Protein juice…sounds weird, yea? But did you know that broccoli actually has more protein per calorie than beef?
When it comes to the vital macronutrient protein, fruits and veggies are some of the most underrated sources on earth. Most people equate fruits and vegetables with vitamins and minerals and meat with protein.
But some fruits and veggies actually contain quite a bit of protein. The only reason they’re not usually considered a smart source of protein is because it’s often hard to eat enough fruits and veggies to meet your daily recommended value of protein before filling up on the fiber first.
The good news is that when you juice, you’re able to consume larger amounts of fruits and veggies than you normally would. So it’s really rather easy to whip up a delicious glass of totally vegan protein juice!
These larger quantities of fruits and veggies can deliver adequate protein to your body, which your body needs, especially during a juice cleanse or juice fast. ‘Cause juice fasts are great to detox your body and reboot your health, but without adequate protein, you’re likely to feel hungrier than you’d like to throughout your fast.
Our bodies tend to digest proteins slower than carbs so it’s a good idea to give your body plenty of protein throughout a juice fast to keep you feeling satiated and the hunger pains at bay.
How to Make Protein Juice
The first and most obvious step is to add protein-rich veggies to your juice recipes.Many veggies are surprisingly high in protein and juicing these protein-rich veggies during your juice fast is an easy way to work towards your daily protein needs.
Veggies that are high in protein include:
- 1 cup of Green Peas = 8 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Yellow Corn = 5 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Artichoke = 4 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Asparagus = 3 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Broccoli = 3 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Cauliflower = 2 grams of protein
- 1 cup of Kale = 2 grams of protein
A glass full of fresh juice with just 1 cup of green peas – pods and all – plus 1 cup of corn kernels, 2 cups of kale and a few slices of either pineapple or half an apple makes a yummy juice and gives you 17 grams of protein. Not bad, we say, not bad at all.
And if you still feel you’re not meeting your protein needs with just juice, there’s always another option…
Add Fresh Juice to Protein-Rich Smoothies: When it comes to easily consuming a large load of protein – and healthy fats and fiber – in one quick go, look no further than smoothies.
As we mentioned before, juicers and blenders complement each other perfectly with one filling in the gaps the other misses.
And protein is a lovely example of this.
As you already know, you can meet your daily protein needs by juicing veggies that are rich in produce, but what if you need more protein?
For example, our daily protein needs depends on your age, size, and activity level. To keep things simple – to figure out your minimum daily protein requirement, just multiply your weight in kilos by .8 or your weight in pounds by .37. Or use a protein calculator.
According to this method, if you weigh only 150 lbs., you need 55 grams of protein per day, which is not too difficult to meet with protein-rich fresh juice. However, if you weight 250 lbs., you need a minimum of 92 grams of protein per day and it can be a bit of a challenge to get that through just juice.
This is where smoothies come in. After making your fresh juice, you can add it to a blender along with some very protein-rich ingredients in order to obtain even more protein.
Of course, if you’re doing a “digestion-free” juice fast in which you want to consume no solid foods or fiber at all – smoothies may not be an option for you. But if you’re doing a modified juice fast, the below foods will help you get the natural protein and healthy fats your body needs.
Smoothies allow you to incorporate protein-abundant foods you can’t really “juice” like:
- Greek yogurt: Just 100 grams gives you 10 grams of protein
- Chickpeas: Most peas (and beans) are pretty darn high in protein, but chickpeas take the cake, with just half a cup giving you close to 20 grams of protein.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are protein (and healthy fat) powerhouses. Just 2 tablespoons of peanuts gives you 8 grams of protein, half a cup of sunflower seeds gives you over 14 grams of protein, just 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds gives you 10 grams of protein, and half a cup of cashews gets you a little over 10 grams of protein.
If you are really adventurous, you can even add tofu to your smoothies (just half a cup gives you 10 grams of protein). These blend-able foods will add essential proteins, fats and nutrients to your fresh juices and take your juice fast to a whole new level of nutrition.
Juicing is the perfect way to incorporate large quantities of nutrients into your body. Whether you are trying a juice fast or cleanse, or simply adding juice to your daily diet, drinking juices with protein is essential for your health.
Protein allows your body to rebuild its cells and stay strong. Its a key nutrient in keeping your body functioning at prime levels. By following these simple tips, you can easily add protein to your juices and make them even healthier and keep yourself feeling satiated and satisfied throughout your juice fast.