Health Benefits of Juicing Leafy Greens

Leafy Green Vegetables: Superfood

Green leafy vegetables offer more nutrition per calorie than any other food.

Because of the abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients (phytochemicals) contained in leafy vegetables, you often hear them referred to as superfood, and rightly so.

Insoluble fiber that's so beneficial for your digestive system is another reason to eat a lot of leafy green vegetables. They also have the lowest carb content of any food, and are very low in sugar.

Fresh Spinach
Fresh Spinach | Source

List of 10 Green Leafy Vegetables

  1. Spinach
  2. Kale
  3. Romaine Lettuce
  4. Broccoli
  5. Bok Choy
  6. Collard greens
  7. Parsley
  8. Swiss Chard
  9. Endive
  10. Dandelion Greens


Main Advantages of Juicing

  • Juicing is a way to consume a large amount of raw leafy greens without eating large salads all the time. Raw greens are better for you than cooked ones, since cooking destroys a lot of the vitamins and nutrients you are after in the first place. (Please note the section below on cruciferous vegetables, which perhaps are the exception.)
  • The nutrients in leafy vegetables in liquid form get absorbed faster than those in solid food, since it takes less energy for your body to digest them. Therefore, you reap the benefits faster. Many people report increases in energy that are practically immediate, along with other fast improvements in how they feel.

Romaine Lettuce in Garden
Romaine Lettuce in Garden | Source

Juicing to Get Enough Greens Each Day

The main advantage of frequently juicing your leafy vegetables is that you can be assured of getting an abundance of all the wonderful nutrients described above that your body thrives on. The best juicers for this purpose are masticating juicers, such as the Omega J8006.

It's important here to note that it takes 2 cups to equal 1 serving of raw leafy vegetables; in contrast it just takes 1 cup to equal 1 serving of fruit or raw or cooked vegetables that are not leafy. Keep this in mind as you are keeping track of your diet.

When the food pyramid was first developed, 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables were recommended. But according to this informative article from Harvard, the most recent dietary guidelines indicate that 5 servings are just the barest minimum, and that much more is really optimal.

Since, as noted above, leafy greens are the most nutrient-dense food per calorie, with super low carbs and sugar, it makes sense to focus on leafy greens as your primary vegetables. Of course, for the sake of variety (our bodies love variety!), other healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables (such as apples, carrots, squash, or eggplant, to name a few), are also important.

Unless you are a dedicated lover of salads, and eat a large salad every day, juicing your leafy greens is a sure-fire way to get all the fabulous nutrition they offer. (However, the juice extractor does extract most of the pulp, so you can add whatever amount of pulp you want back into your juice, or save the pulp and use it when cooking something like a casserole or muffins.)

Green Juice
Green Juice

Fast Absorption of Nutrients

Fresh vegetable juice that you've made with your juice extractor in your own home is, of course, not pasteurized. Therefore, since it hasn't been through that heating process (which is necessary for juice that needs a shelf life), it contains the full range of vitamins and enzymes from Mother Nature.

Those nutrients are almost immediately absorbed when consumed as a drink instead of solid food. This is a major reason why juicing has become such an important part of many wholistic health programs. A burst of energy, both physical and mental is the most common effect. But beyond that, many sufferers of ailments ranging from digestive problems to arthritis to chronic fatigue and even more serious health issues report rapid changes for the better.

Leafy Greens for Cleansing the Body

Green vegetables contain the molocule chlorophyll, which allows plants through the photosynthesis process to absorb the energy from sunlight. This energy is then converted into the chemical energy on which the life of the plants depends. Without chlorophyll there would be no photosynthesis, and therefore, no plants! A world without plants is pretty hard to imagine!

Chard in Garden
Chard in Garden | Source

The value of chlorophyll to the human body is that it acts as a highly effective cleansing agent. It does this by connecting to and then neutralizing toxins and free radicals from environmental pollutants and heavy metals; the harmful substances that are associated with cancer. Thus, chlorophyll has significant anti-cancer properties, especially where the liver is concerned.

Another great benefit of chlorophyll is that it contributes to alkalizing the body. The many reasons why this is a good thing are too numerous to go into here.

Making sure leafy greens are a regular part of your diet is the best way reap these wonderful benefits. Juicing concentrates these leafy greens into a convenient way for consuming them that also enhances their absorption into the body.

Standing on a Scale
Standing on a Scale | Source

Leafy Greens for Weight Loss

The great advantage to juicing leafy greens and other vegetables with the purpose of weight loss is that the fresh vegetable juice you make has basically no dietary fat and a very low calorie content.

At the same time, the juice provides an abundance of vitamins, trace minerals, and enzymes.

Therefore, it makes the perfect substitute for a calorie-laden meal when you are trying to lose weight

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, which includes several kinds of green leafy food such as kale, brocolli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, require special mention. This is because they contain chemicals that can have an adverse affect on the thyroid hormone. Cooking kills about 2/3 of this chemical.

Of course this doesn't mean that you can never juice these vegetables. Kale especially is one of the most popular green vegetables for juicing. Just be aware that if you juice kale or other cruciferous vegetables every day, that you should keep an eye on your thyroid. Alternating juicing these vegetables with cooking them on the stove is perhaps a good guideline to follow.

Fresh Brocolli
Fresh Brocolli | Source

Conclusion

Nothing written above should be taken as medical advice. Consult your doctor before making any serious changes to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition.

The goal of this article was to stress the importance of leafy greens, and to show how juicing provides a great way to reap the health benefits leafy green vegetables offer.



© 2014 SusanSaies

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Comments 6 comments

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting hub! I'm so glad that you mentioned saving the pulp from juiced vegetables, since the pulp contains important nutrients. Thank you for sharing the benefits of juicing.


SusanSaies profile image

SusanSaies 2 years ago Author

You are so right about the pulp. I intend to expand on what I said about pulp when I get the opportunity. Thank you for your comments.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Holistic, wholesome, green and healthy too. Excellent Hub!


SusanSaies profile image

SusanSaies 2 years ago Author

Leafy greens can't be beat! Thank you for your comment.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Nothing like a glass of fresh, green juice! I just loved your hub. The pulp can be used in dough or soups.

Thanks for sharing this healthy hub!


SusanSaies profile image

SusanSaies 2 years ago Author

Thanks for sharing your interesting ideas for using the pulp from fresh juice! I'm glad you liked my article about juicing.

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