Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins and potassium. They’re loaded with electrolytes and are used in some cultures as a hangover cure. Researchers have also found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol.
Juicing Tip: Cucumbers are almost 90% water, so use them as the base ingredient for your green juices. Try this refreshing summer concoction:
1 handful fresh mint
1 heaping cup spinach
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. The high levels of these nutrients act as antioxidants to protect against cell damage and slow down the aging of cells.
Juicing Tip: Carrot juice is known for its sweet and creamy consistency. It pairs well with most citrus fruit and cuts the bitterness of leafy greens. Try combining 8 whole carrots with one cup of fresh pitted cherries for a healthy, sweet dessert beverage.
Kale packs the most punch of the common leafy greens and is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight against arthritis and asthma. It’s also high in beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium.
Juicing Tip: To get the most out of your kale, run it through the juicer before the fruits and veggies with higher water content like cucumber and apple. Try this recipe for a savory/sweet treat:
4 cups kale
1/2 cup pineapple (canned works fine)
Celery has natural diuretic properties. The potassium and sodium in celery juice regulate body fluid and help rid the body of excess toxins. Celery is also a good source of riboflavin, calcium, and magnesium.
Juicing Tip: The high sodium content in celery makes this a great post-workout juice to replenish the salt you lose through sweating. Recharge with this recipe:
8 celery stalks
1 inch fresh ginger
1 bunch cilantro
1 Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Apples have been called the “broom of the body” for their cleansing properties. They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants, that help detoxify the liver and reduce cholesterol.
Juicing Tip: Apples are high in natural sugar and should be used to sweeten and balance out the flavor of bitter vegetable juices. A little apple goes a long way, but too much will add empty sugar calories and detract from the health benefits of your drink.
Beets are a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C. They boost nitric oxide levels in the body, aid in healthy circulation, and there is some medical evidence that beet juice helps prevent liver disease.
Juicing Tip: Beets pair well with apples (go with two beets for every one apple). Some people have a stomach sensitivity to beets, so start with a small portion to see how you react.
Wheatgrass is a great source of vitamins B, C, E and beta-carotene, which help eliminate free radicals and cleanse the circulatory system and gastrointestinal tract.
Juicing Tip: To hide the “freshly mowed lawn” aspect of wheatgrass, mix a shot or two with any squeezed citrus juice. It also goes well with naturally sweet carrot juice.
Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which will help you fight scurvy and acts as an all-purpose anti-inflammatory agent. Lemon is also a good source of folate and potassium.
Juicing Tip: Lemon is a flavor binder for juices and adds a zesty tang to whatever combo you’re making. Follow these instructions for a green juice with a strong lemon flavor:
2 cups kale
2 cups cucumber
1 cup spinach
1 head celery
1/2 inch fresh ginger
1 bunch parsley
The concentrated juice from ginger is proven to help decrease nausea and aid in digestion. There are also reports that it helps reduce inflammation and boosts the immune system.
Juicing Tip: Add ginger liberally for a sweet, spicy flavor that will help mask the bitter, earthy taste of vegetables like garlic and spinach. Start your morning with this drink instead of normal orange juice:
A thumb-size piece of ginger
500ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Parsley is a rich source of antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin A, and you don’t benefit from it when you just use it as a garnish. Juicing a high quantity of parsley will help flush out excess fluid from the body, protect cells, and remove free radicals.
Juicing Tip: Parsley has a dominating taste that can be a bit off-putting in large quantities. Try this detoxifying fruit/veggie combo to balance the flavors:
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch kale
3 large Granny Smith apples