How does it make you feel when I tell you this simple fact: Consuming more vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death?
Does it make you want to be more proactive about filling up on the good stuff in hopes that you won't ever have to face cancer or heart disease? If so, here's a challenge: try to eat eight whole kale leaves, one large cucumber, a bunch of parsley, a head of lettuce, a pear, a lemon, a large handful of spinach and a piece of ginger in one sitting. Sound unpleasant? You're probably right - but what if I told you that you could consume all of that produce in just one delicious glass of juice? Well, you can! Juicing has become a great life hack for many busy people these days who struggle to get in their 7 or 10 a day. Whether they juice at home or grab a bottle of cold pressed juice to incorporate into their daily diet to harness the health and nutritional benefits, it's become a popular way to squeeze in over a kilo of produce in one sitting.
When you drink a fresh juice, your body is able to assimilate the nutrients within 15 minutes, compared to a solid meal that may take over two hours to get to your cells. This gives your body an abundance of clean, green and nutrient-dense building blocks to build a healthier version of you.
Juicing has significant benefits on your body and cognitive function. It's a great way to expedite the delivery of 'superfoods' to your bloodstream, which is especially important for today's time poor people. Juicing extracts the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chlorophyll, enzymes and phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables in a liquid form. By removing the soluble fibre, your body can absorb these nutrients almost instantly without the usual work of digestion. By removing the fibre, you are giving your overworked digestive system a break from the taxing job of extracting the essential nutrients while offering your system a proverbial IV drip of nutrition straight to your cells.
Investing in your health and wellbeing is a vital platform to build a healthy foundation-- the very foundation that ambitions and success is built on. I've shared some of my tips below to help get your juices flowing.
TIPS TO JUICING
1. Keep it clean: thoroughly wash all leafy vegetables and any fruits and vegetables that are juiced with their skins on.
2. Pack heavy: which each cup make sure it's tightly packed. Chop up your pineapple or broccoli (stems and all) and ensure that spinach or parsley is packed densely.
3. When in doubt, add vegetables.
4. Adding bulk: incorporate cucumber, courgette or lettuce to bulk up you juice. These are low in naturally-occurring sugar but high in vitamin-infused water content.
5. Keep fruit content low (max 1 apple OR pear per juice, as you want to pack in nutrients, not sugar).
6. Don't have separation anxiety, juices separate on standing. A gentle shake or stir will see you right.
7. Try to choose organic where possible (mostly for the green leafy veg) to avoid pesticide exposure.
What juices are best suited to YOU
Fruits and vegetables have a wealth of nutrients, but it's worth establishing what you are looking to target and achieve from your juice. Establishing the right juice for you will help kick start your journey to a healthy mind and body and the energy to chase your dreams.
Kale - One of the best superfoods out there. Calorie for calorie, it has more iron than red meat and more calcium than milk. Full of antioxidants and vitamin K, helping to protect against a wide variety of cancers. A great detox food, providing fibre and sulphur to support your liver.
Spinach -Spinach can help protect against cancer, macular degeneration and inflammation thanks to the high levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids. Packed full of vitamin K for healthy bones. Spinach, like kale is rich in iron, as well as vitamin C (which helps with the iron absorption) to improve the function of red blood cells in transporting oxygen around the body.
Carrots - Carrots are full of beta-carotene with antioxidant properties which can help with functions such as vision, reproduction, healthy cell membranes and growth. Carrots have a very high water content (up to 85 per cent) and are naturally sweet, so can help sweeten a juice without the need to add sugar.
Beetroot - Another superfood, beetroot's colour comes from its unique source of phytonutrient known as betacyanin, which offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. Beetroot also provides a rich source of potassium, manganese, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C and particularly folic acid. Beetroot is a real must in a juice and has been linked with increased levels of stamina, improved blood flow and lowering of blood pressure.
Apples - Raw apple juice is a great source of the antioxidant vitamin C, which promotes immunity and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Apple skin is rich in quercetin, a natural antioxidant that protects the colon. One of my favourite go-to natural sweeteners, apples mix well with both greens and roots.
Pears - An excellent source of vitamins B2, C and E, copper, potassium and the water-soluble fibre pectin. Pears promote healthy cholesterol levels and tone the intestines for healthy digestion and elimination. Pears work really well to balance out strong green flavours like kale and broccoli if you are new to greens.
One of my favourite recipes which I have created is Detox in the City. It's a great detoxifying juice packed full of antioxidants and vitamins - perfect ahead of the festive party season.
Detox in the City
• 4 large cos lettuce leaves
• ½ yellow pepper - ensure your yellow pepper is ripe to maximize the vitamin C content (cored and deseeded)
• ½ cup kale
• 1 tart green apple
• 1 sweet red apple
• ½ head fennel
• 4 celery sticks
• 1 cup spinach
• 2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger (unpeeled)
• ¼ lemon (rind and pith removed)
• ½ cucumber
Tightly pack all of the ingredients in your blender and blitz for a nourishing, uplifting fresh juice.
Plenish organic cold-pressed, nutrient-dense juices and Long Life Nut M*lks are available online at plenishcleanse.com and stockists throughout the UK.
Kara Rosen's new book Plenish: Fuel Your Ambition is available from 29th December 2016 from Amazon.