so including it in your juice as powder or taking the tablets with your juice is the perfect way to take it, as the juice will be contribute lots of vitamin C.

It’s also high in Vitamin D2 and iodine.

In terms of meeting nutrient requirements (for a woman aged between 19-50 years*), a teaspoon of chlorella will provide at least 100% of your recommended vitamin B12, and over a quarter of your recommended iron intake. It will also provide just under a fifth of recommended iodine intake (iodine supports thyroid function). Vitamin D2 is the plant form of vitamin D and is not so well absorbed by the body as far as we know but it may contribute some depending on how it’s stored and processed and metabolised by the body.

*If you’re interested in knowing how much of these nutrients chlorella would contribute to the diets of other age groups, send me a comment, happy to look this up for you (will be based on UK Recommended intakes).

Chlorella references

Information from Linus Pauling Institute : http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/chlorophyll-chlorophyllin

Morita K, Ogata M, Haegawa T. Chlorophyll derived from Chlorella inhibits dioxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and accelerates dioxin excretion in rats. Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Mar; 109 (3) 289-294 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240248/

Nakano S, Takekoshi H, Nakano M. Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) supplementation decreases dioxin and increases immunoglobulin a concentrations in breastmilk. J Med Food 2007, Mar; 10(1) 134-42.

http://examine.com/supplements/Chlorella/

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