Fruit and vegetable juices are not simply tasty: they are a wonderful way to increase our requisite daily intake (2 servings for fruit, 5 for vegetables). They contain large amounts of living enzymes, vitamins and minerals, all in an easily digestible form.
These days, our diets can contain a lot of processed foods – maybe helping us save a little time, but also falling short of providing all the nutrients we need to stay in vibrant health. Juices can help! Think of them as tasty medicine chests that help us cleanse our bodies.
SOME POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN JUICING
- If possible, use organically grown vegetables and fruits. If not, thoroughly wash them in cold water and remove any damaged spots before juicing or making a smoothie.
- Drink immediately after juicing so as not to lose any nutrients.
- A glass of vegetable juice half an hour before every meal can help cleanse your body and absorb nutrients.
- As juices are concentrated and contain many enzymes, vitamins and minerals, it is recommended to dilute them and drink slowly. Alternatively you can incorporate cucumber or celery in your vegetable juices as they will thin the juice out and dilute it without the need for water.
- Green vegetable juices (kale, celery, spinach, broccoli, cucumber) contain chlorophyll and large amounts of magnesium. They are very cleansing to the digestive system.
- Don’t forget about herbs! Coriander and parsley juice really well and contain many vitamins and minerals in their own right.
- Juicing frozen fruit or vegetables won’t work as well as fresh ones: the resulting juice will be more watery and not taste as good. One exception: you can use frozen raspberries or blueberries to make a smoothie when they are out of season with relative success.
- Your juicer matters: make sure you are using a cold press juicer or slow juicer to preserve the precious nutrients and living enzymes in your juice.
- Remember to still drink plenty of water every day.
You can replace your usual breakfast with a nutritious smoothie for a little variety. Use a small amount of any fruit (or a combination: banana and berries work well together), and mix with any nut or cereal milk (almond, coconut, rice, oat, soy) or organic cow or goat’s milk.
Throw in some whey powder for a protein kick, or a green food like barley grass or wheatgrass, spirulina or chlorella. You can also add the supplements you take daily to your morning smoothie: vitamin E oil, flaxseed oil, vitamin C powder etc… (adding fish oil if you take it may not be such a good idea!).
BREAKFAST AVOCADO SMOOTHIE
- 1 ripe avocado
- 4 or 5 ice cubes
- Spring or filtered water
What to do:
- Place ice cubes and peeled and chopped avocado in blender.
- Blend on high until ice is crushed and mixture is smooth.
- Reduce blender speed and gradually add water until mixture is smooth and fairly thick.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, add a straw and drink!
You can adapt this recipe to suit your taste: use other fruit – bananas, strawberries, peaches etc…, substitute water for cow or goat’s milk, yoghurt, or a nut milk if you want a richer smoothie. Kefir works well in place of cow or goat’s milk and is generally well tolerated by those with lactose intolerance. We have written about kefir and its benefits, including its probiotic properties.
MIGHTY CLEANSING JUICE
Rich in minerals and vitamins (especially C), this juice will help mop up free radicals from the body. The citric acid from the lemon and the ginger are a powerful combination that eliminate toxins from the body and aid digestion. Ginger is also a natural antibiotic and a decongestant.
- 2 carrots (washed and peeled)
- 1 apple (with skin on)
- 1/4 of a whole lemon (with rind on)
- a small piece of fresh ginger (or ginger powder)
- 2 ice cubes (optional, but refreshing!)
Juice and drink immediately – that simple!
If you want a more thorough rundown of the different nutrients and vitamins contained in some common fruit and vegetables, see A is for Apples.
Remember: those with diabetes, arthritis, digestive problems of fructose malabsorption should avoid concentrated fruit juices, or too much fruit in a single serving: this would be too much natural sugar at once.
Please consult an accredited dietician for advice on how much fruit to incorporate in your diet, or before making any substantial changes to your diet. You can find an accredited dietician via the Dietitians Association of Australia.