I am often asked, “what do I think about juicing?”
My answer is it’s an excellent way of getting those all-important healthy energy giving nutrients into the diet.
With today’s busy lifestyles and the tendency to snack on processed sugar/salt/saturated fat laden nutrient deficient foods it's becoming harder to eat healthily and our diets may often be deficient. In the western world we are seemingly living longer but it’s important that we have a good quality of life too so we can enjoy that old age.
Juicing may be an opportunity to ditch those unhealthy foods and introduce whole foods in the form of vegetables and fruits which are rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants and good protein. This will encourage wellness and help to vitalise, repair and heal your body, plus they are easy to prepare. So my advice is ditch those unhealthy foods and get juicing.
My tips for good juicing are:
First of all you need a good masticating juicer which will retain the fibre and one which is easy to clean, and always clean your juicer immediately after use to keep a healthy environment for your juices.
Prepare your vegetables before juicing, good quality ripe vegetables and fruit are a must. Wash them thoroughly in a vinegar solution and then rinse well. If the vegetables are organic its fine to keep the skin, if not peel. Fruit can be fresh or frozen. Chop into smaller manageable pieces.
Its preferable to use freshly cut vegetables and fruit as they start to lose some of their nutrients fairly quickly but if time is short in the mornings then cut them up the night before into small chunks and store in airtight containers.
Vegetables are better for their mineral content and lower sugar content as opposed to fruit, you can add some fruit say, an apple, pear, peach, melon, grapes or banana to make it sweeter if you wish. Carrots are a good addition as they tend to be sweeter in taste. I advise 80% vegetables and 20% fruit.
Use a range of vegetables and fruit with a variety of textures some soft, some harder. Green leafy vegetables are great for their nutrient content e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, kale, salad, spinach, watercress, plus alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, cucumber, carrots, peppers, sweet potato. Make your juices colourful.
I would recommend strong tasting vegetables be used in moderation only e.g. beetroot and parsnips, and herbs such as parsley are very strong tasting.
Add protein into your juice in the form of 1 tbsp of seeds or nuts, a good source of protein, healthy essential fats and nutrients also beans, pulses, or natural yoghurt or kefir to keep blood sugar levels healthy.
Spirulina or Chlorella powder are good sources of protein and vitamins and minerals, you can use powders but it is important these are of good quality.
Try to drink your juice or smoothie fresh but otherwise you can pack your juice in a flask with ice cubes if you want to take it with you, otherwise if you are juicing for the day keep your juices in the fridge.