Serious Summer Sipping – Juices for Better Health

Erica Blitz | June 2012

Smart nutrition choices can lead to a healthier you—one with more energy and vigour. While a healthy diet encompasses many things, one of the essential elements to good health is ensuring you get enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

Numerous studies have proven that consuming the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables (between five to nine servings) may help prevent or reduce your risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal disease. Regular consumption of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies is a smart way to get healthy and stay healthy.

Whether you’re hitting up all the summer festivals or just hanging out at the beach, fresh juices might just be the perfect solution to stay hydrated and energized. Juicing is an easy way to get all the nutritional goodness of fruits and vegetables—you’ll get tremendous amounts of nutrients and enzymes without your body having to digest and break the food down first. Perfect if you’re on the go!

Since the nutrients found in fresh juices are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, juicing is a quick way to hydrate the body, boost energy levels and get natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals in one convenient glass. While it’s still very important to consume whole foods to get necessary fibre, juices are part of a great beauty regime that works from the inside out.

Sitting in a chair all day—at the office or at the beach—can make you sleepy, especially if you’re eating processed foods full of refined carbohydrates, artificial sugars and fat. Opting for a raw juice or even a smoothie will nourish your body with natural complex sugars to provide energy all day long.

If you’re new to juicing and wondering how it can transform your life, here are a few of the amazing benefits you can expect to see:

  • glowing skin
  • brighter eyes
  • less inflammation
  • stronger immune system
  • mental clarity
  • leaner body

In Gastown, the guys to see for on-the-go fresh juices are at the Juice Truck on the corner of Abbott and Water Street. Otherwise, grab a pre-pressed juice at your local grocery market—but first make sure your juice contains no preservatives, added sugar, artificial coloring or flavouring.

Juicing at home and in the mood for further detoxing? Opt for making juices with more greens (such as kale, spinach, watercress or parsley) and less fruit. However, if such a mélange of greens leaves too much of a lawnmower taste in your mouth, try adding some apple or pear.

Drawing inspiration from Dr. Junger’s The Clean Program, local nutritionist Liz Campbell (Naturally Nutritious) and my own kitchen creativity, I’ve done some serious sipping in my quest for the perfect healthy beverage. Here are some of my main squeezes that you’ll find to be naturally delicious:

  • Fennel, granny smith apples, lemon
  • Mint, cucumber, grapefruit, ginger and lemon
  • Beet, carrot, ginger, parsley, apple, lemon
  • Cucumber, grapefruit, celery, spinach, lemon, ginger
  • Apple, cucumber, ginger
  • Pineapple, cucumber, mint
  • Carrot, apple, cucumber, spinach
  • Lemon, apple, ginger

Wherever summer takes you, take fresh juices, too—and you’ll soon have a healthy seasonal glow from the inside out!