A freshly squeezed juice is packed full of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and other phyto-chemicals (plant chemicals) that have an antioxidant effect. Having a freshly squeezed juice each day can add a quick, easy and delicious nutrient boost to your daily diet.
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The majority of your juice should be made from vegetables, not fruit, as vegetables are lower in sugar (and consequently have a lower Glycaemic Index).
Try to vary your juices each day so that you benefit from a broad spectrum of nutrients. Choose as many different colored vegetables as you can.
Adding green vegetables such as spinach and kale will increase the mineral content of the juice. They contain magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Green veggies also have an alkalising effect on the blood, which is important for reducing inflammatory conditions.
Lemon, lime and grapefruit help to stimulate the liver and so are great as an aid for detoxification.
Experiment with adding fresh herbs and spices. Ginger improves circulation and helps digestive processes; mint is also useful for digestive disturbances; turmeric protects the liver and has an anti-inflammatory effect; coriander is useful if there are high mercury levels in the body (from dental amalgams).
A juice should not replace your daily fruit and vegetable intake – it should add to it as juices do not contain the fibre that whole fruits and vegetables do.
Choose organic fruits and vegetables where possible. They have a higher nutrient content and have not been exposed to toxic chemicals. If you do not have easy access to organic produce, ensure that you wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly before juicing them.
A freshly squeezed juice is a healthy option for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Eating a handful of raw nuts and seeds with it will boost the nutritional value by adding essential fatty acids and protein.
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Many people enjoy a two or three day juice fast once or twice per year. This can be useful to give the digestive system a break and give your body a mega hit of nutrients.
What you should know:
Juice fasts are not suitable for everybody. People with certain conditions, such as diabetes, should avoid them. Always check with your health practitioner before starting one.
If you have a low body weight, you may find that a juice fast is too stressful for your body. Consider a ‘warmer’, more nurturing type of detoxification program.
Ease yourself into and out of the juice fast by eating a clean, simple and healthy diet for three days before and after.
Drink plenty of water.
Try to take a break from work during the fast as you may feel low in energy.
Be aware that you may experience ‘flu-like’ symptoms of detoxification such as headaches. This is a normal part of the process.
Juice Combination Ideas:
Grapefruit, pineapple and mint – cleansing and great for the liver.
Beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger – rich in antioxidants.
Spinach, carrot, celery, lemon, turmeric – great for detoxification.
Carrot, lime, chilli, ginger, coriander.
There are also many great juice recipe books available and a wealth of information on the Internet. Experiment with your own combinations and have fun with it!