What Vegetables Can I Juice on Keto?

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The Ketogenic diet is a popular eating plan especially for those who want to lose weight. This program has foods that are high in fat and very low in carbohydrates. The goal is for your body to be in a metabolic state of ketosis (elevated levels of ketones). It is worth noting that being in a state of ketosis is only one component of a successful weight loss or healthy eating plan.

If you are considering incorporating the ketogenic diet into your lifestyle, you may be wondering what vegetables can be consumed. 

The good news is that it is possible to make juicing vegetables a part of your keto diet meal plan if you select the right ones. You can enjoy the many benefits of these vegetables while keeping the carb levels at a bare minimum.

The vegetables to avoid are those high in net carbs as this could potentially throw you out of ketosis. Examples are these carbs are yams, potatoes, beans, peas, corn and carrots.

Making vegetable juice involves more than merely giving it a green look. You need to ensure that you blend in the right ingredients to create a refreshing drink that will enjoy, feed you the right vitamins and minerals and keep you in ketosis.

A Juicer surrounded by fruits and vegetables

Selecting the Right Vegetables for Juicing

Here we’ll run through a few keto-friendly vegetables that are conducive to juicing. These vegetables are leafy, nutritious, and contain the right macronutrient densities.

In addition to looking at the amount of carbs when deciding which vegetables to juice, be sure to examine the fiber and vitamin content as well as the antioxidant properties.

Potassium and folate are important nutrients. Potassium helps the cells in your body function properly. It is critical for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates. [1]

Folate, a B-vitamin (B9), is another nutrient important to your overall health. This is  especially true for women who should take it before pregnancy and during the early weeks of gestation. Folate deficiency has been shown to reduce the chances of neural tube defects when taken during these two time periods.[2]

Broccoli

Juicing broccoli doesn’t receive a lot of attention as it is more commonly served raw or cooked. However, it can be juiced and won’t be too strong if it is combined with spinach or collard greens.

Broccoli has the antioxidant, Vitamin C which protects your cells from damage and promotes healing in your body. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, riboflavin (B2) and vitamin K. One cup of broccoli has 6 net carbs.

Brussel Sprouts

Believe it or not, Brussel sprouts can be juiced. They are rich in Vitamins A, C and K and the minerals folate and manganese as well as fiber. One cup of Brussel sprouts has roughly 8 net carbs.

There are a couple of options to consuming juice with Brussel sprouts. They can be juiced along with spinach and kale or as a drink on its own.

Celery

Celery is great source of antioxidants, vitamins such as Vitamins C, K and B6 and the minerals: manganese, potassium and folate.  A cup of celery has about 1.5 net carbs.

Since it has a low glycemic index it is digested and absorbed slowly. This is preferable as this results in a slower and smaller rise in your blood sugar levels.

Ginger

Ginger is a plant with leafy stems and flowers. The ginger spice comes from the roots of the plant. The health benefits of ginger are mainly due to their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

It isn’t necessary to add a lot of ginger to enjoy the flavor. It is keto safe since 11 grams of ginger has about 2 net carbs.

Fresh green kale

Kale

Kale is loaded with nutrition due to the amounts of vitamins, A, K, B2 and C it contains. In addition, it has manganese, copper, calcium and potassium. One cup of raw kale has roughly 6 grams of net carbs. 

There has been a lot of talk on blogs that too much kale can cause kidney stones. Without getting too much into the weeds, the concern is the oxalate content in kale. However, Dr. Fredric Coe, Professor of Medicine Medical Director, Kidney Stone Prevention Program at the University of Chicago maintains that kale ranks low in oxalate (17 mg in 3 oz of kale). Coe adds,  “So in every three ounces of kale you get nothing” in terms of oxalate. “Essentially, it’s about impossible to eat enough of kale to cause kidney stones.” [3]

Related content: Using a Juicer to Juice Kale

green spinach leaves in ceramic bowl on wooden tabletop

Spinach

Spinach contains several nutrients that are beneficial to your health. It has vitamins A, C and K along with beta-carotene, calcium, folate, iron and manganese.  

One cup of spinach has one net carb. It is rich in insoluble fiber which helps move material through your digestive system.

Benefits of Including Vegetable Juicing in Your Keto Diet

As mentioned earlier, vegetable juicing comes with several advantages, and here are four to consider.

Weight Loss

Most people who take up the keto diet do it to stay healthy or lose weight. The theory of low-carb diets is that when there are less carbs consumed, the result is lower insulin levels. A lower insulin level causes the body to burn stored fat for energy.  This leads to weight loss.

However, being in a state of ketosis is only one component of a complete weight loss or a healthy eating plan. Exercise, drinking plenty of water to break down fats, identifying why you want to lose weight, setting short-term and long-term goals, meal planning, and consuming quality foods are additional factors of a successful weight loss program.

In terms of incorporating vegetables juicing into the keto diet, you’ll need to choose the right vegetables and keep track of your daily net carb consumption. A vegetable can be juiced and consumed separately or combined with other keto friendly vegetables.  The goal is to get  a juice that tastes good and has minimal carbohydrates.

Cholesterol

There is some discussion that people on low-carbohydrate diets may experience an improvement in their high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than those on moderate-carb diets. It’s not clear whether this is due to the amount of carbs eaten or whether those on the low-carb diet made better choices in the other foods they consumed.[4]

Antioxidants

Free radicals are produced by normal metabolic processes in your body or if you are exposed to cigarette smoking, X-rays, industrial chemicals, ozone, or air pollutants.[5] They can damage cell parts such as proteins, DNA and the cell membrane.

The free radicals that can’t be destroyed accumulate in your body. This produces oxidative stress.  There are two ways to counteract this stress: 1) the body produces antioxidants and 2) the body receives antioxidants in the form of foods and/or supplements. 

In short, antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E (and others in plant-based foods) are useful because they lessen or prevent the effects of free radicals.  They do this by donating an electron to the free radicals which reduces their ability to react.

It is important for your body to counteract the stress caused by free radicals as it can contribute to a whole host of illnesses including neural disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.[6]

Vitamins and Minerals

Vegetables are some of the most recognized sources of vitamins and lots of minerals for your body.

Based on which plants you choose to consume, you can gain:

  • Vitamin A strengthens your immune system and bones. Spinach is abundant with this vitamin.
  • Vitamin (B9) (folate) is found in broccoli and spinach alike. It helps the mitochondria in energy formation and contributes to the synthesis of DNA.
  • Vitamin C  prevents scurvy and promotes the production of collagen. Kale, spinach, and broccoli are excellent sources of this vitamin.
  • Magnesium is necessary for your muscles to function and is useful in regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Calcium is an essential element for structuring and hardening your teeth and bones.
  • Manganese is a mineral that is important in healing wounds and building bone.

An Extra Tip

Sometimes keto dieters get the temptation to add fruits to their vegetable juice. Most fruits have high sugar levels, which is a result of their high carbohydrates content.

Juicing fruit removes its fibers, which are what reduce the absorption of the sugars. The best thing is to leave the juicing to the vegetables only and eat your fruits whole.

Conclusion

The whole point of a ketogenic diet is to initiate a state of ketosis in your body, and vegetable juicing can be one part of this program. It is still important to track your caloric intake, drink plenty of water and do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.