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Sleep Deprived? Eat More Almonds and Kale, Women’s Study Says

Sleep Deprived? Eat More Almonds and Kale, Women’s Study Says

Women lacking sleep may want to eat more foods with Vitamin E to improve spatial memory

Foods rich with Vitamin E, such as almitemMasteronds, help to improve women's memory when they are sleep deprived.

It’s always a struggle to get the elusive ideal eight hours sleep. But, a new study conducted by University of Pennsylvania doctors shows that women who eat Vitamin E and antioxidant-rich foods can improve spatial memory while sleep deprived.

The study, called Vitamin E intake associates with spatial memory performance during sleep restriction in healthy women, involved 41 people and showed that women who ate more foods with Vitamin E performed better on a spatial memory assessment called the Visual Object Learning Task. The assessment asked if the women remembered where they left their keys or driving directions.

Lack of sleep can lead to long-term health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, according to another study by the University of Pennsylvania. Vitamin E can neutralize free radicals to protect cells, which can slow cognitive decline and can even protect the skin against sun damage and wrinkles, according to Dr. E Bank, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center . It is mostly found in nuts and leafy greens. Other examples include broccoli, avocado, papaya, Swiss chard, olives, and hazelnuts.

Cooking Up A Sleep-Friendly Diet

Can choosing the right foods to eat help you sleep better? This recent article from U.S. News & World Report gives some good suggestions for foods that can promote sleep. We're talking a lot these days about the connection between sleep and weight -- how a strong sleep routine can help keep weight problems in check, and how sleep deprivation contributes to obesity and weight-related health problems, such as diabetes. A poor sleep routine can seriously undermine a healthy diet, leading to eating the wrong foods at the wrong times, and can make it difficult to lose weight or to keep weight off.

So we know that sleep has a great effect on how we eat. But does how we eat -- or more precisely, what we eat -- have an effect on our sleep? One thing we might not be talking about enough is how choosing the right foods can help strengthen sleep.

Foods full of vitamins and minerals are the basic components of a healthy diet, promoting healthy cell function, helping regulate weight, and providing the energy we need to get through our busy days. Many of the foods that are most healthful to our bodies and our waistlines are also the foods that can help us sleep better. Here are some suggestions for creating a sleep-friendly diet.

Reach for These Healthy, Mineral-Rich Foods:

Magnesium is a mineral that functions to relax nerves and muscles and also promotes healthy circulation. Deficiencies of magnesium have been associated with several sleep disorders, including insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Foods high in magnesium are some of the most sleep-friendly foods around.

  • Fruits: in addition to bananas, avocados, berries and melons
  • Leafy greens: spinach and Swiss chard
  • Nuts and seeds: including cashews, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and nut or seed butters
  • Beans: black beans, tofu, soybeans
  • Whole grains: brown rice, millet, wheat and oat bran

Potassium is another key mineral in the body that helps to relax muscles and nerves, as well as to promote healthy circulation and digestion. Research has shown a possible genetic link between potassium and slow-wave sleep: a study at the University of Wisconsin found that a gene in fruit flies that is responsible for regulating the flow of potassium is also the gene that allows for slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep, also known as delta sleep, is the deepest phase of our sleep cycle, the time when we get our most restorative sleep.

  • Vegetables: leafy greens, mushrooms, tomatoes and cauliflower
  • Beans: including lima, soybeans, lentils, pinto and kidney beans
  • Fish: salmon, cod, and flounder
  • Citrus: especially in juice form, in sources like orange juice

Calcium is a mineral that plays a direct role in the production of melatonin, the "sleep hormone" that helps to maintain the body's 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels rise naturally during the night, helping promote sleep, and are suppressed during the day, allowing us to be alert and wakeful. Calcium, like magnesium and potassium, is also a natural relaxant in the body.

  • Dark leafy greens: turnip greens, collards, spinach, mustard greens, kale
  • Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds
  • Soy: tofu, soymilk

On the subject of melatonin: There are very few foods that contain melatonin and that can therefore provide the body with a natural source of this important hormone. Melatonin supplements are readily available, but don't work the same way in the body that a naturally produced or derived melatonin will. One of the very few sources of melatonin in foods?

Cherries. One study found that adults who drank tart cherry juice in the morning and the evening for two weeks reported significant reduction in insomnia. Fresh and dried cherries, as well as cherry juice, are a potent natural source of melatonin.

Take Your Vitamins

It's a great plan to try to get as many of your nutrients from whole foods as possible -- structuring your diet this way will naturally lead you to eating well. But vitamin and mineral supplements can play an important role in helping maintain your health and your sleep. These are some of the best supplements for sleep:

Vitamin B. There are several supplements on the B spectrum that can boost your sleep. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) has been shown to promote REM sleep. Vitamin B6 helps the body to produce serotonin, which is known as the "calming hormone."

Calcium and Magnesium. In addition to creating a diet of calcium- and magnesium-rich foods, these minerals can also be effective in supplement form. Taking these together in a 2:1 ratio (calcium: magnesium) can help the body prepare for sleep, and also guard against the deficiencies of these important minerals that have been linked to sleep disorders.

Vitamin D. This supplement has made plenty of news in recent years, with much discussion of how deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to depression, weight problems and difficulties with sleep. This recent study of veterans suffering from both chronic pain and vitamin D deficiency found that vitamin D supplements led to both reduction in pain, and improvement to sleep and to the veterans' sense of wellbeing.

There is no single magic bullet that can eliminate sleep problems -- that is to say, switching to a bananas-only diet not only isn't practical, it isn't going to make your sleep troubles disappear. Creating and maintaining a strong sleep routine is about more than just what you eat -- but eating well can surely help.

Eating These Snacks Before Bed Will Actually Help You Sleep Better

Need to sleep better? Try eating right before bed.

We're serious. We know, we know . thanks to a lot of research on the topic, conventional wisdom says we shouldn't eat before bed, lest we gain weight and stay awake.

(Recent research suggests that people who ate their main meal of the day earlier than others lost 25 percent more weight than the later eaters.)

But some snacks, such as those rich in carbohydrates, could help you sleep better, according to Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

It turns out insulin -- a hormone that affects your metabolism -- can play a role.

"I nsulin can influence a sleep regulatory part of your circadian rhythm," Rumsey told HuffPost. "Eating something that promotes insulin secretion, such as carbohydrates, might help promote a healthy circadian pattern."

A rise in blood sugar causes a rise in insulin, which can help tryptophan enter your brain and bring on sleep.

You shouldn't carbo-load, Rumsey said, but rather eat one small, balanced carbohydrate-protein snack to feel the effects without impacting your weight.

"In terms of promoting sleep, it should be a small snack -- no more than 150 to 200 calories. It should be carbs plus a little bit of protein," she said, adding that some foods naturally contain tryptophan, such as dairy, which can help, too.

"I’ll tell someone to have a cup of cereal with some milk in it, a small snack like that, or some whole grain crackers with a wedge of cheese. Keep it small and not have it be high in fat or a really high protein meal. It should be more carbohydrates."

Also, be sure to avoid foods that contain caffeine, such as chocolate and some decaffeinated teas (which can still affect those who are sensitive to caffeine).

Here is a week's worth of healthful, nutritious snacks that can help you have a restful night:

The Top 5 Vitamins and Minerals for Great Sleep

These vitamins and minerals will help you snooze soundly tonight. Eat &aposem and sleep:

  • B Vitamins: They improve your body&aposs ability to regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin.
    • Find Them In: Chicken breast, lean beef, salmon, bananas, potatoes, cereals fortified with B3 or B12
    • Find It In: Low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified orange juice
    • Find It In: Oysters, beef, Alaska king crab, fortified cereal
    • Find It In: Oysters, clams, beef tenderloin, dark-meat turkey
    • Find It In: Whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens

    What Makes a Meal Good for Sleep?

    While the relationships between sleep and nutrition are still being explored, there have been quite a few studies showing some interesting information worth considering. According to current research on diet and sleep, here’s what makes a snooze-supporting dinner:

      It’s nutrient-rich. A large study

    • It includes variety. In the same study, normal, healthy sleepers ate the widest variety of foods. And, it makes sense as the more fruits, veggies, grains and proteins you eat, the larger scope of nutrients your body has access to.

    Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source is associated with sleeping less. Fried foods and other high-fat meals may contribute to indigestion,

    Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source (like low-carb, low-protein, low-calorie or high salt) are more likely to have sleep problems or abnormal sleep durations. For example, one Oxford study

    • It’s easy to digest. Foods like peppers, heavy meats, fibrous beans and for some people, dairy and cruciferous veggies, can all cause bloating and indigestion that makes settling into bed uncomfortable. ”To find out what foods are triggering worse sleep for you, consider keeping a food log for a few days.” recommends dietitian nutritionist Carlene Thomas RDN. “Avoid cutting out entire groups of food completely, just because they’re on a ‘list’. If broccoli doesn’t bother you, have at it!”
    • It’s not too small or too big. Skimping on calories is linked with more sleep problems, and going to bed hungry isn’t a comforting feeling. On the other hand, stuffing yourself too close to bed is also unwise as your body may not be ready to wind down come bedtime. Keep portions moderate and listen to your body.

    Eat Leafy Greens To Stop Development Of Macular Degeneration

    SYDNEY — Want to maintain strong, healthy vision as you age? Eat more salad. A new study conducted by Australian researchers finds that eating more leafy greens — such as lettuce, spinach, or kale — may help prevent macular degeneration, a condition that causes loss in the center of the field of vision.

    There are two main types of macular degeneration, wet and dry, both relating to the deterioration of the retina. Wet macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluids. Dry macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina itself deteriorates. The disease, which is incurable, is most likely to occur in people over 50.

    Researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research investigated the link between vegetable nitrates, found mainly in leafy greens and beetroot, and early-stage, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They interviewed more than 2,000 Australian adults over the age of 49 and followed them over a 15-year period, which ended between 2007 and 2009. Participants disclosed the contents of their diets in questionnaires and retinal photographs were taken to check for AMD.

    The study findings revealed that individuals who ate between 100 and 142 milligrams of vegetable nitrates every day had a 35 percent lower risk of developing AMD than those who ate less than 69 mgs of vegetable nitrates each day.

    “This is the first time the effects of dietary nitrates on macular degeneration risk has been measured,” says lead researcher Bamini Gopinath in a release. “If our findings are confirmed, incorporating a range of foods rich in dietary nitrates – like green leafy vegetables and beetroot – could be a simple strategy to reduce the risk of early macular degeneration.”

    The authors found no added benefits from participants who consumed more than 142 milligrams of vegetable nitrates daily, nor did they find a link to late-stage AMD.

    For reference, spinach has about 20 mg of vegetable nitrate per 100 grams and beetroot has about 15 mg of nitrate per 100 grams.

    The full study was published online on October 17, 2018 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Your Eating Habits Can Seriously Impact Your Sleep&mdashHere&rsquos How To Get A Handle On Both

    Plus, nighttime snack ideas to help you optimize for better shut-eye.

    Nearly half of all Americans say that they regularly struggle to get enough quality sleep. If you&rsquore one of them, listen up: You might not realize it, but the way you eat has a major impact on how much&mdashand how well&mdashyou snooze. And the better rested you are, the easier it is to reach or maintain a healthy weight.

    Want proof? When Harvard researchers followed some 60,000 women for nearly two decades, those who regularly slept for fewer than 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds compared to those who regularly slept for 7 or more hours. When it comes to getting lean, sleep is that important.

    (Slash stress and sleep more soundly by ditching processed foods and following this clean-eating plan!)

    Even so, the relationship between sleep and weight is complicated, and experts still have a lot to learn about how the two are connected. What does seem to be clear, though, is that a steady stream of highly processed, inferior food can make it harder to get the quality sleep you need.

    Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who eat diets high in sugar and refined carbs tend to take longer to fall asleep and wake up more frequently during the night. Meanwhile, unhealthy fats could negatively affect your body&rsquos normal sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to doze off at night and wake up refreshed in the morning. In part, that&rsquos because staying up later can seriously impact your ability to make choices that can help you get leaner. When you&rsquore zonked, you simply have less energy for things like shopping for fresh food, preparing clean meals, or even exercising.

    Try these yoga poses for a better night's sleep:

    (Healthy living doesn't have to be hard. Make it easier with the simple exercises and 30-minute meals in Eat Clean, Lose Weight & Love Every Bite.)

    To make matters worse, running short on shut-eye makes it harder to resist junky snacks. In fact, one SLEEP study found that sleep deprivation cranks up the pleasurable effects of salty, sugary, and fatty foods. And to top it all off, when you don&rsquot get enough sleep, your body prompts you to eat more calories and burn fewer of them. If that&rsquos not an ugly recipe for spending countless unproductive hours watching TV and eating sugary snacks, nothing is.

    There&rsquos more to it, though. Eating clean doesn&rsquot just pull you out of the cycle of eating junk food, sleeping poorly, and then eating more junk food because you&rsquore sleep-deprived. Clean foods actually deliver the nutrients your body needs to sleep better. Research shows that people with adequate levels of vitamin D&mdashfound in foods like eggs, mushrooms, fortified milk, and fatty fish&mdashare 33% less likely to experience insomnia than those with insufficient levels of this nutrient. And speaking of fatty fish, some findings suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like tuna and salmon can contribute to a better night&rsquos rest. (So far, the research has been conducted on kids, but it&rsquos likely that adults would reap similar benefits.)

    Your body relies on potassium (found in foods like sweet potatoes and bananas) and magnesium (found in foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds) to help your muscles relax so you can drift off to dreamland sooner. And it needs the calcium in foods like plain yogurt and leafy greens in order to produce the hormone melatonin, which tells your body when it&rsquos time to feel sleepy. (A few foods, including tart cherries and walnuts, actually contain melatonin.)

    (Enjoy more fresh, nutrient-packed meals and transform your health with this Prevention-approved guide to clean eating.)

    With all of that in mind, it might not come as much of a surprise to learn that people who eat diets high in fiber-rich foods, like many of those just mentioned, report getting deeper, more restful sleep than their processed-food-eating counterparts.

    Considerations When Choosing Foods to Help You Sleep

    Eating specific foods is just one strategy to help yourself get to sleep. However, eating particular foods -- no matter how rich in sleep-promoting nutrients -- is unlikely to help if you have poor sleep hygiene or an unrelated sleep disorder. Instead, combine your sleep-promoting diet with behavioral changes that help you get to sleep. Of particular importance is following a regular routine every night. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. This allows your body to adapt, promoting a regular circadian rhythm.

    If your inability to get to sleep or stay asleep persists even after making behavioral changes and eating foods that help you sleep, it may be time to see a doctor. Visiting a sleep specialist for a sleep study can help you determine whether a sleep disorder or some other physiological condition is preventing you from getting the sleep you need.

    Cereal with skim milk

    Although it's traditionally considered a breakfast option, a low-sugar cereal paired with skim milk is a perfect bedtime snack. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which serves as a precursor for the hormone serotonin, a sleep-inducing agent. (Just make sure your milk is skim. Higher fat whole milk will take your body longer to digest, keeping your body working late rather than snoozing.)

    And according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a high-glycemic carb like jasmine rice (or rice cereal) 4 hours before bed can cut the amount of time it takes to fall asleep in half compared to a low-GI food. This is because high-glycemic carbs, which spike insulin and blood sugar more quickly than low-GI foods, can help increase the ratio of tryptophan circulating in your blood by siphoning off other amino acids to your muscles. This lets the tryptophan outcompete those other amino acids for entrance into your brain, allowing more of the sedative to signal it's time to put your head to the pillow.

    Dangers and Side Effects of Juicing to Be Aware Of

    It's important to consider the following things before grabbing a freshly squeezed juice:

    1. You Could Risk Dangerous Drug Interactions

    It’s easy to assume that a juice is benign, but you may be surprised at how some juices don’t mix with your meds. Grapefruit juice, for instance, can interact with certain drugs that lower cholesterol, like Lipitor (atorvastatin) medication that lowers blood pressure, like Procardia (nifedipine) corticosteroids like Entocort (budesonide) and antihistamines like Allegra (fexofednadine), says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the FDA explains, grapefruit juice can increase the amount of medication entering the blood, thereby over-enhancing its effects, including side effects.

    In addition, as the Cleveland Clinic points out, consuming too much vitamin K at one time can counteract blood thinners like warfarin. Such anticoagulants often are prescribed after a stroke, deep vein thrombosis, or other circulatory conditions. Leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley), are rich sources of vitamin K that are commonly used in green juices.

    That said, a study published in March 2016 in the journal Medicine concluded that there’s no evidence to suggest you should forgo vitamin K–rich foods while taking these meds. A better strategy, the authors say, is to keep your intake consistent. For instance, before starting to drink green juice daily, talk to your doctor to see if you’re on the correct dose of medication or if any necessary adjustments need to be made.

    2. You May Increase Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes if You Have Prediabetes

    More than 84 million American adults have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. This is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not elevated enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. A study published in September 2019 in the journal Diabetes Care found that upping intake of sugary beverages — which includes 100 percent fruit juices — by ½ cup or more per day increased the risk of diabetes by 16 percent. On the other hand, switching out a glass of juice with a naturally calorie-free beverage, like water, black coffee, or tea, decreased that risk by up to 10 percent.

    If you’ve been told you have type 2 diabetes, eat whole fruit in moderation instead of drinking juice, advises Carol Koprowski, PhD, RD, assistant professor of clinical research in preventive medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Indeed, a study published in July 2013 in BMJ found that while fruit juice was associated with a higher type 2 diabetes risk, whole fruit had the opposite effect on risk, likely because of the fiber contained in whole fruits. (More on this later.) Researchers particularly singled out blueberries, apples, and grapes as having protective effects against diabetes.

    For fruit, fresh, frozen, or canned varieties without added sugars are all great options, says the American Diabetes Association. Yet if you were to pick just one variety, fresh, whole fruit is the best choice nutritionally.

    3. You Could Damage Your Kidneys if You Have Kidney Disease

    Fruits and veggies are naturally rich sources of potassium, which is usually a good thing — the mineral plays a key role in blood pressure regulation, according to the American Heart Association. Your kidneys do the important job of excreting excess potassium. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), that function doesn’t work as well, and potassium can build up in your blood. As such, you’ll have to limit your potassium intake, as too much of the mineral can cause dangerous side effects, including an irregular heartbeat or heart attack, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

    If you have CKD, it’s likely you’ll be on a potassium-restricted diet, which will involve limiting your intake to about 2,000 milligrams per day, says the NKF. You may need to limit high-potassium foods that are often used in juices, like banana, grapefruit juice, avocado, dates, beets, honeydew, kiwi, mango, carrots, orange, greens (except kale in smaller portions), pomegranate, prune, and vegetable juice in general.

    For anyone who has CKD and has experienced weakness, numbness, or tingling — signs of potassium overload — call your doctor immediately, advises Judy D. Simon, RD, a clinical dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

    4. You May Face Food Poisoning if Choosing Cold-Pressed Juice

    While cold-pressed juice might taste the freshest, it’s not pasteurized, and it may increase the risk of food poisoning, the FDA warns. That’s because juicing allows bacteria on the outside of the produce to become incorporated into the juice. Pasteurization, however, destroys bacteria that can make you sick.

    Typically, people with healthy immune systems are fine, but those who are compromised, such as pregnant women, children, and older adults, are at a greater risk.

    Signs of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, fever, and headache.

    Compared with homemade or ready-to-made varieties, pre-bottled cold-pressed juice poses a bigger risk for food poisoning because microbes have more time to multiply. Yet if you’re making your own juice at home, you still need to take proper food safety measures, including washing your hands and the produce during prep, to reduce the risk of illness, says Kelly Johnston, RDN, a health coach with Parsley Health in New York City.

    According to BevSource, flash pasteurization is another way some bottled cold-pressed juices are made. This is when juices are brought to a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time compared with traditional pasteurization. This process can help preserve nutrients without compromising the safety of the juice. If buying your juice bottled, do your research first.

    5. You May Be Setting Yourself for Weight Loss Failure

    Simply put, juice cleanses don’t work. The idea behind a juice cleanse is that drinking juice as your only source of food allows your body to rid itself of “toxins.” First, your body doesn’t need a cleanse, as it detoxes on its own. “Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines, and kidneys,” says Dr. Youdim.

    6. You May Be Undernourishing Your Body When Using Juice as a Meal Replacement

    A balanced meal contains the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. “Juice is not a balance of these macronutrients, so it shouldn’t be a substitute for a meal,” says Johnston. Protein and fat are needed for fullness and satisfaction after a meal. Furthermore, a juice alone won’t deliver the nutrients needed to stabilize your blood sugar and give you the sustaining energy necessary to make it through the day, she adds. The addition of fat slows digestion, enhancing satiation, while protein helps balance your blood sugar. Juice lacks both of those things, and if you use them in place of meals for days on end — as in a juice “cleanse” — in order to lose weight, you’ll probably feel pretty terrible.

    7. You May Be Unnecessarily Depriving Yourself of Fiber

    “When you drink orange juice, you get vitamin C, but it’s not the same as eating an orange,” Simon says. That’s because juice removes the pulp — or fiber — necessary to keep your colon in good working order, reduce heart disease risk, lower cholesterol, and help improve blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. On the other hand, the whole fruit has the vitamin plus fiber, with far fewer calories than a glass of juice. For example, 1 cup of orange juice contains 110 calories, while an orange contains just 65 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    What’s more, you wouldn’t expect a juice to contribute to constipation — but that’s exactly what it may do, says Johnston. “Fiber is what makes up the indigestible part of our stool, and that’s the bulk of a bowel movement,” she explains. This bulk helps waste move through the intestinal tract quickly and easily. A juice on its own is okay, but only drinking juice on a cleanse is when things get problematic, as there’s no fiber to push through your GI tract to keep you regular.

    8. You May Suffer a Dreaded Blood Sugar Crash

    “The reality is that nature is smart. Fruits that are higher in sugar come with a fibrous matrix to slow down the absorption of sugar. Without that fiber as a barrier, you’re giving sugar easy access, and it quickly absorbs into your bloodstream,” says Johnston. Otherwise, one glass of juice, if made with higher sugar produce, like apples and beets, can contain 20 to 25 grams (g) of sugar in a glass without the fiber to balance everything out, she notes. For example, 1 cup of fruit juice with apple juice and organic cranberry juice concentrate contains 25 g of sugar, per the USDA.

    Foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI), including juice, cause a blood glucose surge. The GI indicates how quickly or slowly a food tends to release glucose into the bloodstream, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Juice is an example of a food high on the GI. Foods like this are lower in protein and fat, and higher in carbs. Eating them can cause a spike in blood sugar that subsequently takes a dive, resulting in an energy dip, says Johnston. Headache and brain fog can also follow.

    9. You’re Passing on Energy-Sustaining Protein

    Again, having a green juice drink as part of your breakfast or lunch is totally fine. But have it alone and you miss out on the opportunity to get in protein. The macronutrient preserves and builds lean body mass, which helps keep you healthy and even burns calories, Youdim explains. Fruits and veggies on their own are not a great source of protein.

    10. You May Gain Weight if the Juice Is Packed With Calories

    If made primarily of fruit, juices can be a serious source of sugar and calories, which, if not burned off, can lead to weight gain, previous research has shown. If you’re going to enjoy a juice, it’s important to choose one that relies on greens and other veggies as the base, says Johnston. This can be bitter and borderline unpalatable for some people, she says. In that event, use lemon and ginger to add a hint of sweetness to green juice — but try to avoid larger amounts of fruit, which are higher in calories and sugar compared with veggies.

    11. You May Be Wasting Your Money if You Choose to Do a Cleanse

    A daily juice habit is expensive. A single Evolution Fresh juice can cost $3.99. A green juice from Pressed Juicery is $6.50. Cleanses are even costlier, and while some people may enjoy them, they are ultimately an unnecessary expense for health and weight loss. For instance, a three-day cleanse from Cooler Cleanse runs $174 for six drinks and 1,200 calories per day. Similarly, the three-day “Beach-Ready Detox” from BluePrint is $175.

    Bottom line: “If you want to live a healthy life and prevent chronic diseases without spending a fortune, eat whole vegetables and grains, not ‘detox’ [products],” says Youdim. If you are having a juice, go for a green juice with only added lemon and ginger. And keep your perspective: “Think of a juice as a way to drink a vitamin. You can get a lot of nutrients really quickly that way, but vitamins alone don’t make up a meal,” says Johnston.

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