If you’re a coffee addict, snooze button enthusiast, or just straight up drained all the time, green juice should be your new best friend. Drinking a green juice is one simple and easy change you can make to get healthier. Green juice benefits your skin, your energy levels, and helps your body to detox. It also helps you get more servings of vegetables into your day.
New to juicing? No problem! I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know so you can start cashing in on those green juice benefits pronto.
3 ways green juice benefits your health
Drinking green juice benefits the body with an extra dose of veggies- which let’s be honest, most of us need. I like to drink my green juice first thing in the morning to help wake up my digestive system and start my day off with a boost of nutrition. It’s seriously makes me feel awesome, and I’m convinced it will make you feel that way too. Here’s why you should give it a try:
1. Kickstart your energy
Juicing your greens makes the vitamins and minerals easy to absorb for a quick burst of energy first thing in the morning. Without any extra fibers to break down the nutrients can go straight to your digestive tract and fuel your cells faster.
2. Get glowing skin
Green juice is loaded with chlorophyll (the pigment that makes your leafy greens so very green), which helps your body to cleanse toxins. That’s great news for those of us wanting clear glowing skin. Our skin is our largest organ, so when our body becomes too toxic on the inside, it can show up on our skin in the form of acne, inflammation or dullness in our complexion.
3. Alkalize your body
Packed with minerals, green juice helps to alkalize the body. When our body becomes acidic it creates an environment that disease and inflammation thrive in. Drinking more green juice benefits your overall health by promoting a more balanced pH throughout the body so you can feel fabulous on a regular basis.
Get the most green juice benefits possible with these 5 tips
Enhance your green juice experience with these tips to help you get the most nutrition possible.
1. Drink your green juice on an empty stomach
It’s the best time to absorb your nutrients fast. If you can, try drinking your green juice first thing in the morning, instead of your regular coffee. The boost of energy you get will surprise you.
2. Don’t use juice to replace your meals
If you’re juicing, you still need to eat food. Vegetables and fruits are packed with fiber that get lost in the juicing process, so you still need to eat your leafy greens as well. Juicing alone is also low in fat and protein, which are both essential macronutrients we need to eat to thrive.
3. Choose organic (when possible)
Juicing concentrates the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. So if you’re using produce sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, you’re concentrating those too. You don’t need to buy everything organic (that can be costly), but do try to stick with the dirty dozen to avoid juicing the more heavily sprayed fruit or veggies. You can also peel any of your produce prior to juicing if it’s not organic.
4. Go easy on the fruit
Green juice benefits our health differently than a cup of fruit juice. That’s because fruit is pretty high in natural sugars. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against fruit at all. It’s definitely a healthy food and can even help to energize you, but when you juice it, you take away the fiber that helps your body handle those sugars more easily. Your green juice should be mostly veggies, with a fruit or two to sweeten. A good rule of thumb is to create your juice with a 4:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit.
5. Don’t let it sit too long
As soon as you make your juice, the nutrients start to break down in their exposure to light and oxygen. In order to get the most bang for your buck, drink your juice right away. If you can’t afford the time it takes to juice every single day, try to drink your juice within 2-3 days. Certain juicers use different methods to break down the produce that can preserve the nutrients longer than others (like the ones used in most juicing shops).
How to make your own green juice
Making your own green juice at home can be simple. All you need to get started is a juicer, or a high speed blender and some cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve.
If you’re using a juicer, you’ll simply need to add your fruits and veggies to the chute on your machine. Keep in mind that leafy greens can be difficult to juice depending on your machine, and they often don’t yield much juice. In order to get as much as you can from them, add them to your machine along side something hardier like a stalk of celery or some cucumber.
If you’re using the blender method, you’ll add all of your ingredients to a blender (with a little water if necessary) and blend until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Then you’ll drain it into a bowl using cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp.
1. Choose your vegetables
These are some of my top picks for making green juice. I always juice one leafy green option, plus hardier options like celery and cucumber that are rich in water to yield more juice. Try picking 2-3 different veggies.
- Celery stalks
- Broccoli stems
- Collards leaves and stems
- Kale leaves and stems
- Carrot tops
2. Choose your fruits
Remember you always want your juice to contain more vegetables than fruit, so you’ll probably only need to choose 1-2 fruits. I usually add 1/2 an apple or pear plus half of a lemon to my green juice. If you’re new to green juice though, you might find you need the whole apple or pear to make it a big sweeter until you get used to drinking it.
- Pineapple (the centre is great for juicing)
3. Stir in superfoods
This step is optional, but highly encouraged. Superfoods can take your juice to the next level. Some of these options can be juiced, like fresh ginger or turmeric root, while the others should simply be stirred in afterwards.
- Chia seeds
- Cayenne pepper
Janine’s green energy juice recipe (serves 1)
- 3 celery stalks
- 1/2 a large cucumber or 1 small cucumber
- 3-5 kale leaves including the stems
- 1/2 lemon or 1 whole lime (skin removed)
- 1/2 apple (seeds removed)
- 1 small chunk of fresh ginger
- Add all of the ingredients to your juicer.
- Taste, and adjust the sweetness to your liking. If you need more sweetness add the other 1/2 of your apple.
- Optional: stir in a teaspoon of spirulina or chlorella.
Love your #innerbabe
If you don’t have the time to make your own green juice at home, you can buy it at a local juice shop. But avoid juices at your grocery store that say pasteurized on the label. The green juice benefits you’re after come from cold-press unpasteurized juice that retains much more nutrition. Pasteurized juice goes through an extra stage of processing that can degrade the nutritional value of your drink.
And if you can’t afford the time or budget that comes with juicing, don’t stress about it. Drink plenty of water, and eat your greens instead. You can enjoy your green juice as an occasional treat instead of a daily ritual.
Did I miss anything? If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.