Juicing colourful concoctions of fruit and vegetables comes with a tasty kick and a healthy punch. Whether it be a tutti-fruity mix of oranges, apples and watermelon, or a body-loving ginger, apple and carrot elixir, there is every good reason why we should be making this activity a part of our daily ritual.
The ultimate nutrient delivery system
By ‘squeezing’ out enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, the liquid nutrients become easily and efficiently absorbed into the body’s cells. Certain ingredient combinations can make for a powerful medicine-like formula. For example, assisting the body’s immune system during colds can be aided through freshly cold-pressed orange, lemon, ginger and turmeric thanks to citrus fruit’s vitamin C, and the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and other astounding qualities of ginger and turmeric. Or, a dark green juice of kale leaves, broccoli, prunes and some nettle may aid tiredness and weakness due to their high iron content. Adding parsley to juices can even eliminate bad breath and aid digestive complaints.
So how and when should you juice?
Some people juice for an energising breakfast, some juice for meal replacements, some simply for the fresh taste, or others for a complete system reboot. Some even make a juice-fast part of their monthly regime ranging from 1 to 10 days long. There are some controversial opinions on whether to juice-fast or not. Some tout the benefits; losing weight, radiant skin, more energy, and reversed health complications. Others question the ‘extreme’ liquid diet and whether it’s providing enough nutrients to the body. But let’s face it, most of us today are simply not meeting our ‘two and five’ recommended daily fruit and vege intake. But with juicing we can easily meet this target – and that is just before lunch time.
Juicy detox tips
If followed correctly, these following guidelines could have you reaping the glowing benefits of a juice-fast.
The 1:3 ratio
As fruits are packed full of natural sugars, too many sugars can overload our blood sugar levels, much in the same way as eating too many sugary snacks. So sticking to 25% fruit juice, mostly at breakfast, and veggie juices for the rest of the day is a good rule of thumb. Try out my Sweet Beet Juice.
The secret disguise
“What, kale and celery juice all day, – no thanks!” That’s what you are probably thinking right? But that leads me to the next tip; disguising the vegetables with fruit. By adding just 1 apple to your dark green liquid, you could fool even the pickiest child critic that it tastes good (with eyes closed).
Prep ahead of time
Write a shopping list and buy all the produce at the beginning of the week. Chop up the produce and separate into breakfast, lunch and dinner containers the night before or even batch them up a few days ahead of time.
Wean off the liquids
The key to keeping off those newly shed kilos and maintaining the healthy glow of a juice fast is to keep feeding your body nutrients when reverting back to solids. Start by introducing just raw salads for lunch or vegetable soups for dinner. Your body should be so replenished that you won’t want to give it bad food.
But what about all that fibre going to waste?
It can seem like a lot of produce going to waste when discarding the pulp. While this fibre is no love lost provided we have a generally high fibre diet otherwise, there are some cool ways to reuse it. One of my favourites is using carrot and kale pulp to make veggie burgers. Simply save the pulp separately and combine with chopped nuts, mashed sweet potato, a few herbs and spices and some bread crumbs. Form into patties and lightly fry either side for a delicious healthy veggie burger.
Cold-press vs fast juicer
High-speed masticating juicers are often the juicer of choice in cafés due to their high speed and large loading capacity. However cold-press, or slow juicers come with greater rewards. The masticating blades of high-speed juicers denature many of the beneficial enzymes of fresh produce, reducing its nutritional content. Whereas the ‘pressing’ action of slow juicers retain these nutrients by gently squeezing the juice out. Cold-press juicers also often provide a greater yield, giving you more bang for your buck. Not to mention, cold-press juicers are quieter machines and are generally easy to clean. Even better again, many cold-press juicers allow you to make fruit sorbets by passing through frozen fruit chunks such as bananas and mangoes.
Here are some super simple recipes to get you going
Super cleanse juice
- 2 Big leaves of kale, 2 apples, 2 carrots, 1” piece of ginger, 2cm piece turmeric and 1 celery stalk.
- 2 cups watermelon, ½ lime, handful of mint leaves.
Don’t knock this ‘til you’ve tried it
- 3 tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, ¼ lemon, handful of basil, pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 purple carrots, handful of berries, 1 apple
Super Juice Me, Food Matters, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead are all great documentaries on juicing.