Go green for fitness

JUICING is probably one of the longest-running trends in dieting, and the interest in this diet style doesn't seem to be waning. In fact, with quick and easy access to both the devices and ingredients to make juicing easier, more and more people are seeing it as a lifestyle, and are embracing the benefits. And one type of juice that never fails to make the list is the green juice, hailed for their myriad benefits for health.

But which green juices should you be including in your diet, and why? Here personal trainer Lennox Richards rates some of the more popular ones, and what they do for your body.


Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, and is dissolved in hot water to make tea or used as a flavouring. It's one of the more popular green items used in teas and juices, and is also added to smoothies and shakes. Richards says matcha is packed with antioxidants and does wonders for your body — boosting metabolism, detoxifying and providing several essential vitamins. Matcha is also rich in fibre to keep you regular, and also has calming agents that relaxes you, especially after an intense workout.

“Add a teaspoon of the powder to your smoothies or shakes daily and this will help with weight loss,” he promised.

Callaloo, spinach

Greens like callaloo and spinach have high iron content and help to replace red blood cells that are lost during a woman's period. In general, both are a fantastic source of antioxidants when eaten raw.

“Drink a smoothie daily with these as the main ingredient if you want to maintain good health,” Richards said. He said to offset the taste, you can add pineapples or papaya as a natural sweetner, as well as some ginger and lemon juice.


An all-cucumber drink may not be as bright green as the other veggies, but the benefits are just as immense. Not only will cucumbers make a cool and refreshing drink for those hot summer days, but cucumbers have been touted to help with weight loss, too. Commonly used in spa treatments and skin care products because of its detoxifying properties, on average the cucumber is said to be about 95 per cent water. This property alone encourages flushing toxins out, as well as alkalising the body.

Richards said cucumbers can be combined with callaloo, string beans and green sweet peppers in a juice taken daily to reduce belly fat.


This dark green, leafy vegetable is high in fibre, has more calcium per calorie than cow's milk, and is extremely rich in antioxidants. It is a great detox drink, that is also high in iron.

Richards said women can take kale to help lower cholesterol, and it's also great for the skin and is high in several vitamins and minerals – A, C, K, B6, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, thiamine and manganese.

“By itself the taste of kale will take some getting used to, but it can be added to your regular smoothies and shakes and will be delicious,” he said.

Lemon (fever) grass

This plant is in many Jamaicans' backyards, and added to your teas or drinks, is as refreshing as cucumber. Lemongrass has long been sought after for its fever-fighting properties, but many people also drink it to relieve stomach pain, fight inflammation and even cholesterol.

With its enticing lemon scent, it makes the perfect iced tea on hot days.

“Adding this to your routine will help you manage fatigue and anxiety, and it even has a detoxifying effect for help with weight loss,” Richards said.

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