One of the perks I find most appealing about juicing is I don’t need to stress over how many vitamins and minerals make their way into my body each day.
For me, personally, it’s a far better feeling to sip on a juice made up of leafy greens and high-nutrient vegetables in the morning instead of popping open the cupboard and swallowing and handful of capsules and pills.
Living a healthy lifestyle means getting the right kind of nutrition for your goals. So, this means if you want to get the best value from your juices the one constant in your drinks should be leafy greens. They’re crucial in all kinds of juicing, especially when doing a juice cleanse.
The Benefits of Leafy Greens is Kind of a No-Brainer
For anyone who’s ever in the need for a quick boost of energy, the usual choices are a cup of coffee or green tea—both a personal favorite—or one of those small little energy “shot” drinks. But, there’s another option that should be more explored.
Instead of loading up and tons a caffeine to keep from burning out during the day, an even better option to use a Green Juice to add a kick to your step.
These drinks are chock full of nutrients and help to keep you focused when you need to be. That’s just one reason. Another is if you’re having trouble eating all of your daily greens this is a simple fix.
“Green Juices are perhaps the most nutritional Juices you can consume,” said Frank of iblogJuicing.com.
Frank prefers making his own green juices, instead of choosing the pre-made one’s found in the stores. Those Juices tend to be “loaded with high sugar fruits.”
Typically, most people get their daily veggies though mega-lunch salad. And, that’s typically fine if a score of fat-laden dressing isn’t loaded on. Greens are generally low-calories. You can eat a ton and not look like you’ve eaten ton.
“Many Juicing experts agree that Juicing “Green Leafy Vegetables” is the way to go for several reasons,” Frank says.
But how do you get started with Green Juicing?
To set you up right, here’s a list of the 10 best leafy greens to start juicing with.
This is one versatile green. Kale is noted as being one the more nutritious veggies around (it’s choke full of Vitamin C, Beta-Carotine, and Lutein, to name a few). There’s a bitter in flavor to Kale, which is what you can expect with most leafy greens, and this tends to turn off to some people from including them in their diet plans.
But it’s pretty easy way to cut through and tame the bitterness. Simply add lemon in your juices. Also working other ingredients will help to make this terrific ingredient more palatable.
A trick to juicing this particular green is to watch out for its tough fibers. Try feeding your juicer only one leaf at a time. This will keep the machine from getting hung-up on trying to work out the juice.
It’s hard for me to talk about Spinach and not mention my childhood favorite Popeye.
So, I promise I won’t go down that road…but I will say Spinach is one ingredient that ranks pretty high on my shopping list.
Most of the time you hardly even realize the Spinach is in a drink. So, this makes for a great intro to green juicing.
What does Spinach have to offer? Well, it’s a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K—to name a few—as well as being a good source for minerals like Manganese and Iron.
One of the things I find really challenging with Spinach is storing it. The best way I know how to store it is in an air-tight bag, making sure to get all the air out of there.
Another thing to make sure you do—as you should with all produce—is to wash it thoroughly. Even if you buy a pre-washed bag of it, a final rinse just before you use it won’t hurt it. A few pats with a paper towel is good enough to dry it up.
See, I kept my word on the Popeye references.
3. Swiss Chard
You know what’s interesting? This deep-green veggie has nothing to do with the Swiss, except that it’s named after Karl Koch, who was…hint, hint…a Swiss Botanist.
Aside from that info-tidbit, Swiss Chard is a offers a wealth of nutrition that just a few cups worth equals to about 120% of your daily Vitamin A needs, and that’s just the beginning.
It’s also a excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, as well as a great source of Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Riboflavin.
This leafy green is typically known for having a red stem, but the interesting thing here it that you can find it with many varied colors shades: oranges, pinks and yellows. But the leaf part is always green. Pretty cool, huh?
4. Collard Greens
Most often this a leaf that gets more focus as a cooked veggie than one that’s a good source for juicing. But, if you’re interested in giving this bitter-green leaf a try, here are a few things you’re going to get out of it:
It’s a dense source of Vitamin A, so a single cup will get you around half a day’s worth. There’s plenty of Vitamin C coming your way, too, also including Vitamin K, Calcium and Iron.
One trick that I’ve found useful to keeping Collard Greens from wilting is to simply tuck them in a pitcher, or vase if you prefer, that’s filled with water. They’ll usually last for about 4-5 days without any discoloration. I discovered this works when you want to save some room in the fridge for other food stuff.
5. Mustard Greens
I know, I know, this is one bitter leafy green…and that’s me being kind. So, it must be good, right? Of course!
One of the things that makes Mustard Greens an interesting ingredient is that’s it’s been shown that it can help reduce cholesterol. Also, it’s an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Manganese and Calcium.
Mustard greens also contain high levels of Singrin, Gluconasturtiin and Glucostropaeolin. While these are pretty complicated names to say—I know if I were expected to pronounce them I’d butcher the names— they support the body’s ability to detox itself. Another thing to note is Mustard Greens are chock full of antioxidant nutrients, like beta-carotene, Vitamin E.
So, again, break out that lemon to cut down the bitterness, and start enjoying what this great, leafy green has to offer.
6. Turnip Greens
Like most of the greens I’ve already covered, Turnip Greens are an excellent source of Calcium. But they’re also very high in Vitamins K, A, C, E and B6. Nutrition benefits come from delivering lots of Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5.
There’s even the bonus of adding in omega-3 fatty acids—the good kind a fat—and protein in your diet. I’ve always found that pretty interesting, since these two are usually considered to be in animal-based diets.
This green also goes by the names of Chicory or Escarole, and often resembles a form of lettuce.
There are many varieties of this particular green, the Belgian strain is completely without Chlorophyll, and a few other typical minerals found in green produce.
Endive is probably best in aiding to deliver a great amount of Vitamin A per serving, and is loaded with Copper, Iron, Manganese and Potassium.
Okay, you knew eventually we’d be talking about lettuce. I’m not going to suggest the ordinary Iceberg variety.
Save that for your salads, if you want. Instead, I want you to open up our produce palates.
So how do we do that? Start by not speeding the shopping cart past all the different varieties of lettuces. Trust me, they’re there waiting to be discovered.
Checkout the other kinds that are just wanting to be enjoyed:
- Red leaf lettuce
- Green Leaf lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
There are certainly more than just these. But I think if you simply work these into your Green Juices, you’ll find lettuce isn’t such a bland ingredient to use.
When juicing lettuce, you can easily just drop the leaves into the juicer. Some people like to tear up the leaves instead.
To start off juicing lettuce, “Make sure to wash the Lettuce thoroughly and tear the lettuce versus cutting the lettuce with a knife,” Frank advises.
When touring the produce aisle, Frank suggests: “Ensure that the leaves look crisp and aren’t discolored in any way.”
Storing lettuce can be tricky—much as I’ve noted with Spinach.
Frank’s tips to storing Lettuce goes as follows: “Wash it, dry it with a paper towel and place it in the coolest part of the refrigerator.”
To keep you’re produce as green as possible, Frank prefers to using “lettuce shortly after purchasing it from the market,” and “juice or eat it soon after.”
There’s more to this cruciferous green than meets the eye. Yes, it’s works great in salads, soups, and is an excellent topping to a tasty fish taco…but you might not expect it that this one green is backed by several nutritional benefits.
The biggest boost to your diet when using Cabbage is probably Vitamin C, which one serving can contain around triple your daily need.
Other reasons why you’d definitely want to base your Green Juices on is the wealth of Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Folate, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Thiamin.
This is often thought of as a garnish that’s meant to simply add a bit of a classy element to a plate of food. This stigma is probably always going to be a hard one for Parsley to shake, however, it’s also a powerfully packed leafy green. So, there’s certainly some merit behind adding this into a juice.
Here’s what’s going for it:
Beta-carotene, Chlorophyll, Folic Acid, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Since it has such a high level of these nutrients, Parsley has been shown to help boost our immune systems.
A strategy that might be helpful to you when juicing Parsley is to add a small bunch with another ingredient, like cucumber or a carrot when loading it into a juicer.
I originally set out just to list 10 of the best leafy greens you can get started with in a juicing program. But, since I’m a person who loves flavor, I wanted to throw in just a couple more greens your way.
The “bonus” two that I’d like you to try out are Cilantro (aka Coriander) and Mint. These are great ways to add in an element of taste into any drink. I thought you’d be interested these as a jumping off point.
What’s the Next Step?
Now that we’ve covered what ingredients work best, the next step is to figure out how to make them together.
This means experimenting.
“Try Juicing some of these items separately and mix and match to find combinations you like,” Frank says. ”If you follow a few simple rules you’ll be fine.”
Juice primarily the following fruits and vegetables and you’ll have great results:
Along with best leafy greens, Franks recommends accentuating your juices with these other ingredients:
“Sometimes the best way to test out new Juicing recipes is to simply experiment with different combinations,” Frank says.
A couple things to help you get started with juicing:
I know people can get really passionate about their favorite greens. So, if you think this list should be reordered in a certain way…let me know in comments section below.
Which of this leafy greens do you think deserves the top spot, and why?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.