Green Juice has gained a ton of popularity in recent years and it seems as though every health enthusiast is posting photos on their social media page of their daily juice habit.
With all the fad-diets and misinformation in the health and wellness space, it’s important to question whether or not fruit and vegetable juice is all it's cracked up to be.
This article will be covering the health benefits of juicing vegetables, common mistakes to avoid, and what you need to know to optimize this practice.
Health Benefits of Juicing Vegetables
Alkalizing your bodies pH
Fresh-Pressed vegetable juice may very well be one of the most naturally alkalizing, healthy beverages you can consume.
People tend to consume far too many acidic foods and beverages.
It's important to reduce your consumption of these foods for many reasons, although we can also help combat the effects of acidic substances by bringing in more alkalizing foods.
Non-starchy vegetables contain many alkalizing minerals and compounds that help balance our bodies pH.
Here at Living Phit, we know how important this can be for weight loss, longevity, and overall good health.
Since juicing vegetables enables you to get such a large amount of these alkalizing compound into your body, it is one of the best beverages to consume to naturally fend off acidosis and improve your health.
Get a large volume and wide variety of nutrient-dense vegetable in an easy to consume manor
According to the CDC, in 2018 only 9.3% of people consumed the recommended amount of vegetables each day! That means over 90% of people are not getting enough vegetable intake to be healthy.(1)
What’s even worse about these stats is that I strongly believe that the recommended daily amount this survey is based on is too low! People would greatly benefit from even higher amounts if they want to attain optimal health!
Juicing is an excellent way to up your intake of healthy, non-starchy vegetables without having to choke down huge salads with items that can be unpalatable. It can be a quick, easy solution to up your intake.
3. Hydration With Structured Water!
Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. Knowing how much water to drink is incredibly important but also the quality of that water REALLY matters!
Structured water is one of the most superior forms of water. It’s not just H20, it’s actually H3O2 and has an amazing ability to hydrates your body. (2)
Well, vegetables just so happen to contain this superior form of water which is why they are such an incredible way to hydrate your body. Juicing is one of the best ways to ensure you're getting ample intake of structured water through vegetables.
Additionally, structured water contains an optimal pH which is essential for hydration and good health.
4. Juicing Vegetables Improves Nutrient Absorption
While fiber is a very important part of your diet, raw vegetable fiber is very hard to digest and can cause gastrointestinal issues in many people.
Fiber can also impede on the nutrient absorption from vegetables. That is why separating the fiber when juicing will increase your bodies ability to absorb the phytonutrients and beneficial compounds in the vegetables.(3)
"Non-starchy vegetables contain many alkalizing minerals and compounds that help balance our bodies pH."
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Juicing
Avoid Juicing Most Fruits!
Fruit contains many valuable nutrients and can be a healthy part of your diet when consumed correctly.
Although, fruit also contains a large amount of naturally occurring sugar! This is where many people go wrong and it can be very problematic, especially when juicing.
When you eat a whole fruit, the fiber in the fruit helps to slow down the conversion of sugar into blood glucose in your body (healthy fats also do an excellent job of this).
Juicing removes that fiber and therefore the sugar in the fruit will cause an even greater spike in your blood sugar, leading to a long list of undesirable health outcomes.
We want to avoid this, so avoid juicing most fruits and stick to low-sugar citrus such as lemons and limes.
Don’t Drink Vegetables Juice That's NOT Fresh
Always go for fresh-pressed juice! The reason is simple. After you have juiced a vegetable, the valuable nutrients and enzymes in that juice degrade very quickly.
The process of juicing ruptures the cell walls and breaks the enzymes which will lead to oxidation over time.
It’s ideal to drink your vegetable juice within 10-15 minutes after its been pressed, the sooner the better.
Now, this doesn’t mean if your vegetable juice has been sitting in your fridge in a bottle for a few hours it’s worthless. But, it does have significantly less nutrients and active enzymes the longer it sits after its been juiced.
That is the problem with store bought juice in a bottle. It is often pressed through a juicer long before you buy it and drink it, making it FAR inferior to fresh-pressed juice.
If you do buy vegetable juice, go to a juice bar where they freshly press it right in front of you, then drink it right up. Or better yet, juice your own! This is the vegetable juicer we recommend:
Phit tip: Add ice to the glass container your vegetable juice is going into and cap it up if you will not be drinking it immediately. Cold temperature and airtight containers help to slow oxidation.
3. Stay Away From Juicing Conventionally Grown Produce
Buying organic produce is always ideal when affordable, but it is even more important when you are juicing those vegetables.
Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain residue of toxic pesticide chemicals that can do extensive damage to your health.(4)
The issue with pesticides becomes even worse when juicing.
As I mentioned above, extracting the fiber improves nutrient absorption. Well, separating the fiber can also potentially increase the amount of chemical pesticide residue your body absorbs.
Always strive to buy organic when possible, especially when juicing.
4. Avoid Prolonged Juice Fasts
Going on a juice cleanse seems to be the fad among many people who want to rapidly lose weight or improve their health.
This is not the best idea since our bodies require healthy fats and essential amino acids (proteins) for optimal health.
Depriving your body of these important nutrients can delay results and have undesirable outcomes.
Many of the nutrients in your vegetable juice are better absorbed by the body when accompanied by healthy fats.
Additionally, the healthy fats will help to slow the conversion of any naturally occurring sugars in your juice.
Best Vegetables to Juice
The main thing you want to watch out for is too much sugar in your juice.
That is why it's best to avoid most fruits (except low sugar options like lemons/limes) and stick to mostly vegetables.
Some vegetables even have high amounts of sugar such as beets and carrots, so you will want to use them sparingly.
Now don't get me wrong, adding a few carrots into your juice is perfectly fine and they pack a ton of antioxidants and micronutrients, but don't over do it especially if your goal is weight loss.
One of my favorite vegetables to juice that works wonderfully as the base of your vegetable juice is celery!
Celery juice boast a wide array of benefits ranging from reducing inflammation to hydration to even detoxing your liver! (5)
List of great vegetables to juice:
- Turmeric root
- Leafy Greens (chard, spinach, romaine, kale, etc)
- Dandelion Greens
- Herbs (cilantro, parsley, watercress, etc.)
- Ginger root
- Sprouts & micro greens
- Any other vegetables your body does well with
I suggest adding some lemon or lime since the sour citrus can help take the edge off the bitterness from some of the vegetables listed above.
Juicing vegetables can have a multitude of health benefits when correctly including :
- Alkalizing your bodies pH
- Increasing the volume and variety of vegetables you consume
- Hydrating your body with structured water
- Improving nutrient absorption and aiding digestion
It’s Important to avoid these common mistakes:
- Juicing too many fruits (excess sugar)
- Drinking juice that's not fresh
- Using pesticide ridden, conventional produce when juicing
- Having only juice, and avoiding other important macronutrients
Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to optimize the health and healing benefits of fresh-pressed vegetable juice!