In recent years, green juice has been touted as a health trend as well as superfood beverage. Named for its color, as well as ingredients, one can find a variety of green juice diet recipes that include green vegetables, small amounts of fruits, and occasional additions of herbs and spices. While the color of green juice may not be appealing, there’s more to this drink than what meets the eye. Green juices can be purchased from a variety of stores as well as blended at home with a juicer. Here are ten reasons why going green may be a great addition to your skin regimen from the inside out.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Many of the bases for the green drink include some type of cruciferous vegetable including kale and broccoli. These two vegetables, in particular, are high in skin supportive nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as anti-cancer agents such as sulforaphane.
2. Leafy Greens
As a few examples, spinach, chard, and collard greens also contribute to the vivid color of green beverages. These vegetables contain high amounts of folate and iron that are extremely vital for cell synthesis, repair, and overall health.
Consider kale, broccoli, and spinach as the three green honorable mentions. Not only are all three listed as “powerhouse” vegetables by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to their nutrient content, but they also contain skin and eye-friendly compounds such as beta-carotene, quercetin, and lutein.
Green juice can also boast a high antioxidant profile. Not only are cruciferous and green leafy vegetables high in antioxidant properties, but additional herbs and spices can protect against the free radical formation. Examples include clove, turmeric, peppermint, cinnamon, thyme, sage, and parsley.
Sometimes blended into green juice drinks, avocado supplies creamy textures to recipes. Notably, avocados are also high in carotenoids that scientists have cited as demonstrating anti-aging and photoprotective effects for skin cells. They also are a rich source of heart-healthy omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, which support restored skin barrier function, as well as wound healing.
This is another popular and common ingredient found in green juice. Not only is juiced cucumber great for rehydration, but it also has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and swelling caused by wounds as well as sunburn.
Used for flavor and taste, ginger has been recognized for its antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2009 study published in the Chemico-Biological Interactions Journal cited ginger as demonstrating “considerable cytotoxicity” by preventing the growth of laboratory-grown human skin carcinoma cancer cells.
The impact of vitamin C on the skin is immense. Citrus fruits that may be added for flavor include lemon, lime, and orange. These all provide ample sources of additional vitamin C to protect the skin from environmental exposure and intrinsic aging. Vitamin C has also been demonstrated to increase collagen synthesis and potentially decrease the risk of dry skin.
Polyphenols have been cited to represent the “largest class of compounds used in dermatology and nutricosmetics to combat skin aging.” Found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, examples include anthocyanins and flavonoids. Notably, eating these fruits and veggies may serve to give a consumer similar polyphenol content, with added satiety. Green juice, however, consumed in small amounts can provide similar polyphenol content, with easier digestibility and convenience.
Lastly, the nutrient density of common green juice ingredients may prevent against visible signs of aging ie: wrinkles and blotchy dark spots. Ingredients such as those mentioned above work as functional foods to protect against extrinsic aging factors such as sunlight and environmental toxins.