The term “green juice” can actually refer to a wide range of vegetables processed through a juice or blender to transform the solids into a smoother liquid. Though spinach and kale are among the most common options, it can also include Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, wheat grass broccoli, bitter melon and many others.
The emphasis on green produce comes from the fact that many of these items carry different types of essential nutrients and vitamins than options on the other side of the food color spectrum, such as iron, Vitamin K, and antioxidants.
In addition, greens with a darker color, such as kale, also commonly have higher levels of these nutrients than the lighter green vegetables, such as iceberg lettuce, making them ideal candidates for a healthy diet.
Juicing and Heart Health
Juicing is simply a more convenient way to introduce the foods into your diet, as many juices also include other, more palatable ingredients such as fruits and similar sweeter fare.
The specific benefits of drinking green juice depend on the ingredients. For example, a juice made primarily of kale delivers a high dose of iron, approximately 1mg per cup compared to 0.4mg per cup of cabbage, according to the USDA.
Iron in particular is essential to developing a healthy heart because it is a key element in creating hemoglobin, which is a component found within red blood cells that aids the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. If the body does not have enough iron to properly carry oxygen molecules out of the lungs, it cannot function properly and will eventually start to break down, leaving you feeling fatigued. Overworking your body means overworking your heart, which eventually leads to a weakening of the muscle that can result in heart disease or other ailments.
Another way green juice helps keep your hearth healthy is by introducing antioxidants into the system, which carry a wide range of health benefits overall.
In terms of the heart, antioxidants help to restore damage that comes from daily activity, strengthening the walls of your heart over time and allowing it to function more efficiently.
Many green juices also feature vitamins that help keep the heart pumping properly and strongly. Similarly, the nutrients and minerals in the juices can help improve circulation by expanding the blood vessels and lowering blood pressure, which allows the blood to flow more smoothly throughout your body.
Green juices also help introduce fiber into your diet, which are essential to a healthy heart because they can lower blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol causes the heart to work harder than it needs to pump blood through your body because it literally blocks the passageways in the circulatory system.
Overworking the heart, combined with the lack of oxygen and buildup of toxins due to poor blood flow, can result in a heart attack or similar issues. The fiber in the green juices helps ensure proper blood flow and thus keeps your heart and body functioning normally. Fiber also helps combat other conditions that can lead to heart disease, such as obesity or diabetes, offering an additional layer of healthfulness.
Green juice is low in calories and makes a great addition to a sensible low calorie diet in support of a healthy weight, which in turn realty benefits heart health as both obesity and overweight are two of the biggest contributors to heart disease, heart attack, and premature death.
Regardless of the types of vegetables, you put in the juice or how often you drink them; they are most effective when combined with regular exercise and an overall balanced diet.