Women UK investigate the ever-growing health craze of juicing and explain why, if we want to glow with vitality, we should all be at it…
ISN’T JUICE BAD AS IT IS FULL OF SUGAR?
It’s true most shop bought fruit juices have a bad name, mainly due to their high sugar content and heat pasteurisation process, which destroys many of the valuable nutrients. However, the benefit of juicing at home is that you can make it fresh each day, retaining all the natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Juicing also breaks down fibres, minimising the body’s digestive effort and allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream within minutes.
We all know we need to consume more vegetables and juicing is all about increasing your intake in one fell swoop. Virtually every authority on the subject recommends we get six to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day. But who wants to munch and chew their way through bags of greens and vegetables, when you can juice them instead? Your daily juice should consist primarily of vegetables, not fruit; this keeps fructose levels, and therefore calories, low and nutrients high.
Many experts agree that juicing can help people lose weight, boost their immune system, increase energy and support brain health. Whilst not yet medically supported, some devoted juicers claim that it has cured diseases and auto-immune deficiencies. If that doesn’t convince you to get juicing, then the promises of glowing skin, shiny hair and stronger nails might tempt you.
There are two main types of juicers which produce very different results;
the blender which liquefies soft fruit and vegetables into a pulp to create thicker smoothie style drinks and the extractor; which removes the pulp resulting in a more easily digested pure liquid. Of the latter, the best option is widely believed to be a masticator which cold presses the ingredients, allowing you to extract juice from even leafy vegetables. They can be expensive and more awkward to clean than the more affordable centrifugal options but if you are serious about juicing, they are worth it.
WHAT TO JUICE
What you juice is a personal preference, so start with fruit and vegetables you enjoy – if you don’t like eating beetroot it is unlikely you will like it juiced. However to get the ultimate healing benefits of juicing it’s all about green. That’s leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli and chard, which supercharge your liver’s detoxification process.
• Use organic fruit and vegetables
• Prepare by washing and removing inedible peel
• Stick to a high ratio of vegetables versus fruit (80:20)
• Once made your juice will start to oxidise quickly so drink immediately
• Clean your juicer properly – you do not want to contaminate your juices with any mould growth.
If you decide to do a juice fast consult your GP first. People with conditions like diabetes or hypoglycaemia need to proceed with caution.
SOME TIPS FOR JUICING
• Balance the bitterness of green juice by adding sweetness with apple, grapes, kiwi, or berries
• Ginger, mint and citrus fruit add an extra flavour level
• You will need to add liquid to smoothies; dairy alternatives, such as almond or rice milk are creamier than water or ice.
• Avocados and bananas give smoothies a velvety texture and frozen berries can be used directly from the freezer.
• Intensify by adding maca powder, raw cacao or Sencha green tea
Every food on the planet has come under some criticism with the notable exception of fruit and vegetables.
Words by Nasreen El-Mariesh.
Don’t have time to juice? Women UK checked out two ready made juice plans…
Jason Vale’s ‘The Juice Master’ Juice Diet is a really simple, healthy and effective weight loss and energy boosting system designed to furnish your body with live nutrients for either three, seven or fourteen days.
The programme is carefully designed to nourish your body completely on a cellular level – meaning you will be receiving all the required nutrition. For three days, I lived on juice only and have to say, it was far easier than I thought it would be. Some juices I liked the taste more than others but all were filling and surprisingly satisfying.
I lost exactly three pounds in the three days and have to admit that by the third day, I felt energised and would have easily continued for more days if I could. www.juicemaster.com
The Obsidian Juice programme is a detox and in their words ‘ gives your body a nutritional party and your digestive system a holiday. You will see and feel the benefits almost immediately.
There are no snacks allowed in the Obsidian programme, which means that after a couple of days of the body ridding itself of toxins, most people will feel better than they have in years.
This is a detox plan that if followed properly, will help you to lose weight. We followed it for three days. Whist the juices themselves took a bit of getting used to, we definitely felt the benefits and in three days, lost 4lb (which quickly returned once the plan was finished). For people wanting to seriously detox, there is a longer term plan available. www.juiceprogrammes.com