Women

Drink Your Greens (Part 1) - Green revolution

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Find it hard to get your five-a-day? It’s time to dig out your juicer and try a glass of pure vitality.

Actress Sadie Frost claims it’s the secret to looking fantastic at 45. Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr both swear by its skin-boosting benefits, while Salma Hayek uses it to get her body red-carpet ready. No, it’s not another anti-ageing cream but a humble glass f green juice. Packed with vitamins, minerals and live enzymes, and with less sugar than its fruity cousin, green juice is the new star on juice-bar menus.

Description: ‘Have a juice instead of a coffee – you’ll feel much more energized’

‘Have a juice instead of a coffee – you’ll feel much more energized’

Blends of greens such as kale, spinach and chard boast an array of impressive healthy benefits, from detoxing and alkalizing your body, to strengthening your bones and improving your skin. ‘Drinking green foods as a juice means the nutrients are in a form that’s easy for your body to assimilate,’ says Claire Neill, founder of juice delivery service Radiance Cleanse (radiancecleanse.com). ‘Try a green juice instead of a morning coffee and you’ll feel much more energized. Once you’ve seen its positive effect, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your diet,’ she says.

Hayek was os impressed by the benefits of drinking green juices that she approached NYC juicing expert Eric Helms to create her dream blends. And together they now run juice-cleanse company Coolercleanse (coolercleanse.com). And in the UK, new juice bars, such as those at Planet Organic, Wholefoods and Sanderson Hotel are becoming increasingly popular.

Green revolution

Using a juicer to extract liquid from fruit and vegetables became popular in 2000, with a juicer being the trendy kitchen item to own. But it fell out of favor. ‘Some people criticized juicing because, by removing the pulp and skin from fruit and vegetables, it removes the fibre,’ explains H&F nutritionist Amanda Hamilton. ‘And you need fibre to help you feel full and to digest your food properly.

‘Others pointed out that by condensing a large volume of fruit, you’re getting a big hit of fructose – so a glass of fresh juice provides fast-release energy and calories.’ Using vegetables, you don’t get much a sweet hit, plus you get the added dose of nutrients. ‘Green ingredients help lower the GI and slow the energy release,’ says Hamilton. And whether you juice green vegetables or add in green super food powders – for example, nutrient-dense wheat grass or spirulina, such as Pure Synergy ($65, glowgetter.co.uk) – you’re helping to alkalise your body.

Description: The deeply nourishing and cleansing foods in Pure Synergy

The deeply nourishing and cleansing foods in Pure Synergy

Many healthy experts believe the key to optimum health and vitality lies in maintaining a predominantly alkaline pH in the body, to counter the acidity of modern diets. And green vegetables are one of the easiest ways to do this. Then, of course, there’s the powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that greens contain. ‘Some people take vitamin supplements, others juice,’ says Hamilton. ‘I think of it as a medicine or a tonic.’ Green juices are also thought to help curbs cravings for sugary and processed foods; because they’re so packed with nutrients, your body stops searching for something of fill it up. ‘It’s fine to stick to fruit as first as you get used to juicing,’ says UK juicing expert Jason Vale, aka The Juice Master (juicemaster.com). ‘But don’t shy away from vegetables. A good rule is to juice what wouldn’t eat – it often tastes better in liquid form and it’s a great way to get your greens. Adding apples takes away the bitterness.’ Other vegetables which yield surprisingly delicious juice include celery, beetroot, cucumber and sweet potatoes.

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