Why Is Juicing So Beneficial And How Can You Bring It Into Your Week Away?
Gozo grows an abundance of crops all year round and being an island, it is easy to shop local and choose to buy produce grown directly from our soil. You just need to know where to go. Let’s take a look at how making smooties and juicing – using the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers found on Gozo, can help us stay hydrated and nourish our bodies whilst we’re on holiday.
Why is juicing really good for us?
Juicing is a process that extracts water and nutrients and discards all fibre. Without fibre, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and in fact, it makes the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetable whole.
Caution: When you remove the fibre from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your bloodstream quickly. If you are only juicing fruits, this would cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems, and more. Fibre is filling and without fibre in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly.
Tip: I often add avocado to any juice, this will give you some healthy fats to not spike your blood sugars. Click here for more recipes.
Smoothies vs juices. What’s the difference?
Unlike juices, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable and contain all of the fibre. However, the blending process breaks the fibre apart (which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest) and also helps to create a slow, even release of nutrients into the bloodstream whilst avoiding blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fibre, and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day.
By including fibre in your smoothie, the volume will increase. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie. We love using both the Nutribullet and Vitamix (or Optimax) for the smoothest of smoothies.
Tip: It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s an apple or green smoothie). This can affect how well your digestive enzymes function. This doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli, and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit due to their high starch content. However, green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything.
Here are a few tips to try…
Watermelon & Mint juice
Watermelon contains a lot of water (funny enough) so it’s very easy just to blend. Try four slices of watermelon and a handful of mint. It’s high in Vitamin C and very hydrating for those hot summer days plus – it’s low on calories too!
Zuccini in your smoothie?
Zuccini can be added to smoothies to help make them thick and creamy. I sometimes used them instead of avocados, a much cheaper version! However, they are quite high in starch and I would only add to ‘green’ smoothies and not fruity ones.
Lemon and Limes in your juice or smoothie
Lemons and limes can be added to any juice or smoothie if you need a little zest. Lemon water with a pinch of local sea salt is perfect for balancing hydration and restoring electrolytes.
jane’s favourite Green smoothie
My ‘go-to’ smoothie when I’m teaching yoga and need energy after is full of protein and fats to help keep my blood sugars balanced. Use a handful of local greens (or spirulina powder), half an Avocado, one Banana, and add Nut milk or water.
We are so lucky to have a great supply of the beautiful Hibiscus flowers here on Gozo. They flower twice a year in Spring/early Summer and Autumn. Hibiscus is great for balancing blood pressure, reducing high-fat levels, and is full of antioxidants. Pick the flowers and separate the petals then boil with water and herbs/spices or mint. Add some local Gozo honey or lime juice.
Gozo is abundant with wild fennel. Just picking a handful of this herb from the highest point and boiling it for a few minutes gives us a delicious and nutritious brew. It is great for reducing wind and bloating, it also helps babies with this and even colic.
Most local produce can be purchased locally from stores, markets, and even direct from farmers. It’s a great way to support the Island and enjoy the wonderful seasonal foods we have here. Buying local and seasonal is often cheaper as well!
Words: Jane Nayar Editor: GITH
Jane lives and works on Gozo, she offers one-to-one Aqua Yoga sessions or Hatha Yoga lessons on land, as well as Nutrition consultations, VEGA Testing, and the Health and Happiness Retreats.
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