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The 12 Best Vegetables to Juice

Health + Wellness
petrenkod / iStock / Getty Images

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

In recent years, juicing has gained widespread popularity among health-conscious individuals looking for a quick and convenient way to boost their nutrient intake.


However, if you're new to juicing, you may find it difficult to determine which vegetables to choose.

Here are the 12 best vegetables to juice to improve your overall health.

1. Kale

Kale is a versatile leafy green with a mild flavor that pairs well with other fruits and veggies in juices.

This power-packed ingredient is a great source of several key nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K (1).

Raw kale is also especially high in antioxidants, including beta-carotene.

Antioxidants neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals to help protect against conditions like heart disease (2Trusted Source). In fact, drinking kale juice has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol.

One study in 32 men with high cholesterol levels found that drinking 5 ounces (150 ml) of kale juice daily for 3 months reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol by 10% and boosted heart-protective HDL cholesterol by 27% (3Trusted Source).

Summary

Kale is high in several important nutrients, including beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and K. Plus, it has been shown to improve heart disease risk factors.

2. Carrots

Due to their slightly sweet flavor and impressive nutrient profile, carrots are a perfect choice for juicing.

They're low in calories and high in vitamin A, biotin, and potassium (4).

What's more, they're loaded with carotenoids, which are plant pigments that work as powerful antioxidants in your body. These include beta-carotene, lycopene, alpha-carotene, and lutein (5Trusted Source).

Studies show that eating a diet rich in carotenoids may be linked to a lower risk of degenerative eye diseases, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, including of the prostate (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

The sweetness of carrot juice combines well with other commonly juiced vegetables and fruits, such as citrus fruits, ginger, and beets.

Summary

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, biotin, and potassium. They're also high in carotenoids, which may be linked to a lower risk of eye disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

3. Beets

In addition to their vibrant color and earthy flavor, beets add a host of health benefits to your daily juice.

In terms of nutrition, beets are packed with manganese, potassium, and folate (10).

They're also high in nitrates, a type of natural plant compound with powerful health effects.

In fact, studies show that nitrate-rich beetroot juice may improve blood pressure, as well as athletic and mental performance (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Not only do beets make a delicious addition to juices but also their leafy green tops — called beet greens — are highly nutritious and can be juiced as well (14).

Summary

Beets are a good source of manganese, potassium, folate, and nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance and brain health.

4. Cabbage


Cabbage may not seem like an obvious choice for juicing, but it's a nutritious and delicious ingredient that works well in juices.

Each serving of cabbage is chock full of vitamins K and C, along with other micronutrients like folate, manganese, and vitamin B6 (15).

It's also classified as a cruciferous vegetable and closely related to other veggies like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Studies show that eating more cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Summary

Cabbage is high in vitamins K and C along with many other nutrients. As a cruciferous vegetable, it may help protect against diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.

5. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that brings a mild, fresh flavor to smoothies and juices.

It's high in vitamins A and C and delivers a hearty dose of antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol, and lutein (19, 20Trusted Source).

Spinach is also rich in nitrates, which can benefit heart health (21Trusted Source).

One study in 27 people found that consuming spinach for 7 days significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom numbers of a reading). High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease (22Trusted Source).

Additionally, some research suggests that spinach juice has significant antacid activity, making it a wise choice for those with acid reflux (23Trusted Source).

Summary

Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and nitrates. It may reduce blood pressure and have antacid effects.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that's been tied to various impressive health benefits.

In particular, it's an excellent source of key micronutrients, such as potassium and vitamins A, B6, and C (24).

It also contains kaempferol, a powerful compound that has been shown to neutralize disease-causing free radicals, decrease inflammation, and reduce cancer cell growth in test-tube studies (25Trusted Source).

What's more, a recent study in 960 people noted that eating one serving per day of green vegetables rich in kaempferol and other antioxidants may slow age-related mental decline (26Trusted Source).

Toss broccoli heads and stems into your juicer for a nutritious addition to your green juice recipe.

Summary

Broccoli is rich in potassium and vitamins A, B6, and C. It also packs several antioxidants like kaempferol, which may decrease cancer growth, inflammation, and mental decline.

7. Parsley

Often dismissed as little more than an herb and garnish for cooking, parsley is a great vegetable to use for juicing.

Fresh parsley is especially rich in vitamins A, K, and C, which may all contribute to its many health benefits (27).

In one study, giving rats with diabetes parsley extract significantly decreased blood sugar and improved blood antioxidant levels, compared with a control group (28Trusted Source).

Another study found that administering parsley extract to rats with drug-induced liver damage increased antioxidant status and preserved liver function (29Trusted Source).

Summary

Parsley contains vitamins K, A, and C. In animal studies, it's been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, improve antioxidant status, and protect liver function.

8. Cucumbers


They're also low in calories yet high in potassium, manganese, and vitamins K and C (30).

Adding cucumbers to your diet can help keep you hydrated, which is crucial to digestive health, kidney function, weight management, and physical performance (31Trusted Source).

In addition, test-tube research shows that cucumber extract may help reduce inflammation in skin cells. This makes cucumber juice an excellent choice after days spent in the sun (32Trusted Source).

Summary

Cucumbers are high in potassium, manganese, and vitamins K and C. They can also help keep you hydrated and may reduce skin inflammation.

9. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with key vitamins and minerals.

In fact, each serving contains plenty of vitamins A and C, which are important nutrients that double as antioxidants to help fight cellular damage in your body (33, 34Trusted Source).

Some animal research suggests that Swiss chard may be especially beneficial for those with diabetes (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

In a 45-day study, feeding Swiss chard extract to rats with high blood sugar reduced the elevated levels by increasing antioxidant status and altering the activity of enzymes that control insulin, a blood-sugar-regulating hormone (38Trusted Source).

You can add Swiss chard to just about any juice or use it in place of more common leafy greens, such as kale and spinach.

Summary

Swiss chard is high in vitamins A and C. Animal studies suggest that it may help reduce blood sugar levels and increase antioxidant status.

10. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is an edible grass that's often considered one of the most popular vegetables for juicing.

It's an incredibly nutrient-dense ingredient and supplies a significant amount of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, along with 17 different amino acids — the building blocks of proteins (39Trusted Source).

It also contains chlorophyll, a natural plant pigment with potent anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties (40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

What's more, one study in 59 women found that supplementing with wheatgrass powder for 10 weeks significantly reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improving heart health (43Trusted Source).

Wheatgrass juice can be enjoyed on its own as a shot or added to any juice for a nutritional boost.

Summary

Wheatgrass is an edible grass that contains 17 amino acids, along with iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and chlorophyll. One study found that it may promote heart health by decreasing triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

11. Celery

Celery juice has started to gain traction in the health world — and for good reason.

In addition to its high water content, celery contains a good amount of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as antioxidants like kaempferol, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid (44, 45Trusted Source).

Animal and test-tube research has found that celery extract may improve heart health by decreasing blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).

One animal study also showed that certain compounds in celery have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which may protect against chronic disease (48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).

Many people like to drink celery juice on its own, but it can also be combined with the juice of lemons, apples, ginger, and leafy greens for a tasty beverage.

Summary

Celery contains vitamins A, K, and C, as well as several antioxidants. Animal and test-tube studies show that celery extract may decrease inflammation and reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.

12. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a kitchen staple and great for using in your juicer.

They're not only low in calories but also brimming with essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and folate (50).

Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a compound that's been tied to a lower risk of prostate cancer, heart attack, and stroke (51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source).

Drinking tomato juice has also been shown to reduce inflammation, increase metabolism, and improve male fertility (54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source).

What's more, tomato juice may reduce inflammation associated with exercise, making it a smart choice for athletes (57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source).

Pair tomatoes with celery, cucumber, and parsley for a refreshing, healthy juice.

Summary

Tomatoes have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, and lycopene.

The Bottom Line

You can juice a wide variety of vegetables, each providing a unique set of nutrients and health benefits.

Try mixing and matching veggies from the list above to squeeze different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into your diet.

You can also combine these vegetables with fruits to further dial up the flavor and health benefits.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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