How to Start Juicing: 7-Day Juice Plan to Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Each of our 7 healthy homemade juice recipes provides about a quarter of the average daily recommended fruit and vegetables per glass (5 1/2 cups for a 2,000-calorie diet). Several studies show that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can improve your mental health and sense of well-being, yet most of us don't get enough.
While smoothies generally contain more fiber (because the whole piece of produce ends up in the final product) and more fruit, fresh juices can be loaded with dark leafy greens and lots of red, orange and/or purple vegetables to help maximize the nutrients in every glass.
Our 7-day juice plan gives you delicious recipes every day to help you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Related: 7-Day Souping Meal Plan
7-Day Juice Plan
Juices are great any time of day but are a nice addition to a healthy breakfast or as a snack. (Note: Each recipe makes two 8- to 10-ounce servings of juice.) Here is a full week of juicing recipes to help you get your fill of produce.
Pictured Recipe: Green Juice
Fun Fact: The celery and parsley in this juice deliver apigenin, a compound that promotes the death of cancerous cells, according to research from Ohio State University. (Find out if celery juice is healthy here)
Pictured Recipe: Tomato-Vegetable Juice
Fun Fact: When people drank a glass of vegetable juice daily, they got double the veggie servings of people who just tried eating more vegetables.
Pictured Recipe: Strawberry-Cucumber Juice
Fun Fact: Strawberries are the third-best food source of polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce risk of cancer and heart disease, which Harvard researchers have shown help keep your teeth healthy.
Pictured Recipe: Blueberry-Cabbage Power Juice
Fun Fact: Red cabbage and blueberries pack this juice with anthocyanins, antioxidants which help keep your memory sharp.
Pictured Recipe: Spinach-Apple Juice
Fun Fact: The spinach in this juice provides a healthy dose of vitamin K, which helps keep your bones strong.
Pictured Recipe: Ginger-Beet Juice
Fun Fact: Drinking beet juice before a workout may increase your stamina by boosting blood flow, which gets your muscles the fuel and oxygen they need.
Pictured Recipe: Carrot-Orange Juice
Fun Fact: When people washed down a high-fat meal with a vitamin-C-rich fruit juice (this one provides 66% daily value) they had significantly lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood versus those who drank a placebo.
Can You Lose Weight By Juicing?
Many people become interested in juicing, and juice cleanses, as a way to lose weight. We recommend eating healthy meals in addition to drinking juice. If you only drink juice for a long period of time you're missing important nutrients, like protein and fat. Your body will also start to revolt if you do a full juice cleanse and your metabolism may slow down (learn more about if cleanses and detoxes are safe).
That said, vegetables are one of the best foods to eat to help you lose weight. They are low in calories, high in fiber (which if you only juice them, you miss out on) and rich in nutrients and antioxidants. We also know that drinking calories isn't as satisfying as eating them, so if you're only juicing your produce, you may be left feeling hungry. But adding veggie-packed fresh juice to your day can help support your weight loss goals and up your intake of vitamins and minerals as part of an overall healthy eating plan.
Aim to eat more whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins and fats) and less added sugar as you add juice to your diet. Eat more of these science-backed best foods to eat for weight loss or try one of our meal plans to help you lose weight.
How to Juice: 6 Steps & Expert Tips
Excited to start juicing? EatingWell's 7-day juice plan is designed to be a starter kit with tips and recipes to help you get started or, if you're already a home-juicing enthusiast, to give you new ideas for your juicer. Here are tips for making your making your own healthy, fresh juice at home.
1. Wash all fruits, vegetables and herbs well—no need to dry them.
2. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for juicing—every juicer machine is different.
3. Add the most delicate ingredients first, such as leafy greens and herbs.
4. Follow with soft vegetables and/or fruits (tomatoes, berries, etc.).
5. Finish with hard vegetables and/or fruits (apples, celery, etc.). Our recipe ingredients are listed in this order.
6. Drink fresh juice within a day or freeze it.
How to Buy the Best Juicer
There are many types of juicers on the market, but they can all be classified into two main categories: high-speed (a.k.a. centrifugal juicers) or low-speed (a.k.a. masticating, cold-press or low-revolution-per-minute juicers).
High-speed juicers process fruits and vegetables at a higher speed through contact with a spinning shredder against a mesh filter, creating a "centrifuge" force. With nonejection types, the pulp remains in the shredder basket; with automatic-ejection types, the pulp is discarded into a separate waste basket. High-speed juicers tend to be less expensive, however proponents of the raw food movement say the heat produced along with the high speed may break down some of the nutrients as the juice is extracted.
Recommended high-speed juicer: Breville Juice Fountain Plus, $120
Low-speed juicers process fruits and vegetables at a lower speed, thereby producing less heat and noise and extracting more juice than high-speed juicers. For leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, low-speed juicers are best. There are two types of low-speed juicers: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal and vertical low-speed juicers differ mainly in shape, with the vertical juicer being more compact and the horizontal juicer requiring more counter space. However, horizontal juicers have more versatility because they offer the ability to create homemade nut butters, pasta and baby food. Low-speed juicers are more expensive, but ideal if you want to make juices that include a lot of leafy greens.
Recommended low-speed juicers:
How to Make Juice with a Blender
No juicer? No problem. Try this low-tech version for how to make juice without a juicer.
1. Coarsely chop all ingredients.
2. First, place the soft and/or juice ingredients in the blender and process until liquefied. Then, add the remaining ingredients; blend until liquefied.
3. Cut two 24-inch pieces of cheesecloth. Completely unfold each piece and stack the pieces on top of each other. Fold the double stack in half so you have a 4-layer stack of cloth.
4. Line a large bowl with the cheesecloth and pour the contents of the blender into the center. Gather the edges of the cloth together with one hand and use the other hand to twist and squeeze to extract all the juice from the pulp. If you don't want stained hands, wear rubber gloves.