Happy New Year! Well, we are five days in on our new year’s resolutions. I hope you are staying strong and keeping the course! It does take time for habits to form, but before you know it your new daily tasks will be habitual and second nature.
A lot of people are looking to detox and eat clean after the gluttonous holidays. I know I need a reset every January! For me that looks like more fermented foods, saying bye-bye to excess sugar, and incorporating a lemon juice elixir (recipe included below) into my daily routine. For others, they look to juicing to detox and cleanse from all the holiday excess.
I personally do not recommend juice fasts (or using juice to replace a meal), but instead, incorporate juices into your normal diet as a supplement to help add nutrients and/or to detox and cleanse toxins from your body. Fruits and vegetables provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect against acute and chronic diseases, and juicing is going to provide a concentrated dose of those nutrients.
My husband is the juicer in our family. Periodically, he will clean out the fridge at the end of the week and make a pitcher of juice that he and the kids enjoy over the next couple of days.
The kids enjoy helping and making their own concoction of juice. My daughter loves using beets and carrots as her base and my son loves cucumbers and apples. They are pretty adventurous for being 6 and 8 years old—they will add mint, parsley, cilantro, ginger, and even turmeric to their juices. We are a throw-it-all-together type of juicer. We hope for a good flavor, and then adjust using sweet fruits to get a taste we like. No recipes—all improv. However, here are some of the powerhouses that we love to add to our juices because of all the wonder benefits they provide!
Carrot juice contains a wealth of nutrients and powerful antioxidants! It is extremely high in vitamin A (beta-carotene) and abundant in vitamins C, D, E, and K1. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, along with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. It promotes good vision—no matter what your age, and it keeps your skin glowing and healthy.
Beetroot juice is a deep red, earthy flavored detox for your liver! It is high in betalains which are an antioxidant pigment that helps protect the liver against oxidative stress from carcinogens or cancer-causing agents. Beets are high in dietary nitrates which can get converted into a biological messenger called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels to relax which helps to lower blood pressure. If you are prone to kidney stones, it’s best to avoid beets because they are high in oxalates. And, if the deep earthy flavors are too intense for you, try mixing beets with ginger, carrots, and apples to help balance out the flavors.
Ginger juice is a spicy shot of gingerols and shogaols which are antioxidants that act on your digestive system. They increase enzyme secretions and boost metabolism and circulation. Ginger also increases the levels of natural antioxidants in the blood and lowers the oxidative damage in the liver caused by free radicals. Adding a 2-4-inch knob of ginger to your juicer is a perfect way to detox and cleanse your body!
Orange juice is a powerful source of vitamin C! It also provides folate and vitamin A along with minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The high levels of vitamin C found in orange juice help boost your immunity, are a powerful anti-inflammatory, and protect your cells from free radical damage. A perfect addition to your winter juice!
Pineapple juice is a sweet tropical treat that is loaded with the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is a unique protein-digesting and anti-inflammatory enzyme that is helpful in treating all inflammatory conditions like arthritis, asthma, sinusitis, ulcerative colitis, and even cancer. Bromelain is highest in the pineapple core so make sure you add that to your juicer! Pineapple juice is excellent for cough and congestion related to sinus. It can dilute mucus and help expel it, and help reduce the inflammation in allergic conditions like bronchial asthma. Pineapple juice also has a healthy dose of vitamin C which will help boost your immune system. Making it another great juice to add to your winter juice blend.
Lemon Juice Elixir
Lemon juice, like all citrus, is an excellent source of vitamin C which, as I already mentioned, is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster. As an antioxidant, it helps to keep your skin healthy and reduces the signs of aging. Lemon juice contains citric acid which is a diuretic, helping to flush out the kidneys.
My favorite way to incorporate lemon juice is in my Lemon Juice Elixir! I love this juice because you don’t need a juicer to make it! Along with a healthy dose of vitamin C, this juice provides and a sprinkling of the electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride. It will also stimulate your digestion, detox your liver, and help flush away belly fat. Exactly what most of us need after the holidays!
Lemon Juice Elixir Recipe
1 cup filtered room temperature water
Combine in a glass jar, stir, and enjoy! It’s a perfect way to start your morning!
Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth