New Year, New You
Feeling bloated and sluggish after all the festive overindulgence that Christmas inevitably seems to bring with it? I would estimate that when we meet friends and family over the festive season, nine times out of ten, it’s for some kind of meal. Am I right? Be it brunch, lunch, coffee & cake, drinks & nibbles or dinner.
Family, Friends – and Food
Sharing a meal is a very social, feel-good activity. It’s something that everyone does and everyone can agree upon. Food brings people together, no matter their backgrounds and interests. It even makes it less awkward to spend some hours in the company of distant relatives that you don’t usually talk to… 😉 While this is awesome and I’m all for it, after weeks of eating far too much, I feel that I’m in need of some gentle post-holiday detox. Do you feel the same?
Also, this dark, grey and cold season has me craving fresh, vibrant & vitamin-packed food to nourish my body and soul. I’m not a winter person and I can’t wait for warmer times to come. Can’t wait for colourful flowers to appear everywhere and fill the silky air with their enticing smell… Let’s cheat and create some summery detox drinks to drive the winter drabness away!
Healthy Detox Drinks to Make at Home
So here we go! To give your body a bit of a break from too much (junk) food, I created these detox drinks to help you get that inner glow back and to feel more energised and refreshed. In terms of ingredients, I like to keep it simple. You should be able to get all the ingredients from your local supermarket.
Mean & Green – The Hulk
First off, a powerful, low-sugar, green juice. Since it’s mean and green, I had to name it “The Hulk”, cause that was the first mean & green thing that came to my mind. 🙂
Don’t let the name deter you though! It really is a wonderful juice that is incredibly hydrating and cleansing. It boosts your entire metabolism and immune system. Let’s have a look at all the nourishing ingredients and see exactly what they have to offer:
Celery – is said to be an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also has many anti-inflammatory properties that can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Celery also acts as a diuretic, which means it increases the excretion of water from the body through the kidneys. And hopefully, that good cleanse will get rid of some of the toxins that might have built up in your body. To be honest, I haven’t been a huge fan of celery so far, but realising all the health benefits of this humble vegetable made me rethink and include it in this juice. Judge for yourself, but I think it really earned its spot!
Cucumber – Since cucumber consists mainly of water, this vegetable is great for rehydrating your body while also replenishing it with vitamins and minerals. It is, for example, a good source of Vitamin K and calcium which work together to promote healthy bones. Cucumbers are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, thus helping you to reduce inflammation, flush out toxins and potentially reduce the risk of cancer. Moreover, ranking low on the glycemic index, they provide all their benefits without causing a spike in blood pressure. Not bad!
Kombucha – Full of probiotic goodies, this delicious fermented drink probably doesn’t need any further introduction. Known for its health benefits for the last 2000-odd years, modern science backs up this incredible potential and shows its effectiveness in preventing broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders. It helps the good bacteria in your intestine which, in turn, is good for your immune system and entire body. This fantastic beverage is also easy to make at home, no need to buy the expensive stuff! I’ve been making my own for two years now and drink a small glass of it every day. Love it!
Lime – Limes are packed with Vitamin C and flavonoids, which makes them ideal for boosting your immune system and fighting infections. They are great for your skin and digestive system and can aid weight loss.
The citric acid in limes also helps treat arthritis and gout by dissolving uric acid build-ups. If you use organic limes, don’t bother peeling them for your juice! As with a lot of fruits, lots of active substances reside in or directly underneath the peel.
Kiwifruit – A low-calorie super berry (yes, technically this is a berry), that supposedly helps to prevent numerous diseases, nourish your skin, promote better sleep, lower the risk of cancer and reduce blood pressure. Impressive isn’t it?!
Matcha – Powdered green tea aka matcha surpasses conventional green tea in caffeine and anti-oxidant content. This is due to the fact that the leaves are processed differently and because the entire leaves are ingested.
The caffeine is a nice wake-up call for your body and green tea is a great alternative to your morning coffee, that has even been shown to improve cognitive function. Being chocker full of antioxidants, matcha also helps eliminate excessive free radicals in the body that could otherwise damage cells and lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.
Apple – “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” – Sound familiar? Well, there is a lot of truth to that. Apples are especially rich in antioxidants, vitamins and pectin.
The former has been identified as an neuroprotective agent, that helps protect you from diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Apples may also reduce the risk of certain cancers, asthma and osteoporosis.
Cayenne pepper – Again, a very potent little addition to this juice. Cayenne pepper boosts your immune system and metabolism, thus helping the body to detox and lose weight.
The Capsaicin (the substance that makes them so hot) could be helpful for maintaining vascular and metabolic health. It also has anti-fungal properties and is known to alleviate joint and nerve pain by interfering with the biochemical process of pain transmission to the brain. Use carefully though! This is a very hot pepper and a little goes a long way.
Enough of all the details, here is the recipe:
I hope you enjoy this delicious homemade detox drink and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.