During the summer months, what better way to cool yourself down then by reaching for a thirst-quenching juice. Not only are they refreshing and tasty, but they can also be highly nutritious and boast numerous health benefits.
Juices are a convenient way to consume an array of different fruit and veggies on the go while enabling us to pack in much larger quantities of micronutrients than we would usually be able to eat.
Do's and don'ts
Juices are all the rage and are commonly found on café menus and in most food stores. However, fruit juice is an easy way to crank up your sugar intake unknowingly.
It is essential to know which type of juices to go for and which to steer clear of. Most juices claim to be bursting with health benefits. However, more often than not, shop bought fruit juice is packed full of sugar.
When choosing a juice, opt for cold-pressed juices which contain up to 5x the nutrients of a regular fruit juice and are not made 'from concentrate'. Try to select juices which are primarily vegetable-based (with small amounts of fruit for added flavour). Although it is essential to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, fruit can often contain lots of hidden sugar, and it is best to avoid consuming them in excess.
Here at Fresh Fitness Food, we love adding in a juice to complement our meals for the day. We believe they are a quick and easy way to pack in the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep you functioning optimally, especially when we are all so busy!
To give you an idea of the sorts of ingredients we are referring to, we’ve rounded up 5 of our favourite ingredients to add to our juices, so that you can add them to yours too!
Spinach is extremely iron-rich. Diets rich in iron have been linked to increased oxygen capacity of the blood, which in turn can help to improve cardiovascular performance and reduce fatigue. Not only that but spinach is packed full of Vitamins A and C which have immune-boosting effects. This is just what we need to keep us fighting fit throughout the last of the long summer evenings!
An apple a day really can keep the doctor away! Apples are rich in important antioxidants and flavonoids. Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient. These are compounds which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are linked to causing cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, and cancer.
Apples are also high in fibre, which slows the digestion of food through the gut, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and less likely to reach for the afternoon ‘treats’!
Beetroots are incredibly nutrient-dense. They contain a high level of nitrates which have been shown to increase oxygen uptake by the body. Increasing oxygen levels in both the lungs and the muscles has been shown to improve athletic performance and stamina.
Beetroot also effectively aids with the prevention/reduction of water retention as it helps to flush water from your system, therefore, reducing any bloating, you may experience, and effectively aiding weight loss.
Ginger has a wealth of beneficial qualities. Not only does it aid digestion, soothe menstrual pain, and boost nutrient absorption, but it also supports stable blood sugar levels.
Also, it is thought to reduce the dreaded post-exercise aches (aka DOMS), by speeding up the recovery of muscle post-exercise.
Not only that but if you’re looking for a spicy kick – ginger is the perfect addition for you!
Mint has been used for thousands of years to soothe the digestive system. It is also thought to reduce the symptoms of IBS. Mint stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consumes fat turning it into usable energy and therefore aiding effective weight loss results.
Juices can be packed full of goodness, but be sure to choose wisely!