There’s no doubt about it: green is in vogue. Everyone from Oprah to Fergie is frothing at the mouth about the myriad green juice benefits, but unlike so many other fads: this one is here to stay. The motto is: drink green juice to get and stay fit and healthy.
Why? Simply because green (in our diet) has always been in – it’s always been good for us. But most of us are strapped for time and let’s face it – we’re not eating all the greens we should. This is precisely where the most obvious benefits of green juice come in: convenience. Drinking green juice is just easier and includes all health benefits for your immune system, still.
So let’s start there and get our juicer ready, shall we?
5 Green Juice Benefits Worth Sipping On
Did you know that just one 16-ounce glass of organic green juice is so packed with nutrients and vitamin C that it contains all five of your daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies? Which brings us to the biggest reason to start drinking your greens…
#1. It’s Easy to Do
How bloated and full would you feel if you were to consume what’s typically found in green juices: 1 carrot, 1 cup of kale, 1 zucchini, half a cup of spinach, half an apple, half a pear, a stalk of celery, and a handful of parsley?
You’d be hard-pressed to chew your way through all those fruits and veggies – especially all raw and without any sort of salad dressing or flavoring.
But the above list is what I had for my breakfast juice this morning and it was insanely delicious, crazy nutritious, and took me just 15 minutes to slow sip, swish, and swallow.
The awesome thing about green juice is that it takes wonderfully nutritionally-rich foods that we don’t normally eat a lot of and it extracts its valuable nutritional content into an easily-digestible juice.
The result? You actually end up getting (more than) the recommended intake of fruits, veggies, and especially those darn beneficial leafy greens. Because if it’s easy to do, it’s a lot more likely you’ll do it.
#2. You Get a Big Boost of Energy
It’s said that 95% of the vitamins, minerals, and living enzymes is found in the juice and not the fiber of fruits and vegetables. And whereas we do need fiber in our daily diets, the absence of it in juice makes it pretty much effortless for our bodies to instantly digest and absorb this highly concentrated cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes straight into our bloodstream.
Your digestive system gets a welcome break. You get a huge charge of vital nutrients and an instant energy boost – and have energy throughout the day since your digestive system isn’t expending all its energy digesting heavy foods.
#3. Big Nutrition for Little Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight or simply would like to maintain the weight you have – green juice is your new best friend.
Considering the wealth of nutrition leafy greens have to offer, they come with very little baggage. There’s hardly any calories. There’s no fat to speak of. And sugar? Yea, hardly any of that either.
As it stands, it’s virtually impossible to have too much leafy greens in your diet (well, as long as you’re varying your greens, of course). These nutritional powerhouses will nourish you while helping to reduce cravings. It’s a win win if there ever was one.
#4. Green Juices are Alkalizing
All vegetables are alkalizing. And that’s a good thing. But why does that matter?
Well, to understand the importance of this we’re going to go into a brief explanation of how acidity and alkalinity relate to our health. As you may already know, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being extremely acidic, 14 being extremely alkaline, and 7 being neutral. Our body fluids range between 4.5 and 7.5 pH.
In order for our bodies to remain healthy, it tries to keep a delicate and precise balance of blood pH at 7.365 – which is slightly alkaline. It is, in a way, better for our health to stay slightly alkaline. And this is where the problem comes in – most of us live very acid-forming lifestyles. Acid is produced in your body whenever you experience stress, upsetting feelings and when you eat acid-forming foods.
Parasites, viruses, bad bacteria, and degenerative diseases are more prevalent in an acidic system, which is why the body fluids of those who are sick are either slightly more or very acidic, while the body fluids of healthy people tend to be slightly more alkaline. An acidic environment makes it harder for our body to fight and reverse disease, leading to a host of health issues including allergies, joint pain, digestive issues, etc.
Green juices are very alkaline and help balance out the acidic condition we’re continuously creating in our bodies.
One of the biggest green juice benefits ever is that green juice supplies your body with an ample dose of chlorophyll. Snippets of high school biology class might be coming back to you now.
Remember that stuff about chlorophyll? In case you don’t, chlorophyll is a green pigment found in all green plants which is responsible for converting carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose.
Great, you say, but what does that mean for you? Well, tons. Here’s a little look at why chlorophyll is awesome news for your body, skin and overall well-being…
- Detox. Chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier and potent antioxidant. It helps your body release stored toxins and neutralize the pollution that is breathed in on a daily basis. It also aids in the recycling of nutrients and DNA repair. Chlorophyll has also been shown to be especially useful in the removal of certain heavy metals that may have accumulated in our bodies.
- Energy. In addition, chlorophyll boosts your blood’s hemoglobin count, which aids blood circulation and in turn provides you with a lot more energy. Green juices make it that much quicker and easier for your cells to get the nutrients they need, to provide you with the energy that you need.
- Fights cancer. This green pigment also has been found to have anti-carcinogenic effects. It blocks the metabolism of pro-carcinogens that damage DNA and protects against air-borne carcinogens from pollution as well as toxins from cooked meats.
One of my favorite things about chlorophyll is that it’s rich in vital minerals, especially magnesium – something our bodies need but many of us are deficient in. You see, the molecular structure of chlorophyll is pretty much identical to hemoglobin (the red blood cells that transport oxygen to blood) except for the center atom – in hemoglobin, the center atom is iron.
In chlorophyll, it’s magnesium. This magnesium is super important since it helps to deliver much needed oxygen to cells and tissues. It also has a highly alkalizing effect on the body and is thought to be critical for our cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems as well as for proper functioning of muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and even our brains.
Oh, and did I mention magnesium helps our bodies better absorb calcium?
And that’s not all – in case you might suffer from halitosis or would just like fresher breath, chlorophyll is a very effective breath freshener that works from the inside out.
Is Green Juice Good for You?
Okay, those are some pretty awesome benefits. But there’s one thing that can be a downside of green juices – or more specifically, the way most of us juice our greens.
So what’s not to like about green juices?
The answer lies in the term ‘anti-nutrients’. All leaves contain a small amount of toxins that act as a defense mechanism to protect the plant from predators eating up all of one kind of plants (it’s like the plant’s way of saying, “Go on, you! Find some other greens to chew on!”).
And when you consume a large amount of the same kind of greens (with the same kind of anti-nutrients) – there is the chance that these toxins could exacerbate an already existing medical condition. And nobody wants that.
How to Get the Most Green Juice Benefits in Every Glass
The simple way to avoid ever dealing with any problems anti-nutrients can cause while reaping the most green juice benefits is to…switch it up!
If you’ve been juicing the same old spinach for the past few weeks – get to know endives, kale, Swiss chard, and watercress. Fruits and vegetables can have some variety! Especially with green veggies.
If your signature green is kale – call a break to date around with chicory, dandelion greens, good ole’ lettuce, arugula and amaranth.
Even apart from the obvious benefit of avoiding anti-nutrient toxicity, varying your greens is an awesome idea since each leafy green comes with ample benefits of its own. Just to give you an idea…
- Arugula, commonly referred to as salad rocket, has a peppery flavor that has a natural cooling effect on the body. Unlike other greens, arugula is has aphrodisiacal properties. It stimulates and vitalizes the body, providing both power and energy, including sexual energy.
- Cabbage juice, when consumed regularly, can be used to treat chronic headaches. It has lots of Vitamin C, too. It can also be used in more acute cases, such as a splitting headache from a hangover. Plus, it’s absolutely awesome for stomach conditions – read more about cabbage juice benefits!
- Spinach juice is a natural way to get beautiful skin. The vitamins and minerals in spinach provide instant relief from dry, itchy skin and give you a radiant, glowing complexion.
- Kale is a great source of calcium. It is contains more calcium per 100mg than milk. It also contains alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega 3 fatty acid. ALA is necessary for brain health, heart health, and reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Read more about kale juice benefits!
- Mustard Greens have higher levels of Vitamin K than most other green leafy vegetables. This vitamin is important in the growth of health bones and it also increases bone mass. It also limits damage to the neurons in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Swiss Chard contains a unique combination of phytonutrients that play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. As such, it is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes to consume this vegetable. The fiber and protein in Swiss chard also provide additional benefits in terms of blood sugar regulation.
- Watercress is a semi aquatic vegetable, which means that it has a particularly high water content. Drinking watercress juice is an effective way to maintain good oral health. It is especially effective in treating gum problems.
As you can see, there’s a lot of green goodness out there so do yourself a favor (and avoid this anti-nutrient toxicity) by varying your green vegetables regularly. So many benefits of green juice to help eat your green veggies and to help you lower your blood sugar, for example. Want to meet more greens? Check out this list of the best greens for juicing!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it good to drink green juice every day?
Yes! In a healthy diet, the recommended amount of vegetables is at least two and a half cups per day. For most people, this is quite challenging to achieve on a daily basis. If you drink green juice every day, you can easily reach your vegetable quota (and more!) in one sitting.
How much green juice should you drink a day?
The amount of green juice you should drink a day depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you are not used to a diet that includes many fruits and vegetables, it is sufficient to drink one glass per day or even less. Those who have already decided in favor of green juices can easily consume several glasses daily without hesitation.
When should I drink green juice?
There is no wrong time to drink green juice. It’s always a good idea to start your day with a glass of fresh, nutrient-dense juice. However, you can also enjoy a nutritious beverage at any other time of the day. Some people like to drink green juice as a snack or in place of dessert. It all depends on your preference.
How many times can you drink green juice?
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to boost your health, then drinking green juice is the answer. However, there’s no need to drink it all day long or multiple times per day. Once a day is enough … unless you want more! It is completely up to you how often you decide to enjoy a delicious juice.
Can you drink green juice on an empty stomach?
Yes, you can drink green juice on an empty stomach. However, if you are not used to it or if your digestive system is not yet accustomed to a high intake of vegetables, then drinking juice on an empty stomach might not be the best idea. In this case, try drinking juice after a light meal or snack. You’ll still get all the nutrients, but you’ll be able to digest them better.
Can green juice make you sick?
It is possible for some people to experience nausea after drinking green juices. If this happens, simply reduce your daily intake or drink less at a time and try again another day. Over time, your body will adjust and you can enjoy more.
Does green juice help you lose weight?
Yes, green juice can help you lose weight. There are two main reasons why drinking green juices is beneficial for your waistline: they contain few calories and fill you up quickly with nutrients. Since most juices are made from fruits and vegetables that are low in calories, you won’t gain any pounds by drinking them.
How long does it take for a green juice to work?
The benefits of drinking green juice are immediate. The moment you drink a glass, the nutrients enter your bloodstream and begin their work. However, depending on how much you drink at one time and what other foods you consume during the day, it may take some time for your body to fully process all that goodness.
What should I eat after green juice?
There is no need to eat anything after green juice. In fact, you might even find that you don’t have much of an appetite for food after drinking a healthy juice. However, if you are still hungry, try eating light and healthy foods such as fruits or vegetables.