Yesterday, I shared the 10 Best Juices to Reduce Inflammation. Today we will talk about how you can lose weight (and even build muscle) with juicing. It’s all about the combinations of fruits and vegetables and super foods that you choose to add to your juicing regimen. You’ll notice some overlap between yesterday’s and today’s recommendations. That should speak to those of you who are struggling both with your weight and with inflammatory illnesses, like I am. Those overlapping foods would be great additions to your daily juices.
First of all, losing weight is a lot easier to do when juicing. It doesn’t matter if you add a glass of juice prior to each meal, or go on a juice fast, you will lose weight when you add juicing to your diet. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that improving the quality of foods you eat prevents hunger.
If the food you eat has little to no nutritional value you may be full for a short time, but your hunger will return again in just a couple of hours. That’s why you can eat a huge fast food burger and fries, which contains copious amounts of calories but little nutritional value, and then be hungry just a few hours later. Your body is not getting what it needs to be satiated. Therefore, your body signals hunger again so that you are forced to eat more. Your body is telling you it needs nutrition!
If you fill your body with the nutrients that your body is actually craving, you’ll naturally start eating less and even begin to crave healthier foods. During the longer term juice fasts I have done, I have been surprised how I never really feel hungery. I miss eating (I think it’s the act of chewing), but when I have struggled to stay on my plan, it’s not really due to hunger. You truly can eat an unlimited amount of raw fresh fruits and veggies along with unlimited amounts of freshly made raw juices and lose weight. You never have to feel hungry or deprived.
Another problem is that the food you may currently be eating is addictive. It contains flavonoids and other additives that can create an addiction, especially to unhealthy carbs and sugar. Because of this physical addiction to bad foods, it is likely that when you first begin juice fasting, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms, like headaches. For me, they begin about day 3 and last 2-3 days. Just like with any addiction, it’s important to substitute a healthy alternative to the addictive substance; in this case with raw juice. Any time you are hungry or simply craving something, drink a fresh raw juice, or if you prefer, eat raw veggies or fruit between juices. All carbs are not created equal.
Certain juices and combinations of juices aid in weight loss more readily than others due to their anti-inflammation properties. Using herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits in good tasting combinations that encourage a release of inflammation will aid in weight loss and generally improve any autoimmune symptoms you may have. I believe this is why I have such an improvement in my Lupus and Fibromyalgia symptoms during a juice fast.
Here are 9 of the best fruits and vegetables to include in your juices for weight loss and reduction of inflammation.
Juices for Weight Loss
Juice the leaves as well as the stalk when you make celery juice. Celery juice is high in vitamin A and good sources of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron and other essential amino acids. Celery juice is also great for restoring hydration to the body after a workout, and it works well as a diurectic for releasing the extra fluids your body may be maintaining in unwanted places (like your feet or ankles).
Full of vitamin C, which will boost your immune system, grapefruit juice also has calcium, folic acid, and potassium. When you juice a grapefruit, do not juice the peel but do leave the white skin. It has cancer fighting agents that your body needs. While bitter, grapefruit is very alkalizing to the body. It is also said to have a fat-burning enzyme. Caution: Some drugs should not be taken with grapefruit juice so talk to your doctor before doing so.
Think of spinach as an additive to your other juices, especially juices with citrus. It is quite strong and most people cannot tolerate it by itself. Add different amounts of spinach to your juice recipes until you find a level that is high enough to get the benefits but low enough that you still enjoy the flavor. Start with about 2 cups of spinach and work your way up from there. The health benefits of spinach juice are amazing. It’s an excellent source of chlorophyll and iron, which are building blocks for healthy blood. Spinach is my favorite “green” to juice.
Extremely low in calories and rich in fluids, as well as a natural anti-inflammatory, adding a cucumber to your other juices can increase the volume dramatically. Cucumber juice helps to normalize bowel movements, and can help lower blood cholesterol. It is also very hydrating and refreshing. In addition to juicing cucumber, I add slices (along with Meyer lemon) to my water.
An entire ounce of carrot juice only has 10 calories and is filled with important vitamins and minerals essential for good health. It’s high in calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. Carotene is a natural anti-oxidant. Many people add in a few ounces of carrot juice each day to aid in weight loss, cure acne, anemia, and atherosclerosis. If you suffer from constipation mix some carrot juice and spinach juice to help end that problem fast.
At first thought you may be thinking that cabbage juice is gross. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are many different varieties of cabbage and it is recommended that you eat and juice all the colors as often as possible. It’s low in calories, and contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, which is essential to keeping your bones strong.
No one ever got fat eating broccoli, and it’s true when you juice it, too. You might not consider broccoli to be your every day green vegetable to juice, but if there is an everyday green vegetable superfood, it’s broccoli. You can juice the florets, but your yield and nutritional value is best served from the stem.
This amazing root, aside from adding amazing color to your juices, can reduce high blood pressure which can afford you a tremendous health boost when trying to lose weight. Most people cannot tolerate beet juice alone, so add it to other juices to provide a beautiful color and up the health benefits. My favorite combo is beet/carrot/apple/ginger.
The fruit of a pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which assists with the digestion of protein and essential building block of muscle tissue. Pineapple juice is also one of more anti-inflammatory juices you can drink. If you suffer with an autoimmune disease like I do, be sure to add pineapple to your regimen.
Try adding some dandelion, ginger, and turmeric to your juices for an added punch and super food boost. Choose a green, a fruit, and a veggie to juice together and then add in some herbs, and spices to give the juice a little boost of flavor. I love ginger, but be careful; it packs quite a punch. Turmeric does not add as much flavor so you can be more generous with it, taking advantage of the anti-inflammation properties. Other than citrus and non-organic produce, you do not need to peel your fruit or veggies before adding to your juicer.
Some of you are thinking, “I don’t need to lose that much weight, but I do want to build more muscle. Won’t juicing destroy my muscles due to the lack of protein?”
Absolutely not! The truth is, all juices have the building blocks to help you build more muscle. In truth, fruits and veggies in either their juice or whole form contain on average more usable protein than foods we normally consider to be protein rich like red meat. If you’re still not convinced, you can always add protein to your juice in the form of protein powder made from hemp, brown rice, or pea protein.
To build muscle tissue you simply need to consume the protein molecules, along with vitamin and minerals to build muscle mass which is contained in most raw fruit and vegetable juices. You also need to participate in weight bearing exercises designed to build muscle mass.
If you are thin you’ll need to ensure that you get enough calories. If you are overweight you’ll need to consume less calories in order to lose weight. Juicing can be a way to add in calories rather than subtract calories if you add juicing to your regimen.
If you have children, you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s article. I’ll be sharing about how to get your kids hooked on drinking fresh (green) juices!
Juice of the Day
For some, the idea of juicing broccoli doesn’t seem appealing, but if you match it with the sweet goodness of fat-burning pineapple, you’ll never know it’s there!
- 1/4 pineapple
- 1 large chunk broccoli stem
- 1 cucumber
- 3 handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful of mint
- 1 lemon
- Wash all produce well
- Peel the pineapple and lemon
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 20 oz