Spring is officially here! Nature is coming back to life, and so do we, in a way. We want to spring clean, detox, lose weight, sunbathe (ok, maybe not that one yet)…
During winter our bodies get deprived of sunlight, resulting in lowered levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for a strong immune system (and strong bones), and that’s one of the reasons why our defenses are weaker. The other reason is of course our diets, which during winter usually contain less fresh fruit and vegetables.
All these factors contribute to conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, low energy levels, depression etc.
One of my favourite ways to start spring is with a diet detox, to help cleanse my body, to lift my spirits, and to boost my energy levels.
Your body is designed to detox daily, but in our chemical world it gets overwhelmed so sometimes it’s good to help it a little. But you don’t need to buy expensive fancy detox programs or products.
You just need to cut back on the unhealthy foods (processed, high in sugar, bad fats, table salt, food additives and preservatives) and flood it with foods packed with nutrients.
And one of the best and easiest ways to do this is to consume freshly-made juices and smoothies with fruit and vegetables.
Juicing and blending are great ways to boost your levels of vital nutrients quickly and efficiently, especially if you don’t usually eat many vegetables.
A glass of juice or smoothie will have the concentrated goodness of a small bowl of fruit and vegetables… which would take you considerably more time to chew through than just drinking it (in case you were already thinking you don’t have time to juice, ha!)
The process of juicing allows these concentrated nutrients to be readily available for absorption in the gut, which makes it great especially for people with digestive issues.
All this of course applies only to fresh juice, not the sugar-loaded pasteurized juices that supermarket shelves are packed with.
The documentaries Fat Sick and Nearly Dead are wonderful for getting inspired and for learning more about the benefits of juicing (and eating fresh fruit and veg in general). If you haven’t watched those yet, I strongly recommend you to.
The slight disadvantage of juicing is that, unlike blending, it removes the insoluble fiber – while this allows for increased absorption of certain enzymes and phytonutrients, the juice is deprived of that essential fiber.
So without further due, here are 2 juice recipes you can make this spring to detoxify and beautify from the inside out! 🙂
Green Citrus Pineapple Juice
Dark leafy greens, grapefruit, pineapple, lime and celery – they are all nutritional powerhouses – low in calories and high in nutrients.
Each have their unique benefits, but they all provide iron, protein, powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids, vitamins K, A, C, magnesium, potassium, calcium. These nutrients are important for bone health, skin, a strong immune system, reducing inflammation, helping prevent cancer, heart disease, obesity, and much more.
Kale is for strengthening bones, decreasing inflammation in the body, healing ulcers (sulfur), balancing hormones, and lowering cholesterol.
Grapefruit is for helping reduce inflammatory conditions like asthma (vitamin C).
Lime is for healthy blood clotting (vitamin K), and alkalizing the body.
Pineapple is for healthy digestion, powerful anti-inflammatory action -therefore preventing and helping heal inflammatory conditions like arthritis and colitis (enzyme bromelaine – eat the core!)
Celery is for lowering blood pressure (coumarins), reducing blood clot risk (phtalides), aiding weight control (fiber and water), and cleansing.
Detoxifying Dandelion Green Juice
Dandelion greens are plentiful in spring, and until only a year ago I had no idea about how incredible they are for our health. Packed with vitamins K, A, flavonoids, and much more, in folk medicine dandelion greens are used to purify the blood and settle digestion.
Dandelion greens are for reducing swelling and bloating, and stimulating the digestive system to release toxins.
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is amazing for detoxifying of toxins and heavy metals such as lead, aluminium and mercury. The flavoursome cilantro is anti-septic, analgesic, it has anti-microbial and antibiotic properties, and it’s a very good source of vitamins C, K, A, calcium and potassium.
Ginger is for reducing inflammation, and protecting and healing the gut. It has analgesic, sedative and antibacterial effects.
Other wonderful ingredients you can combine in juices are carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumber, lemon, apples, pears, parley, basil, mint, berries, collard greens, and many others.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in the comments what your favourite combinations are! 🙂
To your health,