Beyond Green Juices
The popularity of green juices and smoothies over the past decade has been rapidly growing in mainstream culture. These days it is very much in fashion for celebrities to be seen with their bright green concoctions from the many juice bars popping up around the world. Health books lining popular bookstore shelves are dedicated to the gorgeous green stuff.
Green juices indeed are a glorious way to get a number of vital nutrients, but most uniquely is chlorophyll. It is the plant’s ability to turn sunlight into energy that allows them to grow and regenerate. By eating the greens full of chlorophyll, we are presenting our bodies with the basic building blocks of energy from sunlight into stored, useful energy for our body.
With all the wonderful things that green drinks do for us, why should we waste our time on anything else? Couldn’t we just live on the green goodness?
The human body is a complex symphony of systems that rely on each other for the total body to function properly. When one system is in trouble, many times the body compensates to bring it back into balance. It is up to us to feed our bodies the balance of nutrients we need for all of our systems, so the body doesn’t have to work as hard to find balance.
Here is a quick list that provides a look at the other colors to start incorporating into our diets whether as whole foods or juices.
Some red foods contain high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant, which is believed to help prevent cancers, especially prostate cancer and support cardiovascular health. A reddish hue can also indicate a high level of vitamin C and folate.
Examples: cherries, radishes, red apples, red onion, red peppers. rhubarb, tomatoes and watermelon.
Generally foods with reddish to orange hues have higher contents of beta-carotene, which can be converted by the body into vitamin A, which is critical for your visual health. These foods are also higher in vitamin C, to help boost immunity.
Examples: apricots, butternut squash, carrots, oranges, and pumpkin.
Like orange foods, yellow foods often contain beta-carotene. This lighter hue of colors is generally higher in potassium and calcium. Examples: bananas, lemon, mangos, persimmons, pineapple, and yellow squash
Along with chlorophyll, green plants are typically high in iron, vitamin K, and calcium. They often times help support the liver and the body’s natural detoxification systems.
Examples: artichoke, broccoli, cabbage, celery, kale, kiwi, limes, spinach and zucchini
Foods darker in color have higher anthocyanins content, an antioxidants that may protect against cancer, are heart healthy and may help support healthy blood pressure. Often times these foods fight inflammation and can help calcium and mineral absorption.
Examples: blueberries, grapes, pomegranate, purple asparagus, purple carrots, and figs.
These foods without a color are still quite potent with health benefits. glucosinolates found in cauliflower may fight prostate and lung cancers. Garlic & onions contain a phytochemical, allium, that may reduce the risk of stomach, colon, and rectal cancer. And a potato contains potassium that can help lower blood pressure.
Its always beneficial to get a variety of foods into your juices or smoothies to bring your body the whole rainbow of nutrients. Have fun & try new things!
I’m a 20 plus newlywed, nutrition student and aspiring writer, with a love for chocolate, oatmeal and exercise. I enjoy exercising and learning about nutrition and health, and I am currently training for my first half marathon.