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 regularly. But certain high-quality, raw juices that are low-sugar, high-fiber, and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will certainly help you get there faster.
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 promote fat loss. According to a 2018 study, pineapple juice decreased fat formation and increased fat-burning processes. The juice’s ability to aid in weight loss is largely attributed to the enzymes bromelain, papain, and peroxidase. Each improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and neutralize free radicals.
Bromelain is the king of this trio, however. A digestive enzyme complex on its own, it breaks proteins down into their constituents, resulting in more rapid nutrient absorption. It hastens the stage for lipolysis to occur, the fat-burning metabolic process. If your goal is fat loss, pineapple juice will help you get there by inducing lipolysis as frequently and as 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 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 juice that seem to directly assist in weight loss, most notably one called luteolin. Some studies suggest that luteolin may help reduce blood glucose and blood pressure, reducing cravings and overeating while also improving heart health.
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. Some clinical studies suggest that gingerol helps regulate blood sugar levels, suppress appetites, and increase thermogenesis, all of which are essential to losing weight.
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. Known as the Hollywood Diet, the first grapefruit diet emerged in the 1930s, claiming that consuming grapefruit 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. This may impact energy expenditure and fat oxidation in the body.
5. Turmeric Juice: Captivating Curcumin
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family. Long praised in ancient medicine and Ayurveda for its long list of health benefits, turmeric is a catalyst for weight loss.
Curcumin, the active compound 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. This positively influences lipid metabolism and reduces the accumulation of excessive fat cell storage. 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, rather than a one-way ticket to fat loss. These juices are best combined with reductions in processed sugar, alcohol, and seed oils, which 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.