Can Raw Smoothies Improve Eye Health? December 09 2013

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables make delicious smoothies and also contribute to healthy eyes.  Vitamins in these raw foods can protect against such conditions as night blindness, eye infections, and degenerative eye diseases. Although supplements are plentiful and widely marketed, health professionals stress the importance of a good diet. Making raw smoothies with your high performance blender is one way to give your diet a boost while taking care of your vision.

Seeing Better with Vitamin A

Children and pregnant and lactating women who have a vitamin A deficiency are at a risk for blindness. In fact, night blindness is the first symptom of an eye disease that may be linked to insufficient vitamin A in the diet.  This vitamin nourishes cells in the retina that are responsible for creating nerve impulses triggered by light.  Vitamin A also helps to relieve dry eyes and can guard against glaucoma.   Look for yellow, orange, red and green vegetables and fruits for good sources of vitamin A.  Examples include:  spinach, pumpkin, kale, collard greens, cantaloupe, and apricot. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient and will build up in the body.  It is important to get enough, but not to get too much of this vitamin.  The recommended daily intake for girls who are more than 10 years of age and women is 800 mcg; boys older than 10 and men should take 1,000 mcg a day.

Vitamin D Lowers Risks

Vitamin D in sufficient amounts lowers the risk of eye infections as well as protecting overall immunity and helping you maintain good vision.  Most recently, studies published in leading ophthalmology journals show a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of macular degeneration, a progressive disease resulting in blindness. Fortified juices, daily milk and almond milk are good sources of vitamin D and can easily be used in your smoothies and sauces. Daily requirements of this fat-soluble vitamin vary by age.  Those below age 50 should consume 200 IU, men and women between 51 and 70 need 400 IU, and those older than 70 require 600 IU.

Vitamin E and Your Immunity

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can be found in sweet potatoes and nuts, as well as vitamin-fortified cereals and peanut butter.  It helps the immune system and plays a role in reducing the risk of blindness in later years. Foods that are good sources of vitamin E include kiwi, avocado, peach, pumpkin, and papaya.  All can be used found in soup, smoothie or sauce recipes. Vitamin E, which is also a fat-soluble vitamin, must come from either supplements or diet because the body cannot manufacture it through any biological function.  The recommended daily requirement for vitamin E is 22 IU for men and women.  Women who are lactating need 28.5 IU every day, and children between the ages of 4 and 8 require 10.5 IU.

Vitamin C: The Other Antioxidant

Many nutritionists and medical professionals consider this vitamin a good source for making overall immunity stronger.  It is also thought to improve eye health because it can protect against eye infections.  Other advantages are said to include antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Among the raw fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are peas, strawberries, oranges, kale, broccoli, carrot, apricot, papaya and collard green. The recommended daily dosage of this water-soluble vitamin is 75 mg for women and 65 mg for men

Eye Support with Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Colorful vegetables contain these two important substances, which are referred to as xanthophylls.  Both lutein and zeaxanthin are present at high levels in the human eye. Specifically, these compounds are found in the macula and provide an antioxidant benefits that keep the cells in the eyes healthy. Zeaxanthin can protect the photoreceptors in the eye as well as the retina and macula.  Some studies *** indicate that these two substances play a larger role in reducing the incidence of macular degeneration than vitamins E or C.  Studies suggest *** that adults should eat foods that contain 6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin a day. If you are in the habit of making raw smoothies with richly colored fruits and vegetables, the changes are good that you are giving your body the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients for optimal eye health.  Rather than seeking out supplements and researching to find credible manufacturers, it is far easier to make smoothies using some of the colorful fruits, vegetables along with fortified milk or juices.


References ***


(C) 2013 OmniBlender.COM LLC


Top 4 Myths about Weight Loss November 16 2013

Weight loss continues to be a hot topic in the US and UK, as increasing numbers of people battle weight gain and look for a solution that will allow them to maintain a healthy weight for the long term. Fads and false claims appear to be a natural outcome in the field of weight loss, and some myths have surfaced on the internet that should be called into question and debunked with facts.


#1 Carbohydrates make you put on weight


Most healthy people can apply a simple formula to lose excess weight: burn more calories than you take in each day. In order to accomplish this, of course, food choices are important. That means eliminating the carbohydrates that give you empty calories such as white flour, refined sugar, and foods that have been processed to the point that they lack any nutritional value.


With that said, the body does need carbohydrates for energy. The trick is to choose foods that give you good carbohydrates while also contributing to your nutritional requirements. In this category you’ll find raw vegetables that are both green and leafy, sweet potatoes, fruit with the peel, and nuts. Be sure to choose whole grains when buying bread and rice.


Good carbohydrate fruits and vegetables that are low on the glycemic index, such as the ones mentioned above, are ideal ingredients in raw smoothies.


#2 Avoid eating nuts because they are fattening


While nuts are calorically dense, they also are a great source of protein, fiber and the kind of fat that offers heart attack protection. If nuts are consumed as a replacement for other high-protein foods, then eating a serving a day will not add additional calories. The varieties that have been recognized by the FDA as heart healthy include peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and some types of pine nuts, pistachios, pecans and almonds.


Nuts can be sprinkled in smoothies, or you can use a coffee bean grinder to reduce the nuts to fine granules that can be added to any smoothie to further boost the nutrients.


#3 Low-fat and fat free products have less calories


The terms low fat and fat free often get confused with low calorie. It is the saturated and trans fats that we want to limit, but the number of calories may still be high depending on the food item in question. Portion size and the contribution that a food source makes to your overall daily recommendation are two important considerations. Examples of high calorie low fat foods that can provide a nutritional punch include potatoes, beans, whole grain bread, fruit juice and rice.


Build your diet around these low fat high calorie foods and let them take the place of the high-fat, high calorie foods that you were used to in the past. Beans can be used easy in soups and dips you may make with your high performance blender.


#4 Natural herbal products are harmless and make you lose weight


Supplements are all the rage on the internet, and there are several doctors who have turned their talents toward creating over-the-counter treatments for everything from eyestrain to bone health. The caution here is that supplements in the US are not approved through the FDA, so the actual ingredients and the manufacturing process can remain a mystery to consumers even after the product reaches the shelves.


The word “natural” may be anything but truly natural. Before buying supplements from sources outside of the traditional medical community, find out about where the supplements are made. Look into the track record for the company and read as many reviews as you can before making a purchase.


Some products may help you lose weight initially, but it could be only water weight. Remember that all successful weight loss is due to the right balance of exercise and nutrition over time.


Claims of weight loss made in articles and ads on internet sites should be met with healthy skepticism.  Web MD** and the Mayo Clinic*** websites are good places to visit to when you are looking for answers and health facts.    



**Web MD:

***Mayo Clinic:

(C) 2013