Health Hacks: How to Properly Navigate a Juice Bar

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If you’ve ever walked into a juice bar and found yourself staring at the fridge without a clue on what to pick, you’re not alone. There’s no denying that all those colors, flavors, and unusual and exotic ingredients can be overwhelming – especially if you’re not clued up on which juice will best serve your healthy needs.

The benefits of fresh, cold-pressed juices are endless, and they do our bodies a world of good whilst providing a boost from the inside out. “Juicing is a great way to reset your system and provide the body with minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants,” explains Emma Sawko, the fit foodie behind raw-vegan café Wild & The Moon. “It is important for juices to come from an organic, local, and seasonal source in order to enhance the benefits to the body and minimize pesticides and toxins. Always choose raw, unpasteurized, and cold-pressed juices to preserve their essential qualities like vitamins and enzymes.”

So when it comes to working out how to navigate your way through a juice bar, who better to ask than Sawko herself? Goodness tapped the health nut for her top tips on which juices and ingredients you should be looking out for, depending on what your body needs and what you’re craving. Read on to find out more.

I'm feeling tired and sluggish. What juice should I go for?

Juices that provide immediate and sustained energy work well to relieve fatigue. Go for sweeter juices with complex carbohydrates, so those containing beetroot, carrots, sweet potato, and apples.

I need a hit of energy, but I've had so much coffee already. Is there something else that can give me a boost?

Coffee provides a boost of caffeine that helps improve concentration and keeps us going in the morning. It’s not necessarily bad, but if you suffer from adrenal fatigue, coffee could deplete your energy levels even more! Try replacing your morning cup with bulletproof coffee. It’s a creamy blend mixed with healthy fats to truly boost your energy for longer. While it still contains caffeine, it also provides the body with a sustained release of energy as well as nutrients.

Matcha is also a great energy booster and, when blended with almond milk, it tastes delicious. A smoothie containing raw cacao will also give you that extra boost when you need it most, especially in the afternoon, when you might feel like snacking. Look for those containing ginger – in juices or “shots” – or maca, which is a great energy booster.

I'm starting to feel rundown and flu-y. What juices will boost my immune system and ward off sickness?

The ultimate remedy is a turmeric, ginger, and lemon shot. Undiluted and super concentrated, it is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. It also supports the immune system.

Turmeric Ginger Juice Immune System
Photo: Courtesy of @WildAndTheMoon

My skin is looking really dull and lackluster. What juices can help with my complexion?

A carefully planned juice detox (ranging from one to three days) will reset your whole system. By gently cleansing the digestive tract, purifying the blood and detoxifying the body, you will experience lightness and a brighter complexion. It is wise to adhere to a balanced program – rather than randomly buying juices – to ensure that your body is provided with adequate nutrients.

For skin-specific ingredients, look for dark juices that are rich in antioxidants or those containing pomegranate, lemon, beetroot, aloe vera, and cucumber. They work well to clear and protect the skin, giving it a healthy glow.

I am a bit of a sugar addict. What juices will help stop that sugar crash?

Go for juices rich in greens with a low-sugar content and more proteins or healthy fats. Look for ingredients such as kale, spirulina, chia seeds, and coconut as they will help to stabilize your blood sugar.

I'm really craving a bar of chocolate. What juice will satisfy my sweet craving?

Indulge in that craving for chocolate with a raw-cacao smoothie. More satisfying than a bar, it will give you the real benefits of cacao (magnesium, energy boost, and antioxidants) without the nasty sugars and trans-fats.

Cold Pressed Juice benefits
Photo: Courtesy of @Fashky

I haven't been sleeping very well lately. Is there a juice that can help with that?

Rather than a juice, try a warm cup of spiced dairy-free milk – like almond or coconut – made with turmeric, for example. Soothing, warming, and nurturing, it’s an old-fashioned remedy that proves to be very effective.

What juices are great for digestion and will help me have a flat, healthy tummy?

Juices that are low in sugar and high in chlorophyll (the green molecule) will gently detoxify the digestive system. Ginger also helps digestive ailments. If you find yourself bloated, try a charcoal-based juice.

I'm definitely in need of a detox. What juices will help my kidneys and liver?

A juice detox is the best way to clear out the kidneys and liver. Not only will you expel food that burdens the system (like meat, dairy, and sugar), but also provide your organs with support for optimal functioning. Ingredients-wise, lemon is the best for helping a congested liver – bitter greens, cilantro, beets, carrots, and celery are also great. The extra hydration and the alkaline nature of the juices will greatly assist the kidneys, too, particularly those rich in pomegranate or berries.

Feeling inspired to get healthy and juicing? Check out Dubai’s best juice detoxes.