What do you think of when you read the word “juice?” Probably an image of orange juice comes to mind, or perhaps apple juice. And surely as a bariatric surgery patient, you’ve been told to not drink orange and apple juices. But did anyone tell you that you can drink green juice? In fact, I say you should drink green juice.
What is Green Juice?
Green juice is the name we give to a concoction of pressed vegetables, herbs, and fruits. And it’s been dubbed “green” juice owing to the leafy greens often used like kale, spinach, and celery that make the juice green. Full of vitamins and minerals, greens are nutritional powerhouses that surpass all other vegetables in value. Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K, and folate, and minerals such as iron and calcium. They also are great sources of fiber.
Eat from the Rainbow
But the truth is vegetable juice comes in a variety of colors — orange carrot juice, purple beet juice, are just two examples. And University of Illinois Urbana Champaign researchers say we should strive to “eat the rainbow” of vegetables that support gut health and microbial diversity. Microbes are the gut bacteria in your body that help digest food and are known to play an important role in human health. There is a strong correlation between weight gain and poor microbiome diversity. See related story: Are Gut Bugs Keeping You Fat?
Drink Your Vegetables
Nana often told me to eat my vegetables. “They’re good for you!” she’d explain. And Nana was right. According to ABC News, each plant food contains unique disease-fighting substances, so eating a wide variety of veggies exposes your body to a broader spectrum of protection. And the more different types of plants a person eats, the higher their gut microbiome diversity, finds The American Gut Project.
Unlike Popeye, however, rarely do any of us truly enjoy our spinach or eat a rainbow of vegetables. Nor can we consume copious amounts of it with our tiny tummies. So a green juice is a more palatable way to incorporate spinach and other nutrient-packed vegetables into our diets. And a lot of veggies can fit into a 16 oz green juice! I juiced an entire head of celery this morning.
I Juice Most Mornings
I start most morning with an organic fresh-pressed green juice made in my Aicok whole slow masticating juicer . You can buy that on Amazon for about $100. I like using a masticating juicer because it gets more of the juice out of the vegetables as compared to a centrifuge juicer. Plus it removes the insoluble fiber that a blender would leave in, and that fiber is hard on my digestive system.
I always feel energetic and well after my morning juice, whether its green, orange, or purple! In fact, it makes me feel better than a cup of coffee. Plus green juice is a great way to get my micronutrients in and feed the diversity of my gut microbiome for good health. Afterall, all disease begins in the gut and we want our guts to therefore always be healthy and protected! And while a green juice a day can and will keep the fat away, you’ll also want to make sure you are following a sound diet and exercise plan, too.
I really don’t recommend buying ready-made fresh pressed green juices costing between $3.50 and $11.00, depending on how it’s made. For one thing, they are likely filled with chemicals in the forms of fertilizer, insecticides, and herbicides. And you’ll just be getting standard variety mass marketed quality veggies, too. The other thing is, fresh pressed juices lose their potency after just 24-hours and can grow harmful bacteria. So you’ll not reap the benefits — only the calories.
Easy-to-Make Green Juice
You can make tasty green juices in your juicer fairly quickly and easily. Popular green juice vegetables include spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, and herbs parsley, mint, and ginger. Good fruits include apples, pears, and citrus fruits.
Go easy on the fruits because this is a green, aka vegetable, juice. The calories from fruits add up quickly, plus the sugar can make you dump. Bariatric surgery patients and others who may have issues with the natural sugar in fruit, can use avocado and/or unsweetened coconut flakes and semi-sweet fruits like berries or green apples, and add stevia to taste.
Our simply go naked like me: I take my juice straight up, neat.
Run each ingredient through the juicer. Alternately you may use a high speed blender then run the juice through a strainer, although the results are not quiet as good.
Dr. Oz’s Green Drink
If you do not care to experiment making your own green juice recipe, there are an abundance of recipes to be found online or in books. The recipe for Dr. Oz’s Green Drink can be found on The Dr. Oz Show website.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, of The Doctor Oz Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, says he makes his “green drink” for breakfast on many mornings. Oz makes his green drinks in a blender to retain all the insoluble fiber of the raw foods he uses. It is the fiber that keeps him from getting hungry, according to Oz.
Green Juice for Weight Loss
Having a green juice for breakfast or a snack can be a smart choice for weight loss. The typical green juice is very low in calories and fat. For example, one serving of Dr. Oz’s Green Drink provides 110 calories, 25 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g protein, and 1.2 g of fat.
Bariatric surgery patients and others who need more protein may opt to add a raw organic egg, or some Zint Collagen Protein Powder or Now Foods Beef Gelatin Natural Powder to the blender when making a green juice recipe.
Don’t rely solely on green juice for weight loss. Rather, consider using green juices as part of a healthy diet that helps you to lose weight by keeping your gut healthy. A long-term sustainable change in diet that promotes good gut health will provide you with weight loss and optimal health.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life