A healthy liver is a vitally important element of good health, yet most of us seldom pay it much attention unless we are forced to. With an estimated 30 million Americans affected by liver disease this is a serious and growing health problem.
While this apple, beet and carrot juice recipe can’t make up for a diet full of fast food and excessive alcohol, it is a recognized liver tonic and rejuvenator that may help to ease the burden on your body’s master cleansing organ and improve the way you look and feel.
For many people, their poor overworked liver puts a lot of effort into filtering and detoxifying all the dietary and environmental pollutants that get sent to it each day.
Once the level of these toxins starts to get too high for the liver to deal with on its own, it will recruit your skin into trying to get rid of the excess, often leading to skin problems and dark circles under the eyes. Regular headaches and a general tiredness and lethargy can also be symptoms of a liver under strain.
The Magic of Fresh Juice
Quite unlike heat-treated and sugary commercial juice, fresh fruit and vegetable juices are full of powerful enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients that you can feel within minutes of having them. In fact, drinking freshly extracted juice has been compared to having an energy transfusion from the plants involved into your body’s cells.
Since there is so little digestion required, this is one of the quickest ways to deliver nutrients to important organs like your liver. Fresh vegetable juices in particular are so powerful they are often central components of natural treatments for various diseases and have a cleansing and rejuvenating effect throughout your body.
One important thing to note with fresh juices is that they don’t keep. While fresh lime is added to this carrot juice recipe to help prevent oxidization, it really is best to drink it immediately after making it for maximum benefit.
Liver Tonic Ingredients for 2
3 large or 4 medium organic carrots.
Carrot juice is highly alkalizing to your body and helps flush your liver of toxic waste materials that can accumulate there. These alkaline properties and its wealth of vitamins and minerals are also believed to help cleanse your blood of contaminants and improve your eyes and skin.
Freshly juiced carrots are one of the best known sources of pro-vitamin A beta-carotene and alpha-carotene for protecting your body from free radical damage. These antioxidant nutrients are converted to vitamin A when needed and are actually stored within your liver’s cells. Low levels of it are usually found in patients with liver disease like cirrhosis and it’s important to get a proper amount of vitamin A for good health in general.
Carrot juice is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K and various B vitamins. Additionally, they can be rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace minerals like molybdenum and copper if grown in decent soils. One way to increase the chances of a high mineral content is to choose organic carrots. As I’ve covered before in this spicy carrot soup recipe, carrots are one of those vegetables you really want to get grown organically if you value your health.
1 organic beet.
Beets or beetroot are a rich source of phytonutrients like betanin that have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, coupled with a stimulating effect on the various detoxification pathways of your body and especially your liver.
Betaine is another nutrient identified in beets that promotes the flow of bile for better digestion and improves liver detoxification. In fact, beetroot juice is so powerful it is even believed to help regenerate liver cells and clear fatty deposits caused by years of alcohol consumption.
1 large or 2 small organic apples.
Organic is best as apples are often sprayed with pesticides you really don’t want in your body. Especially as we are trying to help the liver here rather than add to its burdens. At very least, soak your apples in hot water and vinegar and scrub them well.
Aside from all of the other apple health benefits, they are a great general detoxifier and are rich in pectin. Pectin is a type of fiber that binds to toxins in your intestines as they are digested so they can be safely excreted, well before your liver has to deal with them. In this way, eating apples regularly, as well as using them in special juices and smoothies like this, will help ease the workload on your liver and improve your overall health.
The juice from a fresh lime.
Aside from the high levels of vitamin C and great finishing tang, fresh lime is added into the juice collector before juicing to help prevent oxidization.
Optional: An inch-long piece of ginger.
Ginger contains compounds to stimulate better digestion and may help protect your liver from oxidative damage that can play a part in diseases like liver fibrosis and developing a fatty liver.
It’s optional if you don’t like the fiery ginger kick, but good to have if you can. I often add double this amount, but ginger is an ingredient you’ll really notice so start off with a smaller piece and see if you like it.
How to Make an Apple, Beet and Carrot Juice Liver Tonic
You obviously need a juicer to make up fresh juice and the better quality ones will not only last longer, they’ll deliver a larger quantity and a more nutrient rich juice. Masticating juicers like this one are far and away the best type and better value for both your wallet and your health in the long run if you juice regularly.
Before you start juicing, put a couple of ice cubes and the squeezed juice from your lime (minus the pips) into the bottom of the collection jug. Depending on the size of your juicer feed you may have to chop the apples and beet into halves or quarters, though most juicers these day should handle the carrots whole.
Wash and scrub your ingredients then turn on your juicer and start with the beet. Next juice the carrots and ginger if you’re using it, followed by the apples last. It’s almost a shame to mix up the brilliant colors in the collection jug but it will taste better well blended.
Enjoy your fresh apple, beet and carrot juice straight away. It’s good to sip it slowly and savor it on your tongue for a bit before swallowing it.
Drinking this liver tonic and detox juice a couple of days a week for a fortnight should have some noticeable effects on your mood and energy levels and start to improve the tone of your skin. You may end up liking it so much that you want to have it long-term and see just what it can do to improve your liver’s function and by association your appearance, general immunity and ultimately your overall health.
While freshly made juices can certainly play their part, it’s much easier to improve your overall health with a detailed plan. This is why we created the Hacking Your Kitchen for a Healthier Life email series.
It’s a free 30 day program full of simple but effective changes you can make in your kitchen for more energy and a better body in the weeks and months ahead. Part 1 has an energizing detoxification ritual for first thing in the morning and you can have it delivered right now.