Those of you who've been reading my blog for some time now, know that I've come a long way when it comes to being healthy.
Not so long ago, I used to have severe eczema — my skin was covered in dry, red, itchy patches, making it impossible for me to sleep through the night.
Then, about two years ago, I signed up for Elwin Robinson's Complete Detox Academy and I learnt so, so much valuable stuff there — I wouldn't be the same strong person I am today if I didn't implement the things I learnt in that program.
One of the things I picked up from Elwin, is that starting my days with a big pint of fresh cucumber-celery juice, is one of the most effective ways to help my body flush out toxins on a daily basis.
Also, the specific nutrients present in cucumber help to strengthen the kidneys, while celery is great for rebuilding adrenal strength. So cucumber and celery are two very effective + cheap tools that you can use to rebuild your energy reserves.
Since I start my days with this liquid magic, I rarely get sick anymore! This probably has to do with other lifestyle changes I made as well, though there is scientific research that proves that people who regularly drink veg juices develop a significantly stronger immune system.
Green juices are like concentrated elixirs of phytochemicals + they're extremely rich in chlorophyll, which supports detoxification and helps heal inflammation.
BOOM! Yay to cucumbers!
Now you may wonder, "Sounds nice yo, but where do I start?"
I did the research for you and made an overview of 3 major juicing health gains + I compiled a newbie juicer's beginner's guide.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Raw Vegetable Juices
So why would you juice veggies while you could also simply eat them as they are?
Juicing your veggies will make their nutrients more readily available to your body's cells. They're like an instant shot of essential vitamins and minerals:
1. Juices help you to get more veggies into your body the quick & easy way
Juicing your veggies makes it a whole lot easier to get bigger quantities of good stuff in. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare and drink a whole celery + cucumber! Who said it was hard to maintain a healthy diet when you're busy?
2. Juices turn the vegetable's vitamins & minerals more readily available to your cells, since they don't need to be digested first
'Juicing' simply means separating the veg's liquid from its fiber. So in a way you're 'predigesting' the vegetables before you put them into your body.
Drinking veggies in their liquid form, makes their vitamins & minerals instantly available to your cells. So if you know that your digestion is sluggish, definitely give vegetable juices a try! The liquid will be absorbed by your cells within minutes, with little digestive intervention required.
3. Juices give you an instant energy boost that rebuilds, rather than depletes (like coffee & other stimulants) your energy reserves
Not all energy drinks are the same. If you feel like you always need a coffee before you're ready for the day, that's definitely a sign your adrenal energy is low. While these nice-smelling brews may give you a temporary energy boost, they're actually draining your energy reserves.
How does that work? Coffee, green tea, chocolate (contains a stimulant called theobromine), sugar, alcohol and MSG (a poisonous food additive) — these are all substances that depress adrenal function. And when you’re low in energy, the last thing you need is to drain even more energy from your already depleted reserves, right?
So next time you feel like reaching for a coffee, relax, breathe, and make yourself a green juice. Works wonders, pinky promise!
Now, are you ready for some action? Let's DO this!
Reading about it is one thing, but taking action is your key to success. I challenge you to give this juicing habit a go and see for yourself what it can do for you.
How to start juicing
1. Buy yourself a juicer
You can buy a cheaper centrifugal juicer to begin with, although if you can afford it, I'd recommend buying the more expensive masticating juicer (also known as 'slow juicer'). A masticating juicer 'chews' the veggies slowly, saving more liquid and making your juice generally taste better. With centrifugal juicers, I find juices are more likely to taste bitter due to higher oxidization.
If you're not ready to buy a juicer yet, but you do have a blender at home, you can also try blending your veggies and then separate the pulp from the liquid with a muslin cloth. (You could also use a nut milk bag or even just clean nylon stockings if you don't have a muslin cloth at hand.)
2. Make your juice first thing in the morning
Drink your juice first thing in the morning, or after your morning glass of water. This will allow the nutrients to be assimilated optimally as your intestines are still clear. Definitely don't drink your juice after a meal, it will only hinder digestion.
Also I recommend to drink your juice immediately after making it. The longer it sits, the more its nutritional value diminishes.
Although if you're short on time and you want to make it ahead, you could store your juice up to 24h in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure you fill the container up until the lid so that there's as little air as possible that could contribute to the oxidization of your juice.
3. Repeat daily
Make juicing a part of your morning routine! You'll feel the energizing effects immediately, but for long-term benefits, I recommend you repeat this daily for at least a week — and ideally lifelong. You'll be encouraged to keep doing it after you feel what this simple habit can do to your energy levels and overall health!
Bonus Recipe: Liver Detox Juice For Glowing Skin
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 apple
- 1 beetroot
- 4 celery stalks
- 1/2 cm piece of ginger
Cut cucumber, apple, beetroot, celery and ginger into juiceable pieces, i.e. into strips that are max. 7 cm long and no more than 3 cm wide. These are of course just guidelines. I know some people just throw their veg in large chunks into their juicer, while I like to make things a lil' easier for my machine :)
I have an Omega VRT380HDC juicer and I'm really, really happy with it. I used to have a centrifugal juicer, but I always had to run the pulp through a second time to get all the liquid out + my green juices didn't always taste so great, either. I noticed that I 've become more committed to drinking juices every day since I bought a masticating juicer.
Are you new to juicing or are you a pro already? What's your favourite recipe? Feel free to share with me, I'm always excited to try out new combinations!