The Importance Of Juices
Feeling fit, healthy and energized is the ideal state for us all, but how often do we feel on the top of the world? Usually we are a little bit tired, feeling the beginning of a cold, having trouble sleeping due to stress or just feeling a bit run down.
We tend to accept these symptoms as being normal, but we shouldn’t put up with anything less than 100 per cent good health.
With today’s busy lifestyles, increased stress levels and pollution, more often than not we grab food on the run with little thought of its nutritional content. Instead of regarding food as valuable fuel for our bodies, eating becomes another activity to perform each day.
If your body was a car, you would put the best fuel into it and check the car regularly to make sure its oil and water were topped up, wouldn’t you. Many of us don’t give the same amount of consideration and tend to feed them whichever fuel is quick, easy and immediately available.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, many of us overlook the nutritional benefits we can gain from making them into juices and yet with a little effort you can juice your way to optimum health. By combining several types of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, you will ensure that your body receives its full quota of vitamins and minerals.
What is the difference between making your own juice and buying it from the supermarket? The nutrients in fresh homemade juice surpass anything that you can buy. The bought juice has been pre squeezed, packaged and diluted with water, meaning the nutrients and health benefits are not as effective. There may be also be additives which counteract any goodness in the fruit and vegetables.
Not only do pure juiced fruits and vegetables make a delicious addition to your diet, but the nutrients they contain are utilized by the body far more quickly than those the body gets from solid food, which requires many hours of digestion before any nourishment is available to the cells and tissues. At first you might find that you are passing water more often due to the diuretic effect of the fruit and vegetables you are drinking or a slight headache. Once you body gets used to the detoxifying effects of the juices these symptoms will fade.
JUICING FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH
The main benefits of juicing are the vitamins and minerals present in the fruit and vegetables. Vital nutrients such as folic acid, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, potassium, zinc and amino acids are present in fresh fruit and vegetables and all are necessary to ensure optimum health.
Juicing is a natural easy way to ensure that your daily intake of necessary vitamins is met.
Another important nutrient group present in juices is enzymes, which are responsible for the digestion and absorption of food into your body. Enzymes also convert foods into body tissue and are an important producer of energy levels. Without enzymes, our metabolism cannot function at its maximum rate. Fresh juice is the best way for your body to receive sources of enzymes. This is primarily because cooking vegetables destroys enzymes, which cannot exist in temperatures higher than 114”C (237”F). To enjoy the benefits that enzymes bring, it is best to eat as much raw produce as possible.
Five Benefits Of Juicing
1. Your body receives its required amount of vitamins and minerals.
2. The antioxidants in fruit and vegetables are essential to younger looking skin.
3. Folic acid in fruits and vegetables helps to keep hair and nails strong.
4. Juicing is a healthy way to support a weight-loss programme.
5. Juicing is ideal way to aid recovery from illness.
Fruit and vegetables juices are also good source of nutrients. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C. Carrot Juice contains vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. A number of green juices are a good source of vitamin E. Fruit juices provide essential minerals such iron, copper, potassium, sodium and iodine. If you eat a raw carrot you are only able to assimilate about 1 per cent of the beta-carotene, because many of the nutrients are trapped in the fibre. When a carrot is juiced, removing the fibre, nearly 100 per cent of the beta-carotene can be assimilated.
Finally, fruits and vegetables provide water. More than 65 per cent of the cells in the human body are made up of water and in such tissues the cells can be as much as 80 per cent. Water is essential for good health, yet most people don’t consume enough. Many of the fluids we do drink – tea, coffee, alcohol and artificial flavoured drinks contain substances that require extra water for the body to eliminate, and tend to be dehydrating.
WHAT DOES JUICING PROTECT YOU FROM?
Juicing protects you from ageing. It is now accepted that free-radical damage contributes greatly to the ageing process. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that lack an electron. They attack cells to steal an electron to make them stable, and damage the cells in the process. The damaged cells then become free radicals. Free-radical damage contributes to wrinkles, loss of muscle tone and the onset of age related diseases, and we need antioxidants to combat them.
THE BEST INGREDIENTS FOR JUICING
Spirulina is a form of chlorophyll, from the blue green algae family. It is high in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin B3 and beta carotene. Their benefits is cell regeneration and renewal, good for halting the signs of ageing. It is also antifungal and antibacterial. You can also add all sort of nuts.
THE INGREDIENTS FOR JUICING (cont)
Rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, pectin. Also copper, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E. The health benefits: an ideal antioxidant, good for cleansing and the digestive system. Immune system booster.
Rich in beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Health benefits: useful for the stomach and digestive system. Has diuretic properties and is used as a treatment for heartburn. Carrots may protect against cancers of the mouth and rectum.
Rich in phytonutrients and aplin. Health benefits: excellent for cleansing the digestive system of uric acid. Used by sufferers from gout and urinary infection. Can help reduce inflammation in arthritis sufferers.
Rich in vitamin C, potassium, carotene and fibre. Health benefits: Excellent for urinary tract infections, as it stops E. Coli bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.
Rich in vitamin C, potassium, lutein. Health benefits: An ideal way to achieve your RDA of vitamin C and it is good for fighting colds, lowering cholesterol and providing anti-cancer properties.
Rich in calcium and protein. Health Benefits: as an alternative to dairy products, soya is good for people who are lactose-intolerant or vegan but still require calcium to ward off osteoporosis.
Rich in Iron, folate, beta-carotene. One of the most highly recommended foods for women, particularly vegetarians as it is also useful in detoxifying the body.
Rich in vitamin C, Health benefits: excellent breath freshener. Maintains the skin’s collagen structure.
Rich in glucose, fructose, potassium, vitamin C, carotene. Health benefits: fights carcinogens, relieves symptoms of arthritis, lowers blood pressure and helps urinary disorders. Contains the phytonutrients ellagic acid which may deplete cancer causing substances in the body.
Rich in beta-carotene, folate, calcium, potassium. Health benefits: the high levels of beta-carotene help to keep eyes strong and healthy, very good for stimulating the immune system.
All the vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12 are excellent for your body, supports normal energy yielding metabolism and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Very good for memory.
Vitamin E: antioxidant protecting cells from free radical damage. Protects against heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin D: promotes a healthy nervous system, formation of healthy bones and teeth. If you are not getting enough sun you will need this vitamin, also helps absorption of vitamin C.
Vitamin K: necessary in the formation of blood clots when the body needs it, you can find this vitamin in broccoli, cabbage, spinach, liver, alfalfa, tomatoes and kelp.
Vitamin C: protects against some cancers and coronary heart disease, helps healthy bones, teeth and gums.
Folic Acid: aids red blood cells, production and the release of energy from food, You can find this vitamin in green leafy vegetables, liver, pulses, eggs, wholemeal cereals, orange juice and wheat germ.
– Some Wonderful Juices –
Carrot, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Juice
175 g (6 oz) carrot
175 g (6 oz) parsnip
175 g (6 oz) celery
175 g (6 oz) sweet potato
handful of parsley
1 garlic clove
2 – 3 ice cubes
lemon wedge (optional)
Good for asthma. The magnesium in the parsley has a calming effect; it is also present in celery. Garlic is renowned for its antibacterial, antibiotic, antiseptic and antiviral properties.
Papaya, Raspberry & Grapefruit Juice
150 g (5 oz) papaya
150 g (5 oz) grapefruit
150 g (5 oz) raspberries
juice of ½ lime plus slices to serve (optional)
2 – 3 ice cubes (optional)
For cold and flu. If you are run down and haven’t been eating a balanced diet your immune system becomes more susceptible to colds and flu.
Celery, Fennel & Lettuce Juice
50 g (2 oz) celery
50 g (2 oz) fennel
125 g (4 oz) romaine lettuce
175 g (6 oz) pineapple
1 teaspoon of chopped tarragon
2 ice cubes
Good for stress. This juice combines celery and fennel, which help the body utilize magnesium and calcium to calm the nerves, coupled with the sedative effect of lettuce, it is an ideal stress buster.
Strawberry, Carrot & Beetroot Juice
250 g (8 oz) carrot
125 g (4 oz) beetroot
125 g (4 oz) strawberries
2 – 3 ice cubes
Good for lethargy. Carrots, beetroots and oranges are all high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants and phytonutrients such as alpha and beta carotene, plus potassium. A real tonic.
Spinach, Parsley & Spirulina Juice
250 g (8 oz) spinach
25 g (1 oz) parsley
250 g (8 oz) carrots
1 teaspoon of spirulina
Good for anaemia. If you lack iron in your diet (possibly due to a vegetarian diet, or a heavy menstrual cycle) then you may have anaemia, which can leave you feeling lethargic, depressed or prone to flu and colds.
Pear, Cabbage & Celery Juice
250 g (8 oz) pear
125 g (4 oz) cabbage
50 g (2 oz) celery
25 g (1 oz) watercress
Good for detoxifying. Cabbage is a very good detoxifier as it aids digestion and prevents fluid retention and constipation, the benefits are noticed immediately.
Lettuce & Fennel Juice
175 g (6 oz) lettuce
125g (4 oz) fennel
Good for headaches and migraines. Lettuce and fennel are extremely calming ingredients, They contain calcium and magnesium, which are antispasmodic and produce feelings of calm that may alleviate head pain.