Green Juice: Potential Health Benefits
Green juice is a beverage made from the juices of green vegetables.
There’s no official recipe, but common ingredients include celery, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, wheatgrass, cucumber, parsley, and mint.
Given that green juice tends to taste bitter, most recipes add small quantities of fruit which may or may not be green to sweeten it and improve its overall palatability. Popular fruit options include apples, berries, kiwi, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
The most dedicated green juice drinkers prefer fresh, homemade juice, but you can buy it from specialty juice cafés too.
Commercial green juices are available as well, but some varieties contain added sugar, which reduces the drink’s nutrient density. Excess sugar intake is also linked to several adverse health effects.
Moreover, many bottled green juices are pasteurized. This process heats the juice to kill harmful bacteria and extend shelf life, but it may damage some of the heat-sensitive nutrients and plant compounds found in fresh juice.
Green juice is made from various green vegetables and herbs. Fruit is often included to sweeten the final product.
Green juice is not a substitute for a balanced and healthy diet, but it shares many of the benefits that come along with eating more fruits and vegetables.
Green veggies and their juices are excellent sources of several essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. For example, Swiss chard and kale are packed with vitamins A and K, while wheatgrass supplies plenty of vitamin C and iron.
Research suggests that eating leafy green vegetables daily may help reduce inflammation, heart disease risk, and your risk of age-related mental decline.
There’s also evidence that certain compounds in fresh juice can function as prebiotics, which feed and support the growth of beneficial bacteria living in your digestive tract.
Routine prebiotic intake is linked to numerous benefits, including reduced constipation, weight maintenance, and improved immune function.
Moreover, many people find that drinking their vegetables and fruits is an easy and efficient way to boost their intake of valuable nutrients.
Finally, certain people, such as those who’ve had surgery on the stomach or intestines, can benefit from green juice, as it’s easier to digest. For these populations, juicing is a short-term option during recovery.
Speak to your healthcare provider or dietitian about juicing for your specific condition.
Regular green veggie intake may reduce inflammation, as well as support heart and brain health. Fresh juice may also play a role in promoting healthy digestion. Also, specific populations can benefit from juicing in the short term while healing.