On a recent trip to Mexico, I re-discovered the amazing healing power of green juice. Not that I wasn’t already aware of how magical greens are to consume for finding optimal mind-body health, but I experienced them in a very satisfying way that helped me eliminate brain fog and heal some annoying skin issues I’ve had for years.
Every morning, I walked to the local market and got myself some fresh squeezed green juice. With my limited Spanish, I asked the elderly lady selling them what was in it. Celery, cucumber, parsley and oranges. That’s it. I drank it every day for about 10 days and saw amazing health benefits that have lasted well beyond my vacation. Not only did my daily dose of fresh greens boost my mental clarity almost immediately, it cooled my body and removed excess pitta which is the term in Ayurveda to describe too much heat in the body. Excess pitta can typically show up as skin rashes, eczema and even acne.
I noticed how this particular blend of green juice wasn’t overly complicated. I’ve been juicing at home for a while now with a tendency to add more fresh produce to the blend, like spinach, kale, beets, green apples, coriander, lime, and avocado if I’m making a smoothie. Even though I’ve tried sticking to a juicing routine at home for a number of days, I never experienced the healing benefits of any green drink until I tried this version. I’ve even tried pure organic celery juice for a while but did not really feel any better.
“Less is more” is so true when it comes to juicing or making smoothies. You don’t need to throw the kitchen sink in to the mix. More healthy things thrown into the juicer or blender are good for you, for sure, because of their high nutritional value. But sometimes it’s overkill on your system. If you haven’t noticed any real health benefits from juicing everything together under the sun, it might be a good idea to try just a handful of ingredients for at least a week and monitor how you feel. You’ll get a good idea of which ingredients suit you, which don’t and what to adjust. Or you can try the celery, cucumber, parsley and oranges combo that worked wonders for me.
Let’s take a look at these simple four ingredients and their incredible mind-body health benefits:
Celery has phytonutrients which have antioxidant properties that fight off free radicals to prevent cell damage and many diseases. It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties for both the mind and body. And many experts also believe celery juice helps with weight loss. Anthony William has written extensively about the mind-body benefits of celery juice and you can check out his findings here.
Cucumbers. In addition to their awesome anti-inflammatory properties and ability to regulate blood pressure, cucumbers have a flavonol called fisetin which studies have shown help keep the brain healthy and young. Cucumber water has specifically been shown to improve cognitive function for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Parsley has super-rich source of antioxidants, specifically flavonoids like apigenin, lycopene, luteolin, alpha and beta carotene. Apigenin has been proven to help with neuron formation, learning and memory and with combatting depression. Some studies have even shown apigenin can help the cognitive function of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients. Parsley has also been scientifically proven to reduce the toxic load of heavy metals like cadmium in the brain and body.
Oranges. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, other nutrients such B6, folate, potassium and other antioxidants found in oranges have been found to halt cognitive decline particularly in people dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, plus they help promote improved blood flow to the brain to support improved cognition and concentration levels. Specifically, studies have shown the citrus flavanone hesperidin as having a notable positive effect on mental health. Vitamin B6 has also been shown help stave off depression too.
What else do all four of these super foods have in common? They can keep you well-hydrated which benefits your skin and help with weight loss. You may feel lighted, less bloated and you could find your skin glowing! They boost your immune system. And they help stave off cancer.
Here are the proportions to juice, and opt for organic produce where possible:
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of celery, trimmed with the leaves removed
1 large cucumber
½ cup of filtered water (optional)
You’ll get about two servings and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. Be sure to keep some of the pulp: just mix it in to get some fibre – your gut will thank you. Consume juice on an empty stomach for optimal benefits.
Greens are indeed complete mind-body medicine that also keep you grounded, calm and connected to nature.
As always, please consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before trying anything new and always be mindful of any contraindications to prescriptions you’re taking. And always listen to your mind and body first before following the advice of any healthcare practitioner.
Cheers to a clear mind and a healthier body!
Have a beautiful week!