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Most Nutritious Vegetable Guide

By: Ron Lagerquist

ASPARAGUS

Available in early spring. Can be expensive due to difficulty in cultivating. Its claim to fame is the amino acid aspargagine which is destroyed by cooking. Aspargagine is a strong diuretic, stimulating the kidneys. Asparagus is a great blood cleanser and excellent for healthy bowel maintenance. Some find that it soothes a nervous mind. You may find your urine turning dark and develop a strong odor. This is a harmless by-product of asparagus. Asparagus contains beta-carotene, vitamins B1 and C, bioflavonoids, potassium, and vitamin C.

Fresh asparagus will be bright green, and firm to the tip. Will keep a couple of days in the refrigerator. Asparagus is an expensive but delicious addition to any veggie juice drink. Excellent to juice with carrots.

BEETS

Famous for their ability to cleanse the blood. Beets contain calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, choline, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Beets are also high in minerals which strengthen the liver and gall bladder, and are the building blocks for blood corpuscles and cells. Beet greens are excellent for salads and juicing. Beet greens are a good source of carotenoids which help in the prevention of all types of cancers. They are high in manganese which is an important mineral for brain function.

Beet juice is very concentrated. Do not drink it alone. Dilute with a milder juice such as carrot or apple. Beet juice has been proven therapeutic in the treatment of leukemia and cancer. In a clinical trial, 22 patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 oz. of beet juice daily for 3 to 4 months. Twenty-one of these patients showed marked improvement in health.

Beets cause the stool to turn red and may give the urine a reddish color. When juicing beets, alternate between pieces of beets and pieces of carrots, otherwise the beet pulp tends to build up on the side of the spinning extraction basket and causes the juicer to vibrate.

Lactofermented beet juice is fermented with lacto bacillus, making it sweeter. On a juice fast, this delicious juice is like a bottle of Champagne.

Purchase firm, rock-hard beets. Being a root, they can be stored for months in the refrigerator.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is a flower top picked before it blooms. It is dense in nutrition, full of beta carotene and an excellent source of fiber. Inexpensive and available all year round. It is full of vitamins B1 and C and has a generous amount of calcium, sulfur and potassium. Surprisingly, forty-five percent of calories in broccoli are protein.

The National Cancer Institute discovered a substance called inderol-3 that emulsifies estrogen, reducing the risk of breast cancer in women. Broccoli is excellent when juiced, stems and all, but like all green vegetables, it should be mixed with lighter juices such as carrot or apple.

When buying broccoli, look for tight tops with no yellow, firm but not limp. Will store well for 5 days in the refrigerator.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

In the cabbage family, similar in nutritional value to broccoli. Good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, sulfur, vitamin A, and a decent amount of protein. Forty-four percent of calories in Brussels sprouts come from protein. Look for dark green coloration with no wilting or yellowing. Should have a light smell. A good addition to juice but adding too many will give the juice a sharp bite.

CABBAGE

A vegetable full of history. It was a mainstay during the great depression, but unfortunately was often overcooked and garnished with fat.

Cooking cabbage destroys most of its nutritious value and causes gas because of the sulfur. Raw is an excellent source of beta-carotene, sulfur, vitamin C and the trace mineral, selenium which is excellent for fighting cancer, protecting against heart disease, improving conditions of arthritis, slowing the aging process, giving beautiful skin and increasing male potency. Within cabbage is a delicate amino acid called glutamine which is excellent for healing stomach disorders including ulcers. When making cabbage juice, it must be consumed within 60 seconds or this precious amino acid will begin to decay. If straight cabbage juice causes gas, mix with carrot and celery. Will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

CARROTS

Deep within the soils of the earth grows a golden root that has amazed nutritionists and scientists alike in its powerful healing qualities. One 8 oz. glass of carrot juice contains 20,000 mg. of vitamin A. Toxicity can occur when vitamin A is taken in supplement form or fish oil, but is completely safe in the vegetable form. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is able to attach to free radicals in the body, stopping them in their tracks. The damaging effect of free radicals has been associated with cancer.

Carrots are a natural blast of high energy. The sugars are released more quickly than from white sugar but without the harmful effects. A mug of carrot juice in the morning will give you a competitive edge over coffee drinkers. Like all root vegetables, they are packed with minerals. Carrots are rich in organic calcium that is invaluable to bones and teeth. Inorganic calcium is almost useless to the body. The calcium in milk and white bread is inorganic and known to cause arthritis and gallstones.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin C, including most of the B complex, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. Carrots are easy to digest and cause the liver to release bile and excessive accumulated cholesterol. They also have an alkalizing effect on the blood, soothing the entire nervous system and toning intestinal walls. Carrot juice is the best base for vegetable juice combinations. It is delicious, sweet and readily accepted by children. Our family can go through a 50 lb. bag every two weeks.

Carrot juice is considered the Golden Juice of Healing. Even drinking a few glasses a day has healed many infirmities without fasting. During fasting, its healing effect is increased. Carrot juice helps in cleansing the liver. Drinking large amounts may cause the harmless effect of a slight yellowish color of the skin. Skin will feel velvety soft. The beta carotene present in the skin is a natural protector for the common skin cancer, melanoma. Also, the slight yellowing of the skin can makes a tan look deeper.

Juicing two to five pounds of carrots a day is standard for juice fasting. Unless carrots are fresh, the juice tastes better if they are peeled. If you don't have the time to peel them, put the carrots in the sink and scrub with a brush. In purchasing carrots for juicing, your local vegetable wholesaler can supply you with large juicing carrots in 50 lb. bags at an affordable price. Carrots should be firm, smooth skinned, without cracks or small rootlets. The brighter the orange the sweeter the carrots. They will keep for weeks in the refrigerator and months in a root cellar.

CELERY

High in magnesium, iron and chlorophyll which is an excellent blood builder. One of the richest sources of organic sodium. This is excellent for those who enjoy vigorous workouts, maintaining valuable body fluid and electrolytes.

Celery juice is a superb nerve tonic. Celery juice alone tastes bitter and is usually mixed with carrots or apples.

Great for adding a salty taste to vegetable juices. Do you have a headache? Drink a glass of celery juice. Even the ancient Greeks used celery for the universal problem of headaches. Do you live in the inner city full of air pollution? Celery/apple juice is able to cleanse the body of carbon dioxide. Were you thinking of buying an air conditioner? Celery juice cools down the body and is great for hot weather. Are you on a diet and craving a snickers bar? Celery juice helps curb the craving for sweets. Do you have a problem with muscle cramps and fatigue during workouts? The potassium sodium balance in celery juice will be a great asset. Always leave the celery leaves on for juicing, but juice the celery last because it is stringy and clogs the juice machine.

Look for firm solid stocks with bright green leaves.

CUCUMBER

Being as cool as a cucumber comes from the fact that the internal temperature of cucumbers remains 20 degrees lower than the external temperature on a hot day. People living in the Middle East and India have been eating cucumbers for hundreds of years as a natural coolant. When buying cucumber for juicing, look for non-waxed which allows you to juice the cucumber in its skin. Always wash vegetables thoroughly before juicing. This juice contains 40% potassium, 10% sodium, 7% calcium, 20% phosphorus and 7% choline. It is an excellent source of silicon. Cucumber is good to rub on your skin, giving it elasticity, resulting in a more youthful complexion. It is suspected to help in reducing hair loss. Cucumber juice is usually mixed with other juices.

Look for firm cucumbers with a dark green, wrinkle-free skin. Will store in refrigerator for 6 days.

COLLARDS

Per calorie, collards have more calcium than milk. Thirty calories of collards, one cup, contains an incredible 218 grams of calcium! It is twice as high in vitamin A as carrots. An excellent source of organic highly absorbable iron and high in chlorophyll.

Look for crisp leaves, free from wilting and without spots.

FENNEL

If you enjoy the taste of licorice, you will love fennel. This unusual vegetable looks like a fat celery plant with feathers. In fact, it is in the celery family and has much of the same nutritional qualities. Its distinct flavor really spices up a juice or salad. Some have found fennel juice good for relieving migraine headaches and the eyes to become more sensitive, overcoming night blindness.

Look for white solid bulb with healthy leaves. Will keep in the refrigerator for one week.

GARLIC

There are entire books written about the curative abilities of garlic. Research suggests that it reduces blood pressure, helps with the problem of blood clotting, lowering the LDL which increases bad cholesterol, boosts the immune system and encourages recovering heart attack victims. Garlic's famous smell comes from allicin, which inhibits bacterial growth and fungus. It also helps with an overgrowth of yeast in the body and is used in treating candida. Therefore, do not use odorless garlic pills. If they don't smell, your body can't tell.

Garlic increases the flow of digestive enzymes and encourages detoxification through the skin. Despite the odor which comes through the skin, garlic is good for you. Throwing a clove of garlic in your vegetable juice every day will be excellent for your health, nonetheless, it may reduce your social life. One clove in the juicer is enough. Five cloves will encourage a life of solitude, unless you can educate all your friends, family and people within a thirty foot radius of the incredible properties of fresh raw garlic juice.

GINGER ROOT

If you feel a cold coming on, or if you have a bout of laryngitis, juicing a small piece of ginger root with your carrots is a perfect solution. Great for making ginger tea or spicing up herbal tea. For ginger tea, throw slices in boiling water to taste.

KALE

Has similar nutritional qualities to its close relative, the cabbage. An excellent source of calcium. Look for solid, deep green leaves. Will store in refrigerator for 5 days.

LETTUCE

Iceberg lettuce or head lettuce is useless. You might as well drink a glass of water for the amount of nutritional value. The leaves of romaine, Boston, Bibb or any leaf lettuce that is dark green in color will be rich in chlorophyll. Good source of sulfur, chlorine, silicon, B complex, all contributing to hair growth, healthy skin and defense against lung cancer. Lettuce is a wonderful addition to any vegetable juice. Adding any green, leafy vegetable to juice will add chlorophyll which immediately enters the bloodstream.

Leaves should be crisp with no dark spots. The darker green the better.

ONIONS

Onion is in the garlic family and has many of the same therapeutic properties. Their strong flavor is attributed to natural oil which strengthens the nervous system and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria. Large spanish onions are sweeter and milder in flavor which makes them better for juicing.

A sliced onion added to a juice mixture is excellent in helping to loosen and rid the body of excess mucus.

Look for firm onions with dry papery skins. Do not store onions in refrigerator.

PARSLEY

Ancient civilizations have used parsley in medications, on wounds, poultices, boils, cysts and to draw the pus out of an infected cut. Parsley is one of the highest sources of life-giving chlorophyll which acts like iron to oxidize the blood. Chlorophyll will help neutralize the strong odor of garlic and is used in chewing gum to sweeten breath. It is a cleanser of the kidneys, liver and urinary tract. Parsley is effective for upset stomachs by stimulating digestive enzymes. Excellent for the colon by encouraging the peristaltic wave in the intestines.

Parsley juice, added to vegetable juices, will enter directly into the bloodstream immediately impacting your body.

Both flat and curly parsley have the same nutritional value. Look for healthy, dark green leaves. Parsley can be grown inside and outside the house. Will store in the refrigerator for a week. Always add parsley with other hard veggies like carrot so it will not affect the juicer. Parsley alone can be hard on a juicer.

PEPPERS

Peppers can come in many different colors. The most common is the green pepper which is an unripe red pepper. Red peppers are more expensive but sweeter and higher in vitamin C. Great for the skin and swelling due to arthritis because of the high silicon content. Excellent addition to any vegetable juice. Juice seeds, stem and all.

Look for smooth firm non-waxed peppers. Will keep in refrigerator for one week.

POTATO

They are in the same family as tomatoes and peppers. An excellent source of vitamin C and high in carbohydrates, potassium, calcium and iron. The most nutritious part of the potato is the skin. During World War I, a group of German soldiers, near starvation, were forced to live on raw potatoes. The soldiers with gastric disorders were relieved and cured. After the war, Dr. J. F. Magerl began treating gastric patients with raw potato juice. After 10 days of the treatment, most of the patients showed no symptoms.

Potato juice is a wonderful addition to any vegetable juice. When potatoes are juiced, a white silky paste will form on the bottom of the glass. This is potato starch and is mucus-forming with little nutritional value. Of all the vegetables, potatoes are slightly mucus-forming, but are still a valuable food, especially when juiced.

Red potatoes are less starchy and lower in calories than white potatoes, making them less mucus-forming. Look for potatoes with eyes, revealing the fact that they are alive with enzymes, ready to sprout, given the opportunity. Potatoes without eyes are mutants and are not desirable. They should be firm without black spots and with no green color which can cause a slightly toxic effect. Never juice a green potato. Will keep well in a cool dry place for a number of months.

RADISHES

Radish added to vegetable juice will help clear sinus cavities and calm a sore throat.

SPINACH

Never cook spinach. Oxalic acid is destroyed when heat transforms it into oxalic acid crystals that are harmful to the kidneys. It also binds to iron making it unabsorbable. Spinach is important due to its chlorophyll content and also supplies an abundance of nutrients such as oxalic acid, beneficial in the cleansing and healing of the intestinal tract. Spinach juice, mixed with other vegetable juices, turns the mixture brown. Although it may look unsightly, it is a beautiful sight to the cells of the body.

Finding good spinach can sometimes be difficult. Look for crisp, dark green leaves. Rinse spinach well, removing sand and grit. Will store in refrigerator for only a few days, easily becoming slimy.

SWEET POTATO (YAM)

The darker the color the higher in vitamin content. They are one of the greatest sources of beta carotene. They are plenteous in vitamin C, potassium, carbohydrates, calcium, and a good source of fiber. History has shown that people can live exclusively on sweet potatoes and remain healthy and strong. Carrot and sweet potato juice is tasty and outstanding for complexion. Yam can be added to any fruit juice giving the juice a smooth, milkshake-like taste.

Look for firm, not too large yams that are tapered at both ends. Skin should be smooth without brown spots. Will store in the refrigerator for two weeks.

TOMATO

Tomatoes are feeling a little out of place in this list because they are a fruit. But we assumed anyone looking for tomatoes would go to the Vegetable Section, so here they are.

Providing tomatoes are vine-ripened, they are a high source of vitamin C; in fact, one tomato is equal to more than 50% of the recommended daily allowance. Good source of organic sodium phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, malic and oxalic acid and sulfur.

The problem is that most tomatoes found in the supermarkets during the off season have the quality, taste and vitamin C content of a baseball. Vine-ripened tomatoes may cost you a little more because of the difficulty in shipping, but it is well worth the money in nutritional value.

It is an absolute must to grow your own succulent sweet tomatoes. Even if you live in an apartment there are hybrids that have been created especially for growing in pots. We have tomato plants growing in every possible corner around our home. Our children love to go out in the morning and graze on these freshly-ripened ruby red treats.

Tomato juice has a wonderful taste that is quite different from store-bought juice which is boiled and stored in cans for months. The health-giving acids in tomatoes are beneficial to the body unless heated or canned.

Look for bright red, soft, sweet-smelling tomatoes. They ought to be plump, heavy and filled with juice. Always buy from your local farmer, when in season. Do not juice green tomatoes which may irritate the kidneys.

Related Article: Vegetable Recipes

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Thanks so much for this! I'm printing it and hanging it on the fridge :-) I'm looking for foods to increase my hemoglobin, so this is great!
Gwen
Really interesting
liz
I am relieved to see avocad doesn't appear on your list of the most nutritious vegetables - since, yes, it is a fruit! However, going back and looking at your list of most nutritious fruit it doesn't appear there either. Wow! It can easily, actually very easily, be argued that avocado is the most nutritious whole food on the planet. In fact I would happily debate anyone who would like to advance a challenge to that with any single whole food - whether it be a nut, fruit, dairy, meat, fish, or poultry item. Avocado has a complete amino acid compliment, is loaded with mono-unsaturated fat, has 20 vitamins and minerals, more potassium than bananas, fiber, and several emerging phytochemical super compounds, and yet as your articles show, it remains perhaps the most misunderstood fruit of all.
Guy
This was informative. Well laid out. I feel like I am ready to expand the complexity of my juice recipes now. Thanks!
Max Sternglass
informative, useful, comprehensive and well-detailed. thank-you for this important info
s
Re CABBAGE JUICE: You say one should drink it in 60 seconds to avoid losing the glutamine. However, after that you say the cabbage/carrot/celery juice can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This is a bit confusing!
Jillian
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