By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
I remember those crazy nights hanging out at the beach… kicking back some shots! My how my “fun times” have certainly changed with age! Instead of mind numbing tequila, energizing ginger shots and wheatgrass have taken over, and I’m all the healthier for it.
Juice shots like ginger and wheatgrass are growing in popularity at many juice bars. There’s a reason more and more people are taking them. Let’s take a look at the benefits of these small volume but big nutrient drinks:
Wheatgrass is truly wonderful. Some say it’s an acquired taste but I truly enjoy it (yes, something you’d expect a nutritionist to say!). This little shot provides a concentrated amount of nutrients like vitamins C and E, and beta carotene plus other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought to have antibiotic aspects and may help individuals with Ulcerative Colitis. Avoid it if you have allergies to certain grasses.
Ginger supports healthy digestion and immunity. It’s warming to the body which you will experience first-hand when kicking back 2 oz. of this nutritional gem. Ginger also boasts anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds.
Ginger + Lemon + Cayenne is a classic juice shot thought to cleanse, detoxify and boost metabolism. While there are no magic foods, each of these ingredients sure has a lot to offer. Ginger and lemon not only contain compounds that help support a healthy metabolism but also digestion and nausea reduction. All three contain immune supportive properties and that hotness in cayenne signifies compounds like capsaicin that can help reduce inflammation, pain and support metabolism. Try these meals to chase your shots:
Fresh Veggie Enchiladas
Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Blue-Green Algae (often sold as E3 Live or Spirulina) is a popular tonic that boasts benefits like vitamins A, C, E, B12, B6, calcium, magnesium and iron. Some of this goodness is thanks to its cyanobacteria – that blue color signifies loads of antioxidants. But beware, consume in small amounts; too much can be toxic.
This plant is amazing. Besides helping heal wounds topically, drinking the juice of this desert plant may help benefit digestion. Try shooting back a few ounces of aloe on its own, diluted with filtered water, or add to your favorite smoothie like this Sand ‘N Sun Smoothie.
As a shot, turmeric + cherry is loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds, especially those that may help to Ease Your Joints. Choose tart, not sweet, fresh cherries for maximum benefits.
If a juice bar isn’t accessible to you, you can make your own Booster Shots!
Ginger + Lemon + Cayenne
1 – 2, 2 in/5 cm piece(s) of ginger
1/2 – 1 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Wash ginger and lemon.
2. Peel lemon (or leave on rind for more zesty nutrients and bitter flavor).
3. Juice ginger then lemon in your juicer.
4. Pour juice shot into small glass and sprinkle cayenne pepper on top.
5. Drink up and enjoy!
Wheatgrass shots require a special juicer. Don’t try using your centrifugal juicer at home.
Turmeric + Cherry
4 in/10 cm turmeric root
1/2 – 1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted
1. Wash and cut turmeric.
2. Wash and pit cherries.
3. Juice turmeric and cherries.
4. Drink and enjoy!