Are you feeling a bit “low” – not just in energy but also in mood? Do you get plagued by “brain fog” and can’t think clearly at times? Has your skin lost its natural glow? Maybe it’s time to help your liver and digestive system take a load off with some super nutritious fresh fruit and veggie juice.
In today’s treadmill lifestyle our bodies and minds are becoming increasingly bogged down with never-ending to-do lists and increasing stress; toxic food-like substances that masquerade as real food; pollutants in our air, earth and water; and more. Little wonder then that our liver struggles to keep up the detoxifying process. An over-worked liver can weaken your digestive processes, compromise your immune system, and lower your mood.
Love Your Liver
So, it’s time to love your liver! You can do this very easily by promoting detoxification through the fantastic nutrients in delicious fresh juices. When the liver and gall-bladder are working well, fats are broken down properly, more toxins are filtered out, and good digestion occurs. This, in turn, leads to greater energy, clear skin, and a more optimistic outlook. Ultimately your whole immune system is strengthened.
How Much Fruit & Veggies Should We Be Eating Ideally?
The American Heart Association recommends that we try to eat 4 to 5 servings EACH of fruit and vegetables every day. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are brilliant for getting in your serves. In addition to providing intense nutrition, they can massively boost our energy and immunity. And they’re delicious – with the right recipe of course. I’ve made some juices that didn’t come out quite right – a bit bitter, a bit tasteless, a bit yuck is more like it. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m now sticking to these yummy recipes.
Green is Good!
Green leafy vegetables and herbs are packed with healing vitamins and minerals, and fresh “green” juice is a great way to benefit from them. They promote the detoxification process, leading to better digestion and metabolism. Watch out for healthier looking skin!
This is one of my much-loved and oft-used juice recipes! I make a double batch so I can enjoy some the next day too. In addition to the nutrition-packed spinach, the oranges provide zest, the mint brings a wonderful uplifting taste, and the ginger adds warmth and a touch of spiciness.
Mean Green Cleansing Juice
- 2 cups fresh spinach or beet leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cucumber
- 2 oranges
- 1 -inch piece of ginger
- Wash, peel, chop and deseed ingredients.
- Put all ingredients through a juicer. You could also use a blender: add a little water when blending and then strain through cheese-cloth or nut-milk bag for a smoother consistency.
- Enjoy your delicious fresh green juice!
Learn the unique health benefits of this “Mean Green” juice:
I have to say spinach doesn’t taste like much to me, but it truly is a superfood. It’s loaded with nutrients such as iron, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and beta-carotene, all of which aid in improving eyesight, sleep, digestion, the nervous system, and immunity.
Although spinach is well known for its iron content (remember Popeye?), you’ll be interested to know that it’s got a very low absorption rate by the body. However, when combined with Vitamin C, that absorption rate increases. That’s why pairing spinach with orange in this mean green juice not only makes it tasty, but also serves a vital purpose.
Please make sure to wash your spinach thoroughly, or go organic as often as you can. Unfortunately, much conventionally grown spinach carries pesticide residues that may be toxic.
Did you know that cucumbers are actually fruits and not vegetables? (Avocados too, if you’re interested.) The reason is they grow from the ovaries of flowering plants and have seeds. In any case, cucumbers are fabulous for hydration, being about 95% water, and just like spinach they contain many good phytonutrients that have excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that will help keep your immune system in good shape.
Oranges bring a sweet zestiness to this mean green juice. They are also at the top of the fruit list for levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which protect against cell damage and fight infection. For example: Vitamin C helps you recover from infections fast and keeps your skin healthy; flavonoids work to guard against eye disease; fiber (pectin) keeps the colon clean and aids detoxification; and B vitamins assist the body the turn food into energy.
This spicy root is well known for stimulating digestion. It’s also a fantastic anti-inflammatory – which serves to support good immune system function, ease pain (muscular and menstrual), and improve brain cognition. Ginger is also great for lowering blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels (to guard against diseases such as diabetes) and fighting off fungal and microbial infections.
Here’s a little tip: if you don’t have fresh ginger available, but you are an essential oil lover like me, you can add a couple of drops of pure essential ginger oil to your juice instead. Just make sure it’s therapeutic grade and permitted for internal use.
Give Your Immune System a Lift
Here’s another delicious juice recipe to give you a kick towards true health. Starting with carrots, beets and green apple, which are full of antioxidants, you can’t go wrong. Add turmeric into the mix, with its major anti-inflammatory mojo, and you have a power purple juice to help keep the bugs at bay and have you glowing with wellness from the inside out.
Carrot, Beet & Turmeric Immune-Boosting Juice
- 6 medium carrots
- 2 small beets
- 1 green granny smith apple
- 1/2 -inch piece of turmeric root
- Wash, peel and chop all ingredients
- Put ingredients through juicer – alternating carrot and beet pieces
- Mix well and enjoy your fresh purple power juice!
Check out how this juice gets its amazing antioxidant power:
These reddish-purple root vegetables are great for overall health because they are packed with critical nutrients such as magnesium, iron, folate, potassium, and fiber. Here’s a fun fact: beet leaves contain more iron than spinach – Popeye might need to re-think his diet!
Beets also contain the phytonutrient betalain. Have you heard about those nasty free-radicals that roam around our bodies damaging cells and tissues? Well, betalain acts as a shield, providing protection from free-radicals. Then there’s lutein, which is fantastic for eye health.
If that hasn’t convinced you to eat more beets, then maybe this will: beets (both the leaves and the root) do a fabulous job of helping to detoxify the liver. And a healthy liver means great skin. It’s a no-brainer!
Don’t freak out if your urine or stools turn up slightly pink or red after eating beets! This is not considered harmful and even has a name: beeturia.
If you’re after good eyes, youthful skin and reproductive health (good sperm!), then go eat a carrot. The beta-carotene in carrots (turning them orange) is a potent antioxidant, fighting free-radicals and converting to the all-important Vitamin A in the liver.
In addition, carrots can help to strengthen your bones and your nervous system as they contain vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Granny Smith Apples
These crunchy green apples are great for improving your metabolism. The pectin in the apple skin does a fine job of detoxing the gall-bladder and liver. When these two crucial organs work well together to break up fats, digestion improves.
I love slowly sipping my golden chai, especially on a frosty winter’s morning. It’s delicious and warming and, even better, it’s healing due to the ingredient turmeric. Used often in Indian dishes, turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One of turmeric’s significant compounds is curcumin, a plant polyphenol and antioxidant. Curcumin is what gives the root its bright yellow color.
With a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, natural oils, phytochemicals, and fatty acids, turmeric is a powerhouse of healing that can help almost every part of the body. Whether you want to bolster your immune system, reduce inflammation and pain, balance your hormones, improve digestive processes, or enhance metabolism, turmeric can support it all.
Why You Should Clean Your “Dirty” Produce Before Juicing
Sadly, conventionally grown produce is becoming increasingly burdened by toxic pesticide residues – close to 70%, based on tests by the US Department of Agriculture. Spinach is the worst affected. If you don’t want these toxins making their way into your fresh juices, and you can’t afford to buy organic, then the next best thing you can do is make sure you clean your produce as best you can. It’s pretty easy and makes a significant difference. Take a look at this article to learn how.
On average, 7.1 pesticides were found on every conventionally grown spinach sample collected in 2016 for tests conducted by the US Department of Agriculture. Learn more from the Environmental Working Group.
How To Make Juice in a Blender
Don’t have a juicer? Making your juice in a blender is super easy! Just blend up the ingredients with some water, preferably filtered, until as smooth as possible. Then pour the juice through a fine strainer, cheese-cloth, or a nut-milk bag to filter out the pulp, and voila!
I don’t even bother straining my juice, as I like eating the entire fruit or vegetable, and the pulp contains very useful fiber.
Need Help Choosing a Juicer?
If you’d like to be able to make a good quantity of juice to drink and also store for a couple of days, then you might like to invest in a cold press / slow juicer. Check out my recommendations of the best cold press juicers.
Listen to your Body
So if you’re feeling sluggish and getting that run-down feeling, your body might be telling you it needs some intensive nutrient power to heal, cleanse and energize. Try out these delicious fresh juices and feel the difference!