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Juice Debates and Client Recipes

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You would be forgiven for thinking that, as a Nutritionist, I would be in favour of all kinds of fruit and vegetable juices.

But no!

In fact, homemade juices are a huge subject of controversy and absolutely don’t get a straightforward thumbs-up from the nutrition world.

There are two big reasons for this.

Sugars

One, is natural sugars. Fruit contains large amounts of natural sugar called fructose. This, together with the sheer number of fruits which make up a single glass of juice, mean that you end up consuming a lot of sugar. The other factor is that there is no fibre to slow down the absorption of the fruit sugars – which you would have had if you just ate the whole fruit.

For example, a single 250 ml glass of apple juice is typically made out of three apples, and contains five and a half teaspoons of sugar. Even some vegetables are quite sweet, such as beetroot. A glass of carrot juice contains two teaspoons of sugar!

Some would argue that the way to avoid this difficulty is simply to have smoothies instead of juices (in order to keep the fibre content), and to focus on less sweet ingredients, such as green vegetables.

But again – not necessarily!

Oxalates

The second caution – and this applies to smoothies as well as juices – is that having a lot of green drinks can dramatically increase your oxalate intake, and not everyone deals with this well.

Oxalate crystals in the body can be the cause of pains in the body, such as in fibromyalgia, and they are also known to create kidney stones. Oxalates can build up in the body due to a genetic predisposition, or due to a yeast infection such as Candida, which produces oxalates, or due to diet – or of course all three.

Leafy greens contain lots of oxalate, and the top dietary source of oxalate is raw spinach, which is often the basis for green juices. Frustratingly, other top food sources of oxalate are beetroot, berries and nuts – all of which are popular, ‘healthy’ foods!

Therefore, if your genes make it harder for you to break down oxalates, and/or you have a yeast infection, and/or you have a lot of green juices – you may be overdoing it on the oxalates.

However, after my blog on lemons, a client got in touch with a really GOOD juice recipe that includes lemons – and this, I am only too happy to share. It is not too sweet, and not too high in oxalates either. In fact, the lemon content is a great way to get vitamin C without risk of promoting kidney stones.

A good juice recipe from one of my clients

As Jacqueline describes it: “it’s especially suitable for those pursuing a no or low sugar diet – although it must be made through a juicer. I try to use all organic ingredients. This makes a refreshing juice with a wonderful hint of lemon.”

Here is Jacqueline’s juice recipe:

  • One cucumber
  • Half a fennel (root removed)
  • One celery stick
  • One peeled lemon
  • One 3 x 1 cm strip of organic lemon peel.

Juice all the ingredients above. (NB, I think ‘masticating’ juicers are better than ‘centrifugal’ juicers because they have less impact on vegetable enzymes; for example, I love the Matstone 6 in 1 juicer.)

Jacqueline reports that “a strange added bonus is the lemon scent that finds its way to the glands under the armpit, adding some natural lemon deodorant.” If anyone tries this recipe and also discovers this effect, I would be fascinated to hear – please let me know!

Your favourite recipes

What I love about receiving recipes from my clients, is that each one has a story: each has proved its worth in YOUR real life. So please do send me any recipes you have loved using, and when I can I will share them (either anonymously or not as you prefer!).

And if anyone is left wondering what they can put into their smoothies in the morning, just drop me a line and I will gladly put out another blog on the subject.

With best wishes,

Emma

Emma Maitland-Carew MBANT, Registered Nutritionist in Oxford and Bloxham, Oxfordshire

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