For some of us, soda was was a very special treat as a child. For others, soda came at every meal. Or perhap you discovered it much later in life and haven’t stopped enjoying it since that time. As adults looking for a quick energy burst from caffeine and sugar, we sometimes give in to the soda machine, despite knowing what the ingredients can do to our body. Regardless of your background with soda, the consumption of sugar and empty calories can have a big impact on individual health.
Why Avoiding Soda Matters
For those people ‘addicted’ to soda, especially children, there is a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes. If drink soda but limit sugars and simple carbohydrates from other sources you may avoid diabetes. But you may still have to deal with obesity and high cholesterol. In America and many other developed nations, people from all walks of life are all too familiar with how these afflictions can impact an otherwise ordinary life.
For children, the impact of cholesterol is especially important to understand. As research has identified, the link between soda consumption and high cholesterol is one that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re not familiar with cholesterol, it is generally recognized that there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol. Basically, ‘good’ cholesterol helps to regulate ‘bad’ cholesterol. Additionally, cholesterol is important for the production of hormones and normal digestion. But a healthy liver produces all the cholesterol the body needs, so eating foods with any amount of cholesterol may result in a negative health state.
The good news is there are alternatives to soda that are quite low or absent any cholesterol. Many times the reason people choose soda is due to a craving. This craving could be the result of the pleasure center of brain looking for a treat, or even an immediate nutritional. So what if you could satisfy a craving and get the nutrition your body needs with something filling and healthy?
Green Juice: The Many Health Benefits
Perhaps you have seen stores packing shelves with green juice, or you have visited one of the many shops that blend fresh spinach, beets, celery, carrots all together right when you order. If you aren’t familiar with green juice and aren’t a fan of these vegetables, then all of this might sound disgusting. Except it can be surprisingly tasty if you make it just right.
Recipe Guide: 7 Green Juice Blends That Rock!
Making green juice isn’t rocket science. At its core, only three things are needed – a juice base, vegetables (the main ingredient), and a sweetener. If you’re a little adventurous, you could even add optional ingredients like ginger for some heat.
Those doing this for a long time may contend that adding fruit to a green juice isn’t healthy. But the goal here is to ween yourself off the soda addiction, so adding a little fruit is necessary to make the transition easier.
The best vegetables to use for a juice base are cucumber or zucchini – ingredients that contain a lot of water and have almost zero sugar content. Both are also nice as they increase the quantity of juice, making it much more economical, and helps dilute the strong flavor of leafy green vegetables.
Obviously, the main ingredient would be any leafy green vegetable you can think of such as spinach, kale or collard greens. You can mix several of them but don’t go overboard with adding too many of these because they can shock the system and result in nausea.
Sweeteners are there for taste – that’s it. Also, you will need to learn to enjoy a little pulp, both because green juice tends to be naturally thicker, and the pulp will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Pulp, which is the fiber of the plant, is crucial to maintaining normal blood sugar levels, especially when already suffering a blood sugar disorder.
Now that you know the basics let’s move on to the recipes.
Recipe 1: Guilt Free Strawberry Juice
This recipe is inspired by strawberry ice cream shake, but much healthier. If you love strawberry, this is a good starting point on your journey falling in love with green juice.
- 9 strawberries (organic if possible)
- A handful of spinach
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 apples
- 1 large carrot
If you’re concerned about the sugar content then you can discard the carrot and only add one apple. This recipe also happens to be a delicious and healthy treat for children.
Recipe 2: Kale-licious Juice
The next recipe is more appropriate for those who’ve gotten their taste buds acquainted with how green juice tastes like. It combines two greens – kale and spinach.
- 2 to 3 kale leaves (look for organic if possible)
- 1 carrot
- 2 apples (I used Fuji apples)
- 1 cucumber
- Half a slice of lemon
As you’d expect, combining these two vegetables may be too much for someone who’s not used to either, so the lemon, 2 apples, one cucumber and a carrot help to balance things out. Lemon’s tartness is good to the bitterness of green leaves.
Recipe 3: Velvet Green Juice
Beets aren’t most people’s favorite, but its benefits are golden. It has high betalain content that supports everything from the immune system, the heart, and blood glucose levels in the body.
Combine this with the right ingredients and you’ll get a nutritious drink that’ll energize you for the day.
- 1 pack of spinach
- 2 Fuji apples
- 1 lemon
- 1 beet (peeled)
- 1 zucchini
You could switch from zucchini to cucumber if you want more juice as cucumber has more water in it.
Recipe 4: Celery Goodness
Celery is one of the first green vegetables many of us remember eating, providing it came with peanut butter. Juicing it probably never crossed your mind, even as an adult – but it’s good.
- 1 whole celery (yes with all the ribs in it)
- 1 lemon
- 2 cucumbers
You’ll notice there is no fruit in this recipe. For those in need of major sugar rehabilitation, this one may be a good starting point.
Recipe 5: Spicy Celery Juice
If the recipe above is too bitter for your taste then try this next one. It has a bit more sweetness plus some heat.
- 2 green apples
- 1 whole celery
- 1 cucumber
- one lime
- A thumb of ginger
Try this one as a substitute to coffee. Similar to sugar, caffeine in large quantities may not be ideal for your health.
Recipe 6: Strawberry Goodness
This strawberry recipe takes the one mentioned previously and turns things up.
- 19 strawberries
- 3 Fuji apples
- A big handful of spinach
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves
It may be a bit too much fruit for some, but if you’re scratching your head on what to give your children as a substitute for soda, this is the recipe to try. Note that a lot strawberry will make the juice extra pulpy.
Recipe 7: Blood Sugar Busting Diuretic
If your blood sugar level is elevated, maybe you can try this recipe.
- 2 medium to large bitter melons
- 1 romaine lettuce head
- A large Fuji apple
- Half a lemon
- One medium cucumber
Before you try this recipe, consult with your primary care physician to see if this recipe will negatively interact with any medication you are taking.
If you’ve tried any of these recipes, please give a shout out in the comment below. Please share the guide if you find it helpful.