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Give it a whirl!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

A chilled glass of juice can be tempting on a hot summer’s day, but it could also have health benefits if done correctly

When the summer sun is blazing down on you, nothing can seem more tempting than a chilled glass of juice. The market is full of packaged varieties, promising health and taste in a tetra pack, but nothing can beat the nutrition you would gain by making fresh juice from your fruit bowl. And it’s so easy, considering that so many different kinds of juicers are available; no longer do we have to painfully extract juice by hand as previous generations used to do.

The question is—is drinking juice more beneficial than just eating the fresh fruit? The jury is out on that one; according to the Mayo Clinic, juicing is not any healthier than consuming whole fruits and veggies. That’s because the fibre that is so essential for our systems tends to be lost while juicing the produce. Also, juices may contain large quantities of sugar, and you can end up gaining weight as a result. It’s usually considered more beneficial to eat a single orange than to squeeze six of them to fill a single glass.

On the other hand, there are also benefits to drinking juice; your body absorbs the nutrients better and you can feel satiated even as you give your digestive system a rest. Also, if you don’t like eating fruits and veggies—and that especially goes for your kids—you can come up with inventive juice combinations that disguise the taste and yet give you a nutritional boost.

If your kids refuse to eat palak, for instance, combine it with apples and juice it up. Try variations of different fruits and veggie combinations until you find the one that works for you. There is also the advantage of combining different fruits and vegetables so that you get the best of all the nutrients that each one possesses; juice can be created for different ailments with the ideal nutrient combinations.

Consult an expert

Always, before you start any health regime, check with your doctor. This cannot be stressed enough. Assess your state of health. Be aware that drinking too much fruit juice can cause a speedy rise in blood sugar, which may be useful if you need quick energy while running a marathon; it may not be ideal for diabetics.

Get an early start
Experts advise that you begin your day with a glass of lemon water. You can also start your mornings with a nutritious juice. On an empty stomach, or at least half an hour before a meal, your system will absorb anything that you consume. Fruit juices in the morning are energy boosters, providing complex carbohydrates.
If you are drinking them later in the day, opt for less sweet juices or green juices.

What you should juice
Fruits or veggies? A combination of both? Stuff you like combined with stuff you hate that you know is good for you? It’s a good idea to begin with fruits that you enjoy eating, and which are gentle on the tongue—oranges, carrots, apples, watermelons… The markets are full of watermelons right now, so we recommend that as the first choice. Then add a few new ones; try a base of say, carrots and green apples, and then slowly introduce some veggies.

How much in advance can you juice?
Ideally, no longer than 30 minutes before you drink it, because that’s how long the enzymes will stay active.

If you’re just making juice for a quick breakfast and the taste, you can prepare it the night before and refrigerate. But it may not be so smart to do that, when it takes barely a couple of minutes to do it up fresh. You can consider portioning out the various fruits, freezing them and then running it through the juicer in the morning.

Rinse your mouth
However late you may be for the office, take a couple of minutes off and rinse your mouth after you’ve drunk some fruit juice. Fruit acids can cause corrosion of your teeth enamel. There’s no point in giving your system a boost and ruining your teeth in the process!

Try a green juice
Green juices may look alarming but they really pack a punch. Try cucumber and parsley, or coriander and spinach, put in an apple, toss in a bit of mint… get creative.
Or try this recipe; oranges have a low glycemic index so you will be doing your blood sugar a favour.

Orange Spinach Juice (Servings: 1)
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 green apple
1½ cups spinach
1 celery stalk
2 lemons, peeled
1 lime, peeled
½-inch fresh ginger

Run all ingredients through a juicer in batches. Stir and serve immediately. This will make one glass.

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