Juice – the talk of the town that’s taken the health industry by storm. Juice bars are popping up on every corner of London and it seems now that holding a green juice in hand has become the new accessory (and probably not much cheaper than a handbag anyway..).
There are a number of reasons I’m a huge advocate for gulping down a glass of green. It has fantastic benefits on the body and is a convenient approach to clean eating – but naturally as humans we can often go to extremes – both of which I will talk about here.
When and why should I be drinking juice?
Juicing is a fantastic way to shower your body with concentrated amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – all the great stuff to keep you feeling good. Juicing loses most of the fibre which makes it easy on the digestive system, good for those who suffer with IBS or those with sensitive tummys.
A juice full of green veggies is great at keeping your body in an alkaline state and therefore functioning at optimal level, helping to fight off disease and keep energy levels stable. In liquid form, the amazing plant enzymes and nutrients go straight into the bloodstream.
Juicing hints & tips
- Feel a cold coming on? Juice a tonne of green veg for disease fighting nutrients. Vitamin C is a fantastic immunity booster so add some oranges and carrots. Throw in half a lemon and a chunk of ginger which is an antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- I like to add coconut water for a hint of sweetness and extra electrolytes to keep me hydrated.
- Juice first thing in the morning will transport quicker into the bloodstream and give you all the goodness to set you up for the day.
- Try and have more veg than fruit – this will reduce sugar intake
- A juice between meals will ensure hydration and suppress that pre-lunch hunger
- Be creative – rotate your greens. Good examples are dandelion, swiss chard, rocket, parsley.
- Include plenty of water based veggies like cucumber and celery. I like to use courgette as it’s very watery and the taste is refreshing and similar to cucumber.
OK so juices sound amazing. Should I do a cleanse/detox?
You’ve had a boozy Christmas do, or a long holiday filled with a few too many Long Islands. It’s easy to see why it’s tempting to do a quick ‘detoxing’ juice cleanse to get rid of those ‘toxins’ that have built up. The consumer industry has leached on to the enticing idea of ‘cleanses’, promising 8 pound weight loss and some superhero side effects.
The truth is, ‘detoxing’ your system with a few bottles of cucumber and kale is a pseudo-medical concept. Our body is very cleverly designed to do all this itself with kidneys, liver and even sweat from our skin which are detoxifying as we speak.
If you feel you’ve over indulged or you’re a bit run down and need a kick of health, I would recommend a few hours fasting to give your digestive system a rest, have an extra hours sleep, do some exercise, de stress. These factors along with some great nutritious food do help speed up the detoxification process your body naturally goes through. But a 5 day cleanse? Save the money and leave it to the liver – you’ve got it covered.
My favourite juice recipe
- 5 cups kale
- 5 cups spinach
- 5 cups broccoli
- ½ an apple
- Half a cucumber
- 2 stalks of celery
- Half a lemon
- Big chunk of ginger (about the size of your thumb)
- 5 cups coconut water
For an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants, you could try adding some organic supergreen powder from the natural health star health shop. This nutritious mix contains organic wheatgrass, barley grass, moringa, spirulina and chlorella powder.
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