While the juice and smoothie craze really took off in the 1970s, it’s been more in the news lately thanks to an A-list of celebrities who swear by juicing and its benefits for weight loss and glowing skin. However, more and more studies are showing that juicing isn’t just a fad diet but can and should be part of a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. If you’ve thought about drinking green juice, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Traditionally, as the name implies, it’s the liquid (with or without the pulp and fiber that results from blending) that comes from green vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens. These can range from very common ingredients found in any supermarket like cucumber, celery, parsley, kale, and spinach to greens that are slightly more exotic like Swiss chard, wheatgrass, and mint. However, this list is in no way definitive. The wonder of green juice is that the ingredients you can mix and match are nearly boundless – from leafy greens like arugula, bok choy, cabbage, mustard and collards to herbs like basil, cilantro, and tarragon to other greens like beet, carrot, and turnip tops, broccoli, dandelion, and Brussel sprouts.
Fresh juicing like this is great, if you have time and commitment necessary to benefit from it long-term. A much easier, cheaper, and more convenient option is to go for green juice superfood drink powders that can be mixed up and taken on the go.
There are many Green Juice superfood powders on the market, but very few of them are actually any good. You want to look for a green juice powder that is made up of superfoods - not just standard fruit and vegetables like apple and spinach. Many brands use these kinds of ingredients as fillers because they are cheap and they sound healthy. But remember that not all healthy foods are superfoods! Many healthy foods are only considered 'healthy' because they don't damage our health. Whereas, these same vegetables and fruits made have very little nutritional value.
Also avoid powders that contain a long list of different ingredients. On first impressions it may look like these kinds of products are amazing due to their many complex ingredients, but it is actually the complete opposite. Having tiny amounts of any ingredient will have little or no positive effect on health. Instead, choose a powder that is made up from a small selection of potent superfoods. This will ensure that there is enough of each ingredient to actually help the body. It will also be the best 'value'.
Moringafi, our leading Australian green juice brand, produces one of the best green juice superfood powders on the market. It is powered by 33% pure-grade moringa oleifera - considered by some experts as the best green superfood known to man. Moringafi Green Juice also contains spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, matcha green tea, turmeric, beetroot and coconut water. Over 90% of the mix is made up of these amazing superfood ingredients.
The appeal of green juice is that it really is for everyone. Vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist? Perfect. Omnivores? Yes, you, too! Those looking for a diet you can stick to long-term? Yes. Those happy with their weight but perhaps wanting to live a little healthier? Absolutely. Need an extra boost of energy and vitality? Go green! Because of the practically limitless variety of fruits and vegetables that can go into green juice, it’s literally for everyone and supplements any eating regime.
Green juice is good for you because it’s packed with nutrients, boosting the immune system which in turn can help protect the body from conditions including heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, asthma and many more. Drinking green juice also serves to alkalize your blood, thereby avoiding an acidic state which is linked to weight gain, heartburn, acid reflux, and other conditions.
Most people who drink green juice also report feeling a boost of energy and less fatigue because the body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Drinking green juice, especially as a meal replacement, also decreases the amount of unhealthy processed foods, fats, and sugars that we might otherwise consume. Reducing your intake of added sugar also reduces inflammation, a contributing factor in common ailments like heart disease and arthritis. Many leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are loaded with antioxidants which are linked to improved brain function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Green juice doesn’t contain anything extra that a big salad does not. However, because juicing removes all the fiber, there isn’t anything which your body needs to break down. That makes green juice much easier on your digestive system with the added benefit that all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are absorbed much faster than by eating. In addition, juicing makes those essential micronutrients more accessible to your body than if you were to eat the same amount of raw greens. You’ll also likely feel lighter after drinking green juice than when eating a big bowl of salad or even drinking a green smoothie.
Vegetables (especially leafy greens) are packed with protein, including the nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of life) the body cannot produce on its own. While some argue that animal protein is somehow better than vegetable protein, the truth is that both contain the same 22 amino acids and can be part of a healthy diet plan.
Not only can we derive the nutrients our bodies need from vegetables, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals (including antioxidants, calcium, folic acid, and much more), all while being low in calories.
While animal proteins more resemble the proteins naturally found in our bodies, there hasn’t been enough research to definitely answer whether a meat diet is healthier than a vegetarian one. What is proven, however, is that the protein from green juice, along with a balanced diet that includes a good variety of legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fruit, more than adequately provides your body with everything it needs.
Another added benefit to consuming vegetables is that plant-produced phytonutrients come with a host of potential benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, all without the saturated fat, cholesterol, and other harmful compounds often associated with a meat-heavy diet.
The answer is yes and no. Yes, especially if you find vegetable juice alone too bitter or distasteful to stomach. Adding a little fruit or fruit juice will provide some sweetness and make green juice easier to drink, especially in the transition stage or to make green juice tastier for kids. After all, better to add a bit of sugar and make green juice a permanent part of your diet than giving green juice up all together because you can’t stomach its taste.
That said, fruit contains a lot of sugar in the form of fructose, which experts agree is even worse than fat when it comes to weight gain and LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol that narrows your blood vessels). Overconsumption of fructose also induces insulin resistance (associated with Type 2 diabetes) and inflammation which can lead to disease.
If you need a bit of sweetness from fruit, opt for superfoods like acai berries and coconut water. While fresh fruit is best, store-bought fruit juice can be used as an occasional substitute, recognizing that often sugar is added to these drinks.
Ideally, you should drink your green juice right after you make it or at least within 24 hours for the best taste and nutrient value. However, because juicing takes a bit more time than blending, it’s perfectly fine to store your green juice in a glass container with an airtight lid to take with you or store in the fridge. Try to fill your bottle to the top as oxygen degrades the live enzymes in green juice. Also, because homemade green juice is not pasteurized, you should definitely drink it within 48 hours before potentially harmful bacteria (usually from the skin or peel of the ingredients) has the chance to develop.
The beauty of green juice is that its nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. You can help this process even more by drinking green juice first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. You’ll also want to wait half an hour or so before eating a meal or drinking coffee, as other foods will delay absorption and the acidity in coffee will neutralize the alkalizing effects of green juice.
As a bonus, drinking green juice in the morning can serve as a breakfast replacement that won’t disrupt your intermittent fasting schedule (because it contains no fiber) while leaving you feeling light, satisfied, and nourished.
Drinking green juice every day is one of the best things you can do for your body. In fact, measurable changes, including the proliferation of healthy gut bacteria, can be seen within just a few days of drinking green juice.
Optimally, you should drink green juice 2-3 times per day. However, even if you can only drink green juice once a day, you’re well on your way to leading a healthier lifestyle. Experts recommend that we all get at least 10 portions or 800g of vegetables a day, depending on age, sex, and the amount of physical activity we do. Yet, according to the 2018 Australia's health report, 96 per cent of Australian adults don’t eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables. Drinking green juice is a great way to get your daily recommended serving of vegetables quickly and conveniently.