Continuing our new series, Jean Creen and her handyman husband ‘DIY’ Don offer more household tips and advice. This month Jean shows us how to make immune system-boosting juices…

The coronavirus crisis has made more and more of us think about our health and, in particular, the strength of our immune system. I feel sorry for people who are currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, which usually wipes out the immune system, making people even more vulnerable to visuses.

A close friend of mine had bowel cancer a few years ago, which had spread to his liver and, as part of his recovery, he started to take a lot more interest in natural ways to boost his immune system. Perhaps one of the most important investments he made at this time was to buy a good quality juice machine. I followed suit and bought my own juice machine, so I could help him with juices and also start to make my own.

▲ I typically use green apples, cucumber, celery, carrot and ginger as ingredients for a green juice each morning. Sometimes I’ll add other ingredients such as fennel, fresh spinach or lettuce, depending on what’s in the fridge at the time

When you mention juice, most people think of tasty juices such as orange juice or apple juice, and, of course, a good quality juice machine is perfect for this. However, if you’re taking juices as an healthy and immune-boosting drink, then taste goes out of the window and it’s more a case of thinking of juice as a medicine. A good quality juice machine will break down the cells in fruit or vegetables and give you all of the goodness, making this much more available to your body than if you just ate the fruit.

To help your immune system you really want juices that are full of vitamins such as vitamin C, which is actually fairly low in fruits like oranges. Lemons are better, but there are also high levels of vitamin C in things like fresh ginger root. Also, to help prevent cancer in the first place, you can add fruit and vegetables to your juices that are high in anti-oxidants, often found with red vegetables such as beetroot.

▲ The fruit and vegetables need to be cut into pieces small enough to be pushed into the top of the machine, which has a long neck to prevent fingers from getting trapped in the auger. However, because all the skin comes off as pulp, you don’t need to peel things like cucumber, just wash it, though I do always peel root vegetables before juicing them.

Currently in the USA there’s a bit of a fad for drinking celery juice on its own, with many claims made for its amazing health properties. It’s easy to make in my machine and has a rather salty flavour, so I often try it myself.

Of course, you can use any type of machine to make juices, from a blender to a small juice machine, but the more expensive machines that ‘cold press’ your fruit and vegetable are usually much better at releasing all of the goodness. In the following images I’ll show you how I make a healthy green juice with my machine, hopefully giving you some inspiration!