Detox deprived? Stock up on these healthy juice essentials to supercharge your liquids.
"Strawberries feel like spring," says Lianna Sugarman, founder of LuliTonix juices. "They're rich in vitamin c, high in antioxidants and are excellent for skin health and beauty."
"Arugula is very cleansing, high in chlorophyll, is great for bone building and mental sharpness," explains Sugarman. And lettuce in general is a "brimming with micronutrients, super hydrating and very cleansing," she says. "They're wonderful in blends and juices because they add a light fresh taste.
Never leave this citrus out the mix! You've probably already heard that "lemon squeezed in warm water is an optimal start to each and every day, supporting liver in its cleansing," says Sugarman. But it's also important to add to your juice, too. "Although acidic in taste, lemon is very alkaline when taken into the body—we put it in everything!"
AKA the "total glow food," says Sugarman. "It's rich in good fat, and an amazing support for the body’s detox and nourishment, plus it's also a great source of glutathione, which helps to block carcinogens while aiding the liver in its detox," she says. Plus, it adds a creaminess to any blend that can transform the consistency and your satisfaction level.
5. Kale and Spinach
There's a reason kale is laced into nearly every juice joint concoction. "Kale is high in fiber so it's great for digestion and is loaded with nutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron (kale has more iron than red meat!)," says Sugarman. "It's also high in vitamin K, touted for cancer-fighting and bone health properties, as well as prevention of blood clots, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids." And the list goes on: "It's also known to promote cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol levels, boost immunity, promote metabolic function, and aid in liver detoxification," explains Sugarman.
"The king of superfoods, even called the healthiest vegetables on the planet for its high concentrations of antioxidants, iron and vitamin B’s," explains Chako Fairbanks, co-founder of FarmBox Los Angeles and San Francisco. "I always recommend using kale in a smoothie over a juice—because a smoothie retains the fiber in the kale and a couple leaves is all you need while when juicing, you should juice enough to get a quarter cup."
As for spinach, the other popular leafy green, it's not only "antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, heart healthy, bone healthy and just all around so healthy for you," says Sugarman. Try: Juiceology Green Elements, purejuiceology.com
Although chia is most popular now in 'pudding', it's a great way to add some heft to a juice, too. "A true superfood that ought to be a staple in everyone’s kitchen, chia seeds are an amazing source of soluble fiber, omega 3, and protein," explains Sugarman. "Hydrophilic seeds, chia are an athlete’s BFF, keeping your body hydrated and energized, and aiding in recovery and endurance."
7. Basil, Cilantro and Parsley
"Antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, heart healthy, bone healthy and so healthy for you, basil is a great source of vitamin A, which helps to prevent the cells from damage by free radicals and is rich in an array of flavonoids which help to protect cells and chromosomes from damage," says Sugarman. "Plus, Basil contains potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds, antibacterial properties, and has tons of antioxidants that boost the immune system. While cilantro "helps regulate energy and offer serious detoxifying qualities like supporting perspiration and safely removing toxins like heavy metals from our bodies, and is also high in vitamin C, aids in digestion, and is a natural diuretic."
Parsley is a not-so-fresh breath antidote. "Parsley helps clean the colon which is often the source of bad breath," explains Fairbanks. "It’s also rich in chlorophyll which helps clean our blood and eating a few sprigs isn’t going to do the trick—you want to juice a half a bunch to get the benefits."
Try his 'Shot of Bad Breath Killer': one bunch parsley, two carrots, and one apple.
"The newer kid on the block when it comes to juicing but one of my favorites," says Fairbanks. "Great for the digestive system—like if you have a sensitive or upset stomach, juicing cabbage will help." But don't over do it "because it has a bitter, almost spicy taste—just juice about a quarter head of cabbage for a few ounces with iequal parts carrot." Fairbanks suggests juicing red cabbage over green as it has more vitamin C and phytonutrients.
"Carros have important nutrients such as vitamin c and a, both vitamins that assist our bodies to maintain a strong vision, teeth, bones and skin too," says Fairbanks. "Plus, they add sweetness, which is great when doing an all veggie juice." Try his 'Tummy Reliever': ¼ red cabbage, four oranges and carrots with their tops and two apples.
"Think of it as Mother Nature’s Advil," says Fairbanks. "It’s an anti-inflammatory so great when you have sore muscles after a workout and it's also been getting a lot of attention for being used against Alzheimer’s in some research." However, a little goes a long way. "Use turmeric like you would ginger," he says. "A one to two inch piece used in your juice is all you need."