With the whole word seeming to be on a health kick/diet right now, health juices are having a moment. Look on Instagram and right now our feeds are clogged up with virtuous Healfies (Health selfies) and pictures of juice, especially green juices and smoothies containing kale or spinach.
But is drinking a juice better than reaching for the salad? Dan Thomson, brains behind health juice bar Juice Club, believes they can be.
'Juicing provides your body with an enormous boost of nutrients, enzymes and vitamins in the fastest and most convenient way. It's a much-needed break from processed food, especially after inevitable Christmas over-indulgences, kick starting the metabolism, ' he tells us. 'I personally got into juicing as an antidote to my late-night job as General Manager of Milk & Honey members club. It was the quickest and easiest way to revive myself after long shifts and boozy weekends.'
Dan points to the fact that you can put a lot more vegetables in a juice than you could sit and eat, while most experts agree that they're a great way of helping towards your five a day. Fresh juices are miles better for you than off-the-shelf ones (for obvious reasons) and, although juices shouldn't be a completely substituted for fruit and vegetables (your digestive system needs the fibre), they are a great vitamin-packed 'hit', especially when you're busy.
'From a practical point of view a fresh juice is a lot easier to drink for lunch and take with you on the go than lugging a bag of fruit and veg around containing the same number of nutrients.'
DAN'S FOUR JUICY DO'S AND DON'TS
1. Do choose nutrient rich green vegetables
'Kale and spinach are hugely popular. <Kale, for example, is packed with kale is packed with beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin K>
2. Do try a shot for an extra health boost
'Consider vitamin and beauty shots or healthy infusions of herbs and tinctures such as Argan oil, red chilli, pure ginger shots, chia seeds, wheatgrass, acai or goji berries with your juice. Using my background in cocktail bars, I've applied this knowledge when blending fresh juices, so that the flavours are balanced and appealing even when using more unusual ingredients. Juices should taste delicious and should never be a chore to drink!'
3. Do mix it up
'If you're juicing at home I recommend blending a wide variety of vegetables and fruits to get the best health boost. Different combinations can flush your system of toxins, aid water retention, gain energy and generally improve your chances of fighting off infections for a healthier lifestyle, plus they taste good.'
4. And don't spend a fortune!
“There's been a lot of talk about a cold press / masticating juicers. But I wouldn't recommend them as the benefits are not substantial enough. A decent masticating juicer is £300, whereas you can get a perfectly good juicer (Sage by Heston) for around £150.'
Visit Juice Club in London and Manchester. Click here for details of where to find them.