Green juice has become a popular health trend in recent years, and for a good reason. Read on to know about the health benefits of drinking green juice!
What is Green Juice?
Green juice is a beverage made primarily from green vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, but it can also contain some fruits such as apples, kiwifruit, lemon, grapefruit, and pears to improve its taste.
This juice is often green in color, thus the name. Drinking green juice is the easiest way to obtain the nutrients in these vegetables and fruits in one serving without cooking.
Green juice is an extremely rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients that can support your overall health, including boosting your immune system.
You can easily find commercial green juices. However, most tend to contain added sugar which may make them less healthy.
Prepacked green juices are also pasteurized to prolong their shelf life and kill bacteria, and this process may damage some nutrients present in fresh juices.
So if you want to enjoy the numerous benefits of green juice, it’s better to prepare yours at home.
Green Juice Nutrition Facts
Made from nutrient-dense vegetables like kale, spinach, and cucumber, green juice contains high levels of vitamins and minerals that can have numerous health benefits when consumed regularly.
High in vitamins and minerals
Green juices are excellent sources of various essential vitamins and minerals. For example, veggies such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are high in vitamins A, B6, C, and K, riboflavin, and folate.
They are also a good source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and selenium.
Rich in antioxidants
Green juices are a concentrated source of various antioxidants from the green veggies, including:
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids are essential pigments that give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors. They also possess antioxidant properties and have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions.
- Quercetin: This is a plant flavonol from the polyphenol group of antioxidants. It’s present in many fruits and vegetables and has been shown to provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Lutein: This is an antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid group and is found in high amounts in leafy greens and orange-yellow vegetables. It’s important for maintaining healthy eyes as well as reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Zeaxanthin: This is also a carotenoid antioxidant commonly present in dark green vegetables. It acts as a light filter that protects the eye from too much sunlight damage.
- Glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that can offer protection against cancer, fight inflammation, prevent diabetes, and lower cholesterol, among other benefits.
- Kaempferol: Kaempferol is one of the most abundant bioflavonoids in cruciferous vegetables like kale, arugula, and broccoli. It has been shown to offer antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, neuroprotective, and anti-cancer properties.
Benefits of Drinking Green Juice
From boosting energy levels to improving digestion and even reducing inflammation, the advantages of incorporating green juice into your diet are plentiful.
This article will explore some of the top green juice benefits, how it can improve your overall health and well-being, and any possible side effects.
1. Helps with weight loss
Green juice is a healthy beverage choice that can help you lose weight in several ways, including:
i. Boosting metabolism
Metabolism refers to the continuous chemical processes that occur in the body to maintain homeostasis. These processes may include those involved in the breakdown of nutrients in the food or the building and repair of body tissues. For these processes to occur efficiently, your body will require some energy.
However, when you have a slow metabolism, these processes slow down, and so does your energy production causing you to gain weight or making it difficult to lose weight.
On the other hand, if your metabolism is high, you’ll be able to burn more calories during the bodily processes, thus causing you to lose weight.
Green juice is a rich source of the B group of vitamins, which have been shown to boost metabolism. Vitamin B helps break down fats, protein, and carbohydrates and turn them into usable energy for easy use in the body.
In a lab study, supplementation with vitamin B was shown to improve metabolism-related enzymatic activities leading to reduced weight gain and low blood lipid levels.
ii. Increasing detoxification
Detoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body. Toxins can come from many sources, including the environment, food, and water.
When our bodies are filled with toxins, they can’t function properly. This results in a slower metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. By cleansing the body of toxins, you can boost your metabolism and lose weight.
Green juices are the best for detoxification since they deliver a huge amount of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for detoxification. It also helps cleanse the digestive system, which can further boost weight loss.
2. Can be a healthy swap for coffee
Coffee is a morning drink for most people, and even though it’s high in antioxidants and may help you get the day started, coffee contains high levels of caffeine, which has been shown to cause various health issues, including insomnia, anxiety, digestive issues, muscle loss, addiction, dehydration, and headaches.
Instead of dealing with all these issues, you can go for a healthier alternative, like green juice. It’s high in vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that can boost your energy levels and productivity throughout the day.
3. Lowers cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods. High cholesterol levels in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. However, incorporating green juices into your diet can help reduce these risks.
Vegetables are a good source of vitamin B3 or niacin, which has been shown to increase HDL or good cholesterol, which can help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol.
In fact, the supplement of this vitamin has even been used as a prescription to help lower cholesterol and other fats in patients with high cholesterol.
Additionally, green juice is rich in antioxidants that can fight inflammation and prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol leading to cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
4. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
One of the reasons why green juice is so effective at reducing inflammation is because it contains high levels of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
These unstable molecules are produced when we are exposed to toxins such as pollution or smoke. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which leads to inflammation.
Green juice typically neutralizes these compounds making them less harmful to the body.
For example, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to provide long-lasting anti-inflammatory benefits.
In one study, 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis taking 500 mg of quercetin were shown to have fewer inflammatory markers, including TNFα, than a placebo.
These findings also resulted in a significant improvement in their symptoms, such as morning stiffness and pain, including after-activity pain.
5. Decreases risk of chronic diseases
Green juice is a good source of numerous nutrients that can help lower the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
For instance, green juice contains high levels of chlorophyll, which has been shown to fight cancer. It also contains vitamins C and E, both of which are antioxidants that can help protect against heart disease and other chronic diseases.
6. Promotes healthy skin
Antioxidants in green juice can protect the skin from free radical damage, while some, like vitamin C, can increase collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps keep the skin looking young and firm.
Vitamin C has also been shown to protect the skin against the damaging effects of UV rays, among other environmental factors. This can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of damage.
The chlorophyll in green juice can also help detoxify your skin, while the vitamins and minerals help keep your skin healthy and radiant. Drinking green juice regularly can help improve your overall skin health and give you a glowing complexion.
7. Increases energy levels
Green juice is a good source of vitamin C which can help provide an instant energy boost, especially when taken first thing in the morning.
Dark leafy greens are also high in several energy-boosting nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, all of which can boost your brain functions while keeping you energized.
8. Improves mental clarity and focus
Green juice is high in essential nutrients that can facilitate a clear and focused mind. The presence of chlorophyll, for example, has been shown to promote the elimination of toxins and other harmful compounds. This can help clear your mind and promote functions.
Antioxidants in green juice can also protect the brain from free radical damage, further enhancing your mental clarity and focus.
9. Reduces stress and anxiety
When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, drinking green juice can be a helpful tool. Green juice is packed with nutrients that help the body reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
For example, green juices are often high in magnesium. This mineral is known for relaxing the nervous system and easing anxiety. Vitamin C is another nutrient that can help the body fight off stressors.
How to Make Green Juice at Home:
1. Selecting the ingredients
- Choose your green vegetables like kale, spinach, celery, and Swiss chard, depending on what’s in the market.
- You can also include fruits like grapefruit, lime, lemon, oranges, apples, and pear. Don’t forget ginger for some heat and health benefits.
- To make your juice, you can decide to go with one variety of vegetables with some fruits and ginger or mix different types of vegetables. For example, you can make green juice from kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lime juice, apples, and ginger.
2. Making the juice
- If using a juicer, chop up the ingredients into big chunks and juice like you normally would.
- If you don’t have a juicer, add the chopped ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer or nut milk bag to obtain the juice.
- Chill the liquid in the fridge until nice and cold then enjoy.
Reasons to make green juice at home:
- It’s more affordable. Store-bought juices are often highly-priced compared to homemade. Besides, it’s easy for you to decide what ingredients go into the juice depending on the ingredient’s price vs what you have to spend and the availability of different produce.
- Homemade juice is fresher and tastier. Freshly made green juice tastes better than pre-packaged varieties. Additionally, homemade juice is likely to be more flavourful as people often go for the best ingredients for juicing.
- You can easily customize homemade juice to your liking. Something you cannot do with readymade varieties.
- You know what’s in it. When you make green juice at home, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it. This way, you can avoid any unwanted additives or sweeteners that may be present in store-bought versions.
- It’s more convenient. Making your green juice at home means that you can drink it whenever you want, without having to find a juicery or wait in line for your favorite drink.
Suggestions for how to serve your homemade green juice
- Pour it into a glass and drink it as is. This is the quickest and easiest way to enjoy your green juice.
- Add some sparkling water for a refreshing spritzer
- Make a smoothie by adding banana, avocado, or other fruit to your green juice in the blender
- Use green juice as the base for a healthy soup or sauce
- Freeze green juice into ice cubes or popsicles for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
How to store leftover juice:
- If you have leftover juice, there are a few different ways that you can store it.
- If you have a small amount of juice, you can pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once the juice is frozen, you can transfer it to a freezer bag or container.
- This is a great way to have small amounts of juice on hand for smoothies or other recipes.
- If you have a larger amount of leftover juice, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. Just pour the juice into a clean jar or container and seal it tightly. You can also add a piece of paper with the date and type of juice so that you know what it is and when it was made.
Effects of too much green juice:
- Too much intake may harm your kidneys due to high oxalate levels
- While green juice from vegetables is low in calories and sugar, too much-added fruit can increase sugar levels making it unsuitable for those with diabetes.
- It’s low in fiber
- It may cause upset stomach in sensitive individuals
Incorporating green juice into your diet can provide numerous health benefits.
It can improve digestion, boost energy levels, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and more.
While you can easily obtain a bottle of green juice in the store, making your own at home can be more delicious and nutritious. Besides, it’s easy to make, and you can easily customize it to what you have at hand.
Besides, green juice can be a great alternative to less healthy beverages that most people often take.
More About Vegetables:
- How to Eat More Vegetables
- Best Vegetables for Diabetics
- 10+ Best Immunity Boosting Vegetables
- How to Use Food as Medicine
- Vegetables With High Protein
- How Much Fiber Per Day?
- Foods for Glowing Skin
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