03 August 2010
In addition to including more wholefoods and fibre-rich fruit and vegetables in your diet, fresh juices can help to keep the digestive organs healthy and well-toned. Better digestion means that more nutrients will be absorbed too.
Juices that help nourish this area of the body are rich in the B group of vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and the mineral chlorine.
Bad breath can be caused by a number of things, including indigestion, constipation, illness, lack of food, dental decay, gum disease, and over-indulgence in rich, spicy food. As well as eating plenty of fibre-rich wholefoods to help the digestive process, some juices can help to freshen breath, especially parsley and carrot. Try these combinations.
One of the commonest complaints around, indigestion is easy to set right. The causes are usually simple, for example over-eating, eating too fast, eating the wrong kinds of food, heavy smoking and anxiety. Certain juices make excellent digestifs. Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme which can help balance the levels of acidity and alkalinity in the system; and papaya juice contains an enzyme called papain which can break down protein, and therefore help your own stomach enzymes to digest food. Garlic juice can also help soothe the gut.
Constipation is usually the result of a diet low in fibre and high in processed foods. It can cause headaches, fatigue, bad breath and poor skin. Although many people go without passing a stool for several days, it really is best for your body to have a bowel movement at least once a day, so that toxins are not sitting around for too long. In peak bowel health, it takes about 8-12 hours for food to be fully digested, nutrients absorbed and for waste to be passed out.
Fibre-rich foods, such as raw fruit and vegetables, brown bread and wholegrains, can make an enormous difference to your regularity, but so too can juices, even though they do not contain much fibre. All fresh juices have an excellent cleansing effect on the gut and bowel and have a gentle laxative effect. The dark green juices, such as kale, spinach, and watercress can be particularly useful (they are rich in minerals and the B complex group of vitamins), as can the fruit juices pear, papaya, grape, and watermelon (which all have a cleansing effect).
Food poisoning, stress and viruses can all cause diarrhoea, which can also go hand in hand with uncomfortable stomach gripes. Anyone suffering from it should drink plenty of liquids, including some mild fresh juices, diluted with water. Varieties that can help settle a disturbed digestive system are apple, carrot and pineapple, best drunk on their own and diluted.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Diarrhoea interspersed with constipation are the classic symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which can be brought on by stress, as well as other causes. Mild, yet nutritious juices (containing B vitamins and vitamin C) may help settle the stomach and bring a little relief. It is best not to overwhelm the stomach with combination juices, and the juices should be diluted before drinking.
Nausea and Vomiting
These conditions can have a variety of causes. It could be an infectious bug, such as food poisoning, too much alcohol, too much fatty food, morning sickness during pregnancy, or travel sickness. A mild juice high in vitamin C and the B complex group of vitamins may help speed recovery and quell feelings of nausea. Fennel juice with its aniseed taste can also calm a queasy tummy. Add a teaspoon of ground ginger (preferably fresh) to add to the benefits.
Dilute the juice, so that no extra strain is placed on your stomach.