That being said, there are some green juices that are more beneficial than others. “The healthier juices have more green vegetables and herbs, and less fruit,” says functional nutritionist Luciana Godoi M.S., R.D., LDN. “Essentially, you would want to choose low-sugar juice full of antioxidants.” She recommends spinach, kale, celery, broccoli, and wheatgrass as a starting point.
Leafy greens, which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, are essential to maximizing the nutritional value of your green juice. They’re also rich in chlorophyll, the compound that puts the “green” in green juice. Chlorophyll not only gives greens their color, it’s a powerful antioxidant and can help support your body’s natural detoxification pathways. The darker the green vegetable, the more chlorophyll it contains.
Spinach is a great choice because it’s high in carotenoids and phytonutrients, according to Godoi. It’s also pretty mild in flavor, so it goes down easily.
Let’s be clear, green juice is certainly not a suitable meal replacement; we like to think of it as more supplementary. “Juicing can help us transition into a healthier lifestyle with more intake of green vegetables, but it is not a long-term substitute for a complete meal. It is a stepping stone into a healthier lifestyle,” says Mittal, who doesn’t recommend juice fasting (drinking only juice for an extended period of time), as it can increase oxalates in the body and stress your liver. Instead, consider sipping a green juice alongside a healthy meal—particularly a dish with fiber, to balance out some of the fibers you miss out on while juicing.
Godoi adds that green juice isn’t a cure-all. While you can reap a number of benefits from sipping juice, she explains that many of these perks also come from a combo of lifestyle choices, like ditching less nutritious foods. “Swapping those culprit ingredients for whole food sources such as leafy greens helps supports natural elimination pathways,”* she says.
This content was originally published here.