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5 Farmer Proven Secrets to Help Your Backyard Citrus Tree Thrive through Winter

January 13th, 2017

Winter means colder nights and drier days for your backyard citrus tree.  Uncle Matt’s Production Manager, Benny McLean, offers the inside scoop on how to ensure your backyard tree not only survives, but thrives, during the colder winter months.

Plant Your Tree in a Smart Location. If you’re about to plant a citrus tree in your backyard, it actually matters where. If at all possible, plant your tree on the southeast corner of your home. Here’s why: the killer freezes of recent decades came into Florida with a strong northwesterly wind. If your tree is planted near your house’s southeast corner, your home acts as a shield to block a direct hit from damaging winds. It’s important to know that citrus trees exposed to temperatures 28 degrees or below for 4 or more hours will result in fruit damage, while trees exposed to temperatures of 24 degrees or below for 4 or more hours are vulnerable to wood damage which harms the tree itself.

Protect Your Tree during a Hard Freeze. What if your tree is already planted elsewhere in your yard and vulnerable to the elements? If it’s three to five years old, you may be able to use this DIY hack involving a trash bag, a light bulb and an extension cord. Depending on the size of your tree, you can visit www.uline.com or your local hardware store to purchase extra large trash bags up to 96 gallons.  When the threat of a hard freeze approaches, slide the trash bag over the tree, seal it around the base and put a 100-watt lightbulb inside. Keep the lightbulb turned on overnight. The heat generated by the lightbulb generates enough heat to protect the tree from plummeting temperatures, while the trash bag traps the heat inside.

Nourish Your Tree the Organic Way. For the best in tree nutrition during the winter, Benny recommends a one-two punch of compost and organic brown sugar. According to Benny, January is the best month to apply a 50-lb bag of Black Kow compost available at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  Apply an entire 50-lb bag of compost under each citrus tree in your yard. Spread it out from the trunk to the edge of the tree, forming a circle of compost under the tree.  Next, take two cups of certified organic brown sugar (yes, has to be organic and brown!) and sprinkle it on top of the Black Kow compost and then water the mixture. The organic brown sugar acts as a food source for the beneficial microbes (aka bacteria) in your soil to break down the compost and release the nutrients in the compost, which in turn feeds the tree. This program is an effective way to help the tree fight citrus greening disease (link this) and pests while producing delicious, nutrient-dense fruit.

Don’t Over-Irrigate. Believe it or not, you don’t want to overwater your backyard citrus tree through winter. The tree needs to “stay asleep,” or stay in dormancy. According to Benny, watering more than once a week for an hour would cause the tree to “wake up” and flush, leaving it susceptible to new growth damage should an unexpected freeze occur.

Choose the Right Citrus Varieties. If you want your citrus tree to thrive, choose a variety that grows well in backyard soil. Depending on when you want to harvest your fruit, Benny’s recommendations include:

  • Sugarbells, available around Thanksgiving
  • Navel oranges, available around Christmas
  • Red Grapefruit, available around mid-January
  • Valencias (a great juicing orange), available around Easter

Uncle Matt’s vs. Starbucks: When It Comes to Your Smart Sip of the Morning, There’s No Comparison

December 22nd, 2016

Uncle Matt's Orange Juice vs Starbucks

 

Before you sip that next breakfast drink, know this: not all sugars are created equal. In fact, when it comes to making the healthy choice between a tall Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino and an 8-ounce glass of Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice, the nutrition facts are stacked heavily in OJ’s favor. Here’s why:

Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice contains no added sugars. That’s right, the only sugar you’ll find in Uncle Matt’s OJ is the kind Mother Nature created from the fruit.  Besides that, orange juice provides many key nutrients we need every day, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, thiamin, magnesium, vitamin B6, carotenoids, phytonutrients and flavonoids, and OJ is fat free.

In comparison, one tall Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino contains 46 grams of sugar ––– and not the naturally-occurring kind that’s made by photosynthesis. Plus, when you drizzle the caramel on top? Hello high fructose corn syrup!  By the way, HFCS has been linked to increasing weight gain, hypertension and bad cholesterol levels. (Triple yuck!) And when you go ahead and add a dollop of whip? Even more calories from fat and sugar!

Both granulated sugar and high fructose corn syrup go through a refining process that strips the sugar of any nutritional value it might have once had rendering the calories “empty.” In addition, processed sugar can lower immunity, become addicting and rob your body of energy and health. Considering the  frappuccino’s refined sugar overload along with a whopping 270 calories, it’s easy to see why nature-made orange juice is your smart sip of the morning.

8 Healthy Holiday Tips to Keep Your Waistline Trim this Season

December 10th, 2016

It’s here… The most wonderful time of the year. That time when we gather to celebrate the holidays, surrounded not only by family and friends, but also tempting culinary indulgences ––– from office party to cozy gathering.  Our 8 tips for a healthy holiday provide good (and healthy!) tidings to help you navigate the enticing foodscape of your Yuletide plate ––– and keep off those pesky pounds through New Year’s Day… and beyond.

1. Eat a protein-packed breakfast. Hint: Don’t skip it!

While you may be inclined to skip this important tip altogether, studies show that eating breakfast helps with calorie overload later in the day. What’s more, adding lean protein to your breakfast blunts hunger the most and is satiating. So, plan for some hard-boiled eggs early in the morning or even protein filled yogurt, and chances are, you won’t be reaching for that calorie-laden pumpkin spiced latte and accompanying Christmas cookie later!

2. Choose fiber filling veggies.

Low in calories and high in nutrient density, organic veggies, especially raw ones, are always a smart choice. Besides their high antioxidant benefits, vegetables are also a good source of fiber, which will keep your digestive system running smooth through the holidays.

3.  Bring your own delicious healthy dish to holiday parties

Not sure if you should cave into those pigs-in-a-blanket or buffalo chicken wings? Bring your own delicious healthy option with you! With so many innovative recipes out there, it’s not hard to wow your party host with a homemade appetizer that’s festive healthy, and scrumptious. Check out two of our favorites: homemade avocado hummus with crudité vegetables and curry grilled zucchini rollups with roasted peppers and goat cheese. 

4.  Substitute honey for sugar when baking

When you substitute honey for sugar in baking recipes, you’re not only doing something good for your waistline, but for the environment as well by supporting endangered bee colonies and pollinators.  Use these quick guidelines for making a successful honey-for-sugar swap:

  • For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.
  • For every 1 cup of honey you’re using, subtract 1/4 cup of other liquids from the recipe.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for every 1 cup honey used.
  • Reduce the temperature of the oven by 25°F.

5.   Cut salt intake by using fresh herbs and spices

With salt hidden in all kinds of holiday foods, it’s no wonder that too-full feeling happens too often during the season.  Fluid retention (aka feeling bloated) is a side effect of high salt intake.  Cut the bloat, lower your blood pressure and boost the flavor by substituting fresh herbs and spices in your special recipes.

For seasoning your next holiday roast sans salt, check out Dr. Oz’s No-Salt Spice Mix and substitute with all organic and fresh ingredients, like fresh oregano, thyme and parsley.  Your taste buds will thank you.

6.    Drink lemon water

Drinking lemon water a few times a day around the holidays has several health benefits.  It’s detoxifying and hydrating –– both needed if you’re drinking alcohol more than usual.  Try Uncle Matt’s Organic Probiotic Lemon Water to help you crowd out the unwanted and unnecessary calories that come from alcohol-infused drinks. At 0 calories, it’s also perfect for rehydrating and restoring your water balance if you do have a few cocktails too many.

7.    Choose sustainably grown and farmed meats sourced from organic farmers

Besides containing health-promoting fats like omega-3 fatty acids, organic meats and poultry ensure that you are not buying meat or poultry that has been affected by artificial growth hormones or that comes from animals that have been raised on GMO feed treated with pesticides.  And let’s not forget about the overuse of antibiotics on healthy livestock and poultry, which is leading to a widespread problem of antibiotic resistance. Choose a roast or turkey labeled with the USDA organic seal and you won’t be buying a roast or turkey that’s been unnecessarily treated with antibiotics.

8.    Sign up for a family 5k around the holidays

Family time, exercise, and burning all those extra calories go hand-in-hand with this healthy tip. Choose your favorite charity benefit 5k and it’s a recipe for health — body and soul!

Got a gut feeling that you should be taking probiotics? You’re right.

October 5th, 2016

10 Reasons Why Probiotics Should Be in Your Diet

Probiotics. Gut bacteria. Gut flora. Microbiome. These are all buzz words circulating about in the media, in magazines and on social channels. But what do they all mean? Are probiotics good for you? If so, why?

If the thought of ingesting bacteria turns you off, you’re not alone. In a world of good bacteria and bad bacteria, probiotics are the good guys. The superheroes. The health ninjas. Probiotics are a live culture of beneficial bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms in the intestines.  They help out most in our digestive system and GI tract where large amounts are found in the intestine and colon. And while they are created naturally by our bodies, they can also be found in certain foods and supplements.  In fact, probiotics have a myriad of health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

That’s why Uncle Matt’s decided to add GanedenBC30®, a proven, patented probiotic of “good bacteria” strain, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, into our Organic Orange Turmeric and Reduced-Calorie Organic Orange-Coconut juices.  We also included GanedenBC30 in our new Fruit Infused Probiotic Waters. Just one 8 oz. serving delivers a powerful probiotic punch of 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units). When consumed daily, our probiotics help  increase protein and amino acid absorption and support digestive and immune health that can become compromised by many factors including travel, poor diet and lack of sleep. These conditions can decrease the levels of good bacteria found in the gut –– where over 70% of your immune cells reside. What’s more, roughly 95% of your serotonin (the feel good or ‘happy’ hormone) is stored in your gut as well.

Besides supporting digestive health, probiotics are a powerhouse of other health benefits. Check out the top 10 reasons we think a probiotic prescription is a must for anyone:

#1 RENEW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Healthy bacteria help increase the function and effectiveness of our immune system.  One study showed a 50% increase in immune function after two weeks of probiotic supplementation (British Journal of Nutrition).

#2   REDUCE CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

By as much as 33% when taken orally! (World Health Organization)

#3 REPLENISH A HEALTHY GUT

Beneficial bacteria reduce the growth of harmful bacteria. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel.  Probiotics help ensure this delicate balance is maintained.

#4 RESTORE DIGESTIVE HEALTH

Probiotics have been shown to help ease the symptoms of IBS, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and more.

 #5 RECHARGE POSITIVE EMOTIONS

Two particular strains of probiotics –– lactobacillus helveticus and bifidobacterium –– improved “levels of psychological distress, including measures of depression, anger, anxiety, and problem-solving.” (British Journal of Nutrition, March 2011).

#6 RESIST INFECTION

Following 12 weeks of lactobacillus rhomnosus probiotic supplementation, a 34% reduction in upper respiratory infections was reported (British Journal of Nutrition)

#7 RESURFACE YOUR SKIN

Recent research confirms that gut health and skin health are closely related. An anti-inflammatory balance in the gut will help fight the severity of skin-related issues, like acne and rosacea.

#8 RETRACT ANTIBIOTIC-RELATED DIARRHEA

Can’t get around being on an antibiotic? At least now you can minimize its side effects as probiotics reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 64%. (Cachrone Databases of Systematic Reviews, 2013).

#9 RECYCLE YOUR HORMONES

Beneficial flora metabolize and recycle hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, and phytoestrogens from food sources, which can help offset symptoms of menopause, PMS and perimenopause.  In this way, they help maintain proper hormonal balance, and may protect bone and breast health as well (Source: womentowomen.com, Marcelle Pick, Ob/Gyn.)

 #10 REINFORCE/REALIGN VAGINAL BALANCE

Supplementing probiotics helps protect against a number of vaginal infections in females. Friendly bacteria (especially of the Lactobacillus genus) produce natural disinfectants that help maintain an optimal pH and a healthy balance of beneficial microorganisms in the vagina by excluding harmful bacteria and other pathogens. (lifeextension.com)

Organic Lemon Water with Peel… Your Morning Ritual’s New Best Friend

October 1st, 2016

It’s amazing how one small, simple change to your morning routine can boost the way you feel throughout your day.  Even better, this change can quickly result In a noticeable, positive and long-term impact on your overall health when repeated daily.

What’s the simple step we’re talking about?  Drinking organic lemon water with added peel. It’s the ultimate early morning no-brainer. While lemons are known for their cleansing and detoxifying properties (not to mention the proverbial vitamin C dose), there’s so much more to lemon water. Here’s a closer behind-the-scenes look into why this citrus powerhouse combined with water and peel yields so many healthy rewards:

1)   Digestion-Aiding From encouraging the liver to produce bile for digestion to loosening ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract, lemon juice makes it easier for the digestive system to do its job. The chemical composition of lemons is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. The digestive qualities of lemon juice are also known to relieve the symptoms of indigestion and all its accompanying unpleasantries.

2)   Detoxifying Lemon water in the morning helps flush those toxins out! Because lemons are a diuretic, unwanted toxins are released faster because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. This helps keep your urinary tract healthy! And don’t forget the citric acid in lemons, either. It helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

3) Immunity-Boosting. We all know citrus is high in vitamin C and lemons are no exception. Vitamin C is great for fighting and reducing the longevity of colds, minimizing phlegm, and having anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Moreover, lemon peel is high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure and stimulate brain functions.

4) Body-Alkalizing. We think of lemons as acidic, and they are. But did you know once they’re ingested, they’re one of the most alkalizing foods out there? Because lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, the weak acids are easily metabolized, allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. In contrast, disease-conducive environments occur when pH levels in the body are acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help restore balance to the body’s pH.

5) Weight Loss-Promoting. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Combine that with the extremely low calorie count of lemon water and better digestion, and you’re heading in the right direction to shedding unwanted weight.

6) Bacteria-Fighting Experiments have found the juice of lemons destroys the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases. It can also kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne.

7) Cholesterol-Lowering. Compounds in citrus peels have the potential to lower cholesterol. A recent pilot study just showed that peel compounds called “polymethoxylated flavones” (PMFs), when combined with other citrus chemicals, significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

8) Breath-Freshening. This goes hand-in-hand with bacteria-fighting. Besides fresher breath, lemons have been known to help prevent gingivitis by fighting the bacteria that causes it. Lemon water in the morning makes for cleaner mouth to start your day without hurting your tooth enamel!

9) Energizing According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory, lemon is one of the few foods that carries a “negative” charge. Because of this, when it enters the digestive tract, it provides the body with more cell energy compared to most other foods. Also, the smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and clear your mind.

10) Cancer-Fighting Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds including naturally-occurring limonene, an oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals. Additionally, flavonol glycocides stop cell division in cancer cells.

Apples offer some surprising health benefits

August 1st, 2016

by Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., R.D.

Your mother was right. An apple a day may help keep you out of the doctor’s office, and scientists are just beginning to find out why. Plenty of vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients, or plant compounds, are packed into one baseball-sized piece of fruit.

Considerable research is currently centered on the role of phytonutrients that act as antioxidants, which are found in many fruits, red wine and tea. Antioxidants counteract chemicals in the blood that oxidize, or damage, certain molecules. Flavonoids are the most common group of phytonutrients in foods. Apples are particularly high in one of the flavonoids called quercetin, which has high antioxidant activity.

Exciting new research is showing that not only do apples and apple juice contain a variety of phytonutrients, but that making apples a regular part of the diet may translate into real health benefits. At UC Davis, they recently completed a 12-week study of 25 healthy men and women who added either 12 ounces of 100 percent apple juice or two apples into their daily diet without changing the rest of their diet or exercise levels. Half drank apple juice for six weeks while the other half ate apples. After six weeks, the subjects switched groups.

Before the study and at each six-week interval we measured something called “LDL oxidation lag time,” which provides an indication of how long it takes for cholesterol to oxidize when exposed to certain chemicals. When LDL or “bad” cholesterol is broken down in our bodies, it tends to accumulate along the walls of the coronary arteries and causes atherosclerosis. Hence, a longer lag time is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

The study showed clear beneficial effects after only six weeks of including apples in the diet. Study results were more dramatic in subjects drinking apple juice, showing a 20-percent increase in lag time after six weeks. Eating apples also showed potential health benefits, including reduced oxidation indicators and a 22-percent increase in dietary fiber. One study of 2,500 middle-aged men in Wales found that lung function improved in those who ate an apple a day.

Recent studies have demonstrated other diverse health benefits associated with eating apples. One study of 2,500 middle-aged men in Wales found that lung function improved in those who ate an apple a day. A study in Hawaii found that individuals who regularly incorporated apples, onions and white grapefruit (all foods high in flavonoids) into their diet cut their lung cancer risk in half. Another study of 9,208 Finnish men and women found that those who ate the most apples over a period of 28 years had the lowest risk for stroke.

Another interesting study looked at the effect of phytonutrients from apples on the growth of colon cancer and liver cancer cells in a test tube. They found that cancer cell growth was inhibited by phytonutrients from apples, with just two-thirds of a medium apple providing the same level of antioxidant activity as 1,500 mg of vitamin C. Since apples contain only about 12 mg of vitamin C, researchers attributed the combination of nutrients in apples as being key to their positive activity.

Apples are high in fiber and potassium, and contain no fat or salt. They are also an excellent source of boron, a trace mineral with largely unexplored health benefits. Preliminary studies indicate that boron may be helpful in retaining the beneficial health effects of estrogen during menopause.

Does this research show that we should load up on apples every day? No. But studies clearly indicate that consuming apples and apple juice as part of a healthy, varied diet can confer significant health advantages.

And by the way, when eating a fresh apple, don’t peel it first. Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel.

Source: UC Davis Medical Center

From the EWG: Study Links Childhood Cancer and In-Home Pesticide Use

June 7th, 2016

WASHINGTON – A new study by Harvard researchers provides disturbing evidence that children’s exposure to household insecticides is linked to higher risks of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, the most common cancers in children. The analysis also found an association between use of outdoor herbicides to lawns and gardens and higher risks of leukemia.

“It is very troubling, albeit not surprising, to see additional scientific evidence linking pesticide use to childhood cancer,” said Ken Cook, EWG president and co-founder. “The findings confirm parents’ worst fears that they could be unknowingly exposing their children to harmful chemicals that can lead to serious, even life-threatening, illnesses.”

“This study should remind us once again that we must protect our kids by curtailing our use of these toxic chemicals in and outside of the home,” Cook added.

The results from a meta-analysis, to be published in the journal Pediatrics in October, combined 16 studies reporting children’s exposure to pesticides used in and around the home. As the authors noted, children are more vulnerable to harmful pesticides because their bodies and immune systems are still developing. The researchers added that infants and toddlers are at especially high risk of exposure because they often play on pesticide-treated lawns or on carpets or floors where pesticide residues accumulate, and then put their hands and fingers in their mouths.

“Parents should consider the danger of pesticides in terms of the lethal toxicity of any products and the proximity to where your children play, eat, rest and sleep,” said Dr. Alex Lu, a Harvard Chan School of Public Health associate professor and senior author of the study. “This is also true for schools, playgrounds and sports fields.”

Lu added, “There is no justification for using chemical pesticides to maintain buildings, play areas or sport fields. There are plenty of non-chemical based treatments that will serve the purpose.”

EWG advises parents to stop using lawn and garden care, and to use indoor pesticides only as a last resort. See Healthy Child Healthy World’s greener tips on how to control indoor pests and how to protect your pets from fleas and ticks.

Another major source of children’s exposure to pesticides is food. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables often carry multiple pesticide residues even after they have been washed, and in some cases, peeled. That’s why EWG updates its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ every year in order to help shoppers figure out which are the “dirtiest,” or most contaminated, and which are the “cleanest,” or least contaminated. The guide encourages shoppers to opt for organic versions of the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables.

As Lu explains in this video, switching to an organic diet can significantly lower a child’s exposure to pesticides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cites EWG’s Shopper’s Guide as a reliable resource for parents looking to reduce their children’s exposures.

Source: EWG.org

Study shows grapefruits tackle diabetes as well as leading drug

February 22nd, 2016

Scientists have found that the popular breakfast fruit works just as well as the common diabetes pill metformin in lowering harmful blood sugars.The breakthrough discovery could be a simple way to get Britain’s soaring diabetes and obesity crises under control.

US researchers have found that the so-called “grapefruit diet” which was popular in the Seventies and Eighties as the latest “Hollywood” diet secret followed by the likes of actress Brooke Shields may in fact have some scientific basis.

The team, from the University of California, Berkeley, gave one group of mice an antioxidant called naringin, a bioactive compound in grapefruit juice that has been identified as a key agent in weight loss.

They gave another group metformin, the most common glucose-lowering drug prescribed for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The mice were fed a diet that was either 60 per cent fat or 10 per cent fat for 100 days, and their metabolic health was monitored throughout the study.

Researcher Professor Joseph Napoli said: “The grapefruit juice lowered blood glucose to the same degree as metformin.

“That means a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”

The group of high-fat-diet mice that received naringin had lower blood glucose levels than the control group, but there was no effect on weight, suggesting that some other ingredient in grapefruit juice is also beneficial.

The study did not find as big an impact on mice that ate a low-fat diet.

The researchers also randomly divided mice into six groups, including a control group that drank only water.

Those drinking grapefruit juice got a mixture diluted with water at different concentrations, and sweetened slightly with saccharin to counteract grapefruit’s bitterness.

The researchers also added glucose and artificial sweeteners to the control group’s water so that it would match the calorie and saccharin content of the grapefruit juice.

At the end of the study period, the mice that ate the high-fat diet and drank diluted grapefruit juice not only gained less weight than their control counterparts, they also had a 13 to 17 per cent decrease in blood glucose levels and a three-fold decrease in insulin levels, which reveals greater sensitivity to insulin.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes extra insulin to compensate for increased resistance to the hormone.Those that drank the grapefruit juice saw a two-fold decrease in insulin levels, but there was no significant change in weight or other metabolic factors.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 per cent less weight when they drank clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.

Juice-drinking mice also showed improved levels of glucose, insulin and a type of fat called triacylglycerol compared with their water-drinking counterparts.

Prof Napolli added: “We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”

Previous research has hailed the benefits of grapefruit for beating diabetes.

One study by experts in Jerusalem and Boston found that naringenin helps the liver to burn fat instead of storing it after eating while increasing the production of insulin.

This mimics the process in long periods of fasting where fatty acids are broken down instead of carbohydrates.

Naringenin gives citrus fruits – in particular grapefruit – a bitter taste.

Source: Express

7 tips for eating organic on a budget

November 18th, 2015

A recent study by the Organic Trade Association found eight in 10 parents in the US report they purchase organic products at least some times and an growing number are making this choice because of their desire to provide healthy food options for their kids. But how can you afford financially to make the same choices for your whole family? If you want to shop organic foods without breaking the bank, here are 7 ways you can go organic without going over your budget.

1. Buy food items in their raw, unprocessed form. While there are many processed organic products available on the market, purchasing processed organic products is the most expensive way to buy organic. If you have the financial means, go ahead. For everyone else, it is about getting back to basics and buying staple foods in their minimally processed form and turning them into other food through the means of your own cooking, brewing and baking.

2. Cook from scratch. Not only frugal, but healthier for you. Cooking at home means that you know exactly what is going into your food and you avoid the unknown additives, preservatives, and origins of mixed foods.

3. Compare prices between fresh and frozen, dried and canned varieties of organic foods. They may be less expensive than fresh, yet equally delicious when prepared correctly.

4. Only buy what you need for the week. For example, if don’t be stuck buying a whole five-pound bag of organic potatoes if you won’t use them. So, plan another meal that will use the remainder of the bag.

5. Use coupons! Although they are harder to come by, there are organic-based coupons available online. Take time to email your favorite companies too, for the opportunity to receive coupons by mail. And, sign up for our Juicy News newsletter online, where we give frequent coupons to our fans.

6. Plan, plan, plan. Did we say plan? Make a menu prior to shopping. Plan meals that will include meat every other day, versus having it in every single dish. That saves you money, and is good for your health.

7. Buy in bulk. Organic options can be found at Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club and buy in bulk. You can purchase many organic grains (including brown and wild rice and whole oats), pastas, flours, dried fruits, and nuts in the bulk sections of stores for far less. Organic brown rice in bulk is about 99 cents per pound.

Organic food is often more expensive, but when it comes to the staples of your diet, organics are a worthwhile investment, with payoffs that might surprise you. The benefits influence your health today—and long-term.

The many health benefits of orange juice

September 1st, 2015

Orange juice is the excellent source of vitamin C and fulfills the entire day requirement of vitamin C in just one serving. It is tasty and delicious with full of medicinal as well as health benefits. Orange juice is known for many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6, beta carotene, calcium, folic acid, and having low fats and no cholesterol.

Folic acid in orange juice is highly beneficial for brain development and spinal cord. In a recent study, it has been found that orange juice is good for weight loss. Orange juice has other important health advantages like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. The juice boosts your immunity due to the presence of vitamin C. Orange juice has the highest nutrients value among all the citrus fruits.

What are some other health benefits of orange juice? Read on.

Prevents inflammation

The modern day faulty lifestyle along with paradox in dietary pattern leads to inflammatory reactions in the body, which causes lifestyle related disorders such as diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, asthma, depression, etc. Drinking of orange juice helps to minimize the impact of type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. The flavonoids like hesperidin, and naringenin are acting as anti-inflammatory products and good for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

Helps keep your BP in check

Orange juice is good in the management and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Orange juice contain a plant pigment called ‘hesperidin’ that is beneficial for overall the smooth functioning of  blood vessels thereby helps in balancing of blood pressure and good for cardiovascular diseases.  Drinking of orange juice decreases bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein in the body. Bad cholesterol accounted for cardiovascular problems. The adequate amount of magnesium is good in normalizing blood pressure.

Radiant, glowing skin

Drinking orange juice is said to bring a radiant glow to your skin and provide other skin benefits as well. Drinking OJ will help to hydrate skin and keep it firm. Using this juice as a topical treatment does wonders for the skin as well. It cleans out and tightens clogged pores and is believed to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Orange juice is also a great natural remedy for treating sunburns.

Orange juice prevent birth defects

Birth defects like low birth weight and neural tube defects can be overcome by drinking orange. The pregnant mother is suggested to take half cup of orange juice daily to fulfill the deficiency of folate, which leads to many birth related problems.

Lowers risk of heart disease

An apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, but orange juice may be good at the job, too.

An antioxidant in orange juice called hesperidin improves blood vessel function and helps lower a person’s risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Hesperidin is a plant-based compound called a flavonoid. (Grapes, red wine, green and black teas, and chocolate also contain flavonoids.) A growing body of evidence suggests that flavonoids can improve the health of the delicate cells that line blood vessels. The way these cells work is referred to as “endothelial function.” Problems with these cells can lead to the development of clogged arteries, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

For the study, 24 healthy men at risk for cardiovascular disease each drank either 500 milliliters of orange juice each day, a “dummy” drink that contained the same calories as orange juice, or a dummy drink fortified with 292 milligrams of hesperidin. A 500 milliliter glass of orange juice naturally contains 292 milligrams of hesperidin. Over the course of the study, every man drank every beverage for one month straight.

The researchers found that when the men drank the daily orange juice or the hesperidin-fortified drink, they had better endothelial function and lower diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a blood pressure reading) than when they drank the non-hesperidin beverage. In addition, gene expression profiles (as related to cardiovascular disease development) were improved.

Orange juice is a cancer fighter

In a recent scientific research, it has been found that orange juice contains a bio-chemical substance called ‘D-limonene’, which is effective in preventing of skin cancer, breast cancer, mouth cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. The adequate amount of vitamin C is also good in prevention of cancer.

Orange juice treats anemia

Orange juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C that helps in the absorption of iron into the blood stream. Anemia is a disease where there is a severe deficiency of iron. Regular intake of orange juice helps the patients in this regards.

Aids in strong teeth and bones

Calcium in oranges ensures strong teeth and bone. It is also supports to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Calcium in oranges also assists for a healthy muscle function. Carotenoids in oranges act as powerful antioxidants against harmful radicals that can damage cells. A daily glass of orange juice can help prevent the reappearance of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade.