Healthy eating can mean different things to different people. For some, a totally vegan diet is optimal, while others might find that humanely raised, organic animal proteins and product help them feel and function better. And then, of course, there are those who avoid gluten or grains, those who stick to a high-fat keto plan, and still others who eat entirely raw. But no matter what dietary philosophy you subscribe to, you'll find that some amount of select fruits and veggies seem to be a part of most (if not all) of these, which is why sipping healthy natural juices could be to your benefit.
It's no secret that celery juice is certainly having a moment in the wellness world, due to benefits that include balancing acidity levels and keeping you super hydrated (among others). But what else can you toss in your juicer to give your body a boost? The good news is that there are a ton of other fruits and vegetables that have properties like detoxifying your liver, reducing inflammation, and even improving your workout game.
Ready to stock up on ingredients to whip up your own wellness concoction? Read on to find some nutritionist-approved juices to add to your healthy-eating repertoire ASAP.
"The perfect player in managing a multitude of stress-induced health symptoms, ginger can soothe the gut, relax organs and muscles, and get the body back in balance overall," explains Chelsea Gross certified transformational nutrition coach, podcaster, and recipe developer at Nutrition With Chelsea. "Ginger is also antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic so juice it to keep your immune system strong, not just during flu season."
"Similar to celery juice, cucumbers are 95 percent water so they are ultra-hydrating and will produce plenty of juice for your efforts," says Megan Gilmore, certified health coach and nutritionist and the brains behind Detoxinista. "Research has shown that cucumbers may help to reduce blood sugar levels and prevent complications from diabetes."
Another great green to try? Dandelion. "They mays not be so familiar to you because they are super bitter, but that bitterness is what makes them so incredibly healing," Gross offers. "Bitter dark leafy greens, like dandelion, can stimulate the body’s detoxification process, purify the blood and increase circulation." If the pure juice on its own isn't palatable for you, the nutritionist suggests adding a few other health-boosting ingredients like celery, cucumber, and lemon, which will also help balance the bitterness.
Looking for improved heart health? Beets might just be one way to help. "Not only are beets a colorful addition to your juicing routine, research also shows that they can significantly lower blood pressure in just a few hours" Gilmore says. "This effect is only temporary, so regular consumption of beets is needed for long-term benefits." Additionally, the nutritionist explains that this juice might actually be a great pre-workout beverage, as some evidence suggests it may help improve athletic performance two to three hours after consuming.
"Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants, and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and better eye health," Gilmore offers. "Research has shown that diets high in carotenes may protect against several types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer."
"Wild blueberries have a sky-high level of antioxidants, polyphenols and even resveratrol," Gross explains. "They’re particularly healing to the brain, immune system and liver and can even be anti-cancer." And in addition to their health benefits, blueberries' natural sweetness makes them a great addition to green blends that might otherwise be not-so-tasty.
"Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, which are important for energy, metabolism, and proper nervous system function," says Gilmore. "Research has shown that eating more cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, may lead to lower levels of inflammation in the body due to their anti-inflammatory effects. If you choose to juice red cabbage, you’ll also benefit from anhocyanins, which give the vegetable its vibrant red color. This powerful compound has been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and coronary artery disease."
"Cherries are the ultimate liver cleanser and can be particularly healing to conditions affecting affecting the bladder, urinary tract, and endocrine system, like PCOS," Gross explains. "They’re so purifying they can even help to stimulate the bowels and alleviate constipation." That said, because this fruit is higher in natural sugars, you might want to limit your intake — plus, a little goes a long way.