The healthy way to juice

Most of us prefer to pour our morning glass of juice straight from the carton than to go to the effort of making our own. But a small, yet vocal, group of people is convinced of the health benefits of home-made fruit and vegetable juices. As celebrities tweet about their juicing habits, and our friends share colourful snaps on Instagram, the demand for specialised juicers continues to soar. Enter the latest craze for juices as health tonics.

Enjoy juice as a snack, not a meal
A daily glass of fresh juice can give your health the edge. Considering that 93 per cent of us fail to meet the recommended daily target of five serves of vegetables, juices can be a great way to consume more plant foods between meals.

Blend more veg than fruit
“To make the most of fresh produce and reap the full health rewards, you should be juicing vegetables, not just fruit,” says Healthy Food Guide dietitian Brooke Longfield. “Vegies such as carrot, celery, beetroot and spinach not only increase your intake of key nutrients (such as iron, beta-carotene and vitamin C), but also help lower the sugar content of your drink.

Leave the skin intact
Fruit and veg hold most of the fibre and nutrients in their skins, so blend them unpeeled for maximum nutrition and satisfaction.
“Fibre makes you feel full, thereby acting as a natural brake on consumption,” says Longfield. “Without it, you can quickly sip too many kilojoules.” (Of course, you do have to toss some skins; no one drinks banana peel!)

Keep portions in check
Being heavy-handed with either a fruit and vegie juice or a dairy-based smoothie also makes it very easy to swig excess kilojoules. When you’re having juice with a meal, stick to a small (200ml) glass. And watch out for giant glasses at cafés and restaurants, where you might want to think about sharing your drink with a friend.

Go beyond fruit and veg
Thanks to today’s superpowerful blenders and juicers, you can fill your daily glass with even more nutrition. Nuts, seeds and rolled oats provide satisfying fibre, and reduced-fat dairy products add protein and calcium. “Blend fresh or frozen fruit with skim milk, low-fat yoghurt and a sprinkling of chia seeds,” advises Longfield. “This tasty combo is both filling and full of calcium for strong and healthy bones.”
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