When you think of juicing, a glass of something deep green and not very appetizing probably comes to mind. However, the best raw juice blends, as well as smoothie ingredients, actually incorporate different types of fruits and vegetables, not only for the nutritional benefits, but for some surprisingly great flavor.
Here are just a few of the types of foods that nutritionists say you should consider adding to your juice or smoothie:
You may already know what a great ingredient frozen fruits can be for smoothies, but you can juice them as well. Experts recommend that you choose frozen fruits with no added sugar.
A great glass of juice, or a smoothie, is all about balance. This means that it shouldn’t be all fruit, nor should basically be a glass of straight broccoli juice (umm, unless you really like that sort of thing). Greens like kale and spinach always make great options, but have you tried Swiss chard? This green has a mildly sweet flavor, contains lots of antioxidants, and has been shown to help protect against heart disease and help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Speaking of great greens, collards have more nutrients than either kale or spinach! They are an excellent source of beta-carotene, folate, as well as vitamins C, E, and K, and can help alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis. One caveat: collards tend to have a strong flavor, so if you decide to use it, add green apple and lemon to help balance out the taste.
Aronia berries are about the size of blueberries, and are rich in antioxidants that can help reduce your risk for colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Many experts predict that this berry is about to become the new “it” food.
Like berries, beets are naturally sweet, making them a great juice ingredient. They’re pretty great for your body, too – studies have shown that beet juice can help lower blood pressure and increase your levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione, which helps your body eliminate toxins while boosting your immune system. Beets are also a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, and folate.