Green drinks are all the rage. All the beautiful, cool, successful folks are uploading photos and recipes to their social streams. And I’m one of them; converted and utterly convinced about this magic elixir. It wasn’t always the way …
I first heard about green drinks by way of that ever optimistic, ever gregarious life coach, Anthony Robbins. A few years into my natural lifestyle revolution, I decided this was a missing link to optimum vitality! Promising increased energy levels, I bought some organic green powder to mix with water and turn into a drink I was to consume three times daily. It tasted, and smelled, disgusting! Every few weeks I’d feel my energy levels were a bit low and make up a drink, hold my nose and take it like medicine. But I can’t truthfully say it was part of a regime.
Fast forward a year or so and I discovered the delights of drinking delicious, fresh, vital green vegetable juice each morning, and am loving it! Nothing like the ‘medicine’ powder, this tastes great, smells delicious (perfumes the whole house as well) and comes with many health benefits.
Juicing and Blending
Green juices and green smoothies are two different products. A green juice is created by running your selection of green veggies through a juicing machine which separates the liquid from the fiber. A smoothie is concocted by blending your chosen veggies in a kitchen blender. Juicing allows for the highest amount of nutrients to reach your system most quickly, in a refreshing and easily digestible form.
Green drinks allow you to consume a concentrated blast of nutrient-rich plant foods to help you regulate your body’s PH levels. Your body’s cells form the building block of your physical self and an alkaline diet is thought to help you grow healthy cells. Too much acid is known to provide just the right environment for unhealthy cells to grow in your body. Consuming alkaline rich foods helps increase your oxygen levels, encouraging healthy cells.
Processing and cooking foods is shown to reduce their nutrient content quite remarkably. Michael T Murray points out in his book The Complete Book of Juicing that “leafy vegetables will lose up to 87% of their vitamin C content” when cooked! Juicing allows you to retain the maximum nutrition within each vegetable and consume enough of them at one time to gain optimum nutritional benefits, which may otherwise may prove difficult in today’s busy lifestyle.
The antioxidant properties of fresh vegetable juice is thought to combat the damage to our bodies caused by the natural ageing process and also provide protection against degenerative diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Toxins are all around us, and not just from the most obvious sources like car exhaust fumes, chemical waste and pesticides. Even the very carpets you walk on are emitting toxins your body absorbs. There is much evidence to show that the accumulation and interaction of toxins can cause a whole range of illness. Fresh green organic vegetable juice can support your kidney’s overloaded detoxification systems, especially when used as part of a regular juice cleanse/fast.
What can you put in your green juice?
- Green leafy vegetables such as chard, kale and spinach provide you with a deep green shot of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron.
- Celery is a very juicy vegetable which belongs to the same family as carrots and fennel and is rich in potassium and sodium.
- Broccoli is regarded by most cooks and nutritionists as a superfood and is probably best known for its anticancer properties. These are demonstrated at an anutrient level and are common to all members of the cabbage, or cruciferous vegetable family.
- Cucumber has such a high water content that it makes an excellent juicing vegetable. You need a lot of it, but in addition to its nutritional benefits it is also known for its refreshing qualities. I’ve been interested to discover recently that cucumber is also recommended as a skin improver due to its high silica content.
- Did you know lettuce leaves are part of the daisy family? Credited as healing plants back in ancient Rome and Greece, these low calorie leafs provide high vitamin and mineral content for your juice – the greener leaves provide the greatest nutrients.
As recommended by Kris Carr in her Crazy Sexy Diet book I add in some fresh root ginger and a pear to help sweeten up the juice to my suit my taste. Other friends I know include apples and lemon.
It just makes perfect sense to start your day with such an abundance of natural, living foods, don’t you think?
Photo by anthimeria