Juicing is a great way to start a day of fasting, and also a great way to replenish the body after a day of fasting. In fact, it's a great way to start any day!
Green is the colour of nature, freshness and life. It is also the colour of the juice best to start the day with.
"Green juice is best taken after waking up. That is when the stomach is empty and able to absorb the nutrients in the drink," said Anabelle Co-Martinent, whose company La Juiceria Sdn Bhd specialises in producing and crafting cold-pressed juices for detox - and revitalising - which are available on a home-delivery plan.
"Green juice is packed with nutrients and phytonutrients, contains antioxidants, is highly alkalising (balancing our usually over-acidic body), and gives that boost of energy you need.
Co-Martinent said green plant sources include spinach, kale, kailan, broccoli, celery, cucumber and apple, with mint, lime and ginger added as natural flavourings for juices.
"However, for the best results and to meet the recommended five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you should be consuming fruits and vegetables from a rainbow of colours."
To incorporate colour and variety to one's meal, one should consider including red plants (beet, bell pepper and tomato), yellow or orange plants (carrot, squash, pumpkin and lemon) and purple plants (eggplant and cabbage).
La Juiceria uses Korean-designed Hurom machines, a leading vertical slow juicer, to cold-press its juices.
As the juice is extracted using a gentle crushing and squeezing action, the vital enzymes, nutrients and minerals stay intact - hence cold-pressed juice is also known as "living juice".
As Muslims commence the month-long Ramadan fasting period, La Juiceria nutritionist Karyn Ng said there are ways to eat healthy and incorporate fruits and vegetables as part of one's diet.
"For sahur (pre-dawn meal), try to include nuts or complex carbohydrates such as wheatgerm, brown rice, dhal, fruits and vegetables," she said.
"These foods contain in soluble and soluble fibres to make one feel more full, and regulate the blood sugar to help sustain energy throughout the day.
"Incorporating juices with a 60:40 ratio of vegetables and fruits will fill your stomach with soluble fibres that will slow down the digestion and help lower the LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, also known as the 'bad cholesterol') in the blood system."
For iftar (breaking fast meal), Ng suggested taking three pieces of dates followed by a 350ml glass of fruit juice.
"This will provide the body with instant energy and nourishment, as the fructose in fruits contain simple sugars that can be absorbed immediately.
"Hydration is also made simple without bloating the stomach with water. If fruit juices are too tedious, you can always opt for coconut water," she said.
While drinking juice is ideal for iftar and sahur, Ng cautioned that one should only eat 15 to 20 minutes after having the juice to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.
"Food choices are important in healthy eating. Try to get leaner cuts of meat and remove the skin before cooking," she said. "If you are eating out, opt for grilled dishes instead of fried items. This will help to decrease the intake of excessive oil.
"Eating ulam has been part of the Malay community's diet since young, so it's no problem encouraging them to eat raw vegetables. They just need to be cautious with the sambal condiments and go for those that are less salty.
"Walking for half an hour after a meal is good for metabolising the food.
But if you had a heavy meal, walking shortly after dinner may create some discomfort in your digestive system. So go for a walk one to two hours after the meal instead."
Ng suggested drinking at least two litres of water during the period between iftar and sahur to prevent dehydration.
She also shared the following recipes that make great thirst-quenching treats for breakfast, replenishing and refreshing purposes throughout Ramadan.
La Juiceria is also offering a limited edition Almond Dates Mylk during Ramadan. The additives and preservative-free almond milk is sweetened naturally with Medjool dates, and valid for self pick-up at the La Juiceria office.
La Juiceria, No. 10-1 Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2857 7136. www.lajuiceria.com.my