Chlorophyll: Not Just for Plants

leafEveryone knows that you should eat your green veggies, but do you know why? I mean we all know they’re good for us, like most vegetables, but what about green plants in particular is good for us? The answer, as you may remember from your science classes, is Chlorophyll. Just in case you can’t remember exactly what Chlorophyll is, I’ll remind you. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in many vegetables that absorbs the sun’s rays in order to provide energy for photosynthesis to take place.

The next question you’re probably asking yourself is, “but why do I need Chlorophyll? I’m not a plant.” Well as anyone could probably guess, the benefits of Chlorophyll to the human body are limitless. The most amazing aspect of Chlorophyll has to be the fact that its molecular structure is almost identical to the hemoglobin found in our blood. The only difference is that Chlorophyll has magnesium as its center atom while hemoglobin has iron as its center atom.

Hemoglobin is very important to our blood. It helps to keep our red blood cells healthy and happy. What this all means is that Chlorophyll actually helps to do the job of hemoglobin when we ingest it, and trust me, with the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) we need all the help we can get. If your blood is healthier, you’re going to feel more energetic and just better overall.

After all, your blood goes to every part of your body so if it’s healthier, every part of your body is healthier. With healthier blood, your wounds will heal faster, you will fight infection better, your circulation will improve, and the list just goes on. Chlorophyll even increases the number of red blood cells you have which increases the efficient use of oxygen in your body.

Another awesome thing about Chlorophyll is its chelation abilities. If something has chelation abilities, that means that it has the ability to bind to toxic heavy metals in the blood stream and remove them. This detoxifying ability is very important to everybody but especially so to those unlucky enough to have toxic mercury fillings in their teeth which leak toxic mercury into their system every day. Any help those individuals can get until they can get them removed, the better.

As I’ve mentioned before, most people (especially Americans) are overly acidic because of their diets. Chlorophyll is alkalizing, which means it fights acidity, and we need as much help as we can get to help combat our acidity.

Chlorophyll is also a great deodorizer, killing bacteria that causes bad breath in the mouth and throat, as well as promoting a healthier digestive tract, where bad breath originates. So the next time your breath is in need of some freshening, instead of reaching for a toxic aspartame laden stick of gum or a mint, try getting yourself a green drink. Your breath will be better, you won’t be poisoning yourself, and you’ll be increasing your overall health. All huge positives.

The best news is that it’s very easy to include Chlorophyll in your diet. Of course you can always eat your greens, but I know some of you will simply say, “but I don’t like green veggies.” Well, don’t worry. I have the perfect solution for you. Drink your greens! It tastes great, and it’s so much easier than eating them. Even people who don’t like to eat greens will be able to find a green containing drink they’ll love.

At The Urban Juicer we have a bunch of drinks with greens to choose from. They’re all really well balanced between fruit and vegetable flavor. Don’t be afraid. Give it a try. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed, and I can bet it’ll be your new favorite way to get your greens in. I know it’s definitely mine!

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Bee Pollen: We’ve Struck Gold

Bee-PollenSome of you may have heard the “buzz” going around about bee pollen (pun intended) and thought, “did you say bee pollen?” Yes, you heard right. Bee pollen, as in the pollen nectar from flowers, that yellow dusty stuff you see on flowers in the spring, after it has been harvested by honey bees. I know the idea of eating such a thing may sound weird at first, especially if you have pollen allergies, but trust me when I say you’re going to want to include bee pollen in your daily regimen.

I think bee pollen is truly one of the most amazing foods known to mankind. I would even call it the most complete food found in nature. The use of bee pollen in various societies dates back thousands of years. Even Hippocrates was a big fan, understandably so. I could write endlessly about its benefits, but for your sake I’m going to pick just a few of those benefits out, which is no easy feat considering there are so many.

Bee pollen is so amazing and complete that some say it is possible for a person to live on bee pollen alone and be healthy. I recently read about a scientific study where mice were fed only bee pollen and water and compared to a control group of mice fed a normal diet. The control mice only survived an average of 477 days and all had kidney issues typical of their breed. The other mice were fed only bee pollen and water were still healthy with no kidney issues after 600 days, at which point they were killed for scientific testing. I’m really curious to know how much longer they would’ve lived healthfully!

So, in short, bee pollen has been shown to greatly improve healthy lifespan. Bee pollen is also good for the brain, thanks to its high amino acid content. The amino acids, along with its high level of B vitamins gives you a great amount of natural energy (with none of the crash like caffeine) and helps with both physical and mental fatigue. I can personally vouch for this. Nothing compares to the wonderful energy bee pollen gives me. It makes me feel like I’ve actually gotten a full night’s sleep! Bee pollen also increases memory and concentration.

The nutritional profile of bee pollen is truly amazing. It has more protein per serving than meat, eggs, and cheese and contains all the essential amino acids (plus more!). Bee pollen is extremely rich in vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals, and enzymes. Bee pollen is truly a goldmine of nutrients.

As I mentioned before, bee pollen is also great for treating seasonal allergies, as counter-intuitive as that may seem. When you incorporate bee pollen into your daily diet, your immune system builds up immunities to pollen in the air. It is best to start introducing bee pollen into your system a couple to a few months before allergy season begins so your system will already be prepared for the onslaught of pollen it’s about to endure.

If your system has already built up immunities to pollen, it will not be affected (or will be much less affected) by seasonal pollens. If you are taking it for seasonal allergies, it is very important to buy local bee pollen so your system will be immunized against local pollens. It only makes sense. Bee pollen truly is amazing to say the least.

Now let’s address a couple of important points. Those of you who are allergic to bee stings may be worried about having an allergic reaction to bee pollen. Although I can’t promise you that you won’t, evidence seems to suggest that you won’t. If you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense that you would have an allergic reaction considering that bee pollen is just pollen harvested by bees. It doesn’t contain any bee venom.

If you want to give bee pollen a try and are allergic to bee stings it is recommended to start with a very small amount and see what happens. Just make sure you are somewhere that you can get help if you do end up needing it.

Now let’s talk dosage. For an adult it is recommended to take one to two tablespoons per day for optimal results. Because some people are more sensitive to bee pollen than others, however, it is recommended to start with a small amount and work your way up to full dosage. Start with a fourth of a tablespoon for a few days, then go to a half a tablespoon and so on. So don’t hesitate any longer. Start incorporating bee pollen into your diet asap. At the Urban Juicer we sell local bee pollen sourced from The Ed Johnson Honey Farm in Goodlettsville TN. We can always add a serving to your juice or smoothie, the perfect way to get your start in the world of bee pollen!

What on Earth is Kombucha?

CumberlandTUJWhat is Kombucha? (you say it like kom-boo-cha) This is a question I have been getting a lot lately. To put it very simply, Kombucha tea is just tea (typically black or green), sugar, water, and a starter culture known as either a mushroom because of its mushroom-like shape, or as a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, fermented together. Now I know all that doesn’t sound very appetizing, but don’t be scared off just yet. Kombucha has a multitude of health benefits and tastes yummy too! What more could you want? Unlike other fermented beverages, Kombucha has only trace amounts of alcohol (around 1%) and almost no sugar because the sugar is what the yeast feeds on during the fermentation process.

The list of health benefits from Kombucha seems limitless so I’ll just mention a few here for you. As with other fermented foods, Kombucha is a great source of probiotics. Probiotics do wonderful things for the digestive system, and as everyone should know, the health of your digestive system is key to your overall health, so any step you can take to improve its health, the better. Also, if your digestive system is functioning better, you have a better chance at losing excess weight as well.

Kombucha also helps to alkalize the body and balance your inner PH level. Most people’s bodies are far too acidic due to the high amount of acidic things we consume on a daily basis. It is literally a miracle and a testament to the power of the human body that drinking one soda alone (which is insanely acidic) doesn’t make you drop dead. You’ll understand this once you learn how important the PH level is in our bodies, which I’ll write about in a future post. In fact, many diseases can only take hold in an acidic environment, including cancer. Since Kombucha is alkalizing, it helps to bring your PH level down to a healthier, less acidic level.

Thanks to some of the great organic acids found in Kombucha, such as glucaric acid, Kombucha is a wonderful aid in the detoxification of our bodies. It helps the liver expel toxins that would otherwise continue to be cycled through your body multiple times before they would be secreted. Of course detoxifying the body also helps to prevent or reverse pretty much all illnesses, including cancer. Kombucha also contains high amounts of glucosamines which help your body maintain healthy joints.

Many people have reported going from barely being able to walk to walking for miles with no pain after consuming Kombucha for an extended period of time. You see glucosamines enhance the production of hyaluronic acid, which is an acid that helps to preserve cartilage in the body. Healthy cartilage equals healthy joints, but keep in mind that in order to receive such results you must make it a part of your daily regime for a decent amount of time. Don’t expect any overnight miracles now!

Of course one of my favorite reasons to drink Kombucha is the increased energy it gives me. This is mostly due to the B vitamins found in Kombucha, and although most of the sugar is consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process, what little remains is broken down to its most basic level, fructose. Since it is already broken down to its simplest form, your body can immediately use it for energy. This basic form of sugar found in Kombucha also helps to kick start your metabolism. If you’re really looking for an energy boost you should definitely try the local Kombucha we sell with added ginger. Those two together are a powerhouse of natural energy. When I drink one I feel like I’m wide awake, full of energy, and ready to face the world!

Kombucha is also a great replacement for soda for those of us (like me) who like carbonated beverages, and Kombucha is naturally carbonated at that! If you replace your soda intake with Kombucha not only will you drastically reduce your sugar intake, but you will also be doing something great for your health. Win-win right?

Well, I could go on and on all day talking about how wonderful Kombucha is, but haven’t I said enough already? There is no excuse to not drink Kombucha. If price is your excuse (because let’s face it, it’s not super cheap) then look into home brewing. It’s surprisingly simple and inexpensive to make yourself. It doesn’t even cost you a fraction as much as store bought does. So if you’re thinking of making Kombucha a part of your regular diet, then I’d recommend making your own, which you can learn to do with a simple internet search. Now I will leave you with a couple of final tips: don’t think something’s wrong with your Kombucha if you see “stuff” floating in it or resting on the bottom. Those are the natural healthy cultures that are supposed to be there and are chocked full of goodness. Finally, don’t shake Kombucha! It’s carbonated, remember? Instead just give it a nice and gentle rock back and forth, slowly. And now that you are well versed on Kombucha, go on, give it a try!