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Vegetables & Fruits to Juice for Energy

By Sandi Busch

When you juice fruits and vegetables together, you create a drink that supports your energy in two ways. Fruits supply the sugar your body craves for fuel, while vegetables deliver the nutrients required to convert sugar into energy. Since juiced fruits and vegetables aren't high in calories, you can’t count on them for a significant percent of your total energy. But they can give you a spurt of energy and a healthy dose of vitamin and minerals.

Fruits for Energy

The key to getting energy from your juice is to choose fruits with the highest amount of carbohydrates. Cherries are one of the best choices because 1 cup has 20 grams of sugar and 25 grams of total carbohydrates. Pears and oranges aren’t far behind, with 14 grams of sugar and 21 grams of carbs per cup. Apples contain a little over half the amount found in cherries. Since most juicers strain out pulp and fiber -- and fiber helps slow down sugar digestion -- juice will give you a quick but short-lived energy boost.

Leafy Greens Support Metabolism

B vitamins are essential for producing energy. They’re used to make coenzymes, which activate the enzymes that speed up the conversion of food into energy. You’ll get a variety of B vitamins from many leafy greens, but those with the most intense color contain a higher amount of nutrients than light-green veggies. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are especially good sources of folate and vitamin B-6. Kale also supplies a trace mineral -- copper -- that is critical for energy metabolism. Spinach and Swiss chard contain magnesium, which is essential for turning carbs into energy.

Peas Add Protein

Your body prefers to use carbs for energy and save proteins for building and maintaining muscles, organs and other tissues. But adding some protein to your juice helps maintain energy because the enzymes that drive your metabolism are made from proteins. The best way to boost protein is to include green peas in the mix. If you toss just 1 cup of green peas into your juicer, you’ll gain 8 grams of protein, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other raw vegetables you may like to juice, such as carrots, cucumber and broccoli, have about 2 grams of protein per cup.

Vegetables With Iron

Iron is another nutrient that supports energy. In addition to delivering oxygen to muscles and cells, iron is also used to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy. Add iron to your juice by using peas, beets, parsley, spinach or kale in your juice. You only need 1/4 cup of parsley, or 1 cup of raw beets, spinach and kale, to get 1 milligram of iron. A cup of peas has double that amount. Men and postmenopausal women need 8 milligrams of iron daily, while premenopausal women should get 18 milligrams, according to the Institute of Medicine.

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