All it takes are lighter nights and a few full days of sunshine, and we start anticipating a glorious summer. To continue the spring clean detox process we started last month, it’s time to “love your belly”!
Our stomach, or “second brain”, as I’ve often heard it called, is referenced throughout the day, and not just when we’re ready for lunch – sayings such as “going with your gut” or experiencing “butterflies in your stomach” are quite common for many of us.
Mind and stomach are closely linked, and a happy tummy often means contentment. At its most fundamental, it’s a short-term food storage facility that can hold around one litre of chewed up food. It’s the place where food is broken down and mixed with juices secreted by the stomach lining, in order to extract their nutritional benefits. If it’s not working properly, however, we’re at risk of not getting optimum nutrition, so a regular Belly Cleanser will help keep your tum working as it should. This bright, fresh juice may also ease back pain.
Don’t worry if you don’t own a juicer – use a blender, and a sieve to strain the juice.
Serving size: 1 and a quarter cups
2 romaine lettuce leaves ¦ 1 large handful of spinach ¦ 4 broccoli spears ¦ 1 carrot ¦ 1 garlic clove ¦ ¼ inch of fresh ginger root
1. Wash leaves, spinach, broccoli and carrot, peeling carrot if not organic ¦ 2. Peel garlic and ginger ¦ 3. Slice and juice all ingredients alternating between each one, and stir before you pour and enjoy!
If you have time let the leaves soak to increase the yield of juice
As soon as you’ve sliced the carrot and broccoli, juice it, as Vitamin C loss is high on exposure to air
Peel the ginger with a teaspoon; you’ll just remove the skin.
If you buy organic and want to save money, consider ‘the dirty dozen’ and ‘the clean 15’ see www.pan-uk.org and look for the study ‘Pesticides on a Plate’
If you’re worried about garlic breath eat fresh parsley to mask any odour
Why are we using these ingredients?
Broccoli is high in beta-carotene, vitamins C, E and B1. It’s also high in calcium, potassium and has traces of selenium, which plays a key role in metabolism. In addition it contains sulforaphane, which may increase the death of cancer cells.
Leaves are in abundance this time of year and great for providing vitamin k, which appears to help back pain, as it provides bones with iron and calcium.
Garlic is a source of copper, which helps to keep blood vessels and nerves healthy. A lack of copper in the diet can be a factor in osteoporosis. Garlic has been medically proven as an antiseptic and antifungal agent, as well as helping to prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol levels. It also destroys free-radicals*, so is another cancer fighter.
Ginger is contains phenolic compounds** known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production.
* Free-radicals are molecules responsible for ageing and tissue damage.
** Phenolic compounds are a class of reactive chemicals, of which natural ones derive from plants.
Recipe from ‘The Everything Juicing Book’ by Carole Jacobs and Chef Patrice Johnson.
If you’re enjoying Bev’s juice series and feel like taking the next step on your juicing journey, you could try one of her Love Your Belly juicing workshops in Brighton. Click here to read about her latest workshops.