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juice

Why should I juice?

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Why should I juice?

Juicing is one of the easiest ways to make yourself much healthier. They are nutrient powerhouses all in one glass! You can fit as many vegetables as you’d eat in one day into just one juice, one meal! Think 4 broccoli florets, 1/2 cabbage, 2 handfuls spinach, 3 celery sticks, 1 cucumber, 1 apple, 1 lemon, handful of parsley….do you eat all of these in one meal every day, regularly? Didn’t think so! But juicing makes this doable and easy.

It can have an immediate effect on your body and state of mind, as well as long lasting positive effects.

Everyone can benefit from eating more vegetables and fruits, but a lot of people don’t like them! That is why juicing is great, instead of eating them, try drinking them! Doesn’t sound much better…… but try mixing broccoli and spinach with apples and pineapple, and you won’t even know you’re drinking your greens! 

Everyone should be aiming for about 7-9 portions of vegetables and fruits a day, but most people struggle to even get 5. And even some of those 5 may be from highly processed, canned or fried foods, rather than whole, raw organic which are bursting with healthy nutrients.

Not only are juices bursting with nutrients, but they are very easily digested and absorbed into the body. Your body hasn’t got to break them down into liquid form to get the nutrients out, they are already there and waiting! Juicing beaks down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables so they are already pre-digested. They are perfect if you suffer from digestive or mal-absorption issues.

Not everyone has to do a whole juice cleanse or detox to see benefits either (although it is a great way to reset your system), just one or two juices added into your daily routine will help to set you on course to optimal health.

Benefits of juicing

  • Easy and fast way of getting your 7-9 a day- in one juice you can pack in 7 portions of vegetables and fruits!
  • Boosts energy levels because of all the nutrients! People say you are what you eat, but you are what you absorb. These nutrients you absorb are your fuel, and without the right fuel the body cannot function at its best. Juices are packed with vitamins and minerals that are vital for us to create energy.
  • Helps you think clearer and improves concentration due to the massive boost in nutrients. 
  • Easy, absorbable nutrients. This is because the juicer does all the hard work for you! 
  • Oxygenates the body due to the extra chlorophyll (what makes plants green). Chlorophyll helps neutralise the pollution we breath in every day.
  • Circulation improves due to the chlorophyll. Haemoglobin count is elevated and circulation improves as a result (as well as energy levels).

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Why I Love Beetroot Juice (It's Not Because Of The Taste!)

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Why I Love Beetroot Juice (It's Not Because Of The Taste!)

I posted up a picture last week of my beetroot juice before training and I have had a few people ask me about it so thought I would explain on here :-)

Beetroots, juiced or not juiced, contain a high amount of many nutrients and have been used traditionally to help heal or support health conditions such as anaemia, heart disease, tiredness, skin problems, and even cancer. This post is focusing on beetroot for training and performance, I may write another one explaining all of these benefits in more detail some other time!

I use beetroot just before a workout because of their high amount of nitrates. These compounds are the precursor to a very important signalling molecule that our body needs to function called nitric oxide. This is made naturally within our body but we can dramatically increase it’s availability by eating nitrate rich foods (not just beetroot! Spinach, rocket and lettuce are also high in nitrates!). Nitric oxide has many roles, but the reason we want to increase it before activity is because it acts as a vasodilator in skeletal muscle, increasing the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow. This will mean less lactic acid burn, therefore improved endurance and strength.

If you want to start consuming beetroot before a training session, make sure it’s raw beetroot. Research suggests that cooking significantly reduces the available nitrates. This is why juicing raw beetroot, or using a beetroot concentrate are best.

One thing to be aware of is that nitrates in beetroots are converted into nitrites by friendly bacteria in our saliva. This is important, as the use of mouthwash or toothpaste soon after drinking beetroot juice may wash the nitrates out of your saliva. Because of this, drinking beetroot juice slowly will increase the time nitrates are in contact with this bacteria, therefore may increase the conversion to nitrites. Make sure you drink it an hour before you train, so it has chance to get converted to nitric oxide.

I mix between making my own beetroot juice and using a concentrate. I like making my own, but I have found the concentrate gives better results (obviously, as it’s a concentrate, it contains more nitrates). There are many on the market now and I have tried a few, one being BeetActive which works well.

Like all foods and supplements, everyone responds differently to the performance enhancing benefits of beetroot juice. However, I notice that I train so much better when I have it, and quite often get a personal best, so I make sure I drink it before an important session or competition!

 

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Super Powered Juice

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Super Powered Juice

This recipe is great if you are into your sport and exercise. It's full of fast acting carbohydrates from the pineapple and banana to give energy, plus the beetroot and greens have a good source of nitrates. These increase blood flow, and therefore oxygen flow to the muscles, leading to decreased lactic acid burn and increased performance! Because of these nitrates, this juice can also be great for getting more blood flow to the brain.

You can also just drink this juice because it tastes nice :-)

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp wheatgrass
  • 1 scoop of natural protein (optional)
  1. Juice the pineapple, beetroot, lemon, celery and cucumber.
  2. When juiced, place into a blender with the other ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Enjoy :-)

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