If you are truly intent on maintaining good health and getting all the nutrients your body needs, juicing vegetables is the best way to go about it.
The idea of downing a tall glass of green stuff might not be especially appealing to you, but vegetable juice doesn’t have to be bitter, distasteful, or nasty. Many health-beneficial vegetables actually taste great when juiced, and you could even mix them with other fruits and vegetables to improve their flavor.
If you are looking for the most nutritious vegetables to juice, this guide should be quite revealing and informative.
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Health Benefits of Vegetable Juice
Most everyone agrees that vegetables are good for you, and juicing is a great way to get all its nutritional benefits in an easily-digestible and readily-absorbable form. If you have any doubts as to the value of juicing vegetables, these health benefits may be enough to convince you to give it a try.
Boosts the immune system
Many of the vitamins present in vegetables can help strengthen your immune system. In particular, vitamin C–which is found in many vegetables–helps prevents colds.
Reduces your risk of developing certain diseases
Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and pumpkins are known to have ingredients that can reduce your risk for developing certain types of cancers. The good news is that many of these will make for a tasty and nutritious glass of juice.
Improves the condition of the skin and hair
Vitamins A and C are known to clear up the skin and give hair a healthy glow. Fortunately for you, these are among the most commonly present vitamins in juiced vegetables.
Helps you lose weight
Juices made from vegetables typically contain plenty of water, which keeps you hydrated while enhancing the function of the digestive system. Vegetable juice also tends to fill you up, so you can go longer between meals without giving in to unhealthy food cravings.
Provides essential nutrients in a convenient and easily digestible form
Most people don’t have the time–or inclination–to eat as much vegetables as their body requires. Whether you hardly ever have the time to eat a full meal or you simply don’t like eating vegetables, juicing them is a great way to get their health benefits.
Most Nutritious Vegetables for Juicing
Most any type of vegetable can be juiced, and you could expect to get at least some nutrition from most of them.
But some vegetables simply have more health-beneficial content than others, both in terms of amount and nutritional value. Here are some of the most nutritious vegetables you can process in your juicer.
Cucumbers may not seem like your typical nutrition powerhouse, but they have a number of ingredients that actually make them perfect for juicing.
Among these ingredients are vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which are antioxidants known to stave off the damage caused by free radicals. These particular ingredients also improve the condition of the skin.
Cucumbers have very high water content. In fact, as much as 95% of the weight of a typical cucumber is probably water. This makes them a good juice base that will help keep you hydrated.
Other important nutrients in cucumbers are potassium, which can reduce stroke risk, and flavonol, which is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps promote brain health.
Carrots are among the most popular of juicing vegetables, and for good reason. They are absolutely packed with nutrients, they taste great, and they add a nice orange hue to your juice blends. They also blend well with a variety of other fruits and vegetables, in terms of flavor and texture.
Some of the vitamins that you will get from juicing carrots are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B8, and vitamin K. You also get potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and a host of other minerals.
Among the benefits that you could get from incorporating carrots in your diet are reduced heart disease risk, lower blood pressure, and a boosted immune system. The high antioxidant content also helps maintain the condition of your skin.
Take a look at our picks of juicers for carrots!
Broccoli is one of those foods that kids love to hate, but they are among the most nutritious vegetables you can stuff into your juicer. As an adult, you would have hopefully developed a taste for its distinctive, just-slightly-bitter taste.
Categorized as a cruciferous vegetable, Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins K and E. Both these vitamins are known antioxidants that can protect you from the damaging effects of free radicals. Also present are vitamin C and a host of B vitamins that could give your immune system a much-needed boost.
Surprisingly, broccoli actually goes well with a variety of fruits. Mixed with pears, apples, or berries, it makes for a great tasting juice blend.
Sweet potatoes seem like an odd choice for juicing, but they actually make for a delightfully smooth concoction with just a hint of sweetness. It also has loads of nutrients, so you gain a lot of health benefits by juicing it.
Among the health-giving nutrients present in sweet potatoes are vitamins A, B6, and C. They also contain substantial amounts of iron and magnesium, which are essential parts of a healthy diet.
Sweet potatoes release their sugars gradually into your system. You are therefore spared the nasty sugar rush that often results from consuming foods with plenty of sugar content.
Cabbage is another vegetable that has plenty of water content. It is also one of those vegetables that not many people will willingly eat, yet it contains enough nutrients to make it a good choice for juicing.
Juicing cabbage spares you the unpleasantness of having to chew your way through a bunch of tough, fibrous leaves. You can enjoy it on its own of course, but adding apples or carrots to the mix makes it a lot more palatable.
Cabbage juice can enhance the function of your digestive system, making you eliminate waste more readily. It can therefore be helpful for those trying to lose weight. It is also believed to reduce cancer risk, prevent cataract formation, and boost the immune system.
Another vegetable with high water content, celery is quite a popular choice for juicing. An excellent base for a variety of other flavors, it can also be iced for a refreshing treat on sweltering hot summer days.
A stalk of celery may not look particularly impressive, but it is absolutely loaded with good stuff like vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and folate. It is also packed with vitamin K.
Most people that juice celery opt to process only the stalks. But the leaves are where most of the potassium is stored, so it is a good idea to toss them into the juicer as well.
If vitamin K is what you’re interested in, kale is pretty much your best option. Containing more of the bone-building nutrient than any other vegetable, kale is a virtual grab-bag of other health-giving vitamins and minerals. Among these are copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium.
Like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale has shown considerable promise for cancer prevention. This has been confirmed in studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute.
Processed into juice, kale makes for a low-calorie base for a variety of other fruits and vegetables. As far as “green juices” go, it is one of the most nutrient-rich ingredients around.
Swiss chard isn’t quite as popular as the other vegetables in this roundup, but it definitely deserves a spot. Another vitamin K powerhouse, it has a number of significant benefits in terms of preserving the condition of the bones. It is also believed to assist in blood clotting.
Apart from vitamin K, Swiss chard also contains significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Swiss chard is a great way to get the aforementioned nutrients, especially if you can’t stand green leafy vegetables. It goes well with apples and pears, or even with a bit of lemon and ginger.
We all know that spinach is good for you, but it is only fairly recently when it started appearing in juice blends the world over. Some people actually like the taste of spinach, but there are many that simply can’t get over its bitterness. If you belong to the latter category, juicing it with other fruits or vegetables might be the best way to benefit from its nutritional content.
And there is certainly a lot to benefit from. With its array of vitamins (A, C, and E), calcium, iron, potassium, and even protein, juicing it is practically a no-brainer. It is also a good source of choline, which enhances brain function.
If you really can’t stand the taste of spinach, try blending it with apples, carrots, or ginger.
As a part of the Brassica family of plants, kohirabi is closely related to cabbage, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. A low-calorie vegetable, it has a mild sweetness that is complemented by a variety of fruits and vegetables. It can be mixed with kale for a vitamin-packed juice blend, and it also tastes great with apples and carrots or ginger and lemon.
Kohlrabi contains a virtual grocery list of essential vitamins and minerals: calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and a host of B vitamins.
Make sure to juice the green tops as they contain plenty of nutrients as well.
Wheatgrass is one of the darlings of the health food world for numerous reasons. It is jam-packed with plenty of nature’s goodness, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, thiamin, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and more.
Of course, all of these ingredients provide varying degrees of health benefits. Many also believe that wheatgrass can actually prevent–and even cure–certain diseases, but this claim is disputed by medical experts.
Unlike most of the other vegetables listed here, juiced wheatgrass is typically drunk on its own. Wheatgrass recommended drinking it as soon as possible after juicing in order to derive its full nutritional benefits.