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.
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).
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.
Due to their slightly sweet flavor and impressive nutrient profile, carrots are a perfect choice for juicing.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Beets are a good source of manganese, potassium, folate, and nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance and brain health.
Cabbage may not seem like an obvious choice for juicing, but it's a nutritious and delicious ingredient that works well in juices.
It's also classified as a cruciferous vegetable and closely related to other veggies like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
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.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that brings a mild, fresh flavor to smoothies and juices.
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).
Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and nitrates. It may reduce blood pressure and have antacid effects.
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.
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.
Often dismissed as little more than an herb and garnish for cooking, parsley is a great vegetable to use for juicing.
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).
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.
They're also low in calories yet high in potassium, manganese, and vitamins K and C (30).
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).
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 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.
Swiss chard is high in vitamins A and C. Animal studies suggest that it may help reduce blood sugar levels and increase antioxidant status.
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).
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.
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.
Celery juice has started to gain traction in the health world — and for good reason.
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.
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.
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).
Pair tomatoes with celery, cucumber, and parsley for a refreshing, healthy juice.
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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By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge
In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.
The Good and Bad News<p><span>Ecosystems consist of living and non-living components, and their interactions. They work like a super-complex engine: when some components are removed or stop working, knock-on consequences can lead to system failure.</span></p><p>Our study is based on measured data and observations, not modeling or predictions for the future. Encouragingly, not all ecosystems we examined have collapsed across their entire range. We still have, for instance, some intact reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, especially in deeper waters. And northern Australia has some of the most intact and least-modified stretches of savanna woodlands on Earth.</p><p><span>Still, collapses are happening, including in regions critical for growing food. This includes the </span><a href="https://www.mdba.gov.au/importance-murray-darling-basin/where-basin" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Murray-Darling Basin</a><span>, which covers around 14% of Australia's landmass. Its rivers and other freshwater systems support more than </span><a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/latestproducts/94F2007584736094CA2574A50014B1B6?opendocument" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30% of Australia's food</a><span> production.</span></p><p><span></span><span>The effects of floods, fires, heatwaves and storms do not stop at farm gates; they're felt equally in agricultural areas and natural ecosystems. We shouldn't forget how towns ran out of </span><a href="https://www.mdba.gov.au/issues-murray-darling-basin/drought#effects" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">drinking water</a><span> during the recent drought.</span></p><p><span></span><span>Drinking water is also at risk when ecosystems collapse in our water catchments. In Victoria, for example, the degradation of giant </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/logging-must-stop-in-melbournes-biggest-water-supply-catchment-106922" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mountain Ash forests</a><span> greatly reduces the amount of water flowing through the Thompson catchment, threatening nearly five million people's drinking water in Melbourne.</span></p><p>This is a dire <em data-redactor-tag="em">wake-up</em> call — not just a <em data-redactor-tag="em">warning</em>. Put bluntly, current changes across the continent, and their potential outcomes, pose an existential threat to our survival, and other life we share environments with.</p><p><span>In investigating patterns of collapse, we found most ecosystems experience multiple, concurrent pressures from both global climate change and regional human impacts (such as land clearing). Pressures are often </span><a href="https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13427" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">additive and extreme</a><span>.</span></p><p>Take the last 11 years in Western Australia as an example.</p><p>In the summer of 2010 and 2011, a <a href="https://theconversation.com/marine-heatwaves-are-getting-hotter-lasting-longer-and-doing-more-damage-95637" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">heatwave</a> spanning more than 300,000 square kilometers ravaged both marine and land ecosystems. The extreme heat devastated forests and woodlands, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. This catastrophe was followed by two cyclones.</p><p>A record-breaking, marine heatwave in late 2019 dealt a further blow. And another marine heatwave is predicted for <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/24/wa-coastline-facing-marine-heatwave-in-early-2021-csiro-predicts" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this April</a>.</p>
What to Do About It?<p><span>Our brains trust comprises 38 experts from 21 universities, CSIRO and the federal Department of Agriculture Water and Environment. Beyond quantifying and reporting more doom and gloom, we asked the question: what can be done?</span></p><p>We devised a simple but tractable scheme called the 3As:</p><ul><li>Awareness of what is important</li><li>Anticipation of what is coming down the line</li><li>Action to stop the pressures or deal with impacts.</li></ul><p>In our paper, we identify positive actions to help protect or restore ecosystems. Many are already happening. In some cases, ecosystems might be better left to recover by themselves, such as coral after a cyclone.</p><p>In other cases, active human intervention will be required – for example, placing artificial nesting boxes for Carnaby's black cockatoos in areas where old trees have been <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/factsheet-carnabys-black-cockatoo-calyptorhynchus-latirostris" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">removed</a>.</p><p><span>"Future-ready" actions are also vital. This includes reinstating </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/a-burning-question-fire/12395700" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cultural burning practices</a><span>, which have </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-you-have-unfinished-business-its-time-to-let-our-fire-people-care-for-this-land-135196" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">multiple values and benefits for Aboriginal communities</a><span> and can help minimize the risk and strength of bushfires.</span></p><p>It might also include replanting banks along the Murray River with species better suited to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/my-garden-path---matt-hansen/12322978" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">warmer conditions</a>.</p><p>Some actions may be small and localized, but have substantial positive benefits.</p><p>For example, billions of migrating Bogong moths, the main summer food for critically endangered mountain pygmy possums, have not arrived in their typical numbers in Australian alpine regions in recent years. This was further exacerbated by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/six-million-hectares-of-threatened-species-habitat-up-in-smoke-129438" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019-20</a> fires. Brilliantly, <a href="https://www.zoo.org.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zoos Victoria</a> anticipated this pressure and developed supplementary food — <a href="https://theconversation.com/looks-like-an-anzac-biscuit-tastes-like-a-protein-bar-bogong-bikkies-help-mountain-pygmy-possums-after-fire-131045" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bogong bikkies</a>.</p><p><span>Other more challenging, global or large-scale actions must address the </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iICpI9H0GkU&t=34s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">root cause of environmental threats</a><span>, such as </span><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0504-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">human population growth and per-capita consumption</a><span> of environmental resources.</span><br></p><p>We must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, remove or suppress invasive species such as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mam.12080" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">feral cats</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-buffel-kerfuffle-how-one-species-quietly-destroys-native-wildlife-and-cultural-sites-in-arid-australia-149456" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">buffel grass</a>, and stop widespread <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-reduce-fire-risk-and-meet-climate-targets-over-300-scientists-call-for-stronger-land-clearing-laws-113172" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">land clearing</a> and other forms of habitat destruction.</p>
Our Lives Depend On It<p>The multiple ecosystem collapses we have documented in Australia are a harbinger for <a href="https://www.iucn.org/news/protected-areas/202102/natures-future-our-future-world-speaks" target="_blank">environments globally</a>.</p><p>The simplicity of the 3As is to show people <em>can</em> do something positive, either at the local level of a landcare group, or at the level of government departments and conservation agencies.</p><p>Our lives and those of our <a href="https://theconversation.com/children-are-our-future-and-the-planets-heres-how-you-can-teach-them-to-take-care-of-it-113759" target="_blank">children</a>, as well as our <a href="https://theconversation.com/taking-care-of-business-the-private-sector-is-waking-up-to-natures-value-153786" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">economies</a>, societies and <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-address-the-ecological-crisis-aboriginal-peoples-must-be-restored-as-custodians-of-country-108594" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cultures</a>, depend on it.</p><p>We simply cannot afford any further delay.</p><p><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dana-m-bergstrom-1008495" target="_blank" style="">Dana M Bergstrom</a> is a principal research scientist at the University of Wollongong. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/euan-ritchie-735" target="_blank" style="">Euan Ritchie</a> is a professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life & Environmental Sciences at Deakin University. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lesley-hughes-5823" target="_blank">Lesley Hughes</a> is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-depledge-114659" target="_blank">Michael Depledge</a> is a professor and chair, Environment and Human Health, at the University of Exeter. </em></p><p><em>Disclosure statements: Dana Bergstrom works for the Australian Antarctic Division and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Her research including fieldwork on Macquarie Island and in Antarctica was supported by the Australian Antarctic Division.</em></p><p><em>Euan Ritchie receives funding from the Australian Research Council, The Australia and Pacific Science Foundation, Australian Geographic, Parks Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. Euan Ritchie is a Director (Media Working Group) of the Ecological Society of Australia, and a member of the Australian Mammal Society.</em></p><p><em>Lesley Hughes receives funding from the Australian Research Council. She is a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and a Director of WWF-Australia.</em></p><p><em>Michael Depledge does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/existential-threat-to-our-survival-see-the-19-australian-ecosystems-already-collapsing-154077" target="_blank" style="">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
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