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fruit and veg

The cucumber. It's a respected resident of sandwiches, gin and tonics and body moisturisers, but that could change very soon as the humble vegetable is on the brink of extinction. 

The Cucumber Growers Association have reported that there are now fewer than 100 hectares of land dedicated to growing cucumbers, with many farmers either retiring or moving onto more lucrative crops. 

And with major supermarkets like Tesco, Aldi and Lidl slashing their prices (because of cheaper imports from the Netherlands), there is a genuine fear that the veg will disappear. 

The CGA and various farmers unions from Ireland and the UK have reported that there is little incentive to grow the crop anymore. 

"Nobody in the supply chain is making anything from the production and sale of cucumbers. Without an increase in returns the cucumber industry won't be endangered – it will be extinct," said Joe Cappalonga, who heads fruit and vegetable wholesale for G&C Produce

Is this goodbye to cucumbers? 

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Detox remedies such as vegetable juices, pills and cutting out certain foods might make us feel less guilty about overindulging but there is actually no scientific evidence to back up their "facts". 

Detoxes are based on the idea that stored toxic substances can be removed by eating or avoiding certain foods.

The most popular detoxes tend to involve drinking ‘cleansing’ fruit and vegetable juice, but we're here to tell you about what myths to avoid at all costs: 

Detox Myth 1: Certain liquid diets can push out toxins

This is totally wrong. No fad diet can emilinate harmful invaders faster than your built-in clean up crew (the liver, kidneys and colon)! 

Many doctors and scientists suggest the best cleansing strategy is a proper diet and regular exercise. 

 

Detox Myth 2: Drinking loads of water detoxes the body

H2O hydrates the liver and kidneys and encourages toxins to leave the body via urination. However, drinking water excessively in the name of detox can be really dangerous. Symptoms of water intoxication include headache, fatigue, vomiting and mental disorientation. 

You should only drink around eight regular glasses of water a day. 

 

Detox Myth 3: You can sweat out toxins with a serious sauna session

It's true that small amounts of toxins can leave the body via perspiration, but keep it in mind that heavy sweating can impair the body's natural detox system, makng it less efficient.

You'll do more detoxing in the bathroom than the sauna it seems! 

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We are all for a healthy diet and ditching the sweets and treats for the lighter options. However, when we bring our healthy food haul home and find it rotten two days later, we get frustrated.

It can be hard to stick to a healthy eating regime when we find ourselves spending money on food that won’t last.

So, to try and avoid any unnecessary food frustrations, try these tricks for keeping your healthy food fresher for longer.

Don’t put tomatoes in fridge:

The flavour diminishes and their texture can go a bit off. It is recommended you keep them on the counter in order to allow them to fully ripen.

Lettuce and chill:

You work too hard to come home to limp lettuce with no flavour and zero charm. So, avoid shrinking leaves by separating them and putting them in a sink full of iced water for up to 30 mins. So fresh and so crisp.

Ripen avocados at room temperature:

One of the most temperamental of all the foods; avocados can seem to take forever to be ready to eat and then turn in split second. When you need them to ripen quickly one interesting trick is popping them in a brown paper bag with a banana. Just make sure you keep an eye on them!

Put your bananas together:

If you’re not a fan of peeling blackened bananas, although what lies beyond the skin is far more important, then don’t separate them before storing. Also, refrigerating your ripened bananas will stop them from turning before you eat them.

Line your salad drawers:

Putting a few sheets of kitchen roll in the drawer with your veggies will keep them crisp while they chill. The kitchen roll will keep them fresh also make your cleaning faster, hurrah!

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So maybe you already have that summer bod ready to go, or you're like the rest of us and left it until now to even start at all?

Not to worry as we have some detox drinks recipes that will help you shed a few extra pounds… and they taste delicious too which is always a bonus.

These are easy recipes to follow and won’t cost you a fortune to make – yay!

1. Detox water
When starting out, keep it simple. The best way to detox your body is by keeping it hydrated, and adding fruit or vegetables that contain antioxidants to your water will really help. Simply add some strawberries and mint to your water and allow it to diffuse. The mint helps with digestion and the strawberries contain anthocyanin, which stimulate the burning of stored fat.

 

2. Pineapple, pomegranate and lemon juice
Pomegranate contains more antioxidants than green tea which makes it a great detox food. The pineapple in this mix also gives you extra vitamins and sweetness.

 

3. Kale smoothie
Kale is the new spinach in the healthy eating world apparently and it’s for good reason. Kale is absolutely loaded with antioxidants and is great for anyone on a detox or just trying to stay healthy in general. All you need is a handful of kale, half an apple and coconut water. Kale is a bit difficult to eat by itself so smoothies are a handy way of getting loads in your diet. 

 

4. The Immune Booster
This smoothie gives your body the detox it needs while boosting your immune system at the same time. It contains two apples, a handful of spinach leaves, one slice of cucumber, one slice of lime, half a celery stick, ¼ pineapple and ¼ avocado. Blend these ingredients together and you’re good to go!

 

5. The Vitamin C Kick
This drink is a must as it detoxes the body while fighting off illness as it is bursting with Vitamin C. All you need is two oranges, ½ a cantaloupe melon, 40g of strawberries and one tomato. 

 

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