By Matt Hall — Staff Writer
Drinking green juice isn’t just a way to feel little refreshed for some people. No – for some people who’ve discovered the benefits of green juice, it’s an almost religious experience every time they take a sip. Whether it’s to lose weight, improve health, boost immunity or just feel good, green juice drinkers (and doctors) swear by their juicy concoctions.
However, many people who want to experience green juice goodness for themselves actually make several critical mistakes! These can either prevent juice drinkers from getting the full benefits of the juice or make drinking it downright unpleasant. Read this list of green juice mistakes so you get the most out of your greens.
Not trying variety of greens
Believe it or not, there are more delicious leafy greens than spinach and kale. And, as it turns out, juicing only kale and spinach can need to hormonal issues! Too much of these greens causes a buildup of oxalic acid in your body, negatively affecting your thyroid and hormonal balance. By rotating the greens in your juice – make sure to include chard, mustard greens, collards, dandelion, arugula and other greens in addition to kale and spinach – you’ll give your body a balanced supply of vitamins and minerals.
Using too many sweet fruits and vegetables
Sweets are delicious – we get it. Fruits and vegetables (like pears, apples, carrots and watermelon) are tasty and healthy snacks. When you used too many of them in juice, however, you may be overloading your body with fructose and natural sugar.
Even though natural sugar is much better for you than process sugars, it can still contribute to a belly. Just like the sugar found in candy, if you have too much sugar, your insulin levels will spike. Natural sugar can still cause cravings and weight gain just like the artificial stuff.
To avoid this, only include one type of sugary fruit or vegetable in your drink. By a limiting your sweet fruits and veggies to just a single piece of produce per serving, you’ll avoid the problems of too much sugar mentioned above.
(Juicing takes some time to get used to, so if you must, you can start with two servings of sweet produce in your cup of juice and then gradually decrease it to one. This may make juicing more palatable for some people – especially younger juice drinkers.)
Not drinking green juice on an empty stomach
A lot of people like to drink a glass of green juice with their breakfast or another meal. This is a bad idea. Fresh juice should only be consumed when your stomach is empty. If you drink green juice when you have an empty stomach, the vitamins and minerals images are more readily absorbed into your bloodstream and used by your body. However, if you already have a meal in your stomach, that prevents your body from absorbing the good stuff in the juice.
If you have already had breakfast but still want green juice, it’s a good idea to wait at least two hours after a meal to drink it. If you want to drink juice before a meal (as recommended), make sure you wait 20 minutes after drinking the juice before you eat something.
Waiting too long after you eat to drink your green juice
Another common mistake people make is mixing up a lot of juice in advance. The reason this is such a big deal is that the enzymes in the juice begin to degrade immediately after the juice is exposed to air. This means if you want to get the maximum results from your juice, you should drink it immediately.
If you still want to make juice beforehand and drink it gradually, the best way to store it is to put the juice in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. Keeping a juice longer than 24 or 36 hours means you’re probably missing out on a lot of the benefits of juicing in the first place.
Treating green juice as a meal substitute
Green juice is a delicious, healthy way to get additional vitamins, nutrients and minerals into your diet. What green juice is not is a meal replacement. A good way to think of green juice is to treat it like a health supplement. Consuming it 20 minutes before a meal will help maximize benefits of the juice. Not only will your body be optimized for mineral and nutrient absorption, the juice will also help reduce cravings you have for sweets, carbs and other bad stuff. The only exception to this rule is if you were on a juice fast, drinking only juice all the time – then it’s okay to replace a meal with a glass of juice.
Not chewing or swishing your juice
Your food should be chewed. Even though you may not think of your juice as food, you still need to give the enzymes in your saliva to begin digesting your juice before it hits your stomach. Digestion actually begins in your mouth with your saliva. If you digestive enzymes in your spit do not come in contact with your food, you’ll miss out on some key nutrients from what you’re eating. “Chew” your juice (or swish it around your mouth a little bit before you swallow) so those enzymes in your saliva have some time to begin working.
Green juice is delicious, healthy and fun to make. Don’t miss out on its benefits by making these mistakes. Happy juicing!