There is nothing better than a cool glass of freshly pressed juice. With no added sugar and a tone of nutrients fresh fruit and vegetable juices are tasty additions to any diet. So what makes juicing such a healthful habit?
- Concentrated source of nutrients – juicers compress fruits and vegetables extracting the juice, along with vitamins and minerals. This process provides a high concentration of nutrients, helping you reach daily recommended amounts in one glass. Allows individuals to consume a larger amount of fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
- Improve immune function – juicing allows individuals to consume a large number of vitamins and minerals essential for support and function of a healthy immune system.
- Increase energy – easy to digest and utilize vitamins and minerals found in the juice.
- Alkalizing – fruits and vegetables leave an alkaline ash in the body after consumption which helps balance acidity, reduce risk of cancer, and reduce cravings. Having an alkaline body is important for overall health and wellbeing, and the prevention of disease.
- Easy on the digestive system – Easy to digest and utilize nutrients found in the juice. Juicing is a way to “predigest” foods, which reduces energy needed for digestion and increases absorption. It’s easier on the digestive system and allows our body to absorb larger amounts of nutrients from the food consumed.
Disclaimer: Before you jump feet first into juicing it is important to understand that although juicing holds many benefits, drinking fresh juices does not substitute eating whole fruits and vegetables. Combine juicing with consuming whole fruits and vegetables for fibre to truly enhance your health and wellbeing! Juicing should accompany regular meals instead of replacing them!
2 celery stalks
2 kale leaves
Are you irritable in the morning? Does your stomach grumble around 9 o’clock? Does your energy level crash mid-morning? Are you eating BREAKFAST?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It impacts your energy levels, mood, and metabolism for the rest of the day. The word breakfast literally means to “break the fast”. After eight hours of sleep your body goes into a hibernation state and conserves energy. Consuming breakfast within 30 minutes of waking provides a wakeup call for your metabolism and energy systems. Breakfast pushes your body out of storage mode and promotes the burning of food for energy. When we skip breakfast our body stays in storage mode which promotes low energy levels and fat gain.
You say you have no time for breakfast try a smoothie, fruit and Greek yogurt, or prepare some quinoa the night before. Make time for breakfast – it will improve your entire day!
5 Foods to Start Your Day
- Lemon – lemon water stimulates your liver and increases your digestive fire. Simply squeeze half of a fresh lemon into a glass of room temperature or warm water every morning before breakfast. Lemon water promotes healthy digestion and stimulates metabolism.
- Oats – steel cut oats are a great source of fibre, complex carbohydrates, protein and a number of vitamins and minerals. Help stabilize blood sugar levels, support energy metabolism, and keep you satisfied for a longer period of time. Oats have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and control weight. Can be prepared the night before to safe time in the morning.
- Eggs – whether they are scrambled, poached, or sunny side up eggs are loaded with protein, choline, healthy fat, vitamin D, and selenium. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and promotes energy production, while choline and other nutrients boost brain function and support the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
- Fruit – natural sources of fibre and enzymes which support digestion. The sugar in fruit (fructose) is easier to breakdown and does not spike insulin levels the same as refined sugar. Great in smoothies or on top of oatmeal, quinoa or Greek yogurt.
- Maca – Commonly found in powdered form, this root from Peru has been used for thousands of years to increase stamina and energy. Maca is a great substitute for coffee in the morning as it boosts energy levels while supporting the body. Maca is also considered a superfood as it contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and essential amino acids. Maca also helps regulate hormones and improve mood. Natural nutty flavour, maca can be added to smoothies, herbal teas, or even hot breakfasts.
Once you experience the effects of a great breakfast, you’ll never go without again!
Over time the body holds onto toxins from exposure to smog, exhaust, conventional beauty products, medications and conventional meats. The liver is one of the organs in charge of clearing these toxins from the body and preventing the development of serious health problems.
The liver performs over 500 functions, one of which is detoxification. The liver neutralizes toxic substances by breaking down harmful fat soluble toxins (dissolve only in fat and difficult to remove) into less harmful water-soluble substances for elimination. Exposure to large amounts of toxins can overload the liver and reduce the body’s ability to perform efficiently. Performing a detox or cleanse helps to give the liver a boost.
5 simple ways to cleanse:
- Drink lemon water – stimulates the liver. Studies show that lemon helps to control excess bile flow, strengthens liver enzymes, and improves blood oxygen levels. Lemon water also promotes better digestion and elimination of waste and helps to purify the blood. Drink a glass of lemon water every morning – squeeze half a lemon into an 8 oz. glass of lukewarm water.
- Eat your greens – Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which is known to be an anti-carcinogenic and helps protect the body from free radical damage. Chlorophyll also binds with heavy metals that can accumulate in the body and promote their elimination. On top of helping with the removal of toxins, chlorophyll also contains nutrients which help support the body during a cleanse, such as copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium. It is important to eat your greens raw as the cooking process destroys a large amount of the chlorophyll naturally present. Include: kale, spinach, cilantro, Spirulina, and broccoli as the darker the green the more chlorophyll. How to use: consume greens on their own or add them to salads, soups, smoothies, and stews.
- Eat your beets – this high antioxidant vegetable also contains betaine, betalains, pectin (fibre), betacyanin, and betanin which help support liver detoxification and promote removal of toxins. Pectin is an especially important component of beets and cleansing as it helps clean toxins therefore allowing them to be flushed from the body instead of reabsorbed. Studies have also shown that beets help heal the liver, decrease homocysteine levels, decrease inflammation, and prevent the formation of free radicals which all help support overall body health. How to use: grated, pured, roasted or baked beets make a delicious side dish or additions to soups, salads, or even baked goods.
- Dry skin brushing – skin is the largest elimination organ and is the first organ to show signs of toxicity. Your skin releases a pound of waste each day. Dry skin brushing can improve elimination of waste through the skin by stimulating blood and lymph flow, removal of dead skin cells, strengthening of the immune system and nurturing of the body. The simple act of dry brushing helps to move lymph and unclog pores which helps promote better elimination of waste and supports the body’s ability to fight infection. Directions: dry skin brush before showering or bathing. Start at your feet and brush towards the heart using brisk circular motions. Brush up your legs, then over the abdomen, butt, and back. Brush lightly over breasts brushing towards the armpit and finally brush up the arms starting from your fingertips. Finish by showering. Perform daily for 5-15 minutes.
- Get moving – exercise promotes circulation and sweating which helps to naturally remove toxins from the body. Exercise helps to promote function of the elimination organs while improving blood and lymph circulation and bowel movements. Pick an activity that you enjoy. You can also try rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) which helps to stimulate lymph flow and further promoted elimination of waste.
Implement these simple tips into your daily life and give back to your liver … after all it does a lot for us!