Starting your day with a glass of green juice has become increasingly popular in recent years. Proponents of juicing claim it gives you an extra boost of energy and floods your body with vitamins and minerals first thing in the morning. But is juicing truly beneficial and what are some of the top reasons you may want to make green juice part of your morning routine?
1. Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Green juices are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals from all the fruits and vegetables used to make them. For example, greens like kale, spinach, parsley, and celery provide vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes offer vitamin C and folate. Apples contain vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Cucumbers provide vitamin K, potassium, and manganese. Ginger can give you a boost of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium as well.
By combining several nutrient-dense ingredients, you can get a powerful dose of vitamins and minerals in one drink. This can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet and provide your body with the key micronutrients it needs to thrive.
2. Increases Your Vegetable and Fruit Intake
Most people simply do not eat enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The recommended intake is at least 2-3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day. Juicing makes it easy to consume multiple servings of produce in one drink.
For example, you could mix together 1 apple, 1 cucumber, a large handful of spinach, a cup of kale, half a lemon, half an inch of fresh ginger, and a cup of parsley. This one juice would provide nearly 5 servings of fruits and vegetables!
Drinking green juice is an effortless way to increase your produce intake and get a wider variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients from fruits and veggies.
3. High in Antioxidants
Many of the fruits, veggies, and herbs used in green juices are excellent sources of antioxidants. These include beta-carotene in carrots, vitamin C in citrus fruits, catechins in green tea, and quercetin in apples. Antioxidants help counter the damaging effects of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Research has linked higher antioxidant intake to benefits like lower risk of chronic diseases, protection against aging and cognitive decline, and improved immune function. Packing your juice full of antioxidant-rich ingredients can promote these benefits.
4. Aids Digestion
Starting your morning with a green juice filled with gut-healthy fruits and vegetables can also give your digestion a boost. The fiber and water content from the produce can help relieve constipation by adding bulk and moisture to the stools.
Some common additions like ginger, lemon, and celery may provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help stimulate digestive juices. The nutrients and enzymes from fresh produce can also aid the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Enjoying a green juice first thing in the morning may get your digestion flowing smoothly to start the day. This can also help you feel lighter and less bloated.
5. Hydrates Your Body
Mornings are often a time when the body is slightly dehydrated after going hours without fluids overnight. Drinking a tall glass of juice made largely from fruits and veggies with high water content is an excellent way to rehydrate.
Juice made from produce like cucumber, celery, grapes, oranges, apples, melons, and pineapple can provide a big dose of fluids. Starting your day with proper hydration helps the body run more efficiently and gives you an energy boost.
6. Provides Natural Energy
That rush of energy you get after drinking a green juice is not just in your head. The carbohydrates from the fruits in the juice provide a quick source of natural energy to fuel your body and brain. The B vitamins from produce like spinach and parsley also energize the body and help it convert food into usable fuel.
This natural lift can be a great alternative to grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. While the caffeine in coffee does increase alertness, it can also cause jitters, anxiety, and energy crashes later.
The more sustained energy boost from vegetable and fruit juices may help you start the day feeling refreshed and focused without the buzz and crash from coffee.
7. Aids Weight Loss
Replacing higher calorie beverages like orange juice or milk with low-calorie, low-sugar green juices can aid weight loss efforts. For example, 1 cup of green juice made with spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, and lemon would provide around 50 calories. The same serving of orange juice has over 110 calories. Drinking juice instead of eating breakfast can also reduce your morning calorie intake.
The fiber from the fruits and veggies can additionally promote satiety and curb hunger cravings. Some research suggests juices high in nutrients like nitrates, polyphenols, and antioxidants may also boost metabolism and fat burning.
Making green juice part of your morning routine is an easy way to cut calories without leaving you hungry.
8. Improves Skin Health
Starting your day with a large serving of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from green juice can also give your skin a healthy glow. The vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc from produce like oranges, carrots, and spinach support collagen production and healthy cell turnover for smooth, youthful skin.
The antioxidants in green juice can also help limit oxidative damage from things like sunlight, pollution, and smoke that can age and dull the skin. Hydrating and nourishing your skin from the inside out with the nutrients in juice can keep your complexion looking fresh.
9. Easy to Make Ahead
Mornings are often busy and rushed for many people. Preparing a fresh juice every day can seem time-consuming and tedious. Luckily, you can easily make a big batch of green juice ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
Most juices will keep well for 24-48 hours. You can make a few days’ worth on your day off then grab and go each morning. Having the juice already waiting in the fridge makes it convenient and simple to enjoy even on hectic mornings.
10. Customizable to Your Tastes
There are endless combinations of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you can use to make your own custom green juice. Tailoring the ingredients to suit your personal tastes makes it more likely you will stick with drinking it. Like it sweet? Throw in more apples, grapes, pineapple, or orange. Prefer savory? Use more greens and leave out the fruit. Want it spicy? Add a kick with ginger or jalapeno.
Playing around with different ingredients also adds variety so you do not get bored always drinking the same juice. Switching up the produce you use can expose you to a wider range of nutrients as well.
Potential Downsides of Juicing
While drinking green juice has many benefits, there are a few potential downsides to consider as well:
- Nutrients are lost when produce is juiced rather than eaten whole. Juicing strips away the fiber and can degrade some vitamins.
- Juices contain little protein compared to whole foods. You may need to incorporate protein from other sources.
- It takes large amounts of produce to make a small amount of juice. This can get expensive, especially out of season.
- The high sugar content without fiber can spike blood sugar. Consume juices in moderation.
- Juices high in fruits and carrots have more sugar and calories than greens.
To maximize the benefits while minimizing downsides, focus your juices on low-sugar veggies like cucumbers and leafy greens. Add just enough fruit for sweetness and limit to a reasonable serving size. Alternate juicing with eating whole fruits and veggies as well.
Making Green Juices
Making flavorful green juices at home is simple with a good high-power blender or juicer. Here are some tips for making great juices:
- Wash all produce thoroughly before juicing.
- Cut fruits and vegetables to fit your juicer’s feed tube.
- Juice the softer ingredients like leafy greens first, then harder items.
- Combine sweet and tart flavors by juicing fruits like apples, berries, citrus.
- Drink immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 48 hours.
- If using a blender, dilute with a little water to blend smoothly if needed.
Experiment with combinations of fruits and veggies to find juice recipes you enjoy. Garnishing with things like mint, ginger, cinnamon, or lemon zest can enhance flavor. Let your imagination run wild!
Beneficial Ingredients for Green Juices
All fruits and vegetables can add important nutrients to green juices. However, some top choices provide especially beneficial nutrients. Try to regularly rotate these into your juices:
|Kale||Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Antioxidants|
|Spinach||Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate|
|Parsley||Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Antioxidants|
|Cucumber||Vitamin K, Potassium, Magnesium|
|Celery||Vitamin K, Potassium, Antioxidants|
|Ginger||Vitamin C, Magnesium, Anti-Inflammatory|
|Lemon/Lime||Vitamin C, Folate, Antioxidants|
|Carrot||Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Antioxidants|
|Apple||Vitamin C, Fiber, Polyphenols|
|Beet||Folate, Manganese, Nitrates|
Sample Green Juice Recipes
Here are a few tasty green juice recipes to help get you started:
Green Morning Refresher
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups kale or spinach
- 1 apple
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
- Ice cubes
Detox Green Juice
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 apples
Mean Green Juice
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 apple
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Starting your morning with a refreshing and nutritious green juice can set you up for a great day. Drinking juice made from vitamin and antioxidant-packed fruits, vegetables, and greens provides a mega-dose of nutrition to power you through the day. It also hydrates, energizes, and improves digestion and skin health. Keeping a batch of DIY green juice in the fridge makes it simple to incorporate this healthy habit into your daily routine.
Give green juicing a try and see if you feel lighter, more energetic, and healthier. With so many health benefits, green juice is truly liquid gold in the morning.