Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t deny that green juices come with a lot of health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet, yet many people still find it hard to include enough of them in their daily routine. Enter green juices.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that processed foods still make up a large part of the diets of so many Americans. They’re easy, convenient, and cheap, making it harder to resist popping them into the grocery cart.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, many Americans do not meet their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. In fact, the Standard American Diet exceeds the recommended amounts of refined grains, added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium per day.
So what can you do to include more essential nutrients in your diet? The answer is simple: green juices.
Green juices are usually made from nutrient-dense green vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumber, and celery. Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are high in vitamins A, C, K and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Although green juices mostly contain only green veggies, you can also add a small amount of fruit to your green juices. Especially, if you’re not a huge fan of the taste of veggies like celery for example.
Citrus fruits and green apples are also popular ingredients, plus they’re also high in vitamin C. Ginger is another common addition to green juices and can give them an extra boost due to its many wellness properties.
Green juices are a healthy, delicious, and super versatile snack. Drinking green juice is a great way to kick of a healthy routine!
Is there a difference between juices and smoothies?
Although both fresh juices and smoothies are usually packed with essential vitamins and minerals, they are not the same thing.
Juices are made by extracting the juice from fresh fruits and veggies. In the end, you’re left with a liquid that contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Pulp, seeds, and other solid matter are left out of a juice (which is great for those who aren’t a fan of “bits”). Juices require a little extra equipment as they’re typically made using a juicer. Green juice benefits are also slightly different from the benefits of smoothies.
Smoothies are made by blending fruits and/or vegetables together using a blender or food processor. There’s a little more creativity involved with making smoothies because they can also contain other ingredients. They may also have a slightly higher fiber content because of the fruit or vegetable pulp and flesh. Popular additions to smoothies are other liquids like water, plant-based milk, or yogurt. You can also add other healthy ingredients like oats, seeds, or nut butter to make the smoothie more filling and protein-rich.
How many calories are in a green juice?
It depends entirely on what you put in it! The number of calories in green juice will change depending on which fruits or vegetables you’ve added to the recipe. Generally, a higher veggie to fruit ratio will usually mean fewer calories. This is because fruits have a higher sugar content than vegetables. This increases the calorie content of the juice.
The higher sugar content is also more likely to spike your blood sugar levels. Drinking green juice that has more vegetable than fruit juice might help to keep this in check.
You should also note that it matters where your juice comes from. The number of calories varies significantly between store-bought and homemade juices. Some store-bought options may contain somewhere around 120 kcal per cup. This is a lot more compared to a homemade juice made of ingredients like kale, lemon, apple, ginger, and celery which contains about 60 kcal per cup.
Although store-bought juices might be a more convenient option, making your own juice at home usually results in a more nutritious beverage.
The good news is that if you don’t have the time or energy to make a single serving of green juice every day, you can also make a batch in advance. These will usually keep in the fridge for several days, depending on the ingredients you’ve added.
Is it okay to drink green juices on an empty stomach?
Drinking a green juice first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to get the day started! It nourishes your body with essential vitamins and minerals so you feel more energized right from the get-go. It also helps to power up your digestive system.
Can I drink green juice every day?
If juice cleanses don’t sound like your thing at all don’t worry. You don’t need to go on a juice cleanse to enjoy green juices on a regular basis. You will still get the nutritional benefits of green juices by incorporating it into your regular routine and enjoying it as a part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. Green juice can be enjoyed on a daily basis, and you can mix it up by switching the juice recipe so you don’t get bored.
And now for the big question – why should you go green when it comes to getting your daily dose of juice? Let’s take a closer look at the various health benefits of green juice.
The Benefits of Green Juice:
Packed with antioxidants
Thanks to all those nutrient-dense fruit and veggies, green juices are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that can help to fight free radicals, compounds that may have harmful effects on the body.
Vitamin C and E are two great sources of antioxidants that come with many health benefits. For example, both vitamins are great for skin, immune, and overall health. Plus, they might be beneficial for promoting healthy inflammatory responses in the body. Next time you’re juicing, add some antioxidant-rich foods like kiwi or spinach to the mix for an extra health boost.
Certain compounds in fresh juice act as prebiotics that can support the growth of “good” bacteria, or probiotics, in the digestive tract. Probiotics are tiny living organisms that aid the process of digestion in our guts. They are often referred to as “good”, or beneficial, bacteria.
Some studies suggest that fresh green juices contain prebiotics, which essentially help to feed the friendly gut bacteria. This can help to balance out our guts, making for smoother digestive health.
In fact, there are several possible benefits of regularly including prebiotics in your diet. Research suggests that they may help with regularity, healthy weight management, and provide immune support.
Speaking of immune support, all those vitamins and minerals in green juices can also help to give your immune function some much-needed love. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach contain vitamins A, C, and E which can help give your immune system a little extra support. Adding some ginger and citrus fruit to your green juice can also give your green juice an immune-supporting twist.
Increased nutrient intake
For those of you who lead busy, hectic lifestyles or find it hard to get enough vegetables and fruit into your diet, this one is for you. If you struggle to get your nutrition under control, drinking green juices can help you get those essential nutrients in.
Juicing vegetables and fruit might also be a good option in certain situations. For example, people who have recently undergone surgery or have trouble digesting meals for other reasons might benefit from consuming their nutrients in juices. In these cases, it’s always better to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian for advice.
What does green juice do for you? The bottom line on green juice benefits:
Juicing is a convenient way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Although the nutritional benefits are more or less the same as eating the fruit or vegetable whole, juicing offers a ton of health benefits.
- Juicing is a simple way to add essential nutrients and antioxidants to your diet
- They help you meet the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables
- Minimum prep time needed – juicing is a real time-saver for busy people
- If you aren’t a fan of many plant foods – juice is easy and quick to drink
- Easier to digest – this may benefit those who experience digestive problems
- They are a good base to add mix-ins like superfood powders
Convinced that you need these green juice benefits in your daily routine but need some green juice inspiration? Check out our simple green juice recipe (plus some handy tips on which type of juicer to go for)!