Let the juice loose: detox with Liz Earle

The beauty and health writer and founder of the botantical beauty company that bears her name has written a new book on the benefits of juicing

Fresh juices have the power to nourish, cleanse, protect, soothe and heal. Unprocessed and often unpeeled, you get all the nutritional benefit of fruit and veg in one delicious glass. Once you start to include juices in your daily diet, I defy you not to develop a healthy addiction to drinking some form of fresh juice every day. (Extract continues after the recipes)

Ten reasons to juice
Juices are rich in active enzymes to aid digestion
2 Juices are packed with essential vitamins and minerals
3 Juices help eliminate toxins and boost our vitality
4 Juices help clear the complexion and give skin a radiant, healthy glow
5 Juices contain essential amino acids
6 Juices are rich in the superfood chlorophyll
7 Juices help balance the body's acid/alkaline levels
8 Juices are rich in antioxidants that protect us from disease and premature ageing
9 Juices help with weight reduction
10 Fresh juice tastes great

Beetroot beat-the-blues

The ability of beetroot juice to lower blood pressure has been known for a number of years, but recent studies have also shown it to be helpful in increasing the efficient uptake of oxygen – vital during exercise – leading to far more stamina and staying power. This tasty red vegetable is also rich in magnesium, which may help to ease muscle tension, stress and anxiety. Juice it with sharp citrus fruits to soften the earthy flavour, and a little ginger to give a bit of zing.

1 orange, roughly peeled
1 small handful blueberries
2-3 medium beetroots
2cm piece fresh ginger root, peeled
1/2 teaspoon chlorella powder
Juice the fruit and vegetables, and then stir in the chlorella powder. Serve poured over ice.


Citrus Roots

This tangy and refreshing juice is rich in beta- carotene from the carrots, while the addition of potato makes it a great internal skin cleanser. The taste is sweet, but lemongrass and lime add an excellent tang. Chia oil is a valuable source of alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that helps to encourage healthier skin cell function.

2 carrots
1 parsnip
1/2 medium potato
1 lemongrass stalk (peel off woody stem unless using a juicer with a high-power motor)
1 apple
1/2 lime
1 teaspoon chia oil
Juice the fruit and vegetables, then stir in the chia oil and serve.

Skin Soother

Cucumbers are not only very cooling, they are also rich in potassium, which helps give elasticity to the skin cells, while also being a great digestive aid. This is actually very important to ensure absorption of all the great nutrients in any juice. Adding blueberries increases our intake of vitamin C, an essential nutrient in the making of collagen, a protein that is essential for healthy skin and blood vessels.
The fresh-tasting cos lettuce adds useful betacarotene and vitamin K – both helpful for creating healthy skin cells. This juice has a fabulously clean taste.

1 cos lettuce
1/2 cucumber
1-2 handfuls blueberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
Juice the cos, cucumber and berries and then stir in the flaxseed oil before serving.

Extract continued:

There has always been much debate about the relationship between healthy eating and freedom from disease. While some people think there is little or no relationship between the two, various naturopaths and dietary experts believe our entire nutritional wellbeing is the pivot on which health and disease balance. We know that many of the chronic, and increasingly prevalent, diseases commonly associated with the typical ‘Western’ diet, such as colon cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes, are almost unheard of among other cultures with different eating habits.

More recently, a diet high in refined sugars and starches (carbohydrates) has been specifically identified as the likely cause of these diseases. Modern food is becoming less and less healthy as we demand greater economic returns from crops and more refined and processed convenience foods.

We’re losing sight of the natural product itself. Commercial farming is intensive, competitive and relies on chemical fertilisers and pesticides to sustain high yields. This drive for quantity over quality not only robs the soil of nutrients but also leaves harmful chemical residues in the growing plants.

Food processing further depletes and destroys vital nutrients, so by the time food gets to our table there is far less of the original goodness left. Juicing fresh ingredients can return us to a more natural diet – making the critical difference between being poorly nourished or well-nourished.

While research is continually ongoing in the fields of nutrition and health, many health experts and practitioners believe that nutritional deficiencies are one of the most common contributors to disease and yet they are one of the most easily preventable factors in the modern age. So few of us in the so-called developed world follow a healthy life plan of wholesome, balanced eating and regular exercise that it is scarcely surprising that we suffer from a long list of chronic complaints, ranging from arthritis and diabetes to coronary heart disease and cancer, which affects the quality of our lives and, ultimately, can result in early death.

Health isn’t something that can be turned on or off overnight. It is not what we eat or drink occasionally that determines our wellbeing, but what we consume out of habit, every day. That’s why it is so important to eat natural, well-balanced foods, directly from nature’s garden, not via a processing plant.

Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices forms a valuable part of the dietary journey back to health and happiness and their greatest benefit is derived when they are combined with a healthy diet, positive thinking, correct breathing and regular exercise.

The fact that juices are so easily digested and assimilated helps to explain why they have such a health-building impact on the body.

We can make maximum use of the nutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants they contain at minimum cost to the digestive system. Juices have the power to help protect us from illness by providing high levels of easily absorbed nutrients that are specifically needed to strengthen the immune system. They are a quick and easy way to maximise our nutritional intake to benefit every cell in the body, stimulating our metabolism, while the non-soluble fibre content ensures our gut functions optimally. All these things help to maintain a healthy, vibrant body. So drinking fresh juices is a wonderfully healthy habit to acquire.

Extracted from Juice: The ultimate guide to juicing for health, beauty and wellbeing, by Liz Earle, published by Kyle Books on January 8th. Photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith