It’s impossible not to have seen the huge growth in the popularity of juicing over the past few years. Juicing vegetables is a great way to boost your health and making sure that you get all of the nutrients you need each day. Today we’ll be taking a look at the most nutritious vegetables to juice, giving you plenty of choice when you fire up the juicer.
What are the Health Benefits of Juicing Vegetables?
High Level of Nutrients
One of the beauties of juicing vegetables is that you’re able to fit a high level of nutrients into a single glass. By juicing multiple vegetables you can get the benefits from as many as 5 of them in just one drink. This allows you to get a heaped helping of your required daily vitamins and micronutrients in one go.
What’s more, the vitamins and minerals you get from a glass of vegetable juice are highly bioavailable. This means that they are easily absorbed by the body.
Many people reach for a coffee first thing in the morning and continue topping up their caffeine levels throughout the day to maintain energy levels. However, caffeine is only a temporary solution to tiredness and one of the side effects is actually to increase sleeplessness, making you more tired in the long run.
For a long lasting and healthy boost to your energy levels, switching our your coffee for a glass of vegetable juice in the morning is the perfect solution. Ensuring that you get enough vitamins and minerals is a great way to reduce fatigue and support increased energy levels throughout the day.
Support Long Term Health
One of the big benefits of juicing vegetables comes in the form of the antioxidants that they contain. Antioxidants have been found to offer a defense against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules within the body that can cause oxidative damage, which is linked to a host of health problems such as cancer, diabetes, strokes and more.
In addition, one study from Imperial College London found that consuming 10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day has a major benefit in reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and early death. Eating this many portions of fruit and veggies throughout the day can be challenging, but a glass of vegetable juice makes it a breeze!
Support a Healthy Immune System
Regular consumption of vitamins and other micronutrients is essential to maintain a fully functioning immune system. Vitamin C in particular can help to stop you catching colds. What’s more, the bioavailability we mentioned earlier makes vegetable juice a much better source of vitamins than a multivitamin, as much more can be absorbed and put to use by your body.
Improve Skin and Hair Quality
Both vitamins A and C have been shown to support a healthy complexion and promote healthy hair. A daily glass of vegetable juice will ensure you are getting plenty of these vitamins to ensure you look your best!
Perhaps our favorite aspect of making vegetable juice is that it makes getting a ton of healthy vitamins and nutrients into your body quickly and easily. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, by downing a quick glass of vegetable juice you’ve taken a big step to improving your health. All you need is a good juicer, a decent juicing recipe or two and you’re good to go.
Is Juicing Healthier than Eating Whole Vegetables?
Whilst there are lots of great benefits to juicing, we must stress that it shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for including whole vegetables and fruits in your regular diet.
One of the things you lose when juicing is the healthy fiber contained within many vegetables that is lost during the juicing process.
The great news is that it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Drink a micro nutrient packed glass of juice each day whilst including plenty of whole veggies in your diet and you’ll enjoy a wealth of health boosts.
What are the Most Nutritious Vegetables to Juice?
Now that we’ve explained the tremendous benefits of juicing, we’ll take a closer look at which vegetables you should be looking to add to your juicer. In no particular order, here are our top picks of the healthiest vegetables to juice:
A leafy vegetable that is absolutely chock full of nutrients and vitamins, spinach is one of the undisputed kings of the vegetable world.
Spinach is high in vitamin A and C, whilst also containing healthy doses of vitamins B and E. On top of this, a glass of spinach juice is also packed with potassium, amino acids, magnesium, folic acid and iron.
An academic study has found that consuming spinach every day for 7 days helps to significantly lower blood pressure – a major contributor to heart disease.
A word of caution though – if you’ve previously suffered from kidney stones you may want to limit your consumption of spinach. This is because it contains oxalates which, in large amounts, can worsen kidney stones. If you’ve been affected by kidney stones or are worried about excessive oxalates simple vary your daily juice to ensure you aren’t consuming too much spinach.
Like spinach, kale should be one of the first items on your shopping list when looking for the most nutritious vegetables to juice.
The crispy leaves of kale are packed with nutrients including vitamin A, C and K, calcium, magnesium, iron and fiber.
Kale is also a great source of free radical fighting antioxidants including beta-carotene.
A daily glass of kale juice may also be a way to reduce the risk of heart disease for men. When consumed on a regular basis, Kale juice has been shown in one study to lower harmful (LDL) cholesterol whilst at the same time boosting levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in men.
Despite being up there with brussels sprouts on many peoples’ list of hated vegetables, broccoli has a huge amount of health benefits. If you can’t stomach the thought of eating it whole at mealtimes, adding some broccoli to your juice may be the solution for you!
Aside from being packed full of vitamins (A, C and B6) and nutrients such as potassium, broccoli is also a source of a compound called kaempferol. Lab studies have shown that kaempferol helps to neutralize free-radicals, reduce the growth of cancer cells and decrease inflammation. Another study has found that a daily serving of leafy greens (such as broccoli) containing kaempferol can help to fight against age-related cognitive decline.
Whether you love or loathe it, chucking some broccoli into your juicer is an investment in your health that will pay off. For best results be sure to juice the head and stems to make sure you’re squeezing out all of the available nutrients.
You could be forgiven if, like most people, you think of parsley as just being something that you use to add a finishing touch of flavor to your meal. However, it offers so much more as an ingredient for juicing.
Parsley is packed full of nutrients, containing vitamins A, C and K. There have also been animal studies that show it can contribute to reduced blood sugar and protect liver function.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend making parsley the main ingredient of your juice, it’s a fantastic little addition that will give you a much needed vitamin boost.
Being mostly made of water, you might not imagine that cucumbers are the most logical choice for a nutritious juice. In fact, cucumbers are practically exploding with micronutrients that make them an ideal ingredient for your daily glass of juice.
Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin c and beta-carotene. Both of these nutrients are helpful to fight the damage caused by free radicals. Potassium, which helps to reduce the risk of strokes and flavonol, which helps promote brain health, are also key nutrients within cucumbers.
Finally, the fact they’re 95% water? That’s actually great! Adding cucumber to your juice is a fantastic way to create a base of hydration in your juice. It also means that they’re super low in calories so you have plenty of space in your ‘budget’ to add a higher calorie fruit to your juice for flavor.
Celery, like cucumber, is a vegetable with a high water content that offers a great low-calorie, high-nutrition choice.
Packed with vitamins A, C and K, celery juice is also a great source of antioxidants such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid and kaempferol.
One of the great things about using celery to make juice is that the whole plant is packed with nutrients. You don’t need to waste anything – you can just throw it all in your juicer!
Look at any list of the top health foods and you’re likely to find wheatgrass somewhere on there. This is no surprise as wheatgrass packs an incredible nutrient-dense punch, making it an ideal addition to any juice.
As well as 17 different amino acids, wheatgrass also contains a generous helping of iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorous. Wheatgrass is also a great source of vitamins A, C, E and K.
Remember when as a child you were told that carrots help you see better in the dark? It turns out that is actually (sort of) true! Carrots are high in carotenoids which may be linked to a lower risk of eye disease as well as a reduced risk of some types of cancer and heart disease.
Carrots are also a full of vitamin A and other micronutrients including potassium and biotin.
Despite being low in calories, carrots have a sweet flavor profile that will help to boost the taste of your juice.
Yes, we may be cheating on this one as tomatoes are technically a fruit rather than a vegetable. However, unlike many fruits tomatoes are very low in sugar and calories. When you add to that their lengthy list of health benefits, we believe that they’ve earned their place on this list.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C. Additionally, they’re rich in lycopene – an antioxidant that helps to protect against cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
Regular consumption of tomato juice has been found by some studies to improve metabolism, boost male fertility and reduce inflammation.
So, forgive us for including this fruit on a list of vegetables and add some tomatoes to your next glass of juice!
We’ll be honest, cabbage on its own isn’t always the most enjoyable part of a meal. However, it’s brimming with nutrients that make it a great addition to any juicer recipe.
Cabbage is a great source of vitamins B6, C and K as well as being packed with other micronutrients such as folate and manganese.
The high water content of cabbage makes it a good choice of base ingredient for your juice recipe.
Compared to many of the other vegetables mentioned in this list, Swiss Chard is less likely to be something that you have lying around your kitchen. However if you’re not a fan of leafy vegetables it is a great option for your juice to ensure that you are getting plenty of vitamin A, C and K. It is also packed with iron, potassium and magnesium.
Some animal studies have shown that Swiss Chard may be beneficial in fighting high blood sugar levels.
Kohlrabi is closely related to Brussels Sprouts – but don’t let that put you off! Unlike the ‘love it or hate it’ nature of its cousin, Kohlrabi has a pleasantly sweet taste that makes it a perfect complement with other vegetables in your daily juice.
Kohlrabi is a great way to boost your intake of B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C and K.
What Vegetables Should Not be Juiced?
Whilst it’s tempting to go crazy with your new juicer and run everything you can think of through it, there are some fruits and vegetables you should avoid juicing. Either because they don’t yield much juice or they’re just too tough for a juicer, we recommend you include these fruits and vegetables in a smoothie instead:
- Whole citrus segments