You’ve seen it bottled up in stores, seen the health nuts chugging it like bodybuilders used to chug milk, and possibly been interested in it yourself while maybe fearing it too: green juice. It’s the “it drink” of the last decade, and sure to keep on spinning it its popularity powers.
But is it worth our while or is it merely a new way to diet?
The Gist on Green Juice
Green juice may sound like a weight loss trend and while some do testify it comes with weight loss powers, the essence of pure green juice is not designed to shed pounds alone. There are other benefits to gain besides a smaller jean size (which doesn’t equate to true health anyway).
We live in an acidic world. Processed food, cooked foods, and animal-based foods all leave an acidic ash in our bodies. It’s the one reason the raw food diet has become so popular: it promotes alkalinity, which means less inflammation for us so we’re feeling good and carrying loads of energy with us around the clock. An acid body leaves you tired, achy, depressed, and feeling like you need an extra pot of coffee to get you through the day. No fun, right?
The Benefits of Alkalinity
An alkaline body keeps you feeling flexible, energized, and balanced, with a striking sense of calm at the same time. While it’s normal to feel a little draggy and achy some days, it’s not normal on a day to day basis. Filling your body with fresh, live, raw green foods, is one of the best ways to promote an alkaline body. And while your diet can be too alkaline, generally, most people don’t have that problem. Even healthy raw foods like fruits and raw grains, nuts, and seeds have a bit of acid to them, so they naturally balance things out.
Green juice is beneficial for alkalizing your body and a little will go a long way. It cleanses the blood, liver, digestive tract, and kidneys. It also provides support for all major organs of the body. The most important benefit of green juice is, it’s lower in sugar than fruit juices which raise the glycemic index and can be taxing to the liver, which is left to deal with all the excess fructose (fruit sugar) the body can’t use at one time.
Nutrient Absorption: A Bonus of Consuming Green Juice
Green juice also helps your body absorb nutrients from leafy greens and veggies easier than it does when you chew them. Your body has to break down food to obtain nutrients, but with green juice, all the nutrients are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream so you benefit right away. This is one reason some people say that green juice curbs cravings – because the body is getting the nutrients it craves right from the get go. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals when it comes to blood sugar, sugar cravings, general fatigue, and irregularity. Plant-based foods are PACKED with magnesium, so when you consume green juice, you’re getting in a large dose of magnesium right away, versus having to chew and process tons of food at one time to obtain it. Other minerals like calcium and potassium are also quickly absorbed through green juice rather than when chewed.
This isn’t to say you can’t get your nutrients from food- of course you can! It’s merely to show that the benefits of green juice are far beyond what they’re known for. Don’t drink it to lose weight- that may work for the short term but won’t support you in the long run. You also need to eat! We weren’t meant to consume liquids alone, but just like water comes with benefits, so does green juice.
How to Use Green Juice Each Day:
The best way to use green juice each day is to make a juice in the morning before breakfast. If you’re having a green smoothie, then cheers for doubling your greens intake. If you’d rather just have a smoothie, you can also benefit from that choice too. Green juice is a bonus, but green smoothies will do in a pinch. If you can swing both, definitely do so!
You can make juice in a blender or a juicer. You needn’t spend tons of money on a juicer unless you just want to. There are slow juicers (masticating) and fast juicers (centrifugal). Some people argue one is better than the other, but both will provide nutrients that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Or, if you’d rather make juice in your blender, feel free to do so by blending the ingredients and straining through a nutmilk bag or a cheesecloth, much like you would make almond milk with.
A Low-Glycemic Green Juice: Green Lemonade
This drink is packed with nutrition and also very low on the glycemic index. Rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and C, and beneficial for the liver, lungs, and digestion, it makes you feel good all the way around. Juice up!
Makes: 6-8 ounces
- 1 head organic romaine lettuce
- 1 whole bunch of organic dino kale (lacinato) or curly kale
- 2 stalks organic celery
- 1 organic zucchini
- 1 organic cucumber
- 1 inch knob fresh ginger root
- 1-2 organic lemons
Run through a juicer, or blend and strain.
Also see our Ultimate Green Juice Cheat Sheet.
What’s your favorite green juice recipe?
Image Source: sahua d/Flickr