For those who want a daily health boost, vegetable juice is an excellent choice, as it can provide a concentrated dose of nutrients and antioxidants to your system. Consumed as a hearty breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snack or dinner, vegetable juice can be delicious and incredibly helpful for your health goals. Vegetable juice, as the name implies, is made by juicing or blending vegetables into a drinkable beverage. While many people drink fruit juice on a daily basis, vegetable juice isn’t quite as common, despite having just as many potential benefits for health. Some of the most common types of vegetable juice are carrot, cucumber, tomato, beet, celery, fennel, lettuce, cabbage and Swiss chard, among others.
Depending on the type of juice, the nutrient density can be impressive, providing a significant amount of your daily intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium, folate, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, magnesium and numerous phytonutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants and amino acids. In combination with a low calorie and fat content, vegetable juice can provide an excellent energetic boost, as well as numerous crucial health benefits.
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Benefits of Vegetable Juice
Many of the most notable benefits of vegetable juice include its ability to improve nutrient uptake, protect the heart, increase hydration, prevent hair loss, detoxify the body, lower your risk of chronic disease, support skin health, increase circulation and strengthen the immune system, among others.
Lowers Risk of Chronic Diseases
There is a significant amount of antioxidants found in many vegetables, including beta-carotene, lycopene, phytonutrients and phenolic compounds. This can help your body fight the effects of free radicals, which include mutating healthy cells into cancerous ones. Regular consumption of vegetable juice can lower your risk of many other chronic diseases as well, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some autoimmune diseases.
Improves Heart Health
There is a notable amount of potassium in many different juices, which can help to lower your blood pressure and relieve strain on the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, there are high quantities of iron and vitamin C, which can stimulate proper circulation and improve the amount of collagen in the body, respectively, helping to lower your risk of damaged blood vessels or arteries.
Helps Improve Brain Function
The search for a cure for Alzheimer’s is ongoing, but many studies have linked antioxidants to the elimination of plaque in neural pathways, and a reduced amount of beta amyloid deposition. This can help to improve memory, concentration and basic function, as well as slow down or even stop neurodegenerative diseases.
Increases Nutrient Intake
Some of the minerals and antioxidants in vegetable juice can cleanse the colon and re-balance the bacteria in your gut. Other nutrients are able to increase the bioavailability of certain minerals and vitamins, which can then be absorbed by the body, making your mealtimes more efficient!
As mentioned, the high level of antioxidants found in vegetable juice is excellent for oxidative stress, which often occurs on the skin. Drinking vegetable juice regularly can improve the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, scars and age spots, while also providing relief from a number of inflammatory conditions or infections, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne and rosacea.
One of the main contributors to hair loss is some type of nutrient deficiency in the body. Given that vegetable juice is a rich source of many minerals and nutrients needed for healthy hair, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, a glass of this juice each day can work wonders for your physical appearance.
Boosts Immune System
Vegetable juice is particularly well known for its high level of vitamin C; in some cases, a single glass of vegetable juice can provide your entire daily recommendation for ascorbic acid. This can give a major boost to the immune system, as vitamin C will stimulate the production of white blood cells. The immune system is further supported by the actions of other antioxidants, like lycopene, which will prevent oxidative stress and chronic disease.
Hydrates the Body
Most vegetable juice is naturally high in water content, but some of the tougher vegetables should be mixed with water for good consistency. This means that your body will be properly hydrated throughout the day, which can help with digestion, energy levels, metabolic speed and cognitive function.
Detoxifies the Body
Various vegetable juices have both diuretic and laxative qualities. Depending on how you strain your juice, you may have a significant amount of fiber from certain vegetables, which can help clear up digestive issues and eliminate excess waste in the body. The diuretic, kidney-stimulating effects of other juices can help your body expel excess fats, toxins and salts from the body as well!
With a notable iron content in most vegetables, this beverage choice is often supported for its role in circulation, where it aids in the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Dark, leafy greens are particularly rich in iron, and can make for an antioxidant-packed beverage that can also lower cholesterol levels and reduce strain on the cardiovascular system as a whole.
How to Make Vegetable Juice
Making vegetable juice is extremely easy, provided you have the right tools in the kitchen. The two most common options are using a juicer or a blender, although other types of food processors also work. When made in a juicer, the vegetable juice will prevent the intake of any dietary fiber from the vegetables, but in a blender, you have the option to strain out the fibrous material or not.
Some of the most common mistakes that people make is forgetting to properly remove the seeds from inside certain vegetables, or not cutting out bruised or damaged areas of the vegetable. These areas can be unpleasant to eat and may even contain compounds that could make you sick. Finally, it is critical that you wash all of your vegetables thoroughly before making the juice.
Some vegetables have bitter, bland or unpleasant tastes, so making blends of various vegetables is a popular option. Even if a pure vegetable juice isn’t particularly tasty, it may be dense in critical nutrients, so simply mix it with tomato or carrot juice, or even add some herbs and spices to improve the flavor.