Who out there loves to juice?
For many years now we have been told that we must get our five a day and for good reason; there are certain vitamins and nutrients that we can only get from fruits and vegetables. The problem is that many people are really not keen on fruit and veg and struggle to include that many into their diets so, an alternative, is to drink them in juice form. I love to juice, as I recognise the health benefits, but it’s important to know which juices do what and when to drink them.
Juice critics think that, by juicing, you lose the essential fibre that’s contained within fruits and vegetables and that’s true but what you retain are all the wonderful minerals, vitamins and plant chemicals so you are keeping the good stuff! People also argue that you take in too much sugar from fruit when you juice it; this is also true if you juice nothing but fruit or if you buy fruit juice from a supermarket rather than preparing it yourself (most have added sugar). However, if you take a juice before exercising, carrot and orange for instance, it can give you a real boost of long lasting energy. The danger comes, if you don’t exercise and drink the juice of 12 oranges a day; in this way your sugar intake will definitely be too high. Like with everything else, it’s a case of education and moderation.
Here are a few ideas for super tasty juices and the best time to drink them:
Isn’t this juice the most wonderful colour? It’s full of apples, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger and kale and it’s a great juice to drink if you are trying to lose weight, alongside a great exercise programme obviously! Use no more than 2 apples (as they contain the most sugar), a whole cucumber, 4 or 5 celery stalks, half a fresh lemon, half a dozen kale leaves and a piece of ginger about the size of your thumbnail. It really is delicious and refreshing and you pretty much have your 5 a day all in one glass!
Again, look at the fabulous colour of this juice; you can almost feel those nutrients just reaching out to you can’t you? This little beauty is beetroot, carrot and apple juice and it’s a great one to drink before you go out and exercise. The beetroot contains nitrate which will help to improve blood flow and carrots are packed full of the anti-oxidant beta-carotene. 3 fresh beetroot, 2 apples and 4 or 5 carrots and you’re good to go with this one; if you like you can add a small piece of ginger for a bit of pep.
Or how about this one? If your joints are giving you grief try this tasty blend of carrots, leeks and parsley. Leeks are a natural anti-inflammatory (as is curcumin which is derived from turmeric so feel free to add half a teaspoon of that as well!). As we know carrots are a great anti-oxidant and parsley contains absolutely shed loads of vitamins and minerals so this drink is a real health blast for anyone needing their joints lubricated.
The other great thing about juicing is that you get to experiment with fruit and vegetable combinations some of which you will love! There may be others that are a complete disaster but don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun. Just keep in mind that fruit does contain sugar so try to look at juicing vegetables and then adding 1 or 2 pieces of fruit to taste or when you know that you will be burning some calories. Happy juicing and, if you come up with a really super recipe, please let me know and I’ll hapily publish it for you on the site.