Sometimes this will manifest itself in tiredness, a rash or spots, or sometimes we will fall ill to more serious conditions, all because the natural healing process is being blocked.
A good way for us to allow our bodies time to heal is to clean up our diets – a great way to do this is to add juices into your daily diet. And no I don’t mean the fruit juices we find in the shops which are often high in sugar, I mean juices packed with nutrient-dense natural ingredients – think 3-4 veggies to 1-2 fruits. Fruits are naturally very high in sugar which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike which is why I recommend limiting the portions of fruit in your juice to two.
Now, I’m not condoning going on a 30 day juice cleanse - it’s important to eat a balanced diet full of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds - but I am of the opinion that having a juice daily can be extremely beneficial to your health. You could try a juice for breakfast, eating raw for lunch and a cooked healthy meal at home in the evening. It’s all about balance!
What are the benefits of drinking juice?
- Convenient way of getting several of your 5 a day
- Helps to cleanse the body
- Full of soluble fibre
- Immediate absorption of nutrients
- Aids the digestive process
- Reduces inflammation
- Glowing skin
- Boosts immune system
How does juicing work?
Juicing strips away the insoluble fibre (keeping the soluble fibre) from the fruit and vegetables, making them easier to digest - this means that the nutrients are travelling more directly to your blood stream (although insoluble fibre has some benefits too). Often people find it difficult to include a variety of fruit and vegetables into their diets so this is a great way to stock up on pure nutrients.
It has also been reported that juicing may help to improve ailments such as eczema, psoriasis, hay fever and, as I’m sure is fairly obvious, encouraging people to swap soft drinks for juice would be a good way to help to tackle obesity too!
What can I juice?
You can juice most things although I’d avoid any soft fruits like bananas and mangos. These are two of my favourite juices and if you’re feeling brave, try my fiery ginger shot for an extra kick! Read on for more details about why each ingredient is good for you.
The Green Machine
- 2 large apples
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups of kale
- Small handful of parsley
- 1 lime
- 2 celery stalks (including leaves)
Fiery Ginger Shot
- 1 apple
- Wedge of ginger
- 4 carrots
- 2 apples
- Approx. 1 inch of ginger root
…and this benefits me how?
Carrots – Carrots are high in Beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for cell renewal and repair and helps to protect skin from sun damage.
Kale – Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. It’s full of Vitamins A and C which are two of the top vitamins when it comes to anti-aging. So less of the expensive skin creams and more kale please!
Ginger – Ginger is a super anti-inflammatory that contains around 40 antioxidants that help protect the skin from aging, removing toxins from the skin and allowing for increased circulation. It can also be used as a topical treatment to fight acne, either on its own or in a face mask. It’s also great for helping to treat colds and flus.
Parsley – The world’s most popular herb is packed with nutrients including Vitamins K, C and A. This means it’s great for keeping your immune system strong and your bones healthy. It also helps to flush out excess fluid, supporting kidney function – making it a good addition to any juice.
Celery – Celery is often recommended for weight loss and many see it as ‘negative calories’ but what you might not know is that celery helps to reduce inflammation, aids digestion, reduces bad cholesterol and with one stalk delivering 10% of your Vitamin A RDA, it can even help to keep your eyes in good health.
Cucumber – Cucumbers are perfect for the juicer as they have a high water content, maximising juice yield and helping to get some of the tougher ingredients through the juicer. The high water content makes it a great ingredient for those summer juices to help you stay hydrated which, along with the range of vitamins they include, help in maintaining a glowing complexion.
Apple – We’ve been told countless times that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what do they actually do? Well, firstly apples contain 4 grams of soluble fibre per medium apple making them a filling snack; they are also a modest source of Vitamin C, making them a good immune boosting ingredient.
Lime – Limes are also high in Vitamin C, which is essential for protecting cells and helping to keep them healthy; limes also contain unique active compounds called flavonol glycosides, which are thought to have antimicrobial properties.
Photo credit: Alison Paton