There are tons of benefits to drinking healthy juices. They provide essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, and many of them are sold as health drinks. However, juices have a few drawbacks, and there are times when they simply aren’t very good for you.
That may come as a shock to some people, since juices are generally considered to be beneficial to your health, but they need to know that juices can contain tons of sugar.
People are starting to get wise to this fact, and that means that juices are on their way out as the chosen health drink and tonics are beginning to replace them as the health drink of choice. These also go by the name elixirs, and they are one of the hottest things happening in health foods right now.
The Juice Problem
With juices, you get large quantities of phytochemicals, fibre, minerals and sugar. Most juicers are going to shred up the fruit a squeeze the juice out for you. That means that most of the fibre is completely left out, and that leaves you with a nutritious substance that has tons of sugar.
When sugar comes from fruit, it is still considered sugar, and it still has all the same drawbacks. Fruit sugar is often considered healthier than normal sugar because of the other nutrients the come along with it.
Usually, fruit has plenty of fibre to make up for the high sugar content, and that can balance out the sugar. It ensures that there is no huge blood sugar high because the fibre is having a beneficial effect on the body. That means the body can enjoy the sugar and not experience a huge crash following its consumption.
Once the fibre or pulp has been taken out, however, the sugar works the same way it would in a snack food or in a soda. The blood sugar levels will shoot up and provide an energy boost. A couple hours later, the energy will wear off and the person will feel drained and hungry. This isn’t very good for your long-term health.
You can see why you might want to keep the fibre as part of the juice then to maximise the benefits. To do that, you would have to squeeze the juice by hand, forgoing filtration, or you can buy a juicer that allows you to make pulpy juice. There are definitely more expensive juicers, though, and not everyone enjoys a thick, pulpy juice.
The Tonic Answer
Tonics are made quite differently. You don’t need a juicer to make them, and instead they require a combination of herbs to produce the desired effect.
A Look at Tonics
Tonics are actually a name ascribed to a few different things. Tonics are very important to Chinese medicine, and they are considered something separate from nutrition and medicine. They are various substances that can be used to improve balance in different body parts. Chinese medicine is all about keeping the balance throughout the body. They are essentially precision tuners for the body that push the balance in one direction or another.
Medicine is more like a powerhouse in comparison. It makes powerful changes that are much more pronounced and help to restore the body after large imbalances take place.
Tonics are used similarly in western culture, and they are becoming more and more popular all the time as part of daily national routines. They work as nutritional supplements and can be used to prevent heart disease, fight diabetes or various other maladies. Some people will take them to boost their memory, while others will try to keep themselves from becoming sick.
How Tonics Edge out Juices
Tonics and juices are primarily differentiated by where they come from. Juice comes from fruits and veggies, and they have a natural source. They are packed with sugar and provide tons of energy. They can also be full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, which gives them what we like to call a well-rounded profile.
Tonics come from herbs, and that means they contain far less sugar. They also have a diverse array of chemicals, and they won’t provide the same benefits as juice. However, they can make some substantial changes to the body and improve heart health, decrease insulin tolerance, boost brainpower and serve as a reproductive aid.
While juice can offer some of these same benefits, it does them by providing nutrition and doesn’t directly cause these changes to occur. The tonic herb cordyceps, for instance, actually makes the bone marrow create additional red blood cells. With more cells in production, more oxygen can be sent to the cells. Your heat doesn’t need to operate as heavily to keep up with the oxygen needs of the body and you won’t be tired as often. It’s a tonic that many athletes use to keep their energy levels up. Juices only provide short-term energy boosts, and once that energy level drops, we have less energy than what we began with.
Tonics do pretty much all the same things as juices, only they do it better and with more prolonged effects.
How to Make Use of Tonics
You can buy tonics the same way same way you would buy cold pressed juices. There are actually producers out there who make tonics with cold pressed juices in a powerful combination that doubles up on the benefits.
Tonic shops have been appearing across Australia recently, and they are similar to bars and cafes. They have their own in-house tonics, though, and one of the bigger chains is Elixiba. We have seen this one pop up in Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Bondi Beach. You can be sure you will see more of these appear as people get word of the benefits of drinking tonics and as juices start to fade out.
To maximise your tonic benefits, you should buy some of the herbs that are considered the safest and have the most benefits and put them together. You can use resources like The Sunlight Experiment to learn more about what herbs to use and how to combine them. The herbs can be bought as liquid extracts, and you can make your own formulas from them.
The herbs you want to use for the tonic will depend on what kind of benefits you are hoping to get out of it. We have a few suggestions to get you started.
Immune System Booster
Take about 150ml of orange juice and add in some grated ginger. About 2 cm worth of ginger will do. Then top it up with two spoonfuls of honey and just a dash of stevia extract. This creates a powerful immune system booster that is made even better by mixing in some reishi or astragalus.
Take 150ml of pineapple juice and add in 2cm pieces of ginger and turmeric rhizomes. Mix in two spoonfuls of honey with 3ml of gotu kola tincture.
You start with a single shot of expresso and then add in 150ml of very hot water. Add to that 15g of cacao powder and 30g of maca, with just a little pinch of cayenne pepper powder and you have a superb tonic for getting those energy levels up and keeping them there. You can change up the flavour a bit by adding in a tad of stevia or coconut sugar.