Go green with the juicy route to a nutrient-rich diet

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The health-giving properties of watercress are well documented and we know that drinking juice is one of the best ways to benefit from nutrient-packed foods.

So a home-made watercress drink should be a nutritionist’s dream.

The trouble is the peppery vegetable doesn’t immediately spring to mind as an ideal ingredient for a healthy yet tasty blender recipe.

Lee-on-the-Solent nutritional therapist Rachel Jessey says: ‘Watercress has quite a pungent and peppery taste and is best combined with fruits to make it more palatable.

‘I would not recommend drinking watercress juice on its own as it is quite a powerful, around 1 fl oz of watercress juice to 8 fl oz of other juice is the optimum amount.’

Green juices are not only nutritional powerhouses, they can taste pretty delicious too, provided you get the ingredients combination right.

Blends of vegetables and fruits are known for their slimming, anti-ageing and health-boosting properties. In addition, they are a delicious way to increase vegetable consumption.

Blending raw vegetables and fruits means there is no damage to the nutrients caused by the cooking process.

And green juices with higher proportions of vegetables than fruit are much lower in sugar than pure fruit juice.

Watercress – grown in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire – has amazing health properties.

Rachel, who runs the consultancy BeNourished, says: ‘Watercress is classed as a cruciferous vegetable.These are unique because they are a rich source of glucosinolates.

‘Scientists are very interested in the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables because when they are broken down, they form compounds that have potential anti-cancer effects.’

Promoters for the crop have come up with several juices, including this watercress and melon recipe.

Watercress and Melon Juice

Ingredients:

50g watercress

Half a Galia melon, flesh removed and chopped

125ml apple juice

2tsp of ginger paste

Pinch of cinnamon

Method:

Place everything in a blender and whizz together.