Crazy new health elixirs - Juice Daily

Crazy new health elixirs

If your standard apple/celery/kale combo is becoming a bit boring, introducing the new series of liquid gold hitting the shelves. Or crazy health elixirs, depending on which side of the fence you stand.

Tonics, fermented drinks, pink vegie juices and natural waters are officially the new black.

And the juice industry is booming thanks to the unique new flavours and colours that have got people all intrigued.

Sydney juice store Organic Avenue are pressing, bottling and selling hundreds of juices each day, and Orchard Street, over a thousand.

But, cool factor aside, what do they actually do for you?

The hot list


Photo: instagram

What is it?
“Kombucha is a probiotic beverage, made with sugar and tea that uses a slimy ‘scoby’ (colonies of bacteria and yeast) to naturally ferment it,” says Kirsten Shanks, naturopath and owner of Orchard Street.

How do you have it?
A healthy, gut-friendly alternative to beer, Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented drink that comes bottled or on tap. Think serious thirst quencher (minus the alcohol) for summer.

Shanks whose Orchard Street elixir bar is the first in Australia to stock on-tap Ballsy Wild Kombucha, says it’s also not uncommon now for blokes to swing by to fill up their bottles in Bondi, or for locals to mill around on a warm summer night with a cold kombucha in hand: “It’s incredibly popular on warm evenings – and tap kombucha is growing – both our North Bondi and Paddington stores have one.”

The health benefits?
“Kombucha is packed with probiotics – great for maintaining the growth of good bacteria in our digestive system. But healthy gut aside, it also helps our immunity and mood – 60 per cent of our immune system is located within our gut and over 80 per cent of our serotonin is produced there.”

The taste?
Because of its fermented nature, Kombucha looks and tastes a lot like cider – it’s fizzy and light but has a more distinct tea flavour. You can also buy flavoured fusions with ingredients such as apple, ginger and lemon.

Buy it: To sample on tap, go to Orchard Street in Bondi or Paddington, or to purchase online, try Remedy Kombucha or Mojo Kombucha online for a local stockist.

2. Maple water

maple watere

What is it?
Fresh from Canadian and American maple trees, maple water is the new hot paper carton craze soon to supersede coconut water.

Mel Lechte, general manager of Organic Avenue, a cold pressed juice store and a stockist of maple water in Sydney, says it’s a nice alternative to those who went a little too loco for coco.

“I was an obsessive coconut water drinker, but sometimes there’s only so much coconut water you can have. I noticed maple is a big trend in LA now and it also happens to be the most hydrating form of water you can get right now,” says Lechte.

How do you have it?
Derived from the sap of a maple tree, maple water is a yellow gold liquid that can be most commonly found in paper cartons or bottles for on-the-go sipping.

The health benefits
“It’s low in sugar and a rich source of nutrients, including antioxidants, calcium and B group vitamins,” says Organic Avenue’s in-house nutritionist Bannie Williams. “Maple water can also assist the body with hydration by replacing electrolytes and stabilising energy levels.”

The taste
Not nearly as sweet as maple syrup, but more golden tasting than coconut, it’s a light, watery and refreshing on-the-go drink that won’t leave a tang in your mouth after.

Buy it…Online at Drink Maple or in-store at Organic Avenue or Thomas Dux.

To note: “As it’s in its infancy, there is little research to support the full benefits so be wary believing all the health benefits,” advises Bodypass nutritionist Rachael Javes.

3. Charcoal water


What is it?
“Charcoal water, is an alkaline water that’s been infused with charcoal derived from coconut shells,” says Williams.

And it’s all over LA, says Lechte, who also stocks their own signature charcoal blend ‘Citrus Noir’ with alkaline water, lemon, cayenne pepper and coconut charcoal at Organic Avenue.

How do you have it?
Straight up. Just like a green juice, charcoal water is usually made with a power combo of nutritional ingredients and drank straight from the bottle.

The health benefits
“Charcoal is highly absorbent so it assists the body by removing toxins and helping cleanse the system,” says Williams.

Lechte says to think of it like a flushing agent, naturally stripping the bad stuff from our gut – “We all have toxins – whether from preservatives, alcohol, so charcoal works by running through our body, grabbing onto them and flushing them out.”

“And it’s a known medicinal practise – if you drink too much and get alcohol poisoning or if you get food poisoning, they pump your stomach with charcoal.”

Williams says detoxing aside, having a healthy gut also helps across the board. “It can also then assist with increased nutrient absorption, a boosted immune system as well as improved energy.”

The taste
What you see is what you get. It’s black and tastes like, well, charcoal. But when mixed with lemon and other ingredients, it tends to blend in – minus the slight, after-taste texture on the tongue.

Buy it: Online or in-store at Organic Avenue or Pressed Juices.

Note: Don’t consume if you’re on medication as it can strip all toxins (good and bad) from your body. It’s also not recommended for children under 12.

4. Beetroot juice


What is it?
It’s been an athlete’s go-to for a while now, but the pink root veg – high in nitrate has gained a worthy reputation of recent, thanks to its proven record of medical benefits.

How do you have it?
Available in pressed juice form or as a high concentrated shot, beetroot juice is best consumed as is or added as a secondary ingredient to a mixed juice.

The health benefits
“Beetroot juice is incredible for your health,” says Bodypass nutritionist Rachael Javes. “The naturally occurring nitrates in beetroot convert into nitric oxide in the body – which helps relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.”

Beets have also been proven to help endurance athletes – with the University of the West of Scotland finding beetroot juice can boost physical performance in altitudes and the University of Exeter finding it can increase exercise stamina by up to 16 per cent.

The taste
Rich and earthy as you’d expect but when in concentrate form can be a lot sweeter. If you do choose to buy it in its natural state, tone it down by adding to a juice or smoothie for a less pungent taste.

Buy it: Online at Beet It or buy beetroot and blend or juice for a natural nitrate hit.

5. Switchel


What is it?
A tonic straight from the US – traditionally drunk by colonial farmers and now favoured by hipsters, switchel is a combination of apple cider vinegar, ginger and a sweetener (usually molasses, maple syrup or brown sugar).

How do you have it?
It’s available for purchase in the US but is yet to hit the Australian market. However, it’s just as easily made at home.

You can down it in a shot, but for the weaker stomached, popular uses include in salad dressings, stocks and marinades. Or it can be heated up in a saucepan and drank warm like a honey and lemon tea.

The health benefits
It’s not so much the drink itself, but the key nutrients found in it’s main ingredients. Apple cider vinegar balances PH levels, helps your gut, contains potassium rich electrolytes for regulating physical performance and ginger helps soothe and digest stomachs and eases inflammation and pain.

The taste
In one word – tart.

Make it: Combine four cups of water, 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup raw honey and 2 tsp organic ginger powder or 2.5 tbs fresh grated ginger in a jar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours then shake or stir before serving.

Watch this space
According to Shanks, it’s only going to keep growing –“the market is getting more adventurous and willing to go that next level for their experience of wellness.”

So, what else is on the rise?

“Botanical ingredients like Chinese herbs and ayurvedic medicines are popular, but it’s the Chinese medicinal mushrooms that are really trending with customers,” says Shanks.

“And for the right reason – they have an enormous amount of research behind them and offer everything from immunity, to longevity to vitality.”

Keep your eyes peeled also for these up-and-coming ingredients –

Slipper elm bark powder
Stinging nettle
Marshmallow root

Sam Bailey

About the person who wrote this

Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey is a Sydney-based journalist whose passion for health and fitness and has seen her write across health titles including Womens Fitness, Womens Health, Body + Soul and Daily Mail Australia. In her down time you can find her sipping green smoothies, attempting complex yoga poses and soaking up vitamin D on Bondi beach.

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