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Amongst the many diet fads such as vegan, ketone and gluten-free, vegetable juices seem to be ruling the roost. And why not, juices have always been a part of weight-loss diets. Supermodels, actors, business glitterati and heath gurus have vouched for vegetable juices. Here’s a complete guide to vegetable juices and their health benefits.

Juicy benefits
According to celebrity fitness trainer and nutrition expert Vinod Channa, vegetable juices are a great way to meet your daily-recommended serving of vegetables. Vegetable juices can be broadly classified into herbs and leafy vegetables like spirulina, wheatgrass, spinach, kale etc.; root vegetables like carrots and beetroots and hydrators like cucumbers, gourds and tomatoes.

Vegetable juices are being consumed as a means to detox, energise, hydrate, beautify, lose weight and even aid digestion. They are also known to be a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Why juices? “Juices are easy to make, consume and digest,” according to Mr Channa and therefore is a convenient food form.

The know-how
What and how? “Juices from leafy greens are rich in vitamins,” explains Mr Channa. These are derived from the likes of spinach, kale, celery and lettuce. So, for a burst of iron or vitamin K, juice some spinach and celery. Iron and vitamin K are needed for healthy bones and blood platelets.

Want to boost your digestion? Include root vegetables like beets and carrots into the mix. “These when combined with ginger, pushes your digestive tract to produce enzymes that helps in better absorption of nutrients,” he adds. It is never a bad idea to give your immunity a boost. All you need to do is drink a shot of wheatgrass first thing in the morning or add herbs like spirulina or moringa into your veggie juice.

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Just finished a workout and need instant hydration? Juice up some cucumber, bottle gourd or lettuce, with lemon and basil for flavour. Your body will be immediately hydrated and energised.

Remember:

  • Juices are best had in the morning, especially detox or juices that aid in digestion as it helps the body rid all toxins produced overnight. This is a great idea more so if you want to lose weight.
  • Juices from root vegetables and the juices that help to hydrate can keep hunger pangs in check and prevent consumption of junk food.
  • Besides improving your immunity and energy levels, vegetable juices can also give you healthy hair and glowing skin.

Some juicing do’s and don’ts

  • Juices aren’t meal replacements. They are meant to supplement a balanced meal.
    Don’t go overboard with juices. For example, if you include an immunity juice and a digestive juice to your diet one day, include a hydrating juice and a detox juice the other.
  • Do replace the ingredients and nutrients from the juice in your meal. Example, if you opt for a spinach and celery juice, include some kind of fish and a source of carbohydrate like potato or cauliflower for other nutrients like omega-3 and healthy fats.
  • Drink juices as soon as they are made. And cold-pressed juices are your best bet, as they retain maximum nutrition.

Recipes:

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Electric Green

Ingredients

  • 2cm fresh turmeric
  • ¾ cucumber
  • ½ lime
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 beets
  • 1 cup spinach

Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a cold press juicer until smooth. Add a little water, if needed, to blend it better.

This juice will keep you hydrated and aid in better digestion.

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Carrot rooter (Immune booster)

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots
  • 1tsp honey
  • 3-4tbsp chilled water
  • Ginger, 1/4 inch piece roughly chopped
  • 1tsp lemon juice

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a juicer until smooth.


Carrots help increase the production of white blood cells that improve the body’s defences against infections and diseases.

Images courtesy: Shutterstock

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