I’m pleased to say that juices and smoothies are becoming more and more popular and are no longer relegated to the oddball area of nutrition! They are such a great to pack an abundance of nutrients into a quick and easy drink, and are in my opinion the ultimate in fast food.
Juicing is a process that extracts the nutrients and the water easily from plants. This process allows the body to absorb the nutrients quickly because the digestive system doesn’t have to work so hard at breaking foods down. The nutrients are then easily released into the bloodstream.
I love juicing and would recommend you looking up Jason Vale, aka the Juicemaster for some great recipes. One of my favourites is his Oxygen Elixir. I’m not a fan of beetroot but I also know it’s incredibly good for you, so this juice is one of the only ways I can find to get it into my diet in a way that disguises it’s taste:
- ¼ lemon
- 1 small beetroot bulb
- 2 apples
- 1 celery
- 1 carrot
You then have the option to blend the juice with 1/2 and avocado and ice cubes. This makes for a really beautiful breakfast or snack.
I love Anthony William, the Medical Medium, and have found his ideas incredibly useful. A lot of people know him as the “celery juice guy”, as he recommends celery juicing for pretty much any ailment. I’ll do a separate post on the wonders of celery juicing soon, but thought I’d say a few words about it here too. I’ve done it for many years – off and on, and definitely feel it’s benefits. However, I have also learned that it can be too powerful, and I did overdo it at one time, to the point where it became unhelpful. So, as with many things in life, it’s about balance. I’d suggest for most people a small glass a day is a good thing – but it’s important to tune into your own needs, as it isn’t for everyone.
Blending is slightly different in that is also contains the pulp of the fruit and vegetables and this fibre has the benefit of slowing down the release of nutrients in the bloodstream, keeping you fuller for longer and avoiding any sugar spikes. Smoothies are amazing and the variety of recipes is endless. I’ve put together one below that I love and works well for breakfast, and have also attached a handout at the end that you can download with some recipe ideas.
- 1 banana
- 250ml almond or coconut milk
- 1 handful of blueberries
- 1 handful of raspberries
- 1 handful of baby leaf spinach
- 1 tbsp oats
- 1 tsp peanut butter (organic, such as Whole Earth)
- 1 tsp baobab powder
- ice cubes
This is a really easy way to add an abundance of nutrients, antioxidants and not to forget those amazing phytonutrients into your diet. I suggested adding baobab powder but you could add any superfood powder really, such as acai, maca root, lucuma for example. They are just another way to increase the nutrient load. Baobab is an African fruit which is ground into a powder. This fruit has been found to contain six times more vitamin C than an orange, more antioxidants than blueberries, twice the amount of calcium as a glass of milk and more potassium than a banana. What a great way to start the day!
It can be hard to know what blender or juicer to go for, and over the years of advising clients on what to go for I ended up doing a short handout with a few suggestions. You can spend a total fortune on them, but I’ve found it’s not necessary, although some of the really cheap ones are probably worth avoiding too. A happy medium is best!