The mere mention of vegetables may not elicit more than wrinkled noses among some, but more and more people are looking to reap the health benefits of veggies without having to eat like a rabbit. Juicing has become a popular way to drink your vegetables and there are some great juice combinations to impress even the most reluctant of carnivores. Experimenting with popular juicing vegetables can be both healthy and fun.
Adults are advised to consume between 2 and 3 cups of vegetables a day. You can get a whole day’s worth in one glass of juice; 5 cups of chopped carrots or celery will yield about 1 cup of juice. You’ll want to blend different vegetables together to make sure you get a variety of nutrients, as well as a tasty mix. Vegetables that are bitter, like collard greens, can be mixed with beets, a relatively sweet root.
Because so many servings of vegetables can fit into 1 cup of juice, you’ll be able to drink up high amounts of nutrients, too. Green vegetables like kale and spinach are high in vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision and skin. Their flavors can be strong so they are often juiced together with the balancing flavors of lettuce or rhubarb. The juice of lettuce and rhubarb contain good amounts of potassium, which is essential for heart health.
Drink A Rainbow
Vegetables contain more than vitamins and minerals. Those that are deeply colored contain substances called phytochemicals that help prevent disease. Juicing a wide variety of colorful vegetables will not only be beautiful, it can make for delicious experimentation. For example, try mixing ruby red beets and orange carrots with a bit of fennel for a pretty sunset-in-a-glass. For an emerald-colored juice, try a celery-kale-apple combination. The possibilities are endless.
Don't Panic, Buy Organic
Many vegetables contain harmful pesticides on their skins or in their leaves. The highest levels are found in celery, spinach, kale and collard greens. Two commonly juiced vegetables that are considered to be “clean” of toxic substances include cabbage and sweet potatoes, which are high in vitamin K and A, respectively. Consider buying organic vegetables whenever possible to reduce your exposure, especially since juicing concentrates the number of servings into one delicious cup.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Many Vegetables are Needed Daily or Weekly?
- Stanford Medicine: Juicing Recipes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamins
- Physiologia Plantarum: Beneficial Effects of Potassium on Human Health
- Environmental Working Group: EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce