While doctors have always told us to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep the fat away and the body healthy, it is still very important to have a variety of beverages in your diet. Today, more and more people are living off carbonated beverages and energy drinks which consist mostly of artificial sweeteners, artificial flavourings, and caffeine. These are one of the major contributors to obesity, particularly in children.
My favourite substitute for a carbonated beverage is a freshly squeezed juice. They are very healthy, good for your body and extremely refreshing. You could also make it into an activity and get the whole family involved, for instance, you can get your children to choose what fruits they want in their juice. It is also a good way for your family to get their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. For those of you who may not have time to make your own freshly squeezed juices, I recommend checking group buying websites, because sometimes they offer discounts on beverages and it is a fantastic opportunity to try out new flavour combinations at a fraction of the price.I will just quickly go through some of juices and list their benefits.
Orange juice - It tastes delicious, it is natural, and is readily available. Orange juice provides a good dose of Vitamin C. Did you know an 8 ounce glass contains as much potassium as a banana! Beyond the great vitamin and nutrient content, orange juice has also been known to lower your blood pressure.Apple juice – It contains a significant amount of Vitamin A and C. Like the saying goes – an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Recent studies have shown that drinking apple juice can help slow down the process that leads to heart disease.
Cranberry juice - It provides powerful antioxidant qualities. The medicinal properties of the cranberry have been recognized for centuries, particularly as a common treatment for urinary tract infections because the strong acidic content of the juice provides an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
Beyond the standard juices, you can get a bit more exotic. Dragon fruit, papaya, carrot, wheatgrass, and cucumber are all great juices that provide wonderful health benefits. You can also mix it up.
Blueberry, apple and cherry juice- Is the perfect juice for general well-being. Blueberries help to relax the arteries which lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. Apples and cherries on the other hand, are a rich source of health-boosting antioxidants, which contributes to better lung functions and a lower incidence of asthma. Cherries also contain antioxidants that can block inflammatory enzymes and assist in reducing pain.
Strawberry, banana and peppermint juice - Helps to relieve stress and lets your body relax. Did you know that strawberries contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Banana's are a rich source of vitamin B , which has stress relief properties. Peppermint leaves on the other hand, contain menthol, a cooling and calming oil that helps to clear your head and aids in digestion.
Rosemary, tomato, carrot and vegetable juice – It contains nutrients that boost your immune system and improve the health of your heart. Rosemary helps maintain a healthy heart because it has blood capillary strengthening abilities and also improves circulation. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which is vital for iron and calcium absorption. Iron and calcium are also the two minerals that contribute to a healthy nervous system. Tomatoes and carrots contain large amount of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, an antioxidant that is important when stress hormones are circulating in the system.
One of my favourite juice mixes that I drink before a big night out is a glass of beetroot, ginger, celery and parsley juice. Apart from the fantastic inner cleansing this juice gives you, the parsley is a natural diuretic and will rid you of any swollen ankles and knees for your big night out. You'll have killer legs in your best dress and high heel shoes!