What are the Health Benefits of Green Juice?


Green Juice Benefits

green juice benefitsI have been interested in and studied nutrition for many years, but had never got into juicing. After all, there are only so many changes you can make at a time! It wasn’t until I got a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer as a gift about 5 years ago, that I started to juice. The timing was perfect. It was only a few weeks later that my wife Veronica had two of her wisdom teeth out. These wisdom teeth were deeply embedded and had grown horizontally (not vertically!). The result was two weeks of liquid food only and serious pain killers. This was my crash course in juicing.

I have since learned, practiced and experimented a lot with juicing. Used different types of juice extractors, some are better for making green juice recipes than others, you can read more about this at best juicer for greens. As I learned more about juicing and nutrition, I came to understand that green juice is the healthiest of juice. “Going green” can apply to juicing too. So then, what is green juice?


What is green juice?

The answer to this is a simple one! Green juice is any juice that is made mostly with or completely with green vegetables to produce a juice that is – well – green in color! Some of the most used green vegetables for making green juice are:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Green cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Wheatgrass


It is common to add a fruit such as an apple or a lemon, or sweeter vegetables like carrots and cucumber to the mix to make green juice a little more tasty.


What’s green juice got that other juices don’t?

This question is really at the foundation of the benefits of green juice, and is one that I asked myself when I first started to hear the buzz about this healthy colorful beverage. Are not all juices made equal? Are not wonderful colored juices such as pomegranate juice, blueberry juice, strawberry juice, carrot juice just as good as green juice? Isn’t variety the real key? These are all good questions, and the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. However, if someone were to ask the hypothetical question “if for some reason you were only allowed to drink one color of juice, what would it be?” – I would be forced to say green. Let me explain why. (Read our post Benefits of Juicing for a general idea of the health benefits of juicing)


The Sugar Factor

The first and foremost reason for me comes down to sugar. Green juice has minimal amounts of calories and sugar because green vegetables are low in calories and sugar. Other colored vegetables such as carrots and beets, tend to be sweeter and contain more calories and sugar. An 8oz glass of carrot juice contains about 15 grams of sugar. Fruit juice is even more sugary, and for that reason I keep my fresh fruit juice intake to a minimum. At most I drink a 4oz glass 3 times a week. The fact that juice loses its fiber, which is the component of fruits and vegetables that slows down the rate at which sugars are absorbed into the blood stream is also an important point to bring up. Fruit juice can cause blood sugar spikes, and if over done can increase the risk of health conditions that come with excess sugar intake. Here are a 146 reasons to cut down sugar intake. Also check out our post Is Fresh Fruit Juice Bad for You? However, don’t be scared off by this, within moderation fruit juice is fine, just be aware of the amount of sugars you are consuming in a day.


benefits of green juiceFor checking the amount of calories and sugar in juice I use My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter. This is the only place that I have found that provides calorie information for a variety of fresh-made fruit and vegetables juices, even including green juices such as cabbage juice, broccoli juice, kale juice and more. When searching use the words “raw” and “fresh” to find what you need. For example type “raw kale juice” or “fresh spinach juice”. Using this system you will find that most green juices contain zero sugar, or just a gram or 2 of sugar for an 8 ounce glass. Of course, this makes sense since the raw whole green vegetables contain very little sugar. We can drink lots of green juice and not be concerned.


“So the essence of green juice benefits is you get all the goodness of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, without the concern of overdoing it with sugar. Green juice is just pure concentrated liquid nutrition – pure health benefits”



The Chlorophyll Factor

Green vegetables are green because of the chlorophyll they contain. The darker green they are the more chlorophyll they contain. Kale and spinach are therefore greater sources of chlorophyll than celery. It is the benefits of abundant chlorophyll content then that are unique to green juice, and these benefits are powerful. Here are some known benefits:

  • Wound Healing. Research dating back to the 1940′s discovered that chlorophyllin (a component of chlorophyll) helps wounds to heal faster.
  • Powerful Antioxidant. Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are both potent antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties and help prevent our cells from oxidative damage.
  • Detoxification. Chlorophyll attaches to toxins, especially heavy metals, and removes them safely from the body. Chlorophyll also cleanses the liver by protecting it from cancer-causing cells.
  • Blood Building. The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to that of the heme part of our red blood cells. Although not yet confirmed, chlorophyll is believed to help increase red blood cell count, and may help with anemia.
  • Alkalizing. One of the most potent benefits of chlorophyll is its alkalizing effect on the body. Because of its chlorophyll content, green juice is one of the most alkalizing foods that we can consume. The benefits of reducing the amount of acid in the body (given that over acidity is an epidemic) cannot be understated. The more acidic the body, the more prone it is to illness and disease. Acidity is a breeding ground for bad health.



The Everything Else Factor

Just because green juice is green because of the chlorophyll it contains, doesn’t mean that is the only antioxidant it contains. The list of antioxidants in green juice are mind-blowing. You will be receiving the antioxidant benefits of beta-carotene, sulphorane, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeazanthin, kaempferol, quercetin, and many others with long unpronounceable names. In addition to this your green juice is a great source of many trace minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and a great source of vitamin K and living enzymes.

This all adds up to one of the most nutrient dense health promoting drinks that exist. Yep, juice of other colors are important too to get a diversity of antioxidants and other nutrients, but if there is one juice that contains more nutrients than all others, it is a juice that come in the darkest green.
:-)

Happy Juicing
Darren

Sources:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/chlorophylls/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/542432-does-chlorophyll-cleanse-the-blood/

How to do a Lemon Juice Cleanse?


lemon juice cleanseAre you interested in following the lemon juice detox plan, also known as the master cleanse? If so, follow the instructions below to guide you through this popular detox plan that has helped many people flush toxins from their bodies.

1) Talk to your doctor. Any detox diet plan is a serious matter that you need to consult with your doctor about. Even though a lemon detox diet plan is made up of 100 percent natural ingredients, you still need to hear what your physician recommends. Keep in mind that reactions to a detoxification diet plan can vary. Your doctor’s view can help you determine whether or not this detox diet plan is suitable for your body. You also need to understand the potential risks involved with this detox diet.

2) Preparing for the diet. It is important to prepare yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. Keep in mind that after beginning a lemon detox diet plan you’ll experience physical changes that may be strange to you. You can do that by steadily decreasing your intake of junk food before you begin your diet plan. This way, one’s body won’t be too surprised by the new changes in diet.

3) Gather the ingredients. Purchase all necessary ingredients. For the lemon detox diet you will need lemon juice (fresh squeezed), purified water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Before collecting the ingredients, keep in mind that the diet is a 100 percent all-natural diet. What this means is that you shouldn’t replace any ingredients with artificial ones. For instance, don’t substitute all-natural lemon juice with concentrated lemon juice.

4) The lemon detox diet recipe. Once you’ve collected all of the ingredients, it’s time to get the recipe ready.


Lemon detox diet ingredients (1 serving)
8 oz. purified water
2 tbsp. of organic lemon juice (fresh squeezed, approx. 1/2 a lemon)
2 tbsp. Grade B organic maple syrup
1/10th of tsp. of cayenne pepper
Optional – ground ginger, to taste



Get 4 oz. of water and mix it with the lemon juice and add 2 tbsp. of grade B organic maple syrup. Add 1/10th of tsp. of cayenne pepper. You may also use a little ground ginger. After adding all of the ingredients, mix and then add an additional 4 oz. of purified water. You need to take this beverage 8 to 10 time a day.

The recommended time for the lemon detox diet is 10 days. Should you want to exceed the 10 days standard time, you must do so under a doctor’s supervision. However, you may still do it for a shorter time. This is good for people trying it out for the very first time.


How Many Calories in a Lemon and in Lemon Juice?


Lemons as a whole food or as a juice are low in calories and therefore a great option for many diet plans. The vast majority of calories come in the form of carbohydrates with minor amounts of protein and negligible fat content. The neat thing is that we get a plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for such few calories (read more about this at lemon juice benefits).

Below are two charts, each showing the content of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein, fiber and calories in a lemon, and lemon juice calories respectively. It is good to note there are less overall calories in lemon juice compared to the whole flesh of lemons. There is much less fiber in the juice, and just a little more sugar. All nutrient information sourced from the USDA Nutrient Database.

Calories in Lemon
Flesh Only

NutrientUnitPer 100.0gPer 1 Cup1 Fruit (2-1/8" dia)
EnergyKcal296117
Proteing1.102.330.64
Total fatg0.300.640.17
Total Carbohydrateg9.3219.765.41
Fiberg2.85.91.6
Sugars, totalg2.505.301.45



Calories in Lemon Juice
Fresh-made not bottled
NutrientUnitPer 100.0gPer 1 cupPer 1 fl oz
EnergyKcal22547
Proteing0.350.850.11
Total Fatg0.240.590.07
Total Carbohydrateg6.9016.842.10
Fiberg0.30.70.1
Sugarsg2.526.150.77


Lemon Juice Benefits for Health and Well-being


lemon juice benefitsLemon juice is a type of fruit juice acquired by squeezing lemons. It’s often utilized to create lemonade or as an essential aspect of many salads and fruit cocktails. Lemons are oval shaped and have a texturized, yellow external peel. Their flesh is enclosed in 8 to 10 sections and filled with wholesome acidic juice. Available the whole year throughout, lemons aren’t just wonderfully refreshing but additionally they possess unique flavonoid substances that posses antioxidant and anti-cancer qualities. The fascinating fact regarding lemons is that while they completely ripen, practically to the edge of spoilage, their levels of antioxidants actually improve.

Vitamin C
The juice of lemons, as with all citrus fruit, are a rich vitamin C source. A 50 gram serving of freshly made lemon juice, or a little under 1/4 cup, delivers 23 milligrams of vitamin C — above 33% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance). Vitamin C, just like vitamins E and A, is an antioxidant that facilitates immunity function. Additionally, it will help safeguard your cells from free radicals, that can cause considerable harm. Free radicals are atoms that are charged and created when particular molecules interact together with oxygen. They react with the DNA with cells and with cell membranes, hampering their function. Defective cells are the very first step that leads to the progression of cancer. Opting for a diet loaded with antioxidants, from vegetables and fruits, are a factor in the prevention of cancer. So let’s look more deeply at some of the many great lemon juice benefits.

Lemon Juice Benefits for the Liver
Your liver creates bile. Bile is used to help with digestion. Lemon juice stimulates the liver to manufacture additional bile. Therefore, consuming lemon juice at morning time aids your digestion through the day. Your is digested more rapidly to help you accelerate your metabolism and limit the risk of digestion problems. You may also squeeze a little bit of lemon into some water and drink with every meal to encourage healthy digestion.

Full of Calcium
The body needs calcium to construct bone strength and density and maintain a healthy central nervous system. The health benefits of lemon juice are loaded with calcium. Your bones, teeth and nervous system all reap the benefits of consuming 1 glass of lemon juice every day.

Calcium supplies the body with energy also. If you’re lacking in energy, consuming an 8 oz glass of lemon juice is an all natural method to boost energy without salt, caffeine or sugar. There isn’t any subsequent burn out after boosting vitality with lemon juice benefit, that’s otherwise experienced with commercially produced energy beverages or beverages loaded with caffeine.

Lemon Juice Benefits for Skin
The antiseptic abilities of lemon, makes it a highly effective product for natural skin care. Minor bruises or cuts can be remedied naturally by utilizing several drops of lemon juice over the affected region. This juice also aids with blood clotting. So, when you have a cut, simply apply some lemon juice to the injured spot to cease the bleeding. Sufficient lemon juice intake helps to detoxify the body, which is demonstrated by a glowing healthy skin. Individuals who are in the routine of consuming lemon juice daily, have less complaint with blackheads and wrinkles. Besides these health benefits of lemon juice for the skin, others include decreasing burning sensations, improving the look of scars, managing acne, getting rid of old skin debris, and bleaching discolored or darkened areas.


Reduce Cholesterol And Maintain A Healthy Weight With Fiber


Pectin

Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide and is a type of fiber that is found in cell walls and tissues in plants. Its physical appearance is commonly white or light brown powder. It mainly comes from citrus fruits and is what makes a jam jelly, it is a gelling agent and it is also used as a stabilizer for fruit juices and milk beverages. The amount of pectin varies from plant to plant and apples contain the highest amount among these sources.

When used as a dietary fiber it can provide a variety of health benefits. If you want to go all apple pectin fibernatural a great source will be the skin or pulp of the apple and if that would be too tasking, supplementation is always available. Aside from being a great source of health benefits, it also has one specific function that could interest a totally different market and that is the weight loss market.

Weight Loss

There is nothing better than losing weight the natural way when it comes to gaining better control of your health. That is the main reason why so many products are out there today that aids in that process. Many of the natural products and have been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years already and Apple Pectin is not any different in that sense. It is all natural and comes from what we already know and maybe even love, apples. The way pectin is able to influence healthy weight loss is because of its ability to maintain a healthy balance in the colon.

It acts like a broom sweeping excess chemicals from the body through regular bowel movements, excess chemicals like fats and cholesterols. Another way it is able to help like most fiber compounds does, it helps the stomach feel fuller longer since it gradually moves food through the digestive tract to allow better nutrient absorption and the way it is able to do that is by expanding within the stomach, hence the feeling of satiety.

Soluble Fiber for Better Cholesterol Levels

Aside from the weight loss benefits that a fiber can provide it also has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels. In this case, apple pectin is a soluble fiber which is the kind of fiber that can disperse or spread in water. Soluble fiber has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount of it absorbed in the intestines. It may be a cliché but I’ll say it anyway, we have all heard about the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well in this case it is more like keeps the cholesterol away.

Literally, because of the pectin content in apples, it really will keep a lot of cholesterol away. Although it may take a lot more than just one apple a day, the fact still remains that Apple Pectin can definitely help in cholesterol levels, and there also is evidence that it does not only lower down LDL which is the bad cholesterol, it also has the ability to increase HDL which is the good cholesterol in our bodies.

Lose weight and maintain good cholesterol with natural apple pectin fiber

-Darrell Miller, VitaNet, LLC