One of the most common questions we see getting asked in the juice world is “Which juices are best for weight loss?” The answer to that question is not as straightforward as many of you would hope. While it is true that some juices do seem more effective than others for shedding pounds, it’s important to understand that there is no natural juice anywhere that will magically melt fat off your belly on its own. You still need to restrict calories, avoid inflammatory foods,get proper sleep and exercise BUT… certain high quality, raw juice can help you do all of these things.
With that in mind, let's explore some of the most potent juices and their active compounds that can assist you in achieving your weight loss ideals, shall we?
1. Pineapple Juice: The Bromelain Blast
A favorite flavor for many, ripe pineapple (ananas comosus) contains some very potent enzymes that can improve digestion and actually work in conjunction with other healthy compounds to realize fat loss. Bromelain, papain, and peroxidase are the most notable enzymes, each assisting the body to absorb nutrients and neutralize free radicals, however, bromelain is the king.
A digestive enzyme complex on its own, it assists in breaking proteins down into their constituents resulting in more rapid nutrient absorption. It hastens the stage for a metabolic process called lipolysis to occur, which is when the body taps stored fat tissue for energy by breaking it down into glycerol and other fatty acids. If your goal is fat loss, you’ll want all the help you can get to induce lipolysis as frequently and often as possible.
2. Celery Juice: The Luteolin Lift
As recently as the 16th century, celery (Apium graveolens) wasn’t even considered a food, but as a medicine. Besides being an excellent source of minerals and potassium, Celery contains compounds that stimulate the digestive system and alkalize the blood. There’s been some very interesting research into specific flavonoids found in celery and other plants that seem to directly assist in weight loss, most notably one called luteolin. Some studies suggest that luteolin may help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity, which reduces cravings and overeating.
Other findings published in the International Journal of Obesity, show that luteolin activates adipose (fat) browning and thermogenesis in mice, two co-dependent processes that boost fat burning and dissipate energy as heat. As always, more research is needed to confirm these findings, but the anecdotal evidence that we hear on a daily basis seems to be in line.
3. Ginger Juice: The Gift of Gingerol
Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has long been one of our secret weapons for both flavor and function. The spicy root gets that familiar burn along with many of its healthful properties from a little bioactive compound called gingerol; something more of us need to be looking at for our weight loss goals. While it doesn't directly cause weight loss (nothing does), studies suggest that it supports it in a number of ways such as through blood sugar regulation, appetite suppression, and thermogenesis.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that ginger powder (not even juice) was able to reduce visceral fat adiposity and overall reduction of adipocyte inflammatory gene expression in mice. We strongly suspect that these effects are magnified when ginger is consumed in its raw, juice form.
4. Grapefruit Juice: Noble Naringin & Nootkatone
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) has long been suspected a weight loss aid going back to the 1930s, when the first grapefruit diet known as the Hollywood Diet initially gained popularity. The diet claimed that consuming grapefruit before or with every meal could help boost metabolism and encourage weight loss. Since then, most of the studies (not all) conducted on grapefruit’s impact on fat loss typically show at least some positive correlation, but it’s still not understood exactly how.
The strongest compounds found in grapefruit juice are naringin and nootkatone. Naringin is a flavonoid that supports weight loss through its suspected effects on lipid metabolism and thermogenesis. Nootkatone, a terpene that gives grapefruit its aroma and flavor, has shown in some studies that it might activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that plays a crucial role in cellular energy homeostasis, which can have an impact energy expenditure and fat oxidation in the body.
5. Turmeric Juice: Captivating Curcumin
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a flowering plant belonging to the ginger family long praised for its benefits for centuries up to the present day. There is some modern research that seems to confirm the health properties that ancient medicine and Ayurveda have always known about this amazing root.
Curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, has been researched for its potential role as a weight loss aid. Its strong antioxidant properties are thought to combat chronic inflammation and oxidative stress often associated with obesity, which seems to positively influence lipid metabolism and reduce the accumulation of fat cells from excessive storage in the body. Some studies suggest that curcumin may help regulate blood sugar levels, which usually leads to better appetite control and reduced cravings.
6. Dandelion Green Juice: Paramount Potassium
It may surprise you to see dandelion greens (Taraxacum officinale) on our list, but it can easily be argued to be the most potent of the bunch. For starters, dandelion greens are quite rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. As boring as that may sound, 90% of Americans are chronically deficient in one of those vitamins. These nutrients play a vital role in maintaining a healthy metabolism which is the first step towards weight loss.
In fact, dandelion greens are so high in potassium that it’s actually part of the reason it’s considered a diuretic. Potassium supports kidney function and reduces water retention- a form of instant weight loss. Dandelion greens also contain inulin, a fantastic prebiotic for healthy gut bacteria growth, and taraxacin, a compound thought to stimulate bile production which improves digestion, liver function, and excretion of excess fluids.
There you have it! These juices are our top recommendations to support your weight loss goals. However, it’s essential to remember that any kind of juice should be considered more as a healthy aid to assist you with any fitness goal. Stay disciplined by reducing or eliminating processed sugar, alcohol, and foods cooked with seed oils that can negatively affect your metabolism and microbiome.
Go to the gym, run, lift weights, touch grass and prioritize your sleep! We think the best way to start any fitness goal is by getting the fundamentals in balance first. Once you do that, use the juices as your tool to be the best version of yourself that you imagine.