While in Vietnam, take advantage of the abundance of fruits everywhere.
Herbalists Bang Cam and Pham Nhu Ta say the best way to get your fix is to sit down at a street corner with a glass of delicious fruit juice in hand and watch the world go by. Or you could buy fruits at any market and make your own heathy juices at home.
Tomatoes in Vietnam are sweet and cheap. They are rich in vitamins A and C, cellulose, citric acid, amino acids, and lycopene. Tomatoes contain antioxidants; boost the immune system and can prevent prostate cancer in men. Tomato juice cools and detoxifies the body, lowers cholesterol and regulates blood pressure. The juice also eliminates toxins that cause cancer, cardiovascular problems and ageing. One glass of 160ml tomato juice has 58kcal.
Cucumber juice is refreshing smoothens and cooling. It smoothes the skin, acts as a diuretic and anodyne. The propanoic acid found in cucumber is good for those watching their weight. Cucumber can help fight a fever with vitamins A and C, potassium, manganese, folate, dietary fiber, magnesium and silica. If you're after clear skin, rinse your face with the juice.
Carrots are rich in vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene and carotene, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. With this army of essential nutrients, carrot juice is good for lowering high blood pressure, strengthening the heart and improving eyesight.
Incorporating carrot juice in your regular diet can prevent cataract and lower the risk of lung, bladder and stomach cancers. In Vietnam, people mix carrot juice with milk and other fruits and vegetables. One popular option is to blend together carrot, banana and kumquat or carrot, strawberry and lemon. One glass (160ml) of carrot juice has 64kcal.
Water dropwort juice
Water dropwort juice helps reduce blood pressure, stop bleeding, headaches, dizziness and rheumatism. The juice of this sweet vegetable, which contains vitamins B1, B2 and C, and cellulose, also helps with loss of appetite and supports digestion. When buying water dropwort, choose one that is very green for maximum nutritional value.
NOTE OF CAUTION
Don't wait too long to drink fruit juice. Once it has been blended, fruit juices lose their nutritious value very quickly. Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet, according to the Cancer Research Institute, UK. Fruit juices can count as one portion a day.
Coconut milk is rich in Vitamin B, magnesium, potassium and iron. It acts as a diuretic, fights fever, promotes good health, stops bleeding, aids digestion, soothes sunburn, prevents vomiting and nosebleeds, and gives you smooth skin and shiny hair. Drinking coconut milk on a regular basis is good for the heart; it can also help get rid of worms.
One bowl of 100g coconut flesh and a cup of 100g coconut milk totals more than 350kcal.
Red grape juice
Red grape juice can lower the risk of cardiovascular problems, reduce the harmful effects of tobacco and prevent cancer. It is good for those going through chemotherapy. It also fights ageing. One glass of 160ml red grape juice contains 74kcal.
Pineapple contains Vitamin C and an enzyme called bromelain, which aids in digestion, cures a runny nose. Bromelain can also relieve symptoms associated with asthma, intense chest pain and bronchitis. One glass of 160ml pineapple juice has 66kcal.
The sweet and sour cooling fruit has beta carotene and lycopene, both of which reduce the risk of prostate, lung, stomach, pancreas, breast and intestinal cancers. Lycopene also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes, according to herbalist Pham Nhu Ta. Pomelo juice can be used to treat morning sickness, a low appetite and indigestion problems. One glass (160ml) of pomelo juice contains 53kcal and a high amount of Vitamin C.
Orange juice strengthens the immune system and prevents broken blood vessels under the skin which can be an unpleasant sight. Vitamin B found in oranges is good for the blood. One glass (160ml) of orange juice has 75kcal and is rich in Vitamin C, according to Dr. Nguyen Lan Dinh.
"˜An apple a day keeps the doctor away' goes the proverb. Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon, prostate and lung cancers. Apple has high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids and fiber and helps to regulate cholesterol as well as promote weight loss and healthy lungs. It also cleanses the skin, liver and gallbladder. One glass (160ml) of apple juice has 61kcal and many nutrients.
Avocados are high in valuable fats as well as potassium and folic acid. A half of a medium-weight avocado holds up to 14.7g of fat. Avocados are good for diabetics, or people with heart problems. Avocados contain vitamins A, E, B6, C, and zinc. Folic acid in avocados is good for a healthy heart and for pregnant women. Avocados can also be used as face masks to prevent dryness.
Papaya contains vitamins B1, B2, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. A 100g papaya holds 74- 80mg Vitamin C and 500-1,250 IU carotene. Papaya tonifies the blood, repairs the liver, fights oxidation, and strengthens the body's immune system. For a delicious blend, mix 100g papaya, 100g banana and 100g carrot together and puree with coconut milk and honey three times a week. This juice will help you sleep well.