Juice Diet: How to Start Juicing to Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Are you thinking of giving juicing a try? Each of our 7 healthy homemade juice recipes provides about a quarter of the average daily recommended fruit and vegetables per glass (the recommended amount is about 5 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables per day for a 2,000-calorie diet).
Several studies, including a 2020 review in Nutrients, 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.
Because smoothies contain whole produce, they generally contain more fiber than juice. But fresh juices can be loaded with dark leafy greens and lots of red, orange and 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 and are a nice addition to a healthy breakfast or as a snack. Each of these recipes 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.
Day 1: Green Juice
Pictured Recipe: Green Juice
Fun Fact: The parsley and celery in this juice deliver apigenin, a compound that is believed to promote the death of cancerous cells, according to a 2022 review in Molecules.
Day 2: Tomato-Vegetable Juice
Pictured Recipe: Tomato-Vegetable Juice
Fun Fact: A 2022 study in the Journal of Nutritional Science found that the consumption of vegetable juices was linked to a reduction in blood pressure.
Day 3: Strawberry-Cucumber Juice
Pictured Recipe: Strawberry-Cucumber Juice
Fun Fact: Strawberries have been shown to lower cardiovascular disease risk, due to them being rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, per a 2021 study in Nutrients.
Day 4: Blueberry-Cabbage Power Juice
Pictured Recipe: Blueberry-Cabbage Power Juice
Fun Fact: Red cabbage and blueberries pack this juice with anthocyanins, antioxidants, which help keep your memory sharp, according to a 2020 review in Advances in Nutrition.
Day 5: Spinach-Apple Juice
Pictured Recipe: Spinach-Apple Juice
Fun Fact: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spinach provides a healthy dose of vitamin K, which helps keep your bones strong.
Day 6: Ginger-Beet Juice
Pictured Recipe: Ginger-Beet Juice
Fun Fact: Drinking beet juice may increase blood flow and lower blood pressure, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Day 7: Carrot-Orange Juice
Pictured Recipe: Carrot-Orange Juice
Fun Fact: According to a 2020 study in Nutrients, carrots are loaded with carotenoids, polyphenols, fiber, vitamins and minerals that have been shown to fight against cardiovascular disease and other metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
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.
That said, vegetables are one of the best foods to eat to help you lose weight. They are low in calories, high in fiber and rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
If you juice the vegetables, you miss out on the fiber. 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 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, and they can all be classified into two main categories: high-speed (AKA centrifugal juicers) or low-speed (AKA 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 non ejection 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, $169
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.