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Sometimes having a busy schedule can keep you from eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods. But drinking fresh, natural juice can be a great way to pack in some much-needed nutrients when you’re in a hurry or always on the go.
Nevertheless, getting a variety of vitamins and nutrients on a daily basis becomes even more important as you age, because your body undergoes many different changes.
With this in mind, we talked with our medical expert board member Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, about some of the best juices to drink to help slow the aging process in your body.
“A mostly veggie-based juice with a hint of sweetness from apple or pear is a great idea to get some extra plants and all of those vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they provide in a convenient, portable way,” says Burak.
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While Burak believes veggie-based juices can be helpful, she does warn that there are more effective ways to get these nutrients than through juice.
“I always recommend choosing the fresh whole fruits and veggies over the juiced ones because you’re basically just drinking the sugar squeezed from the fruits,” she says. “When you eat the whole versions, you will reap the benefits of the fiber and volume.”
But if you’re in a bind or are used to a busy schedule, juice may be the answer. Burak recommends including dark, leafy greens into your juice like spinach or kale, as well as a fruit like cucumber.
“These ingredients will provide hydration, antioxidants, and important collagen-producing helpers like vitamins A and C to help keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy and stronger as you age,” she says.
Adding kale to your juice may also help improve your heart health. In a study from Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, a group of men with high cholesterol levels drank about half a cup of kale juice every day for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12-week period, “bad” cholesterol levels were lowered, and “good” cholesterol (the type that can protect your heart) levels were increased.
Similar to kale, spinach was also shown to have significant health benefits when consumed. A study from Clinical Nutrition Research found that those who ate spinach daily were able to lower their blood pressure because of spinach’s high nitrate content. However, it should be noted that this was whole spinach, not in juice form.
The takeaway here is that eating whole fruits and vegetables is always the healthiest option because you’re not sacrificing any of the fiber content. But if you’re on a busy schedule, or struggle to get your servings of produce on a daily basis, drinking a juice with kale or spinach, or another leafy green, may be beneficial as you age.
For more on healthy juice, check out these 5 Best Juices to Slow Aging.
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