Juicing is a great way to start the day. As we need to aim to eat 8-10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day (predominantly vegetables), this is where the benefits of juicing really comes into play. It is a great way of getting a huge amount of phytonutrients in a small amount of liquid. This nutrient dense drink is readily absorbed into the bloodstream and the vitamins and antioxidants help detoxify and flush any toxins out of your body. Also as some vitamins are damaged by cooking, eating raw fruit and vegetables means that you will get more essential vitamins and minerals which are more bioavailable. (1)
The hidden truths
Many people are on the juicing band wagon and many celebrities endorse juices nowadays. Homemade juices are far superior to store-bought ones so not all juices should be considered equal. Often juices sold in supermarkets, market themselves as “healthy green juices” but, when reading the labels carefully, one discovers that they may contain only 15% vegetable juice, with the rest being made up of high sugar fruit such as mango. This means it will be full of natural sugar in the form of fructose and is also high in calories. However, there are lots of great juice bars on the high street but just make sure you keep to mostly vegetable based juices. Juicing at home, I recommend you add 1 piece of fruit with the remainder being vegetables (2)
When is the best time to drink juice?
Juicing should not replace meals (unless on a juice cleanse), but should be a healthy addition to your meals. The best time to have your juice is on an empty stomach in the morning.
Why is juicing good for you?
- Provide you with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (3)
- Increase energy levels
- Improve digestion
- Help to improve concentration and mood (4)
- Improve hydration
- Help maintain a healthy immune system (5)
- Give hair shine, help the skin glow and help your nails stay strong
Top tips to get started
- Invest in a really good juicer. Mine has lasted for several years and I use it every day! Ideally you want to use a masticating juicer (slow speed juicer) where the juices are extracted slowly. This preserves the enzymes and nutrients and prevents oxidation for a longer period of time
- If you are using a centrifugal juicer, the high speed spinning causes the juice to oxidise quickly, so, ideally, these juices need to be drunk immediately
- It’s all in the preparation to make your life as easy as possible. If you have everything ready, you don’t have any excuses, so setting your juicer up the night before is a sure way to get you started in the morning.
By starting your day with a healthy juice you will have eaten at least 5 portions of vegetables which will help to balance blood sugar levels throughout the day. It will also provide you with a real burst of energy!