There are various holistic and natural approaches that can be used to address poor sleep; in the first episode of this three part series a look will be taken at one of those solutions – juices.

While a number of these juices can be bought and combined at home, there really is no substitute for making the juices fresh and consuming them immediately; a minimum of vitamins are lost when freshly made and drunk immediately.

While I will not endorse any particular juicer, getting one that triturates – or “chews” –  the plant fibres thoroughly will give you brightly coloured juice, with a maximum of nutrients extracted (and the bagasse or pulp can be put in a compost bin!).

Some Juicy Sleep Secrets

Freshly made juices are a wonderful way to get nutrients in the body in a form that is easily absorbed – the body’s cells have more of the nutrients in the juices much more quickly, as they bypass the process of digestion through the gut.

Below are some suggested juices[i] that can help calm and relax the mind (and digestive system!) to facilitate a good night’s sleep.

Grapefruit
Pink grapefruit halves

 

Grapefruit, as all citrus fruits, is “bright” in its’ energy and therefore good for low moods.  It can also help cut the appetite when trying to lose weight.  A pint of freshly made grapefruit juice an hour or so before bed can help lighten a heavy mood, which can contribute to a peaceful night’s sleep

 

Carrot/Spinach

Did you realise that chemically, the composition of carrots is similar to human blood?  No wonder it is such a powerhouse for good health – and good sleep too!  Spinach is excellent for cleansing and healing the entire digestive tract – and full of iron as well.

Proportions: Carrot (60%), Spinach (40%)

Fresh carrots with green tops

Carrot/Celery

Celery is rich in natural sodium – and in hot summer weather can help normalise body temperature if drunk in the morning and between meals in the afternoon.

Proportions:  If celery leaves are used along with the stalks – Carrot (60%), Celery (40%); the stalks alone are used: (50%/50%)

Carrot/Beet/Cucumber

Bundle of beets with green tops on wooden tableBeets are excellent for building up red blood cells and act as a blood tonic in general.  Women in particular can benefit from drinking a minimum of one pint of a combination of carrot/beet juice daily.

Both the roots and tops (leaves) of the beet should be used to get the full nutritional value of the vegetable.

Cucumber is a natural diuretic, but has many other properties that make it a worthwhile addition to a fresh juice recipe.  The high potassium content of cucumbers makes them an ideal means to regulate both high and low blood pressure.  Hair and nails can also benefit – it can help prevent splitting nails and hair loss.

Proportions: Carrot (60%), Beet (20%), Cucumber (20%)

 

[i] Note: Recipes are for one pint of juice (approx. 455ml) – for combinations, proportions are given as a percentage of one pint.