A cup of 100 percent vegetable juice counts as a serving of vegetables. Including vegetable juice in a well-balanced diet increases your nutrient intake and protects your health in many ways. Choose a low-sodium juice to keep your salt intake under control. You should aim to include between 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables in your diet each day and vegetable juice is a healthy way to reach this goal.
Low In Calories
Vegetables are a low-calorie food, making them a good choice for weight loss or maintenance. Vegetable juice is available at the supermarket, but using a juicer allows you to prepare your own combinations of vegetable juice at home. Try carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers or spinach to make a juice that is low in calories and high in nutrients. Homemade vegetable juice is also much lower in sodium than most store-bought versions.
Drinking vegetable juice is a good way to increase your potassium intake. Tomatoes are a particularly good source of potassium, but juice made with sweet potatoes and spinach contains a healthy dose as well. Potassium is a nutrient that is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy number protects you from developing heart disease.
Many vitamins are present in vegetable juice, including vitamins A, C and E, all of which are necessary for good health. Vitamin A keeps your eyes healthy and prevents infection, vitamin C plays a role in immunity and wound healing and vitamin E is important for protection from cell oxidation. All three of these vitamins have antioxidant properties, which means they protect your body from free-radical damage that contributes to the development of cancer. Folate, one of the B vitamins found in vegetables, is vital for women in their childbearing years because it helps prevent birth defects.
Whole vegetables are a good source of fiber, which is necessary for healthy digestion and helps control cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease. Vegetable juice does not contain as much fiber because much of the fiber is present in a vegetable's skin, which is usually removed when juicing. Vegetable juice may contain a small amount of fiber, but if you are trying to increase your intake, stick to whole vegetables.
- vegetable drink image by Bram J. Meijer from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.