During the festive season, we usually treat ourselves with delicious foods and delicatessen which are so good but also quite unhealthy.
Dinner parties and social occasions are great opportunities to enjoy ourselves and relax, and we should absolutely find time to have fun in life but we should also give our stomach and digestive system a little rest afterwards. So why not taking a chance to do a few days of detox (or fasting) to start the year?
My friend Parul Agrawal, who is an international bestselling author and health coach, is a master at using juicing to detox and maintain a healthy body and mind.
It is an honour to feature her best advice and two of her January detox recipes here. Are juices good for our health? Why we should drink fresh pressed juices ? Should we drink juices or smoothies ? Read below her interview to know more !
Why do you advise to drink juices to detox and be healthy?
Juicing is an easy, delicious, nutritious and quick way to give the body high amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals in a form that is immediately absorbed and utilized for nourishment.
Juicing makes it much easier to consume the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole. Juicing a lot of different vegetables keeps you from becoming bored with the same old foods. Various phytonutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and vitamins do not survive cooking and processing. Juicing raw fruits and vegetables preserves all the nutrition.
Cleansing or detoxification is a normal process performed by the body to prevent and fight disease and to keep the body as healthy as possible. The lymphatic system, skin, colon, liver and kidneys are the body’s main cleansing organs. If these systems are working properly, the body will cleanse and detoxify itself to get rid of toxins.
Unfortunately, we live in an environment that has made it difficult for our bodies to detoxify efficiently. The body is constantly bombarded with toxins in the form of chemicals, pesticides, hormones and other pollutants found in the processed foods we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Under the heavy influence of toxins, cells become sick and the human body eventually reaches a point where it is no longer capable of flushing toxins and acid waste on its own.
If not excreted naturally, these toxins remain circulating in the blood, the lymph system and in the surrounding tissues. Headaches, fatigue, allergies, joint pain, digestive discomfort and a host of other symptoms occur when the body is so clogged with toxins that it is not able to perform other necessary functions.
We then need to help our bodies eliminate the accumulated harmful substances by following a detoxification or cleansing protocol. During a juice fast or cleanse, a person limits their diet to only fresh vegetable and fruit juices, water, herbal or green teas.
A juice cleanse puts the digestive system on hold and gives the body a much-needed break from the laborious work of digestion. On an average, 30% of our overall energy is used for digestion. During a typical juice cleanse, solid food is not allowed. Hence, the body is not working in chewing, liquefying, swallowing and digesting the carbohydrates, fats, protein and fiber from the food. This freed-up 30% extra energy is used in healing, repairing and revitalizing the immune system.
The idea behind fasting or cleansing is to eliminate waste or toxins accumulated in the body while nourishing it at the same time. A juice fast is the perfect way to ensure both of these happen in harmony.
Is smoothie and juice the same? Which one is best?
Juices are made by using a juice extractor that separates the pulp from the juice.
Juicing makes a large quantity of nutrients readily available to the body, since without the pulp or fiber, the digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. Juicing is very helpful during illness, especially if you have a sensitive digestive system that inhibits the body from processing fiber.
Smoothies are made with fruits, vegetables, herbs, protein powders and certain other supplements mixed together in a blender. They normally contain the entire fruit and vegetable along with the skin, fiber and even the pit. A blender grinds the pulp and the produce together and the pulp needs to be manually strained in order to extract the juice. The release of nutrients into the bloodstream is slower compared to juices. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fiber, and generally faster and easier to make than a juice.
Juicing and blending are both beneficial and deliver their health benefits in a certain way. Fiber is important to clean our intestinal tract but also slows down the absorption of vital nutrients. Juices have minimal to no fiber, and the nutrients are absorbed almost immediately by our body.
Drinking both nutrient-rich juices and smoothies will not only increase your consumption of fresh produce, but also provide an ongoing supply of energy for your day.
The Ultimate Cleansing Juice
Handful of parsley
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 inch turmeric
Wash parsley under running water for a few minutes.
Wash and cut the rest of the produce. Juice all ingredients making sure to alternate parsley with cucumber to avoid clogging the juicer. Enjoy!
Parul Agrawal is a Coach, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post Blogger, and International Bestselling Author of “Juicing For Healthier Families: Simple, everyday recipes you’ll love- for greater energy, vitality, and a longer life.” Her mission is to educate families and professionals alike about simple, effective ways they can use to live healthier, happier and successful lives. She is the founder of Parul’s Wellness Coaching where she helps individuals achieve optimal physical, spiritual, emotional and financial wellbeing.
Before venturing into the field of health and wellness, Parul worked as an engineer at Intel and Arizona State University. Apart from maintaining her own blog, she regularly writes for Huffington Post, Valley India Times (a monthly publication catering to the South Asian population in Arizona), Dr. Sears Wellness Blog, Wellness Universe, and Natural Healing News. Parul loves feasting on green juices and smoothies, and she is passionate about yoga. She lives in Phoenix, USA and you can visit her website at www.parulagrawal.com (or www.prenatalnourish.com) and reach her at email@example.com . You can get a copy of her book along with other bonus gifts from parulagrawal.com/book.